Apple Joins Windows Benchmark Group

Apple on Tuesday joined Windows benchmarking consortium BAPco, fueling speculation of its possible future moves. The group's benchmarks are used by computer companies Dell, HP and Toshiba, as well as publications such as CNET, Ziff Davis Media, and Computer Shopper magazine.

The move has stirred speculation across the Internet. Some believe that Apple may be interested in having the benchmarking tools ported to Mac OS X in order to more fairly compare Apple's desktops and laptops to equivalent Windows-based systems.

However, a Ziff-Davis report has gone even further, suggesting that the Cupertino, Calif., company may have committed to Windows-based testing on its computers. The Web log speculated that Apple could also begin to create Windows drivers for its hardware.

"You will probably still need to buy your own copy of Windows XP (or Vista), but this is exciting stuff," the company wrote Tuesday. Currently, Windows XP will run on Apple hardware with minor changes, but drivers do not exist for a number of components, including the graphics chipset.

Others didn't buy that argument completely, although conceded Tuesday's news was an interesting development. Inclusion in BAPco would put Apple on equal footing with its Windows based competitors when it comes to performancing ratings.

In addition, it has been speculated by several Apple enthusiast sites that Mac OS X 10.5, code-named "Leopard," will include some type of virtualization software to enable the running of Windows applications under Mac OS X. Apple's joining of BAPco may lend some credence to those rumors.

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