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Laggard Apple lets Leopard virtualize

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Apple has tweaked its Mac OS X Server software license for Leopard, allowing the operating system to run legally in a virtual environment for the first time.

The change could be a telling relinquishment of control in Apple's traditional manic dominion of all its gear. Or it's a sign of the Apocalypse. Tough call. We'll know once the dead start rising from their graves.

While the change only extends to Leopard Server (ie: not the client version on regular Macs) running on Apple-labeled computers, its an unusual change in their policy on virtualization.

Apple's previous software license agreement barred running multiple instances of OS X Server on Apple boxen. This prevented companies such as Parallels (SWsoft) and VMware from including it as an OS that could be virtualized with their software.

But on Leopard's release, those who read the EULA, say Apple's small heart grew three sizes:

"This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Mac OS X Server software (the "Mac OS X Server Software") on a single Apple-labeled computer."

And now:

"You may also Install and use other copies of Mac OS X Server Software on the same Apple-labeled computer, provided that you acquire an individual and valid license from Apple for each of these other copies of Mac OS X Server software."

The folks at Parallels say they've already begun the process of including OSX Server into their software roadmap. From Parallels PR chief Benjamin Rudolph's blog:

"When will you see it? In the next several months. Enabling Leopard Server to run in a virtual machine may take some time, but we're working hard on it with Apple and will make it public as quickly as possible."

Apple, of course, hasn't returned our calls as of publication. Call off the Apocalypse warning. ®

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