Intel CEO Craig Barrett made mention in an interview last night of the company's Vanderpool project – a new processor design capable of supporting multiple OSes at a processor level, rather than in emulation mode.

"If you are able to, say, have two OSes running simultaneously, you won't have to rely on a single OS for everything. So you could have Mac OS and Longhorn on the same system, using Longhorn for business stuff and Mac OS for personal stuff. But first you'd need to convince Steve Jobs that it's a great idea," he said.

Asked if the company will ever be able to get Apple to release systems based on Intel chips, he said: "We keep trying, but frankly it gets less and less interesting each year."

Barrett did concede: "There are lots of interesting aspects in there. Steve Jobs is trying to appeal more to the Intel base. You might ask why he doesn't take his OS and try to compete in the other 98 per cent of the market. But he doesn't choose to do that."

He also confirms that Mac OS X's Darwin kernel "runs just fine" on Intel, but needs an application stack to make for a serviceable OS. "You'll have to talk to Steve about that" he remarks.

The Intel boss points out that Apple's marketshare makes this a less interesting "issue" for the company. "Our sales can blip by Apple's share quarter on quarter," he says, "so we can shrink or grow by a couple of Apples."