Yesterday’s beta release of what would become the fourth major software update to macOS Sierra doesn’t just bring iOS’s Night Shift mode to your Mac. Aside from that feature and things like an updated PDF API, expanded Dictation support or the ability for Siri to look up cricket scores and rosters, macOS Sierra 10.12.4 includes better handling of Windows executable files in the Finder.

As discovered by Microsoft’s Mac product designer Vaclav Vancura, rather than use a generic icon to represent Windows executables like before, macOS Sierra 10.12.4 now actually parses .EXE files for native Windows resources such as icons.

That doesn’t mean you can actually launch Windows .EXE files in the Finder.

Quite the contrary—in order to do that, you must use a virtualization solution like Parallels Desktop, which in its most recent update brought out the same Finder-friendly display of native Windows executables. Still, it’s nice that Sierra now makes it easier to distinguish Windows executables from other files on your system.

On the other hand, this new feature may confuse some users who might be fooled into believing that .EXE files are now runnable on Sierra. A more user-friendly solution, as Vancura himself suggested, would involve putting a badge on those icons like with PowerPC Mac apps to make it clear they cannot be launched on your Mac.

Starting today, macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and iOS 10.3 are available for public beta testing.

We’ll be making sure to tell you all about and new features and tidbits in the latest Sierra and iOS betas as soon as we encounter them, no matter how small or seemingly unimportant they might appear at first sight.

Source: Vaclav Vancura

  • pauleebe

    Interesting, makes you wonder if they’re planning some sort of support for .exe’s?

    • The running vm

      Lol.
      no.
      Wine users…

    • Alborz

      exactly my thoughts. that would be amazing! There are so many apps that have me depending on Parallel. I would much rather run them natively.

      • hkgsulphate

        probably no one will buy windows anymore lol

      • thunderqus

        cant agree more , but for the apps to run they need to replicate all win32 or whatever APIs are present in windows, so i dont think it is going to happen.

      • jp2002

        That’ll be real bad. All the exe viruses would be able to execute on your mac and spoil the whole experience… Then comes the anti virus and defendenders and the rest….

      • Alborz

        I’m thinking all the .exe files will run in sandbox mode. I’m not a developer but I’m sure they’ll think of a way to prevent those files from effecting your laptop. there might even be a white list of apps that you can only run. and they will slowly curate apps and will add them to the list.

  • It’s me. No, I don’t have Parallels, but to be honest I have no clue why I do have these icons while you don’t :/

    • Just to clarify: I don’t have Parallels, VMware or Wine. Nothing like that.

  • Steven S.

    This still doesn’t work for me 7 months later 🙁