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Apple customises MacOS X for Wintellers

But that doesn't mean it's going out of its way to encourage them, OK?

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An interesting snippet from MacOS Rumors: according to sources, Apple has been teasing would-be MacOS X on Intel licensees with customised start-up screens. That, suggests the site, is a sign that Apple is looking at licensing an x86 version of MacOS X seriously. Apple is, taking licensing seriously - it would be foolish not to, if only to see what the reaction among Wintel vendors is - but that's not why the OS has a customisable start-up sequence - it's simply canny Apple engineers using the flexibility of MacOS X to the full. MacOS X, like Unix and Linux's X Window GUI, stores many of its graphical and other resources as editable files, contrary to Apple's long tradition of burying it all in resource forks, and usually encoded resource forks, at that. Preferences and the like are now easily editable XML files, and hurrah for that too. The upshot is, that you can swap in and out GUI elements like... er... start-up screens, menu bars, buttons and what have you. This, we suspect, is largely how the OS supports both the Aqua UI and the traditional Platinum interface, which, we're told, is hidden deep within the OS' latest test release. ® For more on the MacOS X's interesting internals, check out John Siracusa's excellent analysis over at Ars Technica.

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