TransGaming, makers of the Linux-based gaming virtualization software Cedega
(née WineX), have announced an ambitious Mac OS X variant known as Cider
(like Apple cider, get it?). Unlike Cedega, Cider is not being targeted towards end-users, but rather to publishers and developers eager to capitalize on the growing Mac OS X userbase but wary of investing in a niche platform.
With Apple's new Intel-based Macs capable of running Windows natively, Cider's allure is from its ability to run Windows games from inside Mac OS X. No dual booting necessary. How does it work: "Cider is a sophisticated portability engine that allows Windows games to be run on Intel Macs without any modifications to the original game source code. Cider works by directly loading a Windows program into memory on an Intel-Mac and linking it to an optimized version of the Win32 APIs. Games are simply wrapped up in the Cider engine and they work on the Mac."
Our spidey sense is alerting us to the grist-filled rumor mill called "the internet" which is currently vibrating with its semi-annual Mac expo buzz. Monday kicks off WWDC, which promises "the world's first look at Leopard," the next version of Mac OS X. And, if we were a betting blog, we'd put our money on Apple announcing some sort of built-in virtualization software (å la Parallels). But we're not, so we won't. Regardless, software like Cider promises another end to the Mac gaming doldrums, if Apple doesn't beat them to it.