back to article iPad runs Windows, Nokia runs OSX

Citrix has been demonstrating Windows 7 running on an iPad, as a dumb client at least, while a Finn has hacked OSX to the N900 for no very good reason. Images of Apple's iPad running Windows 7 have been floating around the internet thanks to Citrix, which has got its dumb-terminal Windows client running for the BOFH who wants …


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  1. shaunm

    in a word.....

    Genius.........nice looking tablet but without the apple looking over every move you make.

    Love apple design hate apple control.

    1. N2 Silver badge

      As if

      Microsoft dont?

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  3. Keith Oldham

    Why not a remote desktop ?

    If I had an iPad ( which is not likely by the way) I'd want to access other machines ( local & remote from it.

    RDP, SSH etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I know I'll get abuse for this, but...

      there's an App for that!

    2. Dr Richard
      Thumb Up

      Yep already can do that on the iphone/touch

      With good free and cheap apps. So a bigger screen and keyboard would certainly make remote support of servers on the beach more fun than normal.

  4. Tim Cook
    Thumb Up


    Not sure that Citrix on the iPad is as pointless as all that. A lot of peeps login to work from home these days, either through choice or compulsion, and the ability to dip in and pretend you're working while idly thumbing on an iPad in front of the TV isn't so bad. It's yet another reason not to bother booting the laptop - all the more grist to the Apple mill.

    1. Lionel Baden

      you forgot

      MALICE !


    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      Remote desktop on phone

      I used to use VNC on my Nokia 9110. That was before WiFi, ADSL, 3G, etc. Calls were dial-up at an amazing 9600 baud, but helped no end compared to driving to the office to start a compile or simulation!! (It was also easier to cheat in pub quizzes in 1998 because nobody thought about mobile internet, or even using the internet to find answers to questions!)

      Given that this will also allow, shock-horror, more than one window on the screen it's a good thing. But does that mean I have to install citrix server ? :(

      1. Annihilator Silver badge

        install citrix server

        "does that mean I have to install citrix server?"

        Not really, no. Have been using a windows remote desktop app on iPhone for over a year now. WinAdmin. Not free, but equally no need for LogMeIn/Citrix/VNC clients installed on the machine(s). I imagine it will look quite tasty on an iPad. Getting it to interact with multitouch/Win7, that could be a breakthrough...

      2. Volker Hett

        No citrix required :)

        I have nearly every current flavour of Windows running in virtual machines on an internet connected Server and access those with RDP or VNC. It is possible from an iPod Touch too, but the screen is a bit too small to be useful for more than emergency tasks.

  5. Magnus Ramage

    Could be useful

    Not sure I understand why it's insane to want to run Windows on an iPad. As with the various Windows emulators for the Mac and Linux, sometimes Windows simply has the applications you need. And surely the iPad is powerful enough to cope?

    And, deliciously, it could be a way to get an iPad to run Flash...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You might want to consider just how much fun Windows is to use

      without the benefit of a mouse or keyboard

      1. Kevin 6

        RE:You might want to consider just how much fun Windows is to use

        Weird my tablet has neither a keyboard nor a mouse and works perfectly fine. Only time it had a keyboard on it was when I was installing win xp pro (came with the home crap) before I hacked it to tablet edition. Since then no keyboard or mouse needed period ;)

      2. Tim Cook
        Thumb Down


        It's not exactly beyond the wit of man for Citrix to adapt their client to make use of the iPad's control features (multitouch screen and on-screen keyboard) - in fact I'd be surprised if they hadn't done it already.

        Not much point designing native clients for non-PC environments if you still need PC peripherals to actually use them.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Could be useful (Magnus Ramage)

      Ah, but the iPad is not running Windows. Its just using a remote desktop client to show you another machine, and allow you to have some interaction with it.

      So, you have to have a Windows machine booted up somewhere that you can connect to, preferably on the local network, as trying to use remote desktop via a wireless connection would be ugly even just for basic office apps, and impossible for games or anything requiring quick responses. Using it over 3G would be even worse - the speed is there, but the latency is huge.

      I'll wait until there's a tablet device that will run the apps I need it to, without requiring I be at home with a Windows / Linux box doing the real work.

      1. Steven Knox

        Wireless RDP?

        I assume that by wireless, you mean WiFi (i.e, 802.11n/g/b) as wireless as in <3G cellular would, of course, be worse than 3G.

        Given that, I believe you'll find you're completely wrong. I use RDP over WiFi all the time, connecting over a secure VPN through my home network to my work's network, and the response time is quite good. I even know some people who have used RDP over a dial-up connection, and have had some (slightly more limited) success. No, it's not adequate for gaming, but some of us actually use computers for productive purposes.

        1. Keith Oldham

          Re : Wireless RDP

          Agree entirely. I've set up a wireless laptop Linux client via openvpn & ADSL that my wife uses to access her school's Windows system and I use for remote access to our home server. Speed is excellent for wp or spreadsheet. Used locally for Linux-Linux it's even better

      2. Ess Mohican

        Agreeing with the agreeers

        SSH port forward to RDP over Wireless works fine.

    3. Andrew Hodgkinson

      Re: Could be useful

      "And surely the iPad is powerful enough to cope?"

      This just shows the Citrix client software; the iPad emulator is running a dumb terminal, not running Windows. The copy of Windows is running on another machine. The whole thing is just a demonstration of a remote desktop client running on the iPad with a publicity stunt screenshot that seems to have worked wonders!

    4. The Indomitable Gall

      Cope with Windows...?

      "And surely the iPad is powerful enough to cope [with running Windows]?"

      My car won't work on a railway. That's not because it's not powerful enough, it's just not built to run on rails. Windows has never been released for ARM, so it can't be run on the iPhone.

      Unless you do what the Finnish Mac phone guy did and emulate an x86 processor in software, but that's something that the iPad is certainly not powerful enough for!

    5. Dan 10
      Thumb Up

      Other stuff

      I agree, this just presents a backup option when Apple refuse to let something into the app store. Example, I'm trying to sort DLNA infrastructure for my media at home, and having a wireless connection to a WHS or Mediacenter could wouldn't be that snazzy on an iphone due to the screen size, but this (or just an RDP connection) could put all the library management etc in my living room without bothering with a laptop.

      I think the ipad naysayers may have jumped too early - it's all about the apps, not the kit.

  6. Andy 97
    Thumb Up

    And people like this....

    ...are the reason the human race is so adaptive, we see a challenge and we try to beat it.

    Good work that man.

    I think it shows that even in an environment hostile to change it can be overcome


  7. SuperTim

    Big thrills.

    I have been able to show a windows desktop on my iphone for months.... via a remote desktop app. Pictures mean nowt! It is rather handy for keeping an eye on my server though.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Pointless technology FTW!

    Agreed...pointless technology is the best technology. The more expensive the better.

    Almost as entertaining as smashing exotic metals and electronics in to the moon at high speed to see if the resulting dust clouds has pretty colours in it. It's your mindless boyhood destruction fantasy times a million.

    Hollywood quote: "Just because we can, does it mean we should?" Damned right. Kinda somes up the ipad in one line, really.

    Paris, because minaturised night vison cinemaphotography is her favourite technology.

    1. Volker Hett
      Thumb Down

      like internal cumbustion engines?

      everybody knows that steam engines are much more powerful.

  9. Stephen Channell
    Thumb Up

    now that's what I really want!

    Now that’d be a really great device.. and if it’ll run Windows, it’ll run Linux etc.. and do more than one thing at a time.. fab!

    Now all it’ll need is one of those e-book low-power displays on the back (for when the battery is nearly flat), and an OLED display instead of the LCD when it isn’t ..

    Oh and better impact protection.. and perhaps an SSD disk.. maybe some ports (UBS, HDMI) would help..

    wow.. iPad 3GS is going to be perfect.. and only a couple of years away (that’ll give me time to save up to pay for it)..

    .. hang on.. am I just getting carried away with Jobsian dissonance..

  10. DZ-Jay

    Re: Could be useful

    @Magnus Ramage:

    Sure, because the *only* reason why Windows running on a slate/tablet form-factor has failed to inspire interest during the past decade is precisely because the device was not produced by Apple, right?



    1. Gulfie

      Windows running on a tablet...

      ... failed to inspire because Microsoft just don't get that a move away from the desktop requires a change in the UI interaction model. And that interaction model has to be nigh on perfect for users not to become irritated by its shortcomings quickly. And as we know, while Apple does 'perfection', Microsoft does 'good enough'.

      PS the same principal applies to touchscreen phones. Start button on Windows CE? Doh!

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Just reduce your expectations enough...

        Apple does a highly restrictive subset well. Try to go outside that little box and all bets are off.

  11. Inachu

    I LOVE IT!

    Now just need to find out how to control my character then I can play WOW on the ipad!


  12. Wolf Clostermann

    Citrix on iPad would be very useful for 2nd line support

    I've often considered carrying around a netbook to allow me to RDP to my desktop (that has admin rights) to make changes to user accounts or other similar things that otherwise would have required me making a pointless and time consuming return journey to my desk, and then back to the user. However, a netbook really isn't the perfect form factor for this - a tablet like the iPad would be.

    1. Steve Foster

      No RDP client on users computers?

      Surely you can just launch MSTSC.exe from a user's computer? Or are you concerned about keyloggers on their PCs?

    2. Bruno Girin
      Thumb Up

      @Wolf Clostermann

      Get yourself a Touch Book then: and if you choose to run Ubuntu on it, it comes with a terminal server client. Not sure about other distros.

  13. MacroRodent Silver badge

    CP/M yet?

    Has anyone yet created an 8-bit CP/M emulator for either device? I'm sure there are people who would like to run the original WordStar on smartphones...

    Actually, given the low speed of the original CP/M machines (Z80 at 4Mhz was typical), in this case the smartphone emulator could well be much faster than the original.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not too difficult to be faster

      I had wordstar 3.3 running faster on a 386 than it ever did on my Z80-based Mimi

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: Not too difficult to be faster

        "I had wordstar 3.3 running faster on a 386 than it ever did on my Z80-based Mimi"

        That was the MS-DOS port of WordStar, wasn't it? Of course it ran faster, at the native speed of the 386. To run WordStar (either the CP/M or MS-DOS version), a N900 or iPhone would have to emulate both the CPU and the OS.

  14. DrunkenMessiah

    iPad is NOT running Windows

    I'd like it if it was, but it's not. It's a remote desktop app that will let you control Windows on another box.

    Citrix, as you have mentioned, is remote desktop software, like MS's Terminal Services/RDP. It's cool. It is, but it's not new, there have been Citrix & RDP apps for the iPhone and countless other devices for years. And it sure as hell won't be fast outside of the home, even on a 3G model.

    1. Volker Hett

      it is fast!

      even on a dialup connection. Some 15 years ago I used Ctrix Metaframe on a Windows NT4 server with ISDN lines and could go down to 28k modem lines and still work with office and ERP applications.

  15. John I'm only dancing
    Thumb Up

    Out of the same mould as....

    Why does a dog lick its own balls?

    Because it can.

  16. Andrew Dowd

    Of course !

    Windows in CItrix on an iPad.

    Hmm... All utterly pointless, so I suppose that is fitting then....

    Now, if only the Ipad had a front facing camera, we could fill the igoggleweb with videos of people going "OMG!" when they see windoze on it. (sorry, iT)

    Mines the one with the split pocket.....

  17. Bo Pedersen

    Love it

    its simply awesome, annoying mac fanbois is usually pretty easy, but that is ammunition not to be missed.

    on another note, newsreaders etc love to have the odd tablet machine, and of course they need full functionality (pc wise) so they could use that dumb client on machines to look nice on telly! :)

  18. Magnus Ramage

    Re: Could be useful

    @DZ-Jay: I do agree that Windows tablet PCs as seen thus far have been pretty hopeless (I think that's what you're saying). I know some people who've made good use of them in education, but in quite a niche way. Whether the advent of the iPad will make other manufacturers up their game in tablet PCs (cf. the iPhone and the sudden rise in excellent smartphones from other manufacturers) remains to be seen. All I meant was that it might be a useful addition to the iPad (or any other tablet)'s native functionality.

  19. rcdicky

    Logmein Ignition

    works perfectly fine as a remote desktop app on the iPhone.

    Would be nice to get Win7 running on the iPad though, it's specced enough for it (probs not be ultra quick but still...)

    Here's for pointless tech, getting Vista to run on a machine deisgned for Vista. Now THERE's a challenge...

  20. Bill Cumming

    I give it 3 days....

    ... After iPad is released for someone to install a slightly modified Ubuntu ARM edition on it...

    Now if they could do *that* it would make me want to buy an apple iPad...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    The end is nigh....

    Such depravity!!!

    Yet another "end of times" sign. Surely the second coming of the iMessiah cannot be far behind........

  22. joe90

    ZX81 emulator?

    Sinclair Research actually had an official update for the ZX80 to "emulate" the ZX81 :)

  23. danny_0x98

    What Steve Wants

    So, this summer, a company calls up Apple and says they'd like to buy 30,000 iPads in order to run Windows via Citrix. Apple will book that sale and send a very nice thank you letter. They may even send a thank you note to Citrix.

    It is Steve's intention to sell devices and systems. The software is to add value to the hardware. Third party software adds value to the platform at a nominal cost to Apple.

    So as we enjoy a warm chuckle and share the levity of this faux ironic moment from the os wars, Apple have grabbed their coat - it was the one with all those checks in its pockets - and have proceeded, secondary verb unknown, all the way to the bank.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    VNC already well here

    As mentioned in a couple of previous posts, there's already remote access apps for the iphone that are official and authorised by Jobsus' sword of a thousand truths. I've been using one for the last six months called Jaadu VNC, and using it more often than i suspected i would. It lets me check on and control my home laptop and servers, and has come in handy on more than a few occasions, from dropping local files into gmail attachments to checking my wow auction house toon.

    Having said that, it drops the screen colours to 8-bit or less, and is annoyingly slow on aussie 3G. Still gives me full control of both boxes, and i can make say photoshop load and convert a huge file to another format from a beach or a pub, the latter being more likely.

    I've also used it with embarrasing frequency to perform a variety of mundane tasks without having to get my fat arse out of bed. It certainly is a lot snappier on the local wifi lol

  25. red hal

    Never mind the iPad

    Sod the iPad; OSX running on an N900? Now that's impressive.

  26. Matt Holdsworth
    Thumb Up

    It's more useful than you'd imagine

    I find LogMeIn Ignition very useful on my iPhone for remoting in to my home PC to queue up an iPlayer download on the way home or send a file to work or whatever... having the same thing but with a bigger interface would take it from handy geek toy to useful tool, I reckon.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    ZX81 emulation on the ZX80?

    Nah, that's easy - installing Linux on a Dead Badger requires far more VüDü

  28. Red Bren


    Can I run Windows in a VM on OS X on a Nokia?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Only if you're 12 and planning to run Windows 3.1 ... given it takes MacOS an hour to boot.

  29. Dave 142


    citrix on iPad would be really good for accessing work remotely. I doubt you'd want to do some extensive work on it, but for checking or monitoring it could be really good.

    1. markp 1

      my sentiments exactly

      Indeed, this is the sort of thing that I was considering as the make-or-break for the thing's practicality; can I use one to RD into, say, a static media server desktop, or even a laptop that I want to cable up to a screen on the other side of the room? (onscreen keyboard etc not so much of a hinderance if you can see all of what's going on via a large-screen HDTV as well as the pad). It's a bit steeply priced, granted, but then a vanilla slate PC isn't much more cost effective (unless bought from eBay, and even then it'll likely need a new battery), and professional automation gear with such capabilities from AMX etc is just as expensive. Wouldn't bother with the 3G model, so long as the normal one will work on wifi alright.

      Can also just work on the machine directly, with TV off, for websurfing etc in a less restricitve domain than using the built in apps... and maybe be able to run notepad in the background for taking notes and all :p

      I can't see Apple being too happy about it - aren't they dead set against allowing emulation apps on iPhone OS? Citrix would have to bundle a jailbreaking kit with each copy...

      But still, the white elephant has been given a small lick of grey here.

  30. David Hicks

    Probably worth mentioning

    That OS X 10.3 is a PowerPc native beast, and the hacker in question has not created and ARM version.

    What he's got is a Mac/PowerPC emulator running on the N900, which just-about has enough oopmh to run 10.3.

    Still kinda cool...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Ipad. Laptop without a keyboard. Just another tablet PC which have been happily filling niches in stock control inventory tracking & parcel delivery since 2001.


  32. Chris 3

    LogMeIn already available

    I have the LogMeIn app running on my iPod Touch, so apparently by the story's definition I ran Win 7, OS X and Vista on my Touch today.

  33. Blain Hamon

    Not even running at native resolution

    The pixel doubling is masked by scaling down the image, but the 1x button tells all: They're running a VNC for the iPod Touch in the iPad emulator. Oooh, stop the presses.

    The Nokia story is much more impressive.

  34. Petrea Mitchell
    Jobs Horns

    Two-hour boot could be tolerable...

    ...if it was for something you could get monumental uptime from.

    Steve with horns because it's the closest thing you've got to the BSD daemon.

    1. markp 1

      you sort-of can anyway

      because if it takes 2 hours to just bring up the About box, imagine how long it'd take for something to crash...

  35. Lars Silver badge

    Looking back

    Looking back, and forgetting everything of importance, which is the normal way to do it.

    I feel, that indeed, it is quite important that "silly" stuff like this is tried, performed.

    You never know what kind of new ideas they create.

    For instance suppose that the cell phone you bye would give you the ability (right) to download what ever OS you fancy (at the time).

    Downloading a OS would not necessarily be free of costs, but might also be.

    Among the devices that could survive a change like that, is no doubt, a device like Nokia N900.

    And looking back again, remembering nothing, it is still a fact that companies like IBM, HP and who? are still alive because they do both hardware and software

    (and a bit off the pint, why the hell does comments using Firefox produce an additional CR)

  36. Morpho Devilpepper


    Finally...a practical use for the iPad.

    1. markp 1


      just like Bootcamp is a practical use for their computers?

      ahem..... sorry. Unkind of me I know...

  37. Big-nosed Pengie

    Some people

    have entirely too much time on their hands.

  38. Christian Berger

    Well at least some use

    Seriously, if they'd only have removed the DRM from the iPad, it would have been a usefull device. So far the most useful application seems to be VNC.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    ...ZX81 emulation on the ZX80

    ...ZX81 emulation on the ZX80... I laughed at this then realised -- Arggghhh, how old am I to get that joke. Then I consoled myself with how old must Bill Ray be.

    1. markp 1


      Is the joke that ZX81 code would still run largely fine on the 80 anyway, it just didn't have the "FAST" mode so the initial calcs took a few times longer on 3D Monster Maze?

  40. goggyturk

    OSX on n900? Pah!

    Is this instead of the full Debian installation you can already get for the n810? The one that doesn't take 2 hours to boot up?

    1. markp 1


      again, thinking the same thoughts.

      impressive they managed to make something so heavyweight work on that iphone-sized device, but it's like the jokers who get XP running on a 32mb pentium-mmx force-clocked to single figure mhz. Very good, but what is it for?

      (also sort of like XP on a 256mb, P4-generation Celeron running a gone-feral copy of Sophos... the horror...)

      Never mind Debian, why not something like Puppy or DSL? I can see a Linux originally aimed at low-end PCs recompiled for the smartphone platform (with appropriate touch-screen, low rez and limited-key-board tweaks) working very well.

  41. Michael Shaw

    Clearly i am not a genius but...

    How do you emulate 1K of ram with only 256 bytes of memory?

    1. Annihilator Silver badge

      Emulating 1k of ram

      Well, one method I know of is a fairly new technique called "virtual memory". Apparently it's all the rage and Microsoft are even contemplating putting it in their operating systems, including the upcoming "Windows 3.0"...

    2. nagyeger

      How about...

      you swap to cassette tape?

      Youve just got to love those page faults....


    3. markp 1


      same way as you can run 16kb games on the zx81.... if you have the right hardware.

      they both had 1k as standard anyway, right?

  42. Volker Hett

    That's what we in the know call "thin client"

    and not dumb client, that would be one of those green screens connected to a serial port.

    And the iPad solves a problem I had with the iPod, and abundance of remote desktop client apps but not enough screen.

    Tux, because I'll probably use one with VNC to remote control the virtual machines hosted on several Linux computers with KVM, no, not the Keyboard - Video - Mouse switch :)

  43. David Webb

    Better idea

    Instead of buying a really expensive bit of useless kit then having to play with it to get it to actually do what you want it to do (i.e. run Windows/Linux) why not pay *less* and get a tablet which already comes with Windows or Linux on it?

    Seriously, if the only use for the iPad is as a thin client so you can run Windows over a network, doesn't it show you peoples mentality when they choose that over something that runs what they need?

    "Hey, you have a choice, you can have this Windows based tablet with Windows on it, and you can dual boot Linux, or, you can have this iPad which runs a phone OS and if you want to do real work, you gotta install software to link it up to your Windows/Linux box!"

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