Over 25,000 Mac users have downloaded X11 for Mac OS X, according to Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller.

Announced last week, this solution allows X11-based applications to run side-by-side with OS X apps. It also simplifies the process of porting X11-based applications to OS X.

X11 is a common windowing environment for Unix operating systems. Apple's implementation of this is designed to be easy to install, and exploits OpenGL and the Quartz graphics system.

Suite It offers a complete suite of standard X11 display server software, client libraries and developer toolkits. Also available from Apple is an X11 Software Developer Kit with which developers can build almost any X11R6.6 application with a simple recompile.

During his Power of X keynote, Schiller discussed Apple's place in the Unix market: "Mac OS X is the most popular Unix OS today, and it's attracting people from Unix environments." X 11 is a "fantastic" way to use existing Unix applications and for Unix developers to come to Mac. "We are hard at work creating a great tools strategy for our developers," he explained, "we now have one development environment that spans everything, which allows for rapid application development."

A series of Unix-based announcements were made following Apple's introduction of X11 for Mac, for example:

OpenOSX announced its products were completely compatible with X11. Its products, which are compatible with X11, include: OpenOSX Gimp; OpenOSX Grass GIS; OpenOSX Office; and OpenOSX FilmGimp.

OpenOffice.org released a free Final Beta version of OpenOffice.org 1.0 X11 for Mac OS X and Darwin. OpenOffice.org is an open-source office productivity suite offering a writing, drawing and spreadsheet application. It can also read and write Microsoft Office documents, and has native support for XML.