What I wonder is how is my Delphi code going to be executed on a Mac? Is something else going to have to run (i.e. virtual machine) in order for the program to run?
You can now download the trial version of Delphi XE2 and try it for yourself.
Firemonkey (FMX) is the new business-focused 2d and 3d cross platform framework, for Windows, mac and iOS devices (iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone).
It is indeed based on technology acquired from ksdev and almdev companies based out of Russia, and the developers from those companies now work for Embarcadero, and were part of the team that built Firemonkey, and the new VCL themes support in XE2.
There is a lot to Firemonkey, but XE2 Firemonkey is a "first release" of a brand new platform. Look out for a lot of amazing stuff coming from Embarcadero in the next few releases, as Firemonkey grows and matures. My opinion of working with it is that it is "ahead of its time". It's a great way to build great looking applications.
However, it's not as mature and capable as the VCL, especially on Win32, you will miss a lot of stuff. Reporting systems. Etc. There will be a third party component ecosystem, as time goes on, but for now, there are no big third party component libraries that run in FMX yet. For example, there is no equivalent to the Developer Express or TMS component sets, there are no Rave or FastReports. The first third party on board out of the box, is the Venerable TeeChart, which is now both for VCL and Firemonkey. (I'm very glad to see that. It would have been sad if a "business framework" shipped without the ability to make pie-charts.)
FireMonkey is a framework being the outcome of the hiring of the creator of VGScene and the KSDev company. Following that it is heavily based on OpenGL and as a such not hard to be source code portable between Windows and Mac.
Edit: Some more info about FireMonkey just surfaced: http://www.andreanolanusse.com/en/a-little-bit-about-firemonkey-and-delphi-xe2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-little-bit-about-firemonkey-and-delphi-xe2
Delphi XE2 will generate multiplatform binaries. Yes native application, without any VM.
Delphi XE2 will remain a Windows only tool, but it comes with a "cross compiler" good for Win32, Win64, Mac OSX, iOS, and in the near near future Android and Linux.
In the case of Mac and iOS the final build need to be made in a Mac using XCode. The result will be a native Mac OSX/iOS app, that Steve Jobs would believe is fully made on a Mac, so it's App Store friendly :)
For the cross platform GUI, delphi comes with a new framework (alongside the venerable VCL) called Firemonkey based on OpenGL for Mac and DirectX for Windows, this means hardware accelerated graphics. Firemonkey is themable so you can achieve "native" look on every platform or design your own theme.
FreePascal has always been an excellent framework/language and tool. Actually the method of creating apps for iPhone by designing forms in Delphi and then compiling the same in Free Pascal (as Free Pascal was not having designer and Delphi was not having compiler earlier) for generating iPod/iPhone apps were there about more than a year ago.
But Delphi XE has made this capability in to an awesome feature, in its latest version - Delphi XE2. In Delphi XE2, we can use Firemonkey designer for creating UI for mobile apps iPhone/Androd and the same can be compiled for either iPhone or Android. It is true that Delphi XE2 is currently using FreePascal compiler but it will be having own compiler shortly (under completion). This is as per the info I got from Embarcadero Official World Tour, which I attended.
I have seen a Demo in which Delphi XE2 FireMonkey was used to design an iPhone/Android app and compile the same project for iPhone/Android!!!. It was awesome to see the demo running on iPhone etc.
BTW, I feel one of the other features of Delphi XE2, which I liked most (apart from the 64bit compile feature) is its "Live Binding" feature (this is awesome, and can be described as "linking any data to anything" - the possibilities are only limited by creativity and design of linking).
For the iOS build, Delphi XE2 will be leveraging the ARM port of Free Pascal. See http://delphimax.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/delphi-64bit-os-x-and-iphone-native/#comment-749