Sandy McMurray notes in his blog some interesting information found on a patent application that Apple was filed on April 30, 2004. The patent called “System and method for creating tamper-resistant code” describes one scenario something like a multi-os boot feature and virtualization of other platforms.
In the patent filing, the company clearly mentions Mac OS X, Windows and Linux as choices of platforms that may be loaded:
22. The method of claim 20, wherein the first operating system is selected from the set consisting of Mac OS X, Linux, and Microsoft Windows.
McMurray’s take on this patent application is well summarized on this paragraph:
“Apple has more than a year to come up with a competitively priced computer capable of running both Mac and Windows applications. It could run both systems at once, or — as the patent seems to suggest — run one system natively and the other in a virtual machine. (Users could choose which OS should be the dominant or “first” operating system.)”
Earlier this year, when asked about the possibility that users could load Windows on Mactels, Apple’s Steve Jobs and Phill Schiller said that Apple wouldn’t prevent users from doing it. However they added that Apple would not support such configurations.