updated 11:50 am EDT, Thu October 30, 2008
MS exec's work in Mac OS X
The work of a current Microsoft executive is behind the existence of Mac OS X and the iPhone firmware, a report suggests. The head of Microsoft's Research division, Rick Rashid, claims that code of his remains within the Mac OS, and by extension the iPhone OS, even after decades of design and evolution. "If you use a Macintosh or an iPhone, which honestly I would not recommend," says Rashid, "you would be using code that I wrote more than 25 years ago."
Rashid is partly responsible for the Mach kernel used in the FreeBSD variant of Unix. Apple based Mac OS X on FreeBSD, creating its own kernel called Darwin. Users can also run Unix commands from a shell window on a Mac.
The executive does not claim to have foreshadowed modern developments, however. "If you'd asked me 25 years ago if I thought code I was [writing would be] running today on a cellphone, my reaction would have been 'what's a cellphone?'"