Summary:

Emulating one operating system while running another has long been a handy way to experience both worlds, especially for software developers. But emulation has a price in system performance. It’s just not fully practical to emulate a whole operating system that is often running on foreign […]

Products_x86Emulating one operating system while running another has long been a handy way to experience both worlds, especially for software developers. But emulation has a price in system performance. It’s just not fully practical to emulate a whole operating system that is often running on foreign hardware. If only someone could come up with a “translator” that works at the program level so if you fire up a program for, say, a Mac it would run without skipping a beat on your Windows XP box.A startup in Silicon Valley, Transitive Corp., claims they have done just that. QuickTransit is a program that translates a program written for any operating system and lets it run natively on any other. Let me say that again- you can take a program for a Mac and run it on your Windows system. Or vice versa. Is the implications of this beginning to set in now?

QuickTransit has been shown to a bunch of industry experts who are already singing its praises. President and CEO Bob Wiederhold claims QuickTransit eliminates the need to port software from one platform to another. Software applications written for one platform will run on almost any other, without any modifications to the underlying program.For example, Wiederhold said QuickTransit will allow the next-generation Xbox (which will have a Mac-like PowerPC chip) to run first-generation Xbox software (which was written for an Intel chip). This is incredible stuff and could revolutionize the computing industry as we know it. So, how do we know it works for real? In demonstrations to industry analysts Transitive showed QuickTransit in action by running a Linux version of Quake III on an Apple Powerbook. Observers claim they could see no indication of slowdown or any other affects of Quake running on the foreign processor. Another demo had the Linux Gimp image editor running on a Windows laptop with no ill effects.Transitive has already released QuickTransit for the Itanium, Opteron, x86 and Power/PowerPC chips which means it will run on just about all PC platforms out there. This sounds like something really cool to test, but initially they are concentrating on the server market. The software is sold to computer OEMs currently who integrate it with the OS for user transparency. QuickTransit does nothing until a foreign program is launched.

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