The profiles should work fine on either platform, but only Windows users typically need the download. The Epson Windows driver has the profiles embedded in the driver and doesn't provide them seperately. The Mac driver comes with separate profiles, so Mac folks don't usually need the download. However, if the 1290 profiles are superior to those provided with the Mac 1280 driver, then these will be worth downloading and trying on Macs as well.
By the way, unless the profiles are different than the ones built into the Epson driver, you will get the same results using printer color management with Photoshop and setting up the driver with the correct settings. The only real reason to directly specify profiles on the Photoshop print settings and turn off color management in the Epson driver is so that you can use different profiles than those built into the driver.
I found that the Luster profile for the 1290 was also more accurate than the one built into the 1280 XP-compatible driver downloaded from the Epson USA site. Your results with Colorlife suggest that the whole set of 1290 profiles is better. As you noted, the 1290 is the Europe market version of the 1280. The printing characteristics are the same for both printers.
The grey balancer can be downloaded from the Epson France website. Read the article here before you try to use it, you need a grey reference card and the article suggests a substitute. There's even a link for patching the balancer software to English language at the bottom of the page: