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OS X on x86?

Cliff posted more than 13 years ago | from the apples-on-PCs dept.

Apple 465

FusionJunky asks: "There has been some talk surrounding Apple's OS X and its potential to be released for the x86 platform. Sites like have been trying to get the message to Apple that we feel the consumers are ready to see OS X on x86 boxes. I'm wondering what the Slashdot community thinks this would do to Apple, would it adversely affect their hardware sales? Could Apple move away from selling G4s from Motorola and start producing Intel Macs. Do you think Apple should release an x86 version of their next gen OS?" We asked earlier whether you felt if Linux would be threatened by OS X, with the possibility of OS X working on x86 machines, has your answer changed?

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Re:Reminds me of... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#467701)

yes yes i remember nextstep for x86 hotjava browser 3.0 won't let me type in caps....anywho yes i have seen nextstep x86 not too bad almost as bad hardware support as say solaris x86 2.5.1 solaris 8 is much much beter.

my icedcappuchino browser wont let me spell beter or use punctuation properly my wordprocessor lets me do those things the worst part is that neither one will let me communicate a cohesive series of thoughts on a given topic

OSX? BeOS is the answer! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#467702)

Why someone wants to have yet another OS on x86? BeOS is the answer, it is much more advanced technologically than OSX.
Read here [] for a shoot-out between OSX and BeOS and why OSX is as BeOS was in 1995!

For more information about BeOS (including Screenshots) click here. []

Re:No Legacy crap (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#467707)

Oh heaven forbid Mac actually has to support some new hardware.. I think it's a shame to see all these MB manufacturer's ditching ISA. You don't NEED the speed of the PCI bus for a modem, a 10Mbps NIC, and other slow devices. Serial bus is also more than adequate for a lot of tasks, such as mouse, UPS interface, etc. That's why I'll always buy a MB with 1 ISA slot on it until it's no longer possible.

Firewire has been dying a slow death ever since it's inception. Mainly because it was associated with Apple. USB2 will probably run it right out of the market. Honestly, the only mainstream devices you see using firewire are digital video cameras. Other devices like hard drives are isolated to Mac use.

Mouse (1)

Stormie (708) | more than 13 years ago | (#467708)

OS X on an x86 box would be fantastic, because then you could use a mouse with more than one button!!

Why they should wait a bit .... (1)

Tsk (2863) | more than 13 years ago | (#467713)

If Apple wants to port osX to another platform, they should wait for IA64.
IA32 is dying its future si closed, a good move for Apple would be the IA64 move, but IBM already is readying it's AIX 5 L (L for Linux ?).

Re:No Legacy crap (1)

coreman (8656) | more than 13 years ago | (#467730)

Yep, and trying to get a Pinnicle Firewire card running in my Win98 PC was horrendous but I just plugged the camera into my Mac and I was off. No IRQs, no conflicts, no hassle. He!!, even Linux is going automatic. Sure I'm a hardware junkie and have every motherboard I ever bought running on my net at home, but I've never had a problem with the Mac when installing hardware on it and I've ALWAYS had a day of hassles when trying to install a PC Plug-n-Pray device that stated I met the "System Requirements". Apple has always been kind to the user when it comes to getting things out of the box and into use.

Oh no, not again... (1)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 13 years ago | (#467734)

I'll probably get modded down for this, and my karma will go to hell, but I'm gonna post it anyway... (Like I care about karma... *NOT*)

Every once and a while I hear of some nuts wanting Mac OS X on Intel. Although I don't blame them, Apple probably won't do that. Apple isn't *just* a OS vendor, it's a hardware vendor as well, just like Sun. Sun has the serverroom, and Apple owns the desktop. Apple would loose a considerable amount of money if they release Aqua for the x86.

Although Darwin seems to run on Intel (only one tested configuration though), why would you think Aqua + the rest would? There are lots of issues, like hardware support for instance. Right now there are only supported Apple machines and there are a finite number of combinations, which is easier to support. With x86 you have too much diversity for the OS to be straight plug and play. Just look at the Windows Plug and Play fiasco to see what I mean. Mac OS X works right out of the box, and all your peripherals work right away (as long as they are Apple peripherals).

Just face it, we can whine and scream all you want. My bet is that Apple won't give in. They got too much at stake to do such a geek-friendly move. Apple is consumer oriented, and with consumer I mean your next door computer-illiterate (yes, the irritating luser kind that still outnumber us geeks).

Surely I do not oppose having Mac OS X on my turbocharged x86 box, but I just don't see this happening in *this* life. Not that Apple is being stupid and childish, they have a buisness to run.

End of rant
Slashdot didn't accept your submission? [] will!

Re:Reminds me of...A BIG mistake by Apple (1)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 13 years ago | (#467735)

Strange, I have been running Mac OS X PB on my iMac (G3 350Mhz) for a few months now, and no performance problems whatsoever. (Yeah you need 128 MB, but that's also what the minimal system requirements say, so I'm right up to spec)
Slashdot didn't accept your submission? [] will!

BeOS ?? (1)

ihxo (16767) | more than 13 years ago | (#467748)

Oh yeah that OS that's competing with windows CE on the set top market. does that mean it's kinda DEAD !?

Re:Silly idea (1)

Quarters (18322) | more than 13 years ago | (#467752)

How would it be profitable for Apple to change their OS to x86 and then become a specialized graphics card company? They don't even make their own graphics chips now. They buy the hardware from ATi and/or nVidia.

The last thing Apple, or any half-way intelligent company, is going to do right now is enter the graphics card business!! With all of the buyouts and mergers, there are 2 or 3 powerhouses in that industry. It would be next to impossible for another company to break into that market without the backing to lose a LOT of money for a number of years.

Re:It might be interesting- (1)

rm -rf /etc/* (20237) | more than 13 years ago | (#467756)

The beauty of openstep :) Most people have never played with it and just don't know what a graceful cross platform environment it is. I never understood the purpose of Java using a VM to "write once, run anywhere" when long before NeXT was doing it better without the VM and performance hit. Sun really should have ripped NeXTStep off a little more when they did java...

Re:Things I don't need (1)

HoldenCaulfield (25660) | more than 13 years ago | (#467761)

Seriously, folks, what is it about Mac OS X that would make you shell out money for it when Linux is free? Do you think it can compete with Windows where Linux can't? Do you think it's genuinely better? I don't get it.

I believe OS X will compete with Windows in a lot of ways. The fact that it's being marketted as a mainstream OS, aimed at a totally different crowd that the standard Linux user seems significant to me. That it'll ship pre-installed on Apple's machines starting this summer also adds significantly to the userbase. And merhaps most importantly, the pretty, easy to use GUI will help it make inroads.

Re:recurring idiotic story (1)

PimpBot (32046) | more than 13 years ago | (#467766)

But you forget that NeXTstep/OpenStep ran on 68k, Sparcs, and x86, IIRC. Seeing that MacOS X is mostly a continuation of that OS line, and Darwin _already_ runs on ia32, I don't think the port itself would be that bad. What's preventing them from doing it right now is driver support, and the fear of losing tons of money in hardware sales.

Re:Sounds fun, but does Apple care? (1)

Oniros (53181) | more than 13 years ago | (#467781)

>The would be taking an aggressive step towards MS, that they would not take to kindly.

Amen. That has always been one of the roots of the problem. If Apple ever develop anything threatening to Windows, MS will stop making Office of the Mac. The Mac platform would lose a lot of customers without MS Office.

I'm pretty sure there is an understanding between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs that Office will being developped as long as Apple doesn't make a move to x86.

Althought I am glad there is a x86 version of darwin, I have the feeling it is a kind of teaser: like Darwin on x86? why don't you get one of our nice shiny G4 and OS X, you will have the Darwin you love and much more!

Re:Honestly I feel that OSX for x86 would hurt APP (1)

tak amalak (55584) | more than 13 years ago | (#467782)

I don't think it would hurt APPL, but it would maybe hurt AAPL (Apples real stock symbol). :)

Smart (1)

yetisalmon (70744) | more than 13 years ago | (#467805)

If MAC OS X was released for x86, I'd hop on it in a second. This would be one of the greatest things ever, truly landmarking a high time in my life.
It could also be one of the smartest things Apple has done. I'm not saying that their OS is a dumb OS, but...ha!

Do it Apple!

Re:Silly idea (1)

Skatters (93515) | more than 13 years ago | (#467830)

I agree with this. As much as I would love to play with OS X on my x86 hardware, this is definitely not the right move for Apple right now as confirmed by the issues stated above.

Re:Reminds me of...A BIG mistake by Apple (1)

CNPOS (97252) | more than 13 years ago | (#467834)

WOO HOO! Yeah you tell 'em sister!

Just another crazed outcat fanboy troll...

Re:Things I don't need (1)

galego (110613) | more than 13 years ago | (#467850)

Seriously, folks, what is it about Mac OS X that would make you shell out money for it when Linux is free? Do you think it can compete with Windows where Linux can't? Do you think it's genuinely better? I don't get it.

I think most people would pay for OS X on X86 because the savings on X86 over Apple hardware would allow them to purchase those expensive commercial software packages that are supported on OS X (but don't exist on Linux). I personally would use Linux more...but (for one example) Macromedia doesn't make Flash (authoring) for it. Those commercial software makers have trouble supporting Linux due to the lack of consistent GUI etc. Anyway, that's why I think people would be willing to pay for that OS on that hardware.

I think though, that your comments on an answer looking for a question and Apple's OS on non-Apple hardware are very valid. (See my post 'Making the whole widget'.) I have a Power Computing box and it hasn't been easy to update/upgrade over the years...but I am now running a dual-booting (Linux PPC/Mac OS) with OS 9.0.4 on it. Got a G3/375 in there too :-)


Macs and OS X (1)

vorpal22 (114901) | more than 13 years ago | (#467852)

Personally, I seriously doubt that Macs will go ahead and support OS X. The great thing about Apple is that they create the computers as well as the OS... this probably simplifies things like driver creation and hardware support considerably. If anyone wants to make hardware for a mac, they have to make their hardware compatible. This is unlike the vast mishmash collection of hardware for Windows where you need 650 drivers to do anything.

I bought an old 233 MHz iMac on eBay for a great price, just because I wanted a new toy to play with. Being an Intel afficionado for years, I wouldn't have touched other hardware until recently. I went to a computer store, played around with a Cube while I was there, and decided that Macs weren't so bad, and thus began my journey into Mac-dom.

Anyways, I upgraded my iMac from 32 MB of RAM to 160 MB of RAM, and this machine (created three years ago) rocks! It seems as fast as, and often performs better than my Intel P3 550 MHz with 256 MB of RAM (which was created one and a half years ago, and was nearly top of the line at the time). Even when messing with XMMS' priorities in Linux, my MP3s skip when I do anything much with the HDs. On my iMac running Mac OS 9.1, I can be copying files, have three IE windows open, be downloading MP3s off Napster, and have various other background apps like FTP servers and stickies and such, and the MP3s never even flinch.

My next computer will definitely be a G4 PowerPC. The only thing that deters from my enjoyment of my iMac is the lack of command line, which should be no issue with OS X.

If you really, really want to try OS X, stop pressing for an Intel port (I doubt that's going to happen), and run out and buy yourself one of the older iMacs (233 - 333). You can probably pick one up for $450 - $650 if you shop around on eBay and do some last minute bidding. Trust me; you won't regret it. And if you end up not liking OS X, just go and install Linux on it.


Rumors that it already exists (1)

sPaKr (116314) | more than 13 years ago | (#467854)

I work in the valley. I have several friends that work around in the valley, while none work directly for apple several work with companies that are very close to apple Names left out to protect the innocent

Rumor has it that Apple already has compiled a good part of the MacOSX code on intel. There are several reasons apple migth start selling X86 versions. Apple has alot of supply problems with G[34]'s in the past. A few of the darwin developers are supposedly modeling development after FreeBSD which as well all know is X86 optimized.

There are several reasons why apple would not sell an X86 port. First Apple is a Hardware Company, their OS ran on other hardware it would hurt their mac sales. Second they have spent alot of money and time trying to convince everyone that G[34]'s are better then X86 chips hands down.

So what will happen? Apple will most likly spend a ton of money porting the whole OS, getting all of the binaries ready to go, just to scrap the whole project once they figure out they are a hardware company again. bah they will never learn.

Re:Issues (1)

steveheath (119200) | more than 13 years ago | (#467855)

Drivers and applications are a major problem to all 'new' OS's. Apple seem to have done a lot of work for the applications. However, OSX is basically BSD, so porting the GUI of other apps is the main problem. Also there's quite a few drivers for BSD, I wonder if these can be re-used? I would presume so.

Releasing for x86 would add one extra software problem: you can't release a single binary, they would have to release:

  1. separate x86 and PPC binaries
  2. a big combined binary
  3. release as source.
Ooooh, cat amongst pigeons!

3rd parties are key (1)

wizbit (122290) | more than 13 years ago | (#467858)

Running on intel hardware? No, sir. I don't need to even begin to get into how their own hardware sales (currently the lifeblood of the company in many ways) would plummet should consumers realize the bottom line had just been tipped to your average bargain basement PC show and sale convention. (Though, now that I think about it, especially with AMD or Transmeta, restricting OSX to a specific x86 architecture would be quite fascinating.)

No, much of the drive to be cross-compatible with x86 hardware and x86 executables is so the famed "RedBox" (ala "Yellow Box" for cocoa development/nextstep compatibility and "Blue Box" for carbon development/macOS compatibility) can make its mainstay as a 3rd-party solution. Apple has long left huge marketing doors open for its third parties such as USB, which even most PC enthusiasts have to agree couldn't have been stimulated nearly as much as Apple managed to stimulate the market for USB products. FireWire is another good example, and they're poised to let Red Box be king of their cross-compatibility solution - in grand Apple style, farmed out to a third party (probably Connectix, of Virtual PC fame). Whoever gets the bid, it'll be the biggest showstopper in town without a little old-fashioned Apple R&D beforehand, the fruits of which we are surely seeing in these [] sites.

No discussion of Apple strategy would be complete without at least giving lip service to its at times seemingly-deranged, but generally über-inspired CEO, Steve Jobs. Steve has, in many ways, been responsible for the total rebirth of Apple. Granted, a lot of what happened after he got there was set in motion long before he made his entrance. But the simple fact is, he knows what he thinks is cool. That's the problem with Apple's business strategy, they make products THEY think are cool and leave it to the consumers with similar tastes (or, really, a lack of options) to buy them up. Jobs slashed R&D, and what do you get? A flop on cube sales.

In many ways OSX will be their nest egg, and it simply doesn't make ANY sense to ANYone who knows ANYthinga bout Apple to blindly assume that they'd pursue this as part of a smart, business-oriented endgame. But then Apple's actions to date haven't warranted such an assumption, anyway.

Mark [mailto]

Re:Things I don't need (1)

Mekanix (127309) | more than 13 years ago | (#467863)

Seriously, folks, what is it about Mac OS X that would make you shell out money for it when Linux is free?

Because it's usable?


Applications wouldn't work out (1)

eMilkshake (131623) | more than 13 years ago | (#467866)

I believe OSX/86 would fail for the simple reason that Adobe/Microsoft (those two represent 90% of Mac software sales, don't they?) wouldn't want to produce 3 versions of every product:
  • Photoshop Win32
  • Photoshop OSX/86
  • Photoshop OSX/PPC
After all, isn't the point of the Mac simplicity (I know, I know, but that's why many buy them)? Now, everyone buying OSX versions would need to check the box (or both versions could be on the CD). Even then, developers would need to compile each program twice, and completely abandon any hope of using inline assembler.

I would love to see OSX/86, but it's not going to happen. In addition, think of what it would do to Mac sales if people saw the exact same software running on a machine 1/2 the cost.

x86 + OS X = NO DRIVERS G4 + OS X (1)

kazzuya (135293) | more than 13 years ago | (#467868)

x86 means tons of hardware, all hardware that requires drivers, and who is going to write the drivers ?
Drivers is a big big word.. it's the real issue with x86 boxes, it's the reason why even MS's NT coudn't take Win9x place.
In case of OS X, Apple has working drivers for its limited hardware support on its platform. If OS X attempted to work on x86 machines it would take an incredible amount of drivers coding work.. something that not even MS could do (infact HW manufactureres write their own drivers).

Re:Silly idea (1)

Random Q. Hacker (137687) | more than 13 years ago | (#467869)

Here's why it's a good idea, and how it could be profitable for Apple:

First of all, they convert to the x86 standard, but produce their own AGP and PCI cards that are required to run OSX. Really high end audio and video stuff that they are used to coding for. Not only does it limit what they have to support in OSX, but it gives them a huge base of Intel users to sell to as well. And the good news is the rest of the hardware is still dirt cheap.

Second, the real meat of their OS is BSD/GNU, and that already runs fast on x86. And I really don't think the Apple crew is coding their GUI to the metal (i.e. in assembly, for specific hardware). So I don't think speed will be an issue. And they could always implement library compatibility with linux, as netBSD has...

But here's an interesting twist. What if the Linux community at large (or Red Hat and VALinux and SuSE et al.) bought out Apple, and converted the entire installed userbase of Apple users into Linux users? :-)

Win2k on G3/4 (1)

2x4 (137904) | more than 13 years ago | (#467870)

Mac users have long been deprived of the joys of MS OS's (since early NT 4). They must rise up, and cast off the shackels of life without windows. It is a basic human right damnit. How much longer can we stand for this? Petion. Protest. We shall know freedom again!

Re:Apple vs Sun (1)

RedDork (147298) | more than 13 years ago | (#467879)

There is a differrence there. Sun is not really a hardware or a software's more of a solution's provider. You can't just get what they sell off any shelf and expect it to work perfectly for your mission critical, distributed, real-time, mass storage needs. Apple sells PCs, which are supposed to work out of the box. Additionally, a lot of their hardware is stuff you really can't get very many least not as many places as you can get a pc. Lastly, I dare say that Sun has a lot loess invested in its interface to its OS (CDE and whatever shell they use as default) than Apple.

Help, not hurt Apple... (1)

ChiaBen (160517) | more than 13 years ago | (#467895)

I feel somewhat opposite on this subject... I think if a company with such a prominent name as apple were to put their OS on x86, this would allow people who are not confident enough in *nix, to have a solid company behind their emmigration from windows. Linux variants are definitely getting easier to install, but just the whole 'programmer aura' around it is still intimidating. I would be interested in it myself, just from the standpoint that as a web developer, I would guess many of the application providers (macromedia, adobe, cubase, etc...) would more readily port their apps to Linux if there is already a hardcore OS X following. Anyhow, that's my take on it.

Honestly I feel that OSX for x86 would hurt APPL (1)

mallie_mcg (161403) | more than 13 years ago | (#467897)

The reason that i say this is that apple is a Hardware house. They sell what is in my opinion excellent processors, coupled with medioce HDDs, CDRs, and Video Cards. I really could not comment on their mobos, but i have the feeling that as they are not 3rd party they would be ok.

All this they sell relatively expensively (compared to getting the run of the mill PC), but people buy them, either coz they love the hardware &tc or the OS. Both valid. But if they released OS X for x86 i would probably leave my thoughts of their hardware as drool alone, esp the TiBook. And buy cheap PC stuff coz it is cheap. :).

Hrmm what am i trying to say here, well basically i believe that are BOTH a H/W company and if x86 OSX was avail they would become a S/W company, and i think that MS would juggernaut them for it. No office, No IE, no nothing!

How every version of MICROS~1 Windows(TM) comes to exist.

Re:Warning about (1)

CarrotLord (161788) | more than 13 years ago | (#467899)

Of course, the thing I forgot to mention (the main point) is that the email appears to come from _YOUR_ account, not theirs... really rude and presumptuous of them, I thought, not to mention potentially illegal...


Watch out for the legal department guys (1)

dirtmerchant (162306) | more than 13 years ago | (#467900)

I think that the guys pushing this petition are just asking for trouble. Apple is one of the more litigious companies out there, and if their website isn't copying the "look and feel" of OSX, then I'll eat my iMac. (Oh wait, I guess I'd have to buy one of the pieces of shit first).

The one question (1)

corran__horn (178058) | more than 13 years ago | (#467916)

Would you go to a OS that is not a standard, and, for all intents and purposes, dead? Mac is a great OS for some things(like usability) but when you get into power Linux or windows beats it. Case in point-- I am taking a 3d animation class, we run the software on some old g4's with os 9, and i also have a copy for home use, and the programs run more smoothly on my homebox which has less ram and has other issues(like a bad 3d accelerator). But the rendering and creation was many times faster. Also there are significantly fewer products for Mac OS, and without those what is a computer good for.

If people can connect to one another even the smallest of voices will grow loud.

Time to move on from Intel? (1)

hyperactive (178073) | more than 13 years ago | (#467917)

Is the question whether the Free Software community should move on from overwhelmingly Intel platforms?

From what I gather, the AppleMac "PowerPC" platform is devastatingly powerful, far better RISC processor - and the price is not so bad (well, if you look at the iMac). Damn' shame the "Cube" can only be hooked-up to a proprietary expansive monitor, otherwise you would have a totally silent supercomputer on/by/under your desk. According to what I have been told, these things are at least three times as fast per clock tick as the Intel range for "floats".

Is this right or what? (seriously - I'm asking...)
Then there's other platforms like the "Alpha" - though it looks like Apple is going to get the volume/price at the moment...

It's all in the hardware (1)

zuck (183497) | more than 13 years ago | (#467918)

Mac OS X is designed from the ground up to run on a RISC processor. Without the PowerPC processor it would mean back to the drawing board or release a port that suffers from poor optimization...

Apple is a box seller (1)

Karma collector (184064) | more than 13 years ago | (#467921)

If they move to selling operating systems on Intel boxes then they'll go down the tubes.

OS X for x86 would be a good thing. (1)

bluelarva (185170) | more than 13 years ago | (#467922)

I'm wondering what the Slashdot community thinks this would do to Apple, would it adversely affect their hardware sales?

I think it would effect Apple's hardware sales if they were to produce OS X for x86 platform. I suppose the true answer really lies within a book called In the Beginning...Was the Command Line [] by Neal Stephenson. Despite the worries I think Apple (Steve) should consider the possibility seriously. Right now Apple is hurting because their CPUs are having trouble keeping up with Intel. Their highest clocked PPC chip runs at 733MHz while P4 runs at 1.5GHz. I'd assume everyone knows that clock speed isn't everything but I think average consumer who buys computer at CompUSA doesn't know jack comparing RISC and CISC (some RISC though). Apple's hardware isn't looking very good because of this speed gap. OS X on x86 would solve this problem.

We asked earlier whether you felt if Linux would be threatened by OS X, with the possibility of OS X working on x86 machines, has your answer changed?

This is two-part question. Answer would be No and mostly No. Is Linux threatened on the server side? I doubt that. The Open Source aspect of Linux is key strength in this area. Is Linux threatened on the client desktop side? I would say mostly no. Very slightly yes if you are talking sheer install base. I think the idea of having a powerful, stable, nice looking, user-friendly desktop is good thing. It may initially steal some market share from GNOME, KDE and such. However this can mean a very good thing for desktop side of Linux. It's lot easier to port applications from OS X (x86) to Linux (x86) than OS X (PPC) to Linux (x86). It's very unlikely that commercial software vendors will port OS X (PPC) to Linux (PPC) due to low demand. It would also be interesting to see Linux app ported over to OS X as well.

Re:It might be interesting- (1)

cthugha (185672) | more than 13 years ago | (#467923)

I am a programmer, and portability depends a lot on the app in question. You should be able to port a well-written app from one instruction set to another simply by re-compiling for the target machine. If the app in question is finnicky about the size of data types it uses, this can be a problem, but not usually a major difficulty. Of course, if you're using inline assembly to bum every last cycle of performance you can or something else freaky...well, life gets interesting.

Enumerate the benefits, please! (1)

flwombat (190748) | more than 13 years ago | (#467925)

Speaking as a longtime Mac user who has almost always had to use Windows at work, I don't think this will fly at all.

There are two possibilities if Apple were to port OS X to x86: let it run anywhere (never happen!), or make their own x86 boxen proprietary enough that only they can run OS X. Even so, people would hack them to install Winders and x86 Linux, natch, so Steve would have to sit back and deal with people booting out of his brand-new OS and into other, higher-volume competitor OSes. I'm sure he'd be thrilled.

These x86 Apple boxen would, of course, be around as expensive as Macs; realistically, decent and well-built PCs with solid componentry and a good feel (comparable to a Mac) cost around as much as a Mac does. The new boxen would also have the disadvantage of being stuffed full of fans (the iMac I'm sitting in front of now has no fan at all; it doesn't need one). Apple wouldn't be able to slap a midrange-to-high-end desktop chip in a 1" thick notebook without worrying about having acreage of heat sinks and a fan or two as well (check out the new Powerbook G4).

Somebody remind me again what the benefits would be?

Sounds good. (1)

perlyking (198166) | more than 13 years ago | (#467932)

I would like to try some of the apple style GUI/design philosophy without spending out on hardware.
Then again, they make sexy looking hardware too - I am often tempted to by a cube..

How ironic... (1)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 13 years ago | (#467945)

...that Apple may port OSX to the Pentium platform, but pre-G3 Powermac users have to buy a whole new system.

I thought that buying a Mac meant that I was buying hardware superior to the Wintel crowd. Now it seams that any hack with a Pavilion can run the Apple OS that I cannot.

I originally bought the Umax J700 because I read somewhere that Rhapsody would run on it. Oops.

Well, people keep telling me that this will be a good year [] for Apple. Who knows?

does your mac cut the OSX mustard? [] []

Re:Silly idea (1)

djocyko (214429) | more than 13 years ago | (#467946)

I think the idea was to port the OS to the standared x86 architecture, as opposed to changing their entire line to said specifications. To that extent, everything you stated is only valid if the consumer expects an Apple OS to run jut as well on a homemade computer than on a nice new G4.

The problem I forsee is getting the masses to accept the OS as a replacement to Windows. Virtually every computer that the average person buys comes with Windows preinstalled. How would these people get enough experience with OSX before they decided they wanna trash Windows? And then, would they see enough differences to feel the need to change OSes?

What about drivers? (1)

TJPile (220972) | more than 13 years ago | (#467949)

Everyone is forgetting about writing drivers for the thousands of PC peripherals. This is the challenge that Be faced and it was just too much to accomplish alone. Unless PC companies pledge full support for new PC hardware, Apple would never even consider putting their OS on an X86 machine. That's why Apple keeps their stuff proprietary: less overhead in lots of different hardware configs.

Greedy? Maybe (1)

jibster (223164) | more than 13 years ago | (#467957)

I think it's a simple question as far as Apple is concerned. Which generates more revinue 1) Sell the OS for $100 or so and never sell an other machine or 2) Sell a machine worth $1000 and the OS for $100. Why do people buy an Apple machine if not for the OS?

OS X doesn't have to run on every x86 box (1)

call -151 (230520) | more than 13 years ago | (#467961)

As has been pointed out, Apple makes money (when they do make money) on hardware. Releasing OS X to run on cheap hardware sold by other people would kill off their biggest revenue stream quickly, and would seem like a suicidal move from the stockholder perspective (but would be great for users, so it is nice to wish for.)

But OS X on x86 doesn't have to be like a Windows release that is expected to run on every x86 box. It seems like if Apple is going to port OS X to x86, they would have their own boxes, their own hardware, and could specify a limited set of premium hardware (and charge more for it) to keep themselves from sinking their revenue stream. In other words, they could decide that they wanted to move processors without moving to the the entire x86 platform. These days, Athlons are such a good price/perf they might think about it more than usual, but it still seems unlikely.

If they were to move to the Athlon, I don't seem them supporting all motherboards, (maybe only their own?) all legacy devices, and so on. What would be the incentive? Why would they do extra work so that customers don't need to buy something new, preferably from Apple? Also remember that the idea of a reasonably high "minimum specification" would sit well with a company that has been putting an emphasis on quality components all the way through. One reason that it is hard to compare prices Mac vs. PC is that you can't get a Mac without Ethernet, you can't get a general-purpose desktop Mac without the best, easiest-to-open case there is, you can't get a Mac with crappy video (remember those pages about how even the very first iMacs could be dismantled and 21" displays hung off of them?) , and so on. Those things add up.

By the way, there was an little blurb [] on sharkyextreme (which usually ignores Mac stuff) the other day about how "Shocking as it may sound, many things we take for granted in today's PC, ... either started at or was proven successful at Apple Computer." Well, it doesn't sound shocking to all of us...

Re:How many times? (1)

DarkRecluse (231992) | more than 13 years ago | (#467963)

I posted this reply to make a point....

This question is more annoying than people who respond to their own posts!!!!!!!


THIS IS LAME!!!!! (1)

robohead70 (235113) | more than 13 years ago | (#467968)

The Power PC G4 outperforms the pentiums in many operations..... So basically if apple chooses PC over Motorola thier hardware would only be an overpowered pc. All of the pluses of using motorola CPU's would be gone!! (enhanced momory management, Altivec mathcoprocessing and advanced SMP cpu management. Intel had thier heads up thier ass. If apple does choose this they should use AMD's chips.

IF OS X comes to intel.. (1)

rigor6969 (240549) | more than 13 years ago | (#467971)

We'll be stuck with some wicked slow ppc emulation to have any decent apps. Microsoft will be serving up a unix based os real soon there after. Great. Then we'll have two lame buggy GUI's to compound the buggy unix gui's we have already.. No thanks.. ==sam== free nessus vulnerability scans =

Re:Can you define the question better? (1)

iomud (241310) | more than 13 years ago | (#467972)

My motto is that OS is irrelevant; it's apps apps apps that count.

Macromedia is producing it's core suite of apps for OSX and microsoft is producing office10 for OSX those are two fiarly compelling business apps. Good enough?

Re:It might be interesting- (1)

RapaNui (242132) | more than 13 years ago | (#467974)

Touche'! The apps were provided in the form of a 'fat binary'. The installer can strip the binary of code for unneccesary platforms, if needed.

The two markets are quite separate (1)

Arkleseizure (251525) | more than 13 years ago | (#467979)

One of the things people have always liked with the mac is that it is not 'bitty' like the PC.
You buy a Mac, with MacOS on it. It says mac on the front. It is all "one thing". you don't need to worry about which graphics card you want, etc.
People who feel that way will still buy a Mac for the same reasons.
People who are willing to try out different OSs on their PCs are going to be people who like to tinker around with things and probably like to have various hardware options too. These people are unlikely to have had macs in the first place.
I think the two markets could well be fairly distinct, in which case maybe mac will do it.

who cares (1)

hahaha (301010) | more than 13 years ago | (#467987)

well I'm happy with Linux or FreeBSD on X86 so why would I move to a new prorietary OS without any applications running on ?

Think /*really*/ different, think real Open Source

OSX and Staroffice.... (1)

Kyro (302315) | more than 13 years ago | (#467988)

MacOSX and a port of StarOffice looks mighty tempting to me... specially if OSX was on x86 hw. I must admit though, MSOFFICE is actually an OK product... but StarOffice is just as good and free.... just my 2c -Josh

Re:OSX? BeOS is the answer! (1)

RatFink18 (307720) | more than 13 years ago | (#468002)

"Scot Hacker is a stockholder in Be, Inc. "

Woah no bias in that article

Hardware wars (1)

stigmatic (310472) | more than 13 years ago | (#468006)

I wish people would stop complaining about Intel replacing Motorola if Apple were to port OSX to x86. For those unfamiliar with the graphic design industry, Apple has become much a standard there and Intel cannot compete on that market. Line of two machines an Intel box and an Apple with the same amounts of mem/disk space, etc, then run photoshop, some 3d programs such as Strata Pro [] , and you'll see the comparisons.

Apple will probably not be concerned over people sidestepping hardware purchases opting for OSX software to port to cheaper boxes, they already have a major market. Do you think that just because us geeks speak in wonderment and chant OSX OSX OSX, Apple feels threatened to port OSX?

What would be the big gain for Apple here, if they put OSX on the market think of all the free download mirrors that'd pop up causing them to lose money on sales. I don't think its a matter Apple feeling scared or threatened about losing hardware sales, you purchase an Apple comp for, looks, functionality, and its niche in the market, in this instance with OSX and x86, its like buying a Ferrari only to have a Daihitsu engine.

John Ashcroft replaced by Kathie Lee? [3520147914]

Re:I don't see it happening (1)

karmawarrior (311177) | more than 13 years ago | (#468008)

A good question to ask might be "How much profit is Apple making from the average Mac" and then asking if users would be willing to pay this + media + retail costs for MacOS X.

I'm guessing that if Apple is making $50-100, which seems unlikely but with an iMac coming in at $800, hardware costs making up some of that, retail costs making up even more, it might be possible, you might be able to see MacOS X for less than $200. Which is cheaper than a brand new boxed copy of Windows right now, but not by much. I doubt most Slashdotters would be willing to shell out that much. NextStep and OpenStep used to retail for around $500 IIRC, and the enthusiasm of its users was not enough to make people actually want to spend money on it.

Indeed, as superior to Windows OS's goes, the news currently is fairly bleak. Even the cheap systems, BeOS, QNX, etc, have failed to make any headway and had to go to a free (as in beer) distribution model to hold on to market share.

Then again, another question is "Would it, priced at a lower margin, attract many more times the number of users that would have otherwise been unwilling to buy a Mac". If so, then the prices might be lower, but Jobs et al would have to be very sure that they'd see a dramatic improvement in market share. If sales of Macs without x86 MacOS X would have been 1,000,000, but with the x86 platform available be half that with a mere 800,000 expected sales of x86 MacOS X, Apple wouldn't even be able to halve the price.

Right now, I don't see it as impossible that MacOS X might be released in an x86 form, but I suspect the price would be a great deal more than most people would be willing to pay, especially with most people(still!) being forced to buy Windows anyway and with little chance the x86 version will be able to run all OS X software (remember there's all the stuff designed to run on MacOS 9 that wont work)

I think Intel people who want the platform might be better of contributing to the GNUStep [] and Darwin projects. You wont get Aqua, but the platform will be free (as in speech and as in beer), and wont rely on Apple hardware sales to determine the level of support both now and in the future.
Keep attacking good things as "communist"

recurring idiotic story (1)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 13 years ago | (#468010)

For at least 10 years there are recurring stories about Apple porting their software to x86. They haven't ever done it and they never will. It's obvious that Steve Jobs wants to be the only one selling hardware for his software. Even if they wanted to do it, there would be large technical problems, with endianness (byte ordering) at the top of the list. All Mac software is big-endian, all x86s are only little-endian. Yes, there are systems like Linux that work on both PPC and x86, but PPC is bi-endian.

Re:If they do it at all, it has to be soon (2)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 13 years ago | (#468025)

SPARC was always going to be the preferred platform, and Intel was always very much a second rate citizen in the Solaris world.

As far as I know, Solaris x86 was always targeted towards academic users and home users, rather than the enterprise. It's performance on x86 was never as good, relative to other Unix implementations, presumably because of the need to conform to the specs of Solaris for SPARC, but it is a very high quality product. It served its purpose in making Solaris knowledge/affinity more widespread. If it had been free (beer) from the start and had a bigger HCL, it would probably be most of the places that Linux is today. I don't think Sun ever entertained the idea of migrating their products from SPARC to Intel - like Apple, Sun make their money by selling hardware, with Solaris, Java, SPARCworks et al as loss leaders to drive sales.

It's not open source (2)

Goonie (8651) | more than 13 years ago | (#468030)

While the Darwin core might well be, the windowing system and graphics toolkit certainly isn't and will never be. I'm not going back to a proprietary operating system if I can possibily avoid it, thanks.

I've gotten kinda used to the idea that I can email the actual person responsible for code if I find a bug. I like being able to check the source if I don't understand what a function does. I like the fact that I will never again be beholden to a software company's whims. It'd take something pretty damned compelling for me to give that up again.

What if the DOJ Wins ... (2)

SteveM (11242) | more than 13 years ago | (#468038)

And MS is split?

Then theoretically the Apps Co won't care that Apple is competing with the OS Co. And thus a major barrier to OSX on Intel is gone.

Which is the whole point of the court's ruling, to foster competition in the OS market.

Think of it, OSX (Mac + Unix) and MS Office (and other apps) and cheaper hardware. I'm sure Apple is pulling for the DOJ on this one.

Steve M

Re:Reminds me of...A BIG mistake by Apple (2)

rm -rf /etc/* (20237) | more than 13 years ago | (#468045)

People who buy an iMac don't want to upgrade it, they just want it to work. Geeks can't seem to grasp this concept, some people just want a tool that will get the job done. Even if we ignore the fact that you can upgrade things in an iMac (memory, processor, HD), it's irrelevant. I don't bitch about how I can't upgrade my VCR because it's an appliance that does the job. The iMac is the same thing. If upgrading is your concern, the iMac is not for you...

One problem (2)

oolon (43347) | more than 13 years ago | (#468051)

The biggest problem I see for Apple releasing OSX for Intel, is there are so many Hareware combinations to support and test, where as there are very few G4 configurations.

Apple has aways wnated to produce "easy to use" systems. If it needs complex systems to get drivers to work, that another thing to break, hence not "easy to use".

Sun tried with PCs (solaris X86) but its hardware support sucked! And so pretty much dropped it, Sun Sparcs however have few hardware configs so is much easy to support.

Its not just there are lots of new ones, you have to produce "historical" drivers to just get up to speed, before you can move forward.

yes I know its based on BSD however to keep with the hardware support for intel, (using the BSD guys) they would have repeatedly port the drivers.

All in all I do not think it would be worth their time, I look forward to being proved completely wrong ;-)


Re:Affect hardware sales? (2)

Oniros (53181) | more than 13 years ago | (#468059)

"If OS X for x86 was available, I'd be willing to bet that a large proportion of the first two groups would immediately jump ship over to cheaper hardware."

I think something you forget is that those three categories are not mutually exclusive. The media workers like the really nice and well designed case of their computer. So do some of the GUI junkies.

The price difference between Mac and PC hardware those days is not that big... it's slightly more expensive on the Mac side, but not much more (if you don't buy your RAM at the Apple Store online :-)

Also I'm not so sure that price is king.... otherwise only the cheapest computers would sell, and it seems there are lots of offerings at all kind of price points. Like for any other manifactured good.
Hey, people pay lots of moneys to buy their Nike... and it's just shoes. :)

Last but not least, if OS X worked on x86, Apple could switch from PowerPC to Intel, maybe even use some standard motherboard design and cut prices down some more, etc.


There is one thing to be known about Steve Jobs: he is a hardware guy. He likes beautiful hardware. He made the NeXT guys redesign the motherboard of the Next box so it looked visualy pleasant... yes, he went that far. He never really cared much for the software... what really excited him was to make and ship hardware. Or so I read, I don't know him personally :) Of course he may have changed (he has been pushing iMovie, iTunes and iDVD a lot), but I would be surprised that he would want to give up nice hardware design.

Re:No Legacy crap (2)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 13 years ago | (#468091)

>It would be a shame to have the Mac OS X move onto x86 and then get mired in the PC legacy crap that has caused us to continue to see ISA slots on 1ghz machines.

I still like my ISA modem, so I'd go easy on insulting the use of ISA... Sure it would be nice to have broadband access where I live so I could get rid of the ISA modem, but I've been told that whiel it's easy to upgrade either the phone system (for DSL) or the cable system (for cable modems)... neither will be installed where I live in the next several years... In particular the phone company would have had an easy time having to only spend $300-400 for the DSL controller in the central office in town (which I live 5000' from)... Once I have broadband I'll be happy to see ISA go... Until then I need my ISA slot...

>It would be a shame to have the Mac OS X move onto x86 and then get mired in the PC legacy crap that has caused us to continue to see ISA slots on 1ghz machines. I'm much happier with the SCSI/USB/Firewire legacy the Mac hardware has fostered.

Um what are you smoking legacy on Mac means serial ports for external devices.... not that 'new-fangled' USB... Only since Steve came back has apple thought of using USB or Firewire... On the other hand he switched them from SCSI (which at least gave a good reason for why they were expensive) to IDE...

>Don't you think that the new G4s with DVD burners are specifically to generate hardware sales?

Yeah they will, but not as much as the same thing on the PC would... In fact before Apple released their comment about DVD-burners for Mac, Pioneer had released news of their CD-RW/DVD-? (forget which recordable format for DVD they used)... Once people start using those combo recordable drives on PC Apple will loose any possible advantage there...

>Where do you think their priorities are?

I think it's in screwing the customers out of money with marketign gimmiks & tricks... Just like any 'major' PC OEM I could name... I must say that I haven't liked Apple though since I had to fix them in HS (first PPC days), so I'm biased... Though I"m bettign you are to & the real answer comes in somewhere between the two...

>Why do you think they keep orphaning hardware in each release? No OS X is planned for NuBus macs, yet another "trimming/pruning" of the Apple Tree.

I think they are trying to create a reason for Mac users to uopgrade... We all know Mac users keep their machines for ages & we should also know that Apple thinks this hurts their revenue...

Re:Reminds me of...A BIG mistake by Apple (2)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 13 years ago | (#468096)

The iMac will run OSX quite well. There may be some speed issues running Classic applications on a system with less than 96-128MB of RAM, but native Carbon/Cocoa stuff works very well.

I've installed the public beta on a 233MHz iMac (64MB, Rage Pro), a 350MHz iMac (64MB, Rage 128 Pro) and a G4 (192MB, Rage 128 Pro). All of those systems ran the (admittedly few) native applications well. The two iMacs took a bit of a pounding when running Classic apps, but there were still quite usable.

Any G3/G4-based Mac (save for the original PowerBook G3 -- the 3500 model) will have no trouble with OSX. Some (like the early iMacs) would benefit from a RAM upgrade, but that's an easy, inexpensive update.

Re:Affect hardware sales? (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 13 years ago | (#468097)

I don't think the move from Moterola to x86 would be too easy. There are tons of MacOS programs out there that would have to be recompiled and/or redesigned to work on the new archetecture. There are many freeware and shareware programs that have a huge userbase on the Mac right now. Not every hobbyest is going to be able to make thier code work on both Mac and PC. Now I'm sure your going to tell me that open sourcing the programs would help, and it would, but I don't foresee that happeneing to high degree in the Mac world.

Making the whole widget (2)

galego (110613) | more than 13 years ago | (#468100)

That's one thing that Apple prides themself on. Or at least I've heard Steve boast about it. (And man, you should have seen the reality distortion field that accompanied that one!) They make a lot more money on hardware than they do their software....that's pretty much always been the case.

I own a PowerTower (now upgraded to G3 etc.) know, one of the Mac clones. Well the cloning stuff ended a few years back, shortly after it started. The largest and most successful one, Power Computing was basically bought out by Apple. That buyout (or payoff) helped both Apple and Power Computing. Not everyone knew this at the time, but Power Computing had made some bad mistakes. Despite doing well in sales and really hurting Apple's hardware sales, Apple was bailing them out by purcahsing their technology/stock shares/whatever.

The point? Apple makes its money (its real money) off of hardware. OS updates shadow in comparsion at the shows IMHO...almost sometimes as side notes to what they do in hardware. OS X will be a big one though.

I would love to see X on X86 hardware. My dream would be to build an athlon/duron system for a good price and drop OS X on it. dream would be to have a TiBook and one those desktops with a superdrive, but I can't afford that. So...OS X on X86 would be nice. I just don't see it happening for Apple and us.

If they could get enough marketshare back OS-wise(which right now requires hardware) to make a heavier focus on OS/Software to pay off for them, they might do it. But...I still think they like making the whole widget. The dangling questions then is...How much would putting OS X on X86 hardware hurt their current hardware sales? Anyone want to offer up an answer/guess/speculation on that?



Not going to happen. (2)

_outcat_ (111636) | more than 13 years ago | (#468102)

Let me quote an article from [] :

The computer was never the problem. The company's strategy was. Apple saw itself as a hardware company; in order to protect our hardware profits, we didn't license our operating system. We had the most beautiful operating system, but to get it you had to buy our hardware at twice the price. That was a mistake.

Steve Wozniak, "Woz" of Apple fame, said this in a 1996 Newsweek article. It's true. Apple could have started off on a different foot by licensing their operating system from the beginning, and possibly built a good revenue base off of that, but the idea of everyone-crufting-together-x86-machines-with-all-m anner-of-different-specs-and-hardware was still a new one when the MacOS came out. It leaves Apple in a bit of a bind.

But come on. This is a *hardware* company. Apple makes freakin'-awesome hardware, and support for these machines is built on the premise that they're all going to be very similar. iMacs are all cranked out in a factory, all with similar hardware and peripherals. Same for G4's, PowerBooks, what have you. They're not kludged together in basements by 16-year-olds (like my k6-2/400 was :), so Apple can offer a kind of reliability in support, drivers, and software in general that the x86 world just can't, due to the diversity.

To license OS X would be dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb. First off, yes, we know that there's a Darwin port for Intel. But porting everything else, like the Classic layer, and who-knows-what-else, just to make OS X run on x86--it would just not be a good move for Apple right now.

Re:The wildcard... (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 13 years ago | (#468105)

Steve might be a sociopathic tyrant but he's not completely mad. If he were to announce Mac OS X for x86 processors it would be a very, very stupid mistake.

It would be a total white elephant, consuming ungodly amounts of money for a tiny, tiny percentage of the PC OS market, threaten Apple's hardware sales, confuse consumers, shares would go through the floor and would finally get canned by the next CEO to run Apple.

Drivers silly (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 13 years ago | (#468106)

It's not the operating system that matters in all this, it's writing drivers for all the hardware that a x86 port would need to be worth a damn.

And even if all that were done, you'd be the proud owner an operating system that had no software to run on it. Apple might release a few x86 titles, but Microsoft certainly wouldn't and neither would many other software vendors.

"What about all the stuff for Unix?" you might say, but remember OS X is meant for computer illiterates, not people who download and build their software. And if you are one of those people, what's wrong with using Linux or BSD?

Of course its highly unlikely to happen. Hardware is Apple's bottom line so they're hardly likely to undermime their own profits by encouraging people to use an Intel box instead of their gear. Remember they pulled the plug on Apple clones a few years back when this started to happen back then.

Re:It's not open source (2)

vchoy (134429) | more than 13 years ago | (#468107)

That is a very good point about having the opportunity in getting in contact with the person responsible for the OS code. It is also true that "Hey OS code is not officially supported where as commercial products are...etc etc"

In my experience any bugs or even comments I post, I usually get at least get an 'intelligeble' reply back from the author of the code/module. When people write to me about the code I contribute to, I 'definately' respond/broadcast. It works both ways. People helping people. It's not all about the $$$s!

iMac86 and vendor lock-out (2)

CarrotLord (161788) | more than 13 years ago | (#468110)

Why wouldn't Apple apply their brilliant industrial design and marketing skills to producing x86s that would seduce the same market that the iMac (and friends) do? I know a _lot_ of people who would love a G4 cube or iMac running Windows or Linux. In fact, I'd love a single computer that could do Linux, Windows _and_ OSX. Love it, I say! -- What they may lose when they cease to lock people in to Apple, they will gain (and more) when they cease to lock people _out_ of Apple...

So they would get all three groups -- OS interface junkies, Media workers, _and_ industrial design fetishers... In fact, I'd really like to see more of Apple's industrial design in the x86 world, and I'd like to use a good Unix/MacOS cross (OSX), so I'd certainly be a willing customer for both the hardware and the software.


Instant #1 Windows competitor! (2)

ledbetter (179623) | more than 13 years ago | (#468114)

I think that making OS X available for x86 hardware would instantly create some very serious competition for Windows on the user market. And in doing so, would step in front of linux as the biggest threat to Microsoft. Don't get me wrong, linux is fantastic, but I think we can all admit that it isn't yet applicable to the low-knowledge user (the ones who just got the latest edition of "Using a Mouse, for Retards" for christmas). However, this market has always been where Macs excelled. And this is the biggest growth market out there. Let's face it, PC sales are slowing down, why? Because everyone who knows a lot about computers already has one. I find that a lot of the people I know who are buying computers now, are doing so for the first time (having therefore no OS affinity), and in choosing an OS will be looking for 2 things--ease of use, and price. Mac's have always been easy to use. And now, they have a first class BSD core for their OS. We may care about the guts, but new users are really just interested in slick looks, and applications. Plus, behind Windows the Mac platform has the most mature user applications, including mainstay ones that aren't available on Linux (MS Office, Adobe graphics software, etc). And x86 hardware is much cheaper than Mac hardware.

Apple will be dead within 3 years of OSX on Intel. (2)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 13 years ago | (#468117)

Apple makes most of it's money on the hardware, if they switch to Intel then they don't control the hardware so they'll only have OS sales. How much can you charge for an OS these days when Linux is free?

Look what happened when clone makers started making MACs.

I don't see it happening (2)

SlashGeek (192010) | more than 13 years ago | (#468118)

If Apple released their OS for x86 machines, they would loose sales. Apple is very careful about protecting it's identity, and maintaining it. Their identity is what keeps them in business. As cool as it would be, if they did they might as well ditch hardware and become a software company. Although that may not be so bad after all.

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."

Re:Issues (2)

SlashGeek (192010) | more than 13 years ago | (#468119)

I agree, strict control of OEM hardware and semi-strict controll over third party hardware is largely responsable for Apple's stability and performance. x86 developers must develop for nearly infinate hardware configurations, wich decreases performance, increases potential for errors, and contributes to bloat. This is what M$ is trying to do now with W2k, (license hardware vendors) although M$ want's everyone to belive it was their idea.

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."

Re:I don't see it happening (2)

SlashGeek (192010) | more than 13 years ago | (#468120)

Mac OSX will retail for around $130, with an upgrade going for around $30 from what I have been told.

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."

Reminds me of... (2)

mirko (198274) | more than 13 years ago | (#468123)

  • NeXTstep on x86
  • then Openstep
  • then Yellow Box
  • also Copland ?
  • etc.
Lots of people have actually been looking forward to get Apple ergonomy at the cost of a cheap pc box.
I'd of course buy it if both Cubase and my Yamaha SW1000XG [] drivers were ported to it but until then I'll wait to see it improved.
The problem for apple is that their environment has to remain an object of desire as it will increase their hardware sales and fidelize their customers (Few Mac-ers actually change their hardware as often as pc-ers -especially windows-ers- do).
And, honestly, OSX on iMac doesn't seem to expensive, does it ?

How many times? (2)

DarkRecluse (231992) | more than 13 years ago | (#468128)

How many times are people going to ask about this? I think it would be best if we stick this one in the FAQ along with "Will OS X threaten Linux?".

DARWIN runs on Intel hardware, therefore Apple has no problem running OS X on Intel hardware. Apple will not release their OS in its consumer form for OS X, because it is not setup to gain enough profit through the sale of its OS to maintain operations...Apple needs OEM deals the same way Microbum does, and the only OEM who will readily accept Apple's OS on all its machines is Apple.

Consumer OS X will not be released for Intel. However, Darwin will probably be pushed more and more by Apple as a Linux alternative, the perfect free Quicktime streaming platform, running on ppc and x86 hardware. (thats bull anyway)

What Apple may attempt is to implement a WIN32 compatibility layer, in which they can run windows applications on their ppc hardware...get Apple hardware, get all the apps. If you were a developer and all you had to do is recompile your code for ppc, and I mean that literally, wouldn't you do it?

Well I'm tired of answering this question over and over. The answer is NO...NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. Stop asking, stop wondering, stop making me see this garbage question on Slashdot every day of the week.

If you spent as much time searching the web as you do asking this question, you would know the answer by now!

If you want OS X buy a Mac!!!!!!!!!!!

It might be interesting- (2)

Flying_Donut (242255) | more than 13 years ago | (#468130)

But as the age-old question goes, "What about applications for it?"

I'm by no means a programmer, but it would seem to me a lot of work to port existing apps over to OSX on x86, and I'm guessing that existing x86 apps wouldn't run under it natively.


It comes down to loyalty really... (2)

leroy152 (260029) | more than 13 years ago | (#468131)

Apple have been partners with Motorola for god knows how many years. If OS X becomes increasingly popular, Apple would have a hard time deciding who is more important. Potential users or longtime hardware partner.

Perhaps though, if there's competition between x86 and Motorola based systems that both run OS X, it could drive down prices on G4's and the like. And ye never know, maybe if done right, it'll be Apple that steals M$'s cookie rather than Linux =).



If they do it at all, it has to be soon (3)

Tet (2721) | more than 13 years ago | (#468133)

If Apple plan on releasing OS X on Intel, they'll have to do it soon, or it won't be worth it. When Sun released Solaris for Intel, it was seen as too late -- they were already comitted to SPARC, and the market saw the Intel move as halfhearted. SPARC was always going to be the preferred platform, and Intel was always very much a second rate citizen in the Solaris world. The same situation exists with OS X. Unless an Intel version is released very soon, OS X on PPC will be too entrenched. If it reaches that point, Apple won't be able to convice developers to code for both platforms, and they'll stick to just PPC. Ultimately, the support of third party developers is what makes or breaks an OS.

I'm actually in two minds about whether or not Apple should release an Intel OS X. On one hand, more competition is always a good thing. On the other hand, if it's successful, it could hasten the demise of viable non-x86 alternatives.

Re:It might be interesting- (3)

dschuetz (10924) | more than 13 years ago | (#468134)

I'm by no means a programmer, but it would seem to me a lot of work to port existing apps over to OSX on x86

Under NeXTSTEP, most cross-processor porting consisted of the following grueling steps:

  • Step 1: Open the app in Project Builder.
  • Step 2: Check "Intel," "NeXT," "Sparc," and "HP," then hit "Compile."
  • Step 3: There's no step 3.

<chuckle>there's no step three....

Re: NEXTSTEP and porting (3)

mato (14195) | more than 13 years ago | (#468136)

Under NeXTSTEP, most cross-processor porting consisted of the following grueling steps:

  • Step 1: Open the app in Project Builder.
  • Step 2: Check "Intel," "NeXT," "Sparc," and "HP," then hit "Compile."
  • Step 3: There's no step 3.

Oh, and you forgot to mention that you end up with one binary which through clever sharing of resources (all interfaces, resources, etc are in the .app folder rather than in the executable) is actually smaller than for example, 4 binaries of the same app for different architectures under *NIX. It also means you could essentially fire up Interface Builder on the .nib and localize apps yourself/move buttons around and so on.

IMHO these are the most important points about OSX people on /. are missing, just look at the amount of posts here saying "it's too hard". In the case of OSX, it's not. Apple has quietly been keeping Darwin running on X86, and NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP (OSX's ancestor) always had support for X86. So an X86 port of OSX would be a matter of updating NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP drivers, writing some new ones for hardware that didn't exist at the time (note I'm only talking about drivers for those subsystems that Darwin does not include, i.e. Aqua) and recompiling. Presto, you have OSX/X86.

What I still don't understand is how Apple managed to turn NEXTSTEP (runs fine on my NeXTStation Turbo which is a 33Mhz 68040 with 32MB of RAM) into OSX (apparently only runs reasonably well on a XXXMhz PowerPC G4 with 128MB of RAM)? As far as I can see, they are essentially the same OS (OSX has a couple more APIs and more Eye Candy, but surely doesn't justify such a jump).

Things I don't need (3)

Brento (26177) | more than 13 years ago | (#468137)

Yeah, that's what I've been clamoring for. Yet another OS to run on my x86, preferably one without a killer app or widespread support, and even better if it's one that won't support my existing apps. I want something pretty. It doesn't need to do anything that Linux/Windows/Beos does. I've always thought that the world needs more OS's. I'd love to go back to the early 80's, when every time I sat down at a new desk, I had to learn a new set of commands just to get my work done. Woohoo! My heart beats with anticipation.

Seriously, folks, what is it about Mac OS X that would make you shell out money for it when Linux is free? Do you think it can compete with Windows where Linux can't? Do you think it's genuinely better? I don't get it.

Mac OS X won't penetrate large organizations, either. Network admins have their hands full with 95/98 desktops, 2000 desktops, 2000 servers, Linux servers, and Netware servers. Mac OS X will be looked at as just another unproven alternative with no real history, an answer looking for a question.

I also can't believe posters haven't mentioned the failed 3rd-party hardware problems generated when Apple let other manufacturers build PowerPC boxes. Remember that? Apple couldn't stand letting other people build boxes and run Apple software. Now we're hearing rumbles that not only will it run on other boxes, but it'll be boxes that Apple hasn't put their golden blessing on. That's ridiculous - Apple dropped that hot potato years ago, and they're not likely to pick it up again.

Can you define the question better? (3)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 13 years ago | (#468144)

It all depends on what you want, surely?

The OSXonIntel web page seems to take in part a disingenious approach. "We want it because BSD gives us the chance to ge at lots of open source sw and to stick it to Microsoft". Well, if that's all you want, then here's a hint: install BSD. ;-)

To be fair, later they say they want it all. But surely there's almost no chance of getting it to run legacy Mac applications or carbon apps without recompiling? So does it come down to Quartz and Aqua? What use are they on their own? Open source stuff will be available, true, but it'll be written for console or against X. Again, you're back to "install BSD"

My motto is that OS is irrelevant; it's apps apps apps that count. Why else do you think I'm writing this on a Win2K box?

I guess one argument apple can use against OSX on intel is that Apple have a very clear understanding of the fundamental hardware, so they can optimize their OS better. A lot of work done on the Linux kernel, for example, seems to be getting this and that obscure piece of hardware to work.

I think that a better response is not to try and make OSX run on Intel, but to make Gnome or K, depending on preference, look so good that it has the same "wow!" factor that OSX has.

Rant: L'aveugle et le paralytique (3)

f5426 (144654) | more than 13 years ago | (#468147)

"The blind man and the paralytic one", or "Confession of an old NeXTer"

The only thing that is sure, is that they need to do something else too. OS/X ppc only will not cut it.

In 1984, Apple once was years ahead everyone else.

Apple did not know how to manage its advance. The simple and friendly Macintosh mutated into a huge number of sub-standard overpriced hardware. Slim APIs and thin operating system (hey, it had to run into 128Kb of RAM) evolved into a convoluted mess. Instead of slowly adapting, they tried grandious plans that failed (Pink, Copland, OpenDoc...). A lot of working technologies were destroyed (Hypercard, to name one).

In 1991, NeXT had 10 years of advance.

NeXT did not know how to manage its advance. Pieces after pieces they dropped their assets, in order to stay profitable. First the hardware. Then the OS. Then ObjC (despite numerous claims of the opposite, NeXT was in the process of dropping ObjC in favor of java, for fucking marketing reasons). At the end, NeXT was dropping the whole AppKit, and focused on WebObjects *consulting*, which was rewritten in java. At this point, you could look behind, and see that NeXT basically dropped every single piece that gave it its '10 years of advance'. In the process, NeXT pissed about evey company that developed for them (At the time of the OPENSTEP/Enterprise thing [ie: AppKit on windows], NeXT refused to indicate how costly would be the run-time license [hint: they didn't knew themselves], despite numerous asking from the developers. It is quite nice when you tell an independant developer that he will have to compete with the biggest established players in the biggest market, but will have to pay a premium for each copy of its software. And that you cannot tell him how much the premium is going to be. "It is going to be cheap. Trust us. We are working hard on that."). I think NeXT was doomed the day Lighthouse Design sold to Sun.

NeXT then bought Apple for a negative amount of money. This was a good thing. NeXT have software that once rocked. Apple have hardware that once rocked. Thogether they are, IMHO, the only credible commercial alternative to Wintel.

The merge was difficult. Lot of good things were lost there (Newton, OPENSTEP, YB/windows). We almost lost ObjC. The most important asset of NeXT is FoundationKit/AppKit, which require developers to use a different langage. One of the amusing decision made by NeXT was to stop supporting C++. A very good idea those days. A sure way to alienate most of the existing Apple developers, but well, us NeXTers are fucking morons, and you have to play with our rules. Those have never changed over the years. I can give them to you in full:

"We are right. You are wrong. End of discussion."

In 2001, apple hardware is ahead no-one. PC hardware *blow* macintosh at any time. Linux/*BSD are way ahead of Darwin. Win2K is rock solid (and trust me, this is a pain for me to admit it). OSX interface is unusable at best (I have trouble to feel NeXTstep throught this slow mess.)

OSX/x86 could be a way to get mindshare back. But it is useless. It'll end up on the 4th partition of a linux freak that would boot it once a week, because he is bored of playing with gnome themes, then will reboot under windows to play the latest games a couple of hours later.

Nope. The only way I see for them is to:

1/ Revive Yellow Box (This implies porting Qartz to windows to get rid of the fscking Adobe DPS licensing issue). Price it at an exact 0$. Give it away from their website. Give it from magazine CDs. Tell developers to learn objective C, so they will use the best object oriented API in the world *and* deploy the same code under different operating system

2/ Write the unix yellow box. Price it at the same 0$. Tell unix deleloper that they can use the best object oriented API in the world *and* deploy the same code under different operating system

3/ Help the GNUstep project to implement the OpenStep spec. A statment that they will not sue the project would already be a great thing (gnustep-db developers are afraid that Apple sue them on 4 key EOF patent. Development basically stopped).

At this point apple will have a viable and healthy software platform. They could then sell ppc boxes, arguing that they are compatible with old Mac OS applications and have the best OpenStep^WCocoa implementation out there.

Unfortunately, this would require Next/Apple to do the right thing, which, based on personal experience, is very unlikely.



Warning about (3)

CarrotLord (161788) | more than 13 years ago | (#468148)

If you sign up friends to be notified about this site (at the end of the petition), they get sent a really gumby sounding email:

Hey there,
This website is an online petition trying to get Mac OS X ported to the intel platform. Go check it out at I signed it and you should too!
*Your Name*

I recommend that you write your own messages, if you don't want to sound like that -- otherwise you end up having to write explanatory messages to your friends to tell them that no, you didn't write that email, but it's a good site anyway...

Also, I would think that making it look as though the referrer is the sender and writer of the email is actually fraudulent, because I most certainly did NOT write that, yet it has been made to appear that I did.


Re:Honestly I feel that OSX for x86 would hurt APP (3)

twisty (179219) | more than 13 years ago | (#468149)

By and large I must agree. Apple is a hardware company and always has been since the day the Apple 1 was built in Woz's garage/shop using 6502s in wooden cases. (As I recall, one 6502 was the CPU, the second was a cleverly timed Video generator.) Yet, Apple is, just as importantly, a design company.

Sadly, the hardware side of competition doesn't win Apple the clearest of victories. Some wins include the peaceful, silent design of the fanless system, the artistry of the cases, and the simplicity of the peripheral attachments. But these do not distinguish it enough from its Wintel competitors: The Motorola PowerPC chips perform competitive benchmarks per clockcycle, but the masses want those GigaHertz.

A software-oriented Apple could still sell its strongest point, Design, but that takes development. Taking the new direction of support the x86 platform, with its Tower of Hardware Babel, could be more than Apple is ready to chew... affordably anyhow.

Sounds fun, but does Apple care? (3)

Down8 (223459) | more than 13 years ago | (#468150)

I'm a connoisseur of OSes. I install 'em all to play with [*BSD, Linuxes, BeOS, Windows], so for this reason I would like an x86 version of OS X. I already grabbed the supposed Intel port of Darwin [not yet tried it out].

But, does Apple care about such a beast?

They would have to start supporting the newest technology, from all different vendors, not just themselves. Big expansion of their happy little driver coding armies

They would have to expand their customer services exponentially, to support all the people fleeing MS, who don't know the first thing about MacOS, let alone *nix.

The would be taking an aggressive step towards MS, that they would not take to kindly. I mean Apple's not really competition for MS in the PC market, but this would make them direct competitors, and everyone has an opinon about what MS does to competitors.

I don't think it is in Apple's best interest [as far as business practices are concerned] to supply an x86 port of OS X. It may be a nice little bit of press, and 'response to customer appeals', but it would change a lot of their business model.

Of course, there is the added benefit [to end users] of increased interoperability between both *nix and Macs, which may be a nice bit for the business world. Interesting thought... MS's being the only OSes without the OS X seal of approval.

My pennies,

Apple vs Sun (3)

hero_or_what (245446) | more than 13 years ago | (#468151)

Apple has to make the same choice as Sun.

Sun has Solaris available for x86. No doubt there was a lot of debate similar to what's happening. However, there is a difference. The difference lies in who the customers are. Does Apple perceive its customers as driven by hardware or software?

Sun has been clear about its stand. Hardware is what they think will rake in the moolah. Software is incidental.

The question I want to ask is, whether we want Mac hardware or Mac software. If software is the answer, then there may be an overwhelming case for porting OS X to x86. If hardware is the answer, convincing Apple may be tough.

No Legacy crap (4)

coreman (8656) | more than 13 years ago | (#468152)

It would be a shame to have the Mac OS X move onto x86 and then get mired in the PC legacy crap that has caused us to continue to see ISA slots on 1ghz machines. I'm much happier with the SCSI/USB/Firewire legacy the Mac hardware has fostered. Of course it's going to negatively effect hardware sales. Don't you think that the new G4s with DVD burners are specifically to generate hardware sales? Where do you think their priorities are? Why do you think they keep orphaning hardware in each release? No OS X is planned for NuBus macs, yet another "trimming/pruning" of the Apple Tree.

Re:Reminds me of...A BIG mistake by Apple (4)

_outcat_ (111636) | more than 13 years ago | (#468156)

My iMac DV (400 MHz G3) will run OS X PB VERY nicely. As for an "iMac power user" being a "contradiction in terms..." nyah! :)~

But seriously, as for your shoe being more upgradeable than an iMac, think about Apple's choice of architecture--the Motorola chips. They don't work the same way the Wintel chips you're familiar with do, in terms of megahertz. My grandma has a 233MHz original Bondi Blue iMac. It has 32MB of RAM, I think. She's not running linuxPPC on it and compiling three kernels a day, so it's not like the little beast has a terribly heavy load--instead, she's doing word processing, surfing the web, email, playing a bit with graphic design--BUT even with OS 9 on it (I love macs, but don't get me started on OS 9) it doesn't feel like a slow box. This was a machine from 1998. My boyfriend's K6-233 has LONG since been retired since then.

Cost is key, concerning the sales of G4's and G4 cubes. iMacs can be had for around $700 (and then you get some rebates--my aunt got a rather good deal on one) while G4 systems are still up there in the $1,700-ish range. (Didn't stop my aunt from getting one of those either, though. :)

Don't be too hard on the iMac--I think things are looking up for the iMac, all around. They're really pretty affordable and the peripherals that ship with them have improved. The Apple Pro mouse and Pro keyboard are a DRASTIC improvement over the child-sized mushy original iMac laptop-like keyboard, and they've started shipping with the Pro mouse instead of that aggravating iPuck.

The wildcard... (4)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 13 years ago | (#468158)

I'd have given up hope for OSX on x86 a while ago (the arguments against considerably outweigh the arguments for, IMHO) if not for one little factor called Steve Jobs.

If there is anything at all I have learned about the man, it's that he is utterly unpredictable, he probably has a grand scheme in mind, and he loves surprises. I think that the biggest question to ask isn't one of technical hurdles or risk/benefit analyses of Apple's hardware sales, but "What's really bouncing around in Steve's head?"

Sadly, it's impossible to answer this question. One thing is for sure, though--if Apple does release OSX for x86, Jobs is going to have a blast in announcing it. And it's going to catch everybody pretty much off-guard, even those of us who want it the most.

information wants to be expensive...nothing is so valuable as the right information at the right time.

Silly idea (5)

GregWebb (26123) | more than 13 years ago | (#468159)

Let's think about this.

If they're running on commodity x86 hardware then hardware sales would go through the floor. Who would buy the expensive (but good) Apple hardware when there was cheaper hardware which did the same job? Doesn't matter if the Apple stuff is better, the man in PC World isn't going to know that so he buys the cheapest. Apple lose out bigtime.

If they're running on their own dedicated x86 hardware (remember here, there's a difference between having an x86 CPU and being IBM PC compatible) then they have to develop that, so they've got a new one-off cost to develop this, along with the same costs to maintain it as they currently have with PPC - except they don't have experience with it so they'd be running slower for a little while. Oh, and they'd lose the current advantage of not having fans, as the x86 CPUs run a lot warmer as a whole than PPC. I can't see they'd go to all this trouble so they could use laptop or Crusoe processors. They'd also then have to move their software over to the new CPU for the second time in recent memory, write all the converters and so on. So they wouldn't have a speed advantage for a couple of years (think upgrade cycles) as it'd be emulated. Not pretty.

All this so they can use different CPUs which have a current speed advantage (which the change would knock out for a while). Could someone possibly explain why this could be a good idea?

Issues (5)

robbieduncan (87240) | more than 13 years ago | (#468160)

Whilst I would openly welcome OSX on my desktop, running on my x86 hardware with all the funky hardware I've bought I see this as the one major problem for Apple. If OSX were to be released for the x86 market the number of configurations and hardware devices the OS would have to be able to support would grow to the sort of levels which would be problematic. At the moment they only have to support a few graphics chips out of the box - how many would they have to support if they were attempting to sell OSX to the masses. What about soundcard, modems, network cards and so on. I just can't see it happening without a lot of support from manufacturers who are unwilling to provide driver support on the existing mac platform.

Affect hardware sales? (5)

Contact (109819) | more than 13 years ago | (#468161)

There are three kinds of people buying Apple computers. There are the OS interface junkies who love the "look and feel" of the interface. There are the media workers who buy Apple simply because it's still the industry standard in that field, in the same way that office workers invariably use MS Office. Finally, there are those who have been seduced by coloured, translucent plastic.

If OS X for x86 was available, I'd be willing to bet that a large proportion of the first two groups would immediately jump ship over to cheaper hardware. Mac OS hardware is nice (The G4 is a great chip) but being realistic, price is king.

The question, therefore, is whether the increased revenue in OS sales would compensate for the losses in hardware revenues. Personally, I'm not sure.

When it comes down to it, though, Apple won't listen to what we say. Pretty much every major decision will depend on what Steve thinks, and I don't think Steve likes the idea of open hardware - historically, he's shown himself to be very sensitive to physical appearance (the original mac classic, the iMac, the cube) and I suspect that he just doesn't want his lovely OS X running on ugly grey boxes. :)

(Cue announcement from Apple tomorrow about OS X for x86, just to prove me wrong...)

Apple not just a hardware company (5)

sessamoid (165542) | more than 13 years ago | (#468162)

For those of you who insist on purporting that Apple makes all of it's money on hardware, I suggest you take a different look at it. My question to you is, how much money would Apple actually make selling hardware, if that hardware didn't come with the Mac OS attached to it? Would you buy an overpriced piece of hardware just because it looked cool, but had to run windows on it?

If your answer is no (as I suspect it is) then the reason you buy Apples is primarily because of the software and OS, which makes Apple primarily a software vendor who uses their software technology to sell hardware. Without the Mac OS, the Mac is just an overpriced PC encased in dayglo plastic. Sure some of the hardware touches are nice, but none of that really matters without the Mac OS.

Apple is primarily a software vendor people. Don't forget that. Just because their accounting puts most of the revenue in hardware sales doesn't mean that hardware is truly where their competitive advantage is.

I've heard this tripe for so long, it makes me ill....

This won't happen (5)

pfistech (211622) | more than 13 years ago | (#468165)

My opinion on Mac OS X on Intel is simple: it would be nice to have, but it simply won't happen. The reasons for this are not technical - Darwin (the BSD core of Mac OS X, which is open-sourced) runs on x86 hardware, although driver support is extremely limited right now. The issue here is economical. Apple is a hardware company. They make a living selling boxes, not software.

Now even if Apple decided to make x86 boxes of their own, and make them right, i.e. with all the little features and the good stability and support we've come to expect, Apple would still be in deep trouble. They would release a version of Mac OS X that only runs on Apple's x86 hardware, of course. But the core, Darwin, is open-sourced, so it would be a matter of days (or maybe weeks) until someone comes up with drivers to let it run on other hardware. We've seen how much trouble Apple had with clone makers, now think about what would happen if Apple moved to x86...

Anyway, Mac OS X would have a hard time on Intel. If you're used to Linux, compiling and running Unix software on Mac OS X is (excuse the wording) a pain in the ass. I know what I talk about, because I ported GNOME to Mac OS X (see [] ). Also, there is no Classic environment on Intel. This is a big drawback, because not all applications will be ported to Mac OS X right away, and you won't have the choice of running the classic Mac OS applications of x86 hardware.

Personally, I'll just keep running Mac OS X on my PowerBook G3 and be happy...

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