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Does New Development For Mac OS X Make Sense?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the despite-change-development-goes-on dept.

OS X 394

DLWormwood wonders: "As a long time Mac developer, originally as a hobbyist and then a professional, I'm feeling pessimistic about the future of the platform now that Apple is embracing Intel and abandoning the few remaining 'Mac' technologies (like the PowerPC and OpenTransport) left to the platform. With the high likelihood that these new Macs will offer a full speed version of Virtual PC and (what I think is) the almost assurance that some clever hacker will make 'X for x86' run on commodity hardware, I'm doubting the willingness of most IT and development houses to even give the Carbon and Cocoa APIs a first glance. (If it wasn't for the poor past performance of VPC, I would not have gotten my first Mac programming job.) Can anybody with a more optimistic view think of a scenario where a modern development house will do Mac development in an age where the help desk will just say either 'switch boot to Windows/Linux' or 'run Virtual PC?'"

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394 comments

I think that the prospects are better... (5, Interesting)

jessecurry (820286) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752555)

Apple is much more than just a processor. What really differentiates Apple from the Windows world is the OS. Not to get into the argument about stability, OS X is much more intuitive and overall an easier to use operating system.
I don't think that you will come into a situation where a help desk would tell a user to switch into Windows or run VirtualPC because I doubt that Macs will ever come with those pieces of software installed. Working at a helpdesk is not about telling users what they should do, it's about helping them do what they want to do
I think that now that Apple is switching to Intel they will have more flexibility in pricing and will probably continue to grow their market share. I'd say that the prospects for Mac developers will be better than ever in the future. If you need another opinion check out this article [paulgraham.com] .

Re:I think that the prospects are better... (1)

nocomment (239368) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752607)

Besides, I had a Bob at Comcast tell me you can't have more than one OS on a computer after I told her I had OpenBSD and windows (I lied about windows jsut to get them to troubleshoot the line it really only had OpenBSD).

So the helpdesk doesn't really help that much anyway. ;)

Re:I think that the prospects are better... (1)

John Pliskin (769478) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753195)

Wait.....Her name was Bob? ...$

Re:I think that the prospects are better... (1)

gaelicwizard (687953) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752920)

I think you're confused about what a helpdesk does. In most situations, the helpdesk is staffed by people who a) don't know what to do, they just read a script or b) people who have other responsibilities and so want the fastest solution. If a user is having a problem with a mac version of a program that the helpdesk staffer knows/thinks works on windows, he/she will almost certainly tell the user to switch (i.e. reboot if Windoze is installed, or roll over to the Winblows machine on their desk). If the user gets told that enough, they will just stop using Mac OS X.

For the record, I know a little bit about it. I work at a helpdesk supporting ~20K machines. Actually, I work in the department that gets to field helpdesk requests, we are not actually a helpdesk and would prefer not to be. Because of the software we use, our Mac users already just get told to use their windows box. Personally, I try to fix the problem but the bureaucracy makes that difficult.

Re:I think that the prospects are better... (2, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753186)

Check out most of the online poker sites tell mac users to use virtual PC now (when it is much slower). Mind you a customer to a gambling website is woth a lot of money and mac users won't generally use non mac software but they don't care.

Re:I think that the prospects are better... (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753470)

There have been too many gorgeous OSs by OS-only companies that died lonely little deaths, to think that OSX has a "get out of irrelevance free" card stuffed up its ass somewhere.

It's simply too bad that they couldn't have pulled some type of reversal here. Intel making PPCs, or some such. The PPC, especially the G5, was and always be a hell of a chip. But then good chips die too. I think Intel has a secret lab where they torture the soul of the Alpha and drain off its essence for yet another braindead x86 chip.

Don't suppose there is any chance of anyone offering a plainjane G5 motherboard?

Re:I think that the prospects are better... (1)

Uart (29577) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753889)

Talking about the Alpha... that was a sweet processor in its heyday... Anyway Intel has rights to technology outside of the x86 domain, why can't Apple use something based on that instead. If not the Alpha, then something else.

I'm most concerned here about the video editing. I don't know if Intel-Macs will still be better at it than their windows brothers after the switch. They'd lose a lot of market from that.

Re:I think that the prospects are better... (1)

rooBoy (822297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753606)

Working at a helpdesk is not about telling users what they should do, it's about helping them do what they want to do
Can someone please convince my helpdesk of this : (

Now is THE Time To be a Mac Developer (5, Insightful)

aluminumcube (542280) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752558)

I think your view, while logical and understandable, is unnecessarily pessimistic.

The market has always viewed the Mac as another computer, one interchangeable with every other computer. While a Mac is (technology wise) a computer, the people who buy them view them very differently and the sheer dynamics of the Mac Economy (the customers, companies and products that hinge on the Mac platform) prove this out.

Take your fear of people figuring out how to run X on beige boxes... Apple doesn't care about these folks. Simply by having not purchased a Mac, this portion of the market has already proven that they are unwilling to have ever paid the Apple premium so, in effect, Apple will virtually never loose a sale to this crowd.

Or think of it this way; the kind of people who are drawn to the Mac platform are drawn to it PRECISELY because they don't want to fuck around with patches, workarounds and general hackery in order to make their computer run. Here is the test: could you imagine telling your mother to run out, buy a beige box, download some boot hack, install it, then install OS X on top of that? Probably not and that's exactly why Apple isn't going to be kept up at night worrying about the people who are going to hack OS X to run on commodity hardware.

If anything, I think this will bolster Mac sales- the kind of people who are willing to jump through the hoops to make OS X run on beige boxes are computer enthusiasts and typically serve as the computer information maven within their circle of friends. I think that if these hardcore Windows guys get OS X (for free) and play with it on their beige (or Tie Fighter) boxes, they are going to be pretty impressed. When it comes to telling people what computer to buy though, they will probably just recommend to their friends that they buy a Mac.

The same logic generally applies to your second point (will software developers still make Mac versions of their stuff). I think that the answer here is again, a big yes because there is a fairly substantial wall between people who will want to run native apps and people who want to run emulated apps. As someone with a Mac, I've proven (by voting with my dollars) that I am someone who will pay a premium to have an elegant computer that "Just Works." Any software developer with half a brain is going to realize that forcing the Mac customer to run clunky Windows emulation (even if it is at native speed) is inherently out of step with what that customer wants.

I think this is the perfect time to start developing Mac software. Porting over PC code is going to be easier then ever. The overall buy rate of Macs is going to be increasing significantly. A major chunk of risk in regards to the stability of the Mac platform has now been removed. Apple will be rocking the computer world within the next 24 months...

Re:Now is THE Time To be a Mac Developer (4, Interesting)

BitGeek (19506) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752603)


I don't think there really is a price premium on Macintoshes... but now we'll be able to see for sure.

I bet Apple products will be about the same prices as Dell, yet deliver more features and a lot more innovation.

Look at what happened when Aopen tried to make an x86 mac-mini competitor-- it was $100 more, without the OS, making it really $200 more expensive than the mini.

But I agree-- developing on the Mac platform is the best its ever been... the OS X API is complete (Though I'd have liked EnterpriseObjects back) and frozen in panther (interesting that they did that, and made a big deal out of it, cause it means they planned to move to Intel 2 years ago.)

Its a great time to write apps for the Mac as the Mac becomes less of an isolated fringe platform and more of a mainstream alternative to windows.

Re:Now is THE Time To be a Mac Developer (1)

KH (28388) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752950)

I'm not familiar with WebObjects/EnterpriseObjects, but there was a little surprise in XCode 2.1. Now it comes with full version of WebObjects 5.3. So, it appears that EnterpriseObjects is back in OS X, if that's what you would have liked.

There was very little, or more like no, fanfare about this, but considering that WebObcjects cost so much till a few days ago, isn't it significant that now it is free (as in beer).

Re:Now is THE Time To be a Mac Developer (1)

BitGeek (19506) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753878)


I think they integrated some or all of the development tools for WebObjects into XCode. But to deploy it, you still need Mac OS X Server.

Used to be you could buy WO seperately and deploy it under OS X, but if you had OS X Server then deployment was free there as well (Eg if you bought WO you could deploy it to two machines.)

They have changed the business model--- VERY interesting. I was thinking WO was dying, but it seems rather than being killed off its been integrated.

I'd be totally estatic if updates to OSX Server were less than $500.

Anyway, much thanks for pointing this out to me! This is generally very good news! I knew EOModeler had been integrated with Xcode, but I didn't know that they'd gotten rid of the seperate dev tools... hot fricking damn!

Re:Now is THE Time To be a Mac Developer (-1, Troll)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753495)

Aopen tried to make an x86 mac-mini competitor-- it was $100 more

It would be difficult to find a processor as slow as a mac mini in the x86 world that was still in production.

What processor did AOpen use? To really emulate a mac mini, you'd have to have Intel still producing Pentium II class chips, which they don't.

Re:Now is THE Time To be a Mac Developer (1)

BitGeek (19506) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753935)


That was a rather weak attempt at a troll.

Or are we supposed to assume that you really think that the speed of the processor is measured by one of its clock rates?

Most Intel processors run at about 2.8GHz, making them in the same performance range as the 1.4GHz PowerPC in the mini.

Re:Now is THE Time To be a Mac Developer (5, Interesting)

edgar_is_good (684481) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752662)

Don't forget the new buyers: I've already heard people say "Hey, if I could install Windows on it, then I would be willing to buy a Mac, because then if I didn't like it, I could always switch back."

Re:Now is THE Time To be a Mac Developer (2, Insightful)

spyrral (162842) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752968)

I agree with nearly all of the above except for this statement:

"Porting over PC code is going to be easier then ever."

First of all, when you say 'PC code' I assume you mean code written to run on MS Windows. That is a fairly nonsensical statement. Most software never accesses the processor directly, so porting code will not be any easier or harder than it was before.

Still a great post though. Now is a great time to start writing software for the Mac!

Re:Now is THE Time To be a Mac Developer (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753217)

Actually, it will, because Leopard is going to come with an Intel virtual machine that can run Windows just like Tiger comes with Classic. You'll double-click a "Windows" icon and a window will open showing you Windows booting in a virtual machine. Just like Virtual PC, only it'll be part of the OS and you'll be able to run Intel programs natively.

The code name for this part of the OS has been resurrected from the Rhapsody days. The code name is "Redbox."

Yes, the platform is still the platform. (2, Interesting)

BitGeek (19506) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752569)


What makes the Mac OS what it is is the platform, and all the technologies involved with it. These are not going away.

Macs are %90 PCs anyway, they use products from Intel, AMD and other chip venders and they use the industry standard architecture of PCI. They just use a different CPU.

I think this move is being made to make the Mac platform more viable and vibrant, not less.

Though I don't quite see the path yet either... the platform is still wonderful, and Cocoa is still the best development environment ever.

PS Am I really first post? Weird.

Re:Yes, the platform is still the platform. (1)

teksno (838560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752609)

theyre not gonna use a different CPU any more...or did you mis that memo...

Re:Yes, the platform is still the platform. (1)

BitGeek (19506) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752646)


Uh, that's the point. Current macs just use a different CPU, they are almost identical as it is.

from a user stand point (1)

teksno (838560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752583)

nope sorry...not really. though i already use several different linux distros, and even a windows box (for gaming). i have a power book, but i just cant really get into it...its just ...too gui for me. though my parents love osx (as they arent power users). i never really saw much in the way of what OSX could offer me that my *nix boxes couldnt. even with a few simple steps my windows box is clean, though smei bloated with MS code and default features...

Re:from a user stand point (5, Funny)

mark_wilkins (687537) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752732)

> its just ...too gui for me

Put Terminal in your dock and then click on it once in a while. Your problem will clear right up.

-- Mark

Re:from a user stand point (2)

Canberra Bob (763479) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753326)

"...though my parents love osx (as they arent power users)"

Many power users also love os x for the same reason as your parents - it is just so clean and easy to work with. I know many sysadmins, developers etc who use os x because they want the OS to keep out of the way, not have to play around in the CLI half the time - theyre paid to get a job done, not tinker. I know when I'm coding I just want to click something to do any non-coding related tasks, not have to type things in. And if youre getting CLI withdrawals all you have to do is open up a terminal and there it is.

Well, because... (5, Insightful)

shepmaster (319234) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752586)

Well, I'm fairly sure OpenTransport has been gone for a while now, but to answer the question...

One, Mac users will still want Mac-native applications. Witness the lack of interest in X11 ports of Linux programs. These all work just fine, but look comparatively ugly. Same goes for Java apps.

Two, Cocoa and friends is a wonderful language / API set. The programs I have made under OS X have been actually fun to create and build. I, for one, will still program for OS X, regardless of what everyone else does, because I use OS X.

I think the problem facing people programming for OS X will be the same as it always has been, which is just getting enough user base to make the application financially viable for companies. That is up to the markets.

Re:Well, because... (1)

Colonel Panic (15235) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753666)

Two, Cocoa and friends is a wonderful language / API set. The programs I have made under OS X have been actually fun to create and build. I, for one, will still program for OS X, regardless of what everyone else does, because I use OS X.

You mean Objective C is a wonderful language and Cocoa is a wonderful API set. However, you can program with both on Linux (or even Windows too , I suppose if you were so inclined). Check out GNUStep.

Re:Well, because... (1)

shepmaster (319234) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753806)

True, I am aware that Obj-C is the language and Cocoa is a API, but a lot of people only think 'Cocoa' when they think native OS X development.

Honestly, without Obj-C, Cocoa wouldn't be as nice, and vice versa. So, to me, they are effectively unified.

As for GNUStep, I haven't explicitly checked it out, except to use as a reference for some Cocoa things I wanted to do. I honestly hope I never need to use it, as I figure the subtle differences would horribly trip me up.

Excuse me? (3, Insightful)

Quarters (18322) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752616)

Do you really think that PPC and OpenTransport are what make a Mac a Mac?

There are a lot of things that made a Mac a Mac long before those two technologies were introduced.
NuBus
Motorola 680xx CPUs
SCSI
1.44 MB Floppies
ADB
HyperCard
(and many others)

Did the Mac stop being a Mac when those technologies were replaced with other, better technologies or dropped altogether?

I'm completely confused by your assertation that if someone makes OS X run on beige boxes that development houses won't look at Carbon/Cocoa. In a word, "HUH???" How do those two statements have any correlation to each other whatsoever?

Apple needed to switch to a different chip supplier because IBM/Motorola will be spreading themselves thin filling supply contracts for all three next-generation consoles. Since those contracts are going to be bigger and more lucrative than Apple's purchasing commitments IBM/Motorola probably told them they'd be last in line.

Apple saw the writing on the wall and moved to a CPU supplier that can fulfill their needs. That they get a higher speeds, dual cores, and lower prices also is just icing on the cake to them.

How this change affects corporate adoption of the Macintosh platform is probably a great big, "not much". Those industries that have shown a predilection to Macs will continue to use them. Those that haven't, won't. Unlike geeks, most people don't care what chip runs their PC. They care about what tools are at their disposal.

If it quacks it's a duck. If it has minimalistic (not minimal) design esthetics, ease of use, runs OSX, and is sold by Steve Jobs it's a Macintosh. It's a Mac regardless of what collection of silicon and transistors makes it run.

Re:Excuse me? (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752935)

A Mac didn't even make a Mac. No one was interested in Apple's hardware for the past 10 years. I'll tell you what brought the interest back to the majority... not SCSI or iMac fancy cases.

It's the iPod! Whether Macs use Intels or not, it doesn't even matter. What matters is that iPod stays impressive, making Apple a preferred brand.

Re:Excuse me? (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753399)

No one was interested in Apple's hardware for the past 10 years.
Yup. No one. Millions of no ones.

Re:Excuse me? (-1, Troll)

spir0 (319821) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753028)

Apple saw the writing on the wall and moved to a CPU supplier that can fulfill their needs. That they get a higher speeds, dual cores, and lower prices also is just icing on the cake to them.

just so you know, higher frequencies do not mean higher speeds. There are a lot of things that can be factored into the speed equation such as front-side bus bandwidth, the amount of on-chip cache, instruction pipelines, how efficient branch prediction is, and so much more.

when it comes to overall chip design, Intel are the bottom of the barrel.

Re:Excuse me? (1)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753202)

when it comes to overall chip design, Intel are the bottom of the barrel.

It may suck as a design, but I'll be damned if they haven't found a way to keep making these suckers faster and faster each year while using less power. Face it, not everyone wants a processor released in Jan 2002 powering their latest 2 thousand dollar laptop.

That's right, the 1.4 ghz G4 procesor was released in 2002 and it's still the cpu used in the top of the line Powerbook CPU!!?!?!?!??!!??!

Re:Excuse me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753387)

I don't get it. Do microprocessors go stale or something? What's wrong with using a three-year-old chip in today's laptop? Or are you one of those idiots who bought into the marketing propaganda that you have to buy a new computer every 18 months if you want the Internet to be faster?

Re:Excuse me? (1)

WMD_88 (843388) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753424)

The PowerBooks use 1.5GHz and 1.67GHz G4 CPUs. Apple has never offered those before the current PowerBook line.

Who's signal line is it anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753371)

Is it confimred that it will be the x86? Intel can probably build other processors to Apples spec too. Does comodity hardware mean you have run an x86? Would it be as simple as flashing a new rom into say a cheap soyo motherboard to get it to run with a chip that is not an x86? How close is the hardware tied to the processor and it's instruction set? Same form factor different animal anyone?

rebooting is annoying (1)

Requiem Aristos (152789) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752641)

If I have to reboot to a different environment I lose access to all of my prior programs. We're talking about computers here, not gaming consoles. Being able to run multiple programs on the same desktop (plural for those with virtual desktops) is a huge benefit.

As to the idea of Virtual PC running at native speeds, I am unwilling to call this as a negative. (It sounds too much like the complaints of the buggy-whip makers.) If something becoming faster, better, etc. endangers an occupation based on compensating for that previous slowness or other faults, then it's time for that occupation to die. Let it go.

If anything, full speed VPC will help Mac adoption as the few programs which require Windows can then be used inside of OS X.

The key factor here is which of the desktops provide the better user experience. That desktop will become the dominant one, assuming that apps from either OS can be used. When that happens, it will make more sense for software houses to program for that dominant desktop.

Re:rebooting is annoying (1)

gaelicwizard (687953) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752864)

Rebooting *is* annoying, and if the "solution" to a not-working application is to reboot in windows, the user very likely will just stay there... which I think is the original posters point. :-(

Re:rebooting is annoying (5, Insightful)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753066)

As to the idea of Virtual PC running at native speeds, I am unwilling to call this as a negative. (It sounds too much like the complaints of the buggy-whip makers.)

They who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.

If anything, full speed VPC will help Mac adoption as the few programs which require Windows can then be used inside of OS X.

Yeah. After all, it did OS/2 a whole lot of good that it could run Windows 3.1 applications in protected memory space, and pre-emptively multitask them back in 1992.

The key factor here is which of the desktops provide the better user experience. That desktop will become the dominant one, assuming that apps from either OS can be used. When that happens, it will make more sense for software houses to program for that dominant desktop.

Sorry, but you're failing to learn from history.

Back before Windows 95, OS/2 had a significantly better desktop environment than Microsoft Windows did. It ran Win16 applications, typically better than Windows itself did. I knew of a lot of Windows developers who did their development on OS/2 because of its better memory management, pre-emptive multitasking, and crash protection.

And what good did any of this do for OS/2? I remember personally contacting ISVs to talk to them about porting their popular software to OS/2, and the answer I always got was "why, when it runs our Windows software so well?". They didn't care one whit about the desktop environment, or the fact that their Win13 and Win32s applications looked bad on OS/2, and ran worse than native applications, didn't integrate into the desktop environment, couldn't use long filenames, etc. They cared only about one thing: how do we target the largest possible market at the lowest cost?

I don't see that much has changed within the industry. There are a lot of Windows-only ISVs out there who have no intention of putting any effort into making OS X applications, but who wouldn't mind increasing their userbase. And there are a lot of other ISVs out there who put minimal effort into OS X native applications, but who would love to do away with the additional staff and costs associated with that.

Fortunately for Apple, unline IBM they already have a significant development community using their APIs. Cocoa is an absolute joy to develop with. If anything, I would think that instead of having good Windows emulation, what Apple really needs to do is to port Xcode and Cocoa to Windows and Linux, and get developers on those platforms to write applications to their APIs, and allow existing Xcode developers create apps which will run on Windows and Linux. That is where the real battle is -- for the hearts and minds of developers. If you permit Windows to run on OS X as well as on native Windows, you concede the most important battle by telling developers that using the Windows APIs is just as good as using your own APIs.

That is the lesson IBM learned the hard way. They continued to make that mistake with their Open32 APIs, which mirrored the most common Win32 APIs in order to permit Win32 applications to be recompiled to run on OS/2. That didn't work out too well either.

That was introduced about 10 years ago. Do you want OS X in 10 years to be where OS/2 is today?

Yaz.

Re:rebooting is annoying (1)

MrAl (21859) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753197)

I was always under the impression that having to pay to develop for OS/2 was what hurt it more than anything...

Re:rebooting is annoying (2, Interesting)

jbolden (176878) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753259)

OS/2 2.0 and 2.1 included a fully copy of the windows. I'm not sure OSX for Windows isn't a good idea. Since IBM screwed up OS/2 marketing in so many different ways its hard to know which ones killed the product. Heck maybe it was it the default to color blind schemes on the desktop?

Mac users don't like ports (2, Insightful)

Heisenbug (122836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753492)

If you permit Windows to run on OS X as well as on native Windows, you concede the most important battle by telling developers that using the Windows APIs is just as good as using your own APIs.

I never saw OS/2, but it happens all the time that some useful app comes to the Mac as an ugly port from windows/linux and gets picked up. Its popularity always lasts precisely as long as it takes for a Mac-native competitor to appear.

The fact is, any developer who decides that using the Windows APIs is just as good as using Apple's APIs isn't going to last very long on Apple's platform -- not because they'll give up but because they'll be replaced. Mac-native applications will still be written as long as users keep voting with their feet, the same way they do now. I haven't seen any reason that should change.

If things *didn't* work out this way with OS/2, it's either because their users didn't strongly prefer native apps, or there weren't enough of those users to justify independent development. I've been on Macs for a decade, and everything I've seen suggests that your history just doesn't apply here.

Re:rebooting is annoying (2, Interesting)

turpie (8040) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753520)

Maintaining the OSX/OpenStep APIs for Windows would be a great idea as it would allow Mac developers to sell their software to windows users. In fact this was in Apple's original plans when they announced Rhapsody which OSX.
Somewhere along the line they decided that making the market for mac developers software smaller instead of bigger was a better idea.

Re:rebooting is annoying (2, Insightful)

John_Booty (149925) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753730)

Back before Windows 95, OS/2 had a significantly better desktop environment than Microsoft Windows did. It ran Win16 applications, typically better than Windows itself did. I knew of a lot of Windows developers who did their development on OS/2 because of its better memory management, pre-emptive multitasking, and crash protection. And what good did any of this do for OS/2?

Since OS/2 ran Windows apps "out of the box", it's easy to see how a lot of people saw OS/2 as a nice(r) way to run Windows apps rather than as a development target in its own right... I agree with what you're saying there.

Here's the key difference between OS/2 and OSX w/ Virtual PC or VMWare... OSX won't include them for free. OSX won't run Windows applications "out of the box" like OS/2 did.

For those who really want or need the functionality of running Windows applications on OSX, they have to pay for the emulation/virtualization software and a Windows license.

So, while OSX x86 will be able to run Windows applications very nicely for those who don't mind spending the extra cash for a Windows license, I don't see it becoming "a prettier way to run Windows apps" as you say.

Think about it from a developer's standpoint. In the OS/2 days, you could say "well, we'll just write a Win16 app and let the OS/2 people use that". I cannot imagine today's developers saying "we'll just write a Windows app and let the OSX users use that plus pay several hundred dollars for a Windows license and additional software".

Fear FEAR FEAR not heard of since the OS X switch (3, Insightful)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752649)

So we've heard alot of rumors about this change in the last few weeks, Apple made their big announcement yesterday.

And now we're swamped with all these Apple people throwing out fearful statements like "Apple's switching to Intel, therefor Apple going to get replaced by Windows!".

You guys DO realize that an Apple computer is more then just a Processor, right? There's still a whole proprietary computer built around the CPU, and this OS X thing which runs on the Hardware, and some applications which run on the OS.

I seem to remember similar hysteria during the old MacOS to OSX change. "My programs will never run! The WORLD IS OVER!" but Apple's been doing pretty well since then, as has development for the Mac.

Red Line (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12752692)

That trolling motor is just red lined. What a bunch of crap.

The apple is still worthwile developing for. (4, Interesting)

mgv (198488) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752708)

The issue for developers isn't that bad - after all, apple appears to be making it fairly easy to produce cross platform code. If you were going to develop before, why not now? It will be many years before there is a significant number of apple intel systems to run PC stuff quickly. If you were going to write for the apple PPC last week, your situation hasn't changed much and won't for the next couple of years. You will write with standard PPC tools, or use the latest version of Xcode (or similar) which produces fat binaries, and runs on both platforms without a performance hit.

Interestingly, the major improvements in Tiger, such as core video and so on, move all the graphically intensive stuff into the GPU. The cleverness of this is that the lack of the altivec units aren't such a big issue if you use the OS X core API's - everything is done in the graphics card, altivec is much less important, and this means that emulation of the PPC code will work fairly fast on their software emulator (rosetta). So your legacy code isn't going to suffer too much, and newer code even less so using the core API's even if you don't use fat binaries, which you will.

Of course, you could just write for windows, but then you are going to miss a large number of apple users and watch other developers make money in that market whilst you compete in the win32 sphere. Your choice as a developer I guess.

Eventually, the powerbook I am writing this on will be a legacy piece of hardware because the number of people using PPC will be too small to be worth developing for.

However, a similar situation exists for old windows boxes, not because the processor has changed, but because the hardware requirements are too high for big new apps to work on it.

This process will take many years to occur, and won't be a problem for developers unless all new purchases stop for apple.

If this happens, you will get alot of warning over the next 6-12 months that its time to bail from apple.

As a user of apple computers, after the initial concern, I am much less worried about making new purchases because the obsolescence of the current models will take years to occur. It really isn't so different from the transition of OS 9 to OS X. You can still run stuff in classic mode. And my current power book is still a magical 12" laptop that does what I need, and will be good for a few years no matter what, and for which I'll still buy new software for (if its good enough to buy). So the market will still be there.

I don't think that many apple fans will jump ship, even if they are not happy - after all, what is the alternative? Go back to windows? Get your apps working under linux (like iLife, Keynote, etc?). Even if you feel abandoned by apple, the alternatives are still either a malware ridden platform or alot of hard work and a significant drop in the eye candy factor.

In the longer run, its going to be more a case of alot more dissatisfied windows users jumping ship and the apple user base growing, in my opinion.

My 2c worth

Michael

Re:The apple is still worthwile developing for. (1)

FosterKanig (645454) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753060)

Dude, don't sell your self short! That was worth at least a nickel.

Re:The apple is still worthwile developing for. (1, Offtopic)

Exodious (49817) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753824)

You can still run stuff in classic mode.

While I don't think anything about Classic was your point, it's worth pointing out (as others have already I'm sure) that Classic will not run on the Intel Macs.

Missing the point (3, Insightful)

samael (12612) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752748)

Nobody buys a Mac because it's got a cool processor - they but it because it's got a great interface that makes life easier for them.

Who cares if it's x86 or PowerPC - it's the OS and the Apps that make Macs great.

Re:Missing the point (1)

spir0 (319821) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753077)

Nobody buys a Mac because it's got a cool processor - they but it because it's got a great interface that makes life easier for them.

Just for the record, I do.

I like the fact that both of my macs running together at full noise are quieter than my PC with one fan. This is because of the CPU. PowerPCs are cooler in both senses of the word.

My MacMini stays dead cold regardless of what it's doing. My PC heats up like a little oven when I play games or watch movies.

Who cares if it's x86 or PowerPC - it's the OS and the Apps that make Macs great.

To me, the OS, the UNIX core, and the CPU form what I like to call the Triangle of Love.

Re:Missing the point (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753238)

You fucking idiot. You did NOT buy a Mac because of the processor. You bought it because it's quiet. Do you think, after the huge backlash of the G4 towers and all the work Apple put in to building a quiet G5, that Apple will EVER ship a noisy computer, EVER?

Nobody gives a shit about the CPU. If you say you do, you're either lying or you're an idiot.

Couldn't you just use a different Kernel (0)

M4N14C (873188) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752820)

Is OSX really tied down to the PowerPC chip. As far as i can tell with X being based off the BSD kernel you could just replace it with the stock BSD kernel for an x86 chip and continue business as usual.

Re:Couldn't you just use a different Kernel (2, Informative)

nsayer (86181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753094)

1. There's no need to use a different kernel. Darwin is available for x86 and is open source. Apple is sure to try to tie the binary-only portions of OS X down to their specialized hardware, but just getting the machine to boot Darwin x86 is already a done deal.

2. You can't replace Darwin with some other kernel without an extensive syscall compatibility layer of some sort. That's not to say it's impossible - take a look at the Linuxulator in FreeBSD for an example of that sort of thing. Wine is another example.

Re:Couldn't you just use a different Kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753458)

This comment was so incredibly stupid, it make me literally vomit with disgust. You, sir, are the dumbest human being to ever live, ever.

Re:Couldn't you just use a different Kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753723)

you ride the short bus to school, right?

no real difference from now (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752847)

Just because OS X will run on Apple-branded x86 machines doesn't mean that those users will also have Windows on them as well, even though they CAN. Same thing for Virtual PC. Those things are optional, and I'd say most machines will probably NOT have them. So, that's really not any different from the current situation, is it?

What's more likely is that the PowerPC versions of Linux will see development slow to a crawl (over time).

The new x86 Apple platform will be THE platform to have for multiple OS support. OS X, Windows, Linux and all the BSDs, should run just fine, most likely. That'll be nice.

I'm just hoping that the rumours of WHICH Intel processors they'll be using are correct (the Pentium M line). I'd really rather they not go with the Pentium D line. A nice Yohan or Merom-based Apple would be pretty great. Still woulda preferred some nice Athlon 64 action, though. Oh well, can't have everything.

Re:no real difference from now (1)

Areeves (598018) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753293)

I agree, I'm pretty confident that Apple would choose the M line, especially after watching the keynote with the whole performance per watt graph. I expect the Pentium M line to make it into the Ibook/Imac/Mini first, possibly the powerbook. Then have a nice, dual core, 64bit chip lined up in late 2006 to replace the G5. I'm doubting the P4 will jump right into the Powermac first. Also, after watching the keynote, that system ran *fast* on one intel P4. If that is a sign of things to come from the intel/Apple wedding then count me switched...again...

Re:no real difference from now (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753432)

It was 4 Intel P4s, not just 1.

Re:no real difference from now (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753558)

Then have a nice, dual core, 64bit chip lined up in late 2006 to replace the G5.

Well, keep in mind this doesn't even _start_ until the middle of next year, so it won't be the current Dothan, it would be Yonah, which will be 32bit. The 64bit successor to Yonah is called Merom.

Supposedly the low voltage or perhaps the ultra low voltage Yonahs will be single core, but all of them are supposed to be 32bit. I'm not concerned with 32bit on the laptops.

Eh?!? (1)

itwerx (165526) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752901)

Either the question is very poorly worded or the submitter (and the editors) have no clue what they're asking.
From an application programming perspective the APIs have virtually nothing to do with the hardware platform.

(Though I must say it's amusing reading all these threads about it...! :)

YES (2, Interesting)

ignorant_coward (883188) | more than 9 years ago | (#12752906)


Because the CPU is irrelevant in the big picture. People buy the engineered package, called an iMac or a PowerMac or a PowerBook, and the PowerPC is really a sidebar in the whole deal.

Sure, some apps perform better on PowerPC, but some others perform better on x86. And no one said exactly what model of Intel CPU future Macs will have. Given that Mr. Jobs mentioned a concern about power consumption, I'd bet that the current Pentium 4 or Xeon CPUs will not get a Mac logo. The Pentium M or an even better CPU in the pipeline (Jobs specifically said he had access to Intel's roadmap) are much more likely to be in future Macs.

Watching the keynote reminded me why people love Apple. It really has nothing to do with PowerPC. The WWDC presentation was full of energy and hype and buzz, and the audience applauded and cheered like no other tech company presentation I've seen.

Hmmm... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12752987)

They will (use Cocoa, etc.) when OS X becomes the dominate OS.

The fact of the matter is that it's not a lot different than it is now. OS X is still OS X and it will still be running on Apple hardware (which will be the only legal way to run it).

--
And WTF is wrong with /.?! I wish I could post a freakin comment. Slashsuck seems to think 30 minutes is less than 2 minutes.

Those that think OS X on non Apple x86 boxes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753147)

...is some kind of big deal or 'legal issue' or geek-only passtime are living on moon base alpha.

It not only will happen, but unless Apple slash the prices on their own hardware it will be the pissed off Mac users that will go this route first.

It is very very difficult to justify to an increasingly consumer savy public that you can't run OS X on generic x86 boxes because Apple have have put a byte in the ROM somewhere to stop that happening.

Why would anyone want to pay a premium for crippleware ?

The 'legal' side of it is just irrelivant as well, totally meaningless. It was never their lawyers that made Apple sell products it was the genuine users and fans that held a passion for the Apple experience. Now that has been turned on it's head by Jobs anything is up for grabs.

Re:Those that think OS X on non Apple x86 boxes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753265)

It will not happen. Google "LaGrande."

Why would anyone want to pay a premium for crippleware ?

Because Macs are better. Everybody knows it. It's no longer even a topic for debate. Macs kick the ever-lovin shit out of Windows. So people will buy Macs.

Did you not read the chart? Apple's rate of growth for the past 3 quarters was triple the industry rate of growth. They're the third-largest computer company in the world and rising fast. HP is quaking, and Dell is concerned.

Re:Those that think OS X on non Apple x86 boxes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753433)

Because Macs are better.

Fine, let's just blindly accept that for one moment. Many in this topic have expressed that the Mac experience is not tied to one CPU anymore and the OS is the important thing not x86 or PowerPC.

Ok then, all the more reason to let Mac OS X stand on it's own two feet on generic hardware. After all if it superior then it will have no need to be locked into one vendor's box anymore. It may well shift more copies too so everyone with an x86 can choose to run it instead of Windows.

Everybody knows it. It's no longer even a topic for debate. Macs kick the ever-lovin shit out of Windows. So people will buy Macs.

Now back to reality. That is totally subjective and very much up for debate as you well know.

Did you not read the chart?

Listen, I know it is difficult for a few, but it's really really important that some people try and look beyond the spin and publicity to poke around at the reality. Ever heard of the phrase "There are Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics ?"

and Dell is concerned

I really doubt Dell ever even think about Apple.

Re:Those that think OS X on non Apple x86 boxes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753543)

I googled "LaGrande", and I found this:

LaGrande Technology (LT) is a highly versatile set of hardware enhancements that will come to Intel processors, chipsets and platforms over the next 2 to 3 years. LT creates a hardware foundation, on the client PC platform, that can help protect the confidentiality and integrity of data stored or created from software based attacks. It does this by enabling an environment where applications can run within their own space, protected from all other software on the system. In turn, this can help to protect vital data and processes from being compromised by malicious software running on the platform. LT is expected to be available in Desktop & Mobile platforms for the Business segment in approximately the next two to three years.

This appears to be nothing more than Intel doing in hardware the same protected memory that OS's have been doing fine for years. Maybe the idea is that Windows can't be trusted to do this job, and in a belt-and-suspenders strategy there is another layer underneath the OS. In any case, it has nothing to do with stopping a possibly hacked up copy of OS X for x86 from running on any generic x86 processor.

choose OS X for features (3, Insightful)

toby (759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753037)

Let's take a reality check here. People should buy a Mac, buy OS X, for their unique features. Ease of use. Slick GUI. iLife apps. Reliability. Rich development environment. Quality hardware. Etc. Windows offers none of those things, and Linux is still catching up in some of those areas.

Why does it seem so strange that people might actually choose products based on their attributes?

They will still want Mac Apps. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753039)

This is the same reason why Linux people are still pushing Linux apps like Open Office, and other tools for linux. You can install VMWare in Linux and run your Windows very fast almost native speed like VirtualPC. Why would you want Linux apps if you can run all your windows apps in Linux using VMWare? Well first you have the hassle of running windows on top of an other platform needing each window to reach a normal screen resolution. Secondly there is cross communication between the two OS while some things work well others don't. I don't think most people got a Mac because they went. I want a platform that can't run windows and where people on each side of the debate say each other platform is faster. They buy a Mac because OS X is easy to use, Dependable, and secure. Unlike windows and linux which is designed to run on a bunch of hardware. OS X is optimized and designed to run on whatever platform that Apple produces. As well the hardware is well designed, for appearance, functionality, sound, and usefulness. From handles on the PowerMacs, to a small form factor.

Re:They will still want Mac Apps. (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753279)

Linux is a different case since they have "free" both senses to worry about. VMWare/Windows/MSOffice is not free in either sense.

These questions make no sense to me. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753058)

I've noticed a lot of strange talk lately. That somehow the x86 Mac is a BAD thing. That somehow, Mac software will cease to exist. I just don't get it.

I'm feeling pessimistic about the future of the platform now that Apple is embracing Intel and abandoning the few remaining 'Mac' technologies (like the PowerPC and OpenTransport)

Those are not "Mac" technologies! Those are implementation details! Who cares what kind of chip is under the hood?

What kind of "long time mac developer" are you anyway, don't you know what makes programming a Mac special? The nice clean APIs. The integration of all the services (want to write a Bonjour-enabled program that shares iTunes playlists whenever you drop the computer? No problem!)

Programming in Objective C and Cocoa is like getting a hand job. I put it right up there with Ruby and my other favorite languages, even though it is positively ancient (but its old age is just indicative of how well-designed it is).

I can't imagine writing GUI apps without the various tools Apple makes available.

With the high likelihood that these new Macs will offer a full speed version of Virtual PC and (what I think is) the almost assurance that some clever hacker will make 'X for x86' run on commodity hardware, I'm doubting the willingness of most IT and development houses to even give the Carbon and Cocoa APIs a first glance.

Do you seriously think "X on x86" will be anything more than a geek toy and/or a cease and desist magnet? Just forget about that, it ain't gonna happen.

And the virtual PC thing is also a red herring. I'm not going to pay $150 for a copy of Windows just so I can run your $20 shareware (or whatever) on my Mac.

I also don't care what "most IT and development houses" are doing. Shrink-wrapped software from big companies is pretty much a dead industry to me outside of a few things like PhotoShop. I buy shareware, I use open-source, those are people who are passionate about the platform.

Now that I think about it, I probably don't want folks like you writing Mac software in the first place, because you don't believe in the platform. That's what your question suggests, anyway.

Can anybody with a more optimistic view think of a scenario where a modern development house will do Mac development in an age where the help desk will just say either 'switch boot to Windows/Linux' or 'run Virtual PC?'

Yeah, because when people buy a Mac, they aren't going to buy Windows or Linux along with it. They don't want some hideous Windows crap on their desktop that doesn't respond to the services menu, that doesn't work right with Expose, and that doesn't minimize to the dock.

As for folks making windows-only software and telling mac users "we aren't going to write a mac version, go do XYZ (XYZ = use Java, buy a PC, go fuck yourself, etc)".. how is that different than now?

I repeat, x86 on Mac is just an implementation detail that means nothing to me. All I know is that in a couple years, my new Macs will be faster and cheaper, that's fine with me.

All the buzz on the news and the blogs is going to die down and we'll move on. It really isn't a big deal, the sky isn't falling, the users don't care, the developers SHOULDN'T care because they will still have enthusiastic paying customers, so really, who cares? I guess game programmers who have mastered PowerPC assembly might be a little annoyed, that's about all I can think of.

piracy (2)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753126)

ever wonder how windows got so big? why it runs on every desktop? piracy. piracy is not always bad.

Re:piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753469)

Mod parent post up. There will be plenty more Mac OSX converts out there when the equivalent of the Knoppix live cd, but in OS X, comes out (from some hacker that Jobs will sue, no doubt) and everyone can try it and install it painlessly.

As someone who is working on a shareware type application (nag until you register, like Trillian) I have reconsidered my windows only stance. If I can write my code for Mac OSX with vi and gcc, and I have less registry and other bullshit to deal with, why not ? This should widen the field of people running OSX by a huge amount, because OS X is better than windows, period. I shouldn't encourage my users to stay on windows, should I ? (yes there is a linux version )

Re:piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753763)

If I can write my code for Mac OSX with vi and gcc, and I have less registry and other bullshit to deal with, why not ?

You can do that today. If you won't spend $1500 for a PPC Mac today, why would you spend $1500 for a x86 Mac in 2 years? The answer: you won't.

What would be the point? (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753160)

As a Mac user, even if I have a choice I will always choose something that runs in OS X to something that runs in Windows. Because otherwise, what the hell is the point of having a Mac???

I don't want to have to use Windows versions of programs. I don't like the way Windows lays things out. I don't like the UI. I just don't like Windows. That's why I have a Mac. I don't personally care much about the pretty outer shell, though it's a nice bonus - and there's no way in hell I'd buy the shell if I were going to have to run Windows to get anything done.

I'd switch back to Linux first. (Although, of course, anything I can get in Linux I should be able to get in OS X, so that wouldn't really be necessary...)

OpenTransport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753191)

Are you out of your mind? OpenTransport was a part of Mac OS 9. It's never been a part of Mac OS X.

Oh, wait. You must mean HyperTransport. But wait. Let me ask you something. First, what the fuck do you know about Apple's abandoning it? You know that Apple's G6 machines are going to have Pentium D processors on Apple-built system boards. So of course Apple will use whatever component busses are available.

But second, what the fuck do you care what components Apple uses? That's like giving a shit about who made the ball bearings in your chair.

A Mac is a computer that runs the Macintosh operating system. That's it.

Re:OpenTransport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753247)

So a generic beige box running Basilisk or PearPC is a Mac then ?

Re:OpenTransport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753481)

If either one of those things actually worked, then the answer would be yes. They don't, so suck my cock.

Windows On A Mac (2, Interesting)

falcon203e (589344) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753211)

No matter what Windows-on-a-Mac solution you've got in mind, I can assure you that it won't come out of Apple's hands. That'll make it essentially nonexistent for the vast majority of average users. Apps will still have to be developed for OS X for those users. And if dual-booting becomes an issue, Apple most likely make it impossible through a quiet update, a la the Rhapsody issue.

Re:Windows On A Mac (-1, Troll)

llamaluvr (575102) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753570)

Ah, yes, but could Microsoft do it? Then it would be pretty official. And, if MS made the bootloader, Apple couldn't really take away dual-booting, could they?

I personally would love this. I'm a person who isn't overly-impressed with Mac OS X (although I think it is overall a step up from Windows). I also really like developing for the Windows platform. But I really like the design of the Powerbook. I feel it suits my tastes and needs better than any other laptop on the market. If I could run "Longhorn for Mac" someday, I'd be in heaven.

Not for you. (2, Funny)

javaxman (705658) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753243)

You should leave the OS X development arena. It'll leave more room for me...

What about Mac OS X? (2, Insightful)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753271)

I recently ordered a Mac Mini (up to day 11 of the wait - already overdue) - will future releases of OS X run on my Mini?

It is reasonable to assume that 10.5 and probably 10.6 will be released as PPC versions, but what about there-after?

For internet usage, audio/video/DVD playback, such a computer should last at least 6 years (just like my PIII has). Did I make a poor 'investment' or will Apple release PPC OS X for several years to come?

Mike

Re:What about Mac OS X? (1)

oudzeeman (684485) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753342)

why would you still be using your mac mini when after 10.6? You could buy a new mac mini that is 10 times faster for $400. Apple already said they are slowing the pace of major OS releases after Tiger

Re:What about Mac OS X? (2, Insightful)

ultramk (470198) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753355)

Yes, I'm sure you have at least several years before new OSX releases don't run anymore...

For the uses you mention (internet usage, audio/video/DVD playback), it will continue to run for many, many years after that. Eventually the HD may develop errors, or you may need a new DVD drive, but those are easily replaced.

What I'm trying to say is, a machine doesn't have to run the latest and greatest to be useful. Would you expect today's $500 PC to run Longhorn? Then why would you expect it from a Mac?

It's not like it up and dies the moment Apple releases 10.9 or whatever that won't install on it.

m-

Yes (5, Insightful)

gabe (6734) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753938)

Apple has been developing builds of Mac OS X for Intel since day once. They obviously have the resources to handle both architectures at the same time. So they will be able to maintain builds for PowerPC as well as Intel for years to come but yes, they will eventually phase out PowerPC, yes.

If you've read about the keynote, or watched the video, you'll know that Apple will introduce the Intel line in 2006, and complete the transition of all Apple products to Intel in 2007. My guess is you'll have two years of OS X updates for PowerPC after that (about how long OS 9 was still maintained after OS X was introduced). Simple math says your PowerPC will probably be running Mac OS X 10.8 (Garfield?) in 2009 by the time PowerPC is EOL'd.

Of course, I don't know for sure. It's just speculation based on Apple's historical transitions. They're not going to leave you out in the cold.

Here's an alternative question... (3, Insightful)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753272)

If a Mac could run the handful of Windows only programs I need (in addition to generic apps) to do my job, exactly what arguments could my boss use to stop me buying one?

Re:Here's an alternative question... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753364)

"It costs more."

"The company has standardized on Manufacturer X, and you need to buy what we they say."

"Our current hardware manufacturer provides better support."

"Running Windows and Windows applications is unsupported by Apple."

"It doesn't have drivers for Hardware X that we need/want to use."

"Our IT department won't support integrating Mac OS X applications into our network and workflow, so what's the point?"

(Note: I'm not endorsing these arguments, merely proposing them as typical of some businesses.)

Follow Jobs' example (1)

clem.dickey (102292) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753341)

Steve Jobs would recommend (by deed, if not by word) that you avoid tying youself to a single platform. Go ahead and develop for Mac, but make sure that your product also runs (to the extent possible) on other platforms.

You may save yourself a lot of grief if something goes wrong with your favorite platform. (Apple might bundle equivalent function with the OS, as happened to Konfabulator). At the very least, you will learn a lot about platform differences.

Why you all assume its x86? (1)

JWeinraub (773433) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753344)

Just because it is Intel it doesnt mean jack shit it will be x86. From what I understand, Apple owns the IP of the PowerPC design. There is no reason why Intel can not make a bigger, badder PowerPC, just with an Intel logo on it rather than IBMs. Just a thought......

Re:Why you all assume its x86? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753782)

Why you all assume its x86?

'Cause we all can read. Go thou and do likewise. [slashdot.org]

Re:Why you all assume its x86? (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753839)

They've already stated it's x86.

Re:Why you all assume its x86? (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753910)

Because Apple said so [apple.com] .

From what I understand, Apple owns the IP of the PowerPC design.

Co-owns, at best; IBM invented POWER, upon which PowerPC is based, so they presumably have some ownership.

Waitasecond, don't you have that backwards? (1)

Oz0ne (13272) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753523)

almost assurance that some clever hacker will make 'X for x86' run on commodity hardware, I'm doubting the willingness of most IT and development houses to even give the Carbon and Cocoa APIs a first glance.

Doesn't this make the platform all the MORE attractive? People like OSX, people are INFATUATED with it. The main barrier people have is the expensive (and sometimes viewed as inferior) hardware. Now that's not an issue, and if OSX for x86 is able to run on my crappy bargain basement PC, wouldnt' that mean MORE market for OSX software?

Graphical Environment (1)

tokki (604363) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753648)

If the windowing system and graphical environment (Aqua/Cocoa/etc) were open sourced and could run on top of Linux/FreeBSD/etc., I'd never touch X again.

Re:Graphical Environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753808)

Nobody asked you, jackass. But tell me, if something better was available, would anyone still be using X?

Yes, Program Away! (4, Insightful)

shatfield (199969) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753649)

As a long time Mac developer, originally as a hobbyist and then a professional, I'm feeling pessimistic about the future of the platform now that Apple is embracing Intel and abandoning the few remaining 'Mac' technologies

You are extremely lucky to be developing Mac applications for a living. I envy you.

Apple is still going to be making incredibly well designed computers. They'll still be named "Macintosh". The Macintosh will still have a great looking case. The OS will still be called "Mac OS X" and will have code names based off of large cats. What will change is that the CPU inside the Macintosh will be named something else. That's it. You will still have to buy it from Apple, and you will not be able to put your Mac OS X installation DVD into a Dell or Gateway PC and expect it to install. Hackers may come up with a way, but it will be unsupported, since anyone who installs the OS onto a non-Apple certified machine will be breaking their license agreement. No company in their right mind will run PCs with a hacked OS X installed -- they'll just buy Macintosh computers and be done with it... and they'll be better off for it as well.

So program away, and feel good about yourself, you are doing what others only wish that they could do.

Why native apps still are better.. A story... (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753669)

Back in the OS 9 days, a company called connectix (bought by MS) created a product for the mac called "vitural playstation". It allowed your mac to play playstation games. It was cool and worked well on the hardware of the day (around 400 mhz?) . Life was good.

Then someone pointed out, OMG, if this software get s better than noone will write Mac games (mac games were few and far between), because you could just buy a virtual playstation and playstation games.

It never happened. People still created mac games as emulated while fine, wasn't as good.Sony sued connectix and lost and ended up buying the virtual playstation and deep sixing it. Connectix went on create virtual PC and get purchased by MS (insert speculation about xbox 2 emulation here)

Native apps matter. They look and feel better. itunes is a mac app on windows and at work it looks and feels wierd on Windows, even though it acts like a normal mac app. (I'm os agnostic, I regularly us Mac (home) Solaris/Hp-ux and windows (work).

What would be cool is a port of the Mac libraries to linux (GNUSTEP http://www.gnustep.org/ [gnustep.org] ) so one could write mac/linux apps.

Your assessment is extremely flawed... (4, Insightful)

csoto (220540) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753676)

I'm feeling pessimistic about the future of the platform now that Apple is embracing Intel and abandoning the few remaining 'Mac' technologies (like the PowerPC and OpenTransport) left to the platform.


This is just stupid. "PowerPC" doesn't make the Mac. Otherwise, IBM would be a big seller of Macintoshes. Open Transport is just a poor attempt at reinventing the wheel. It made sense before TCP/IP was the only game in town, but it belongs in the bit bucket, in favor of modern network stacks built around IP.


With the high likelihood that these new Macs will offer a full speed version of Virtual PC and (what I think is) the almost assurance that some clever hacker will make 'X for x86' run on commodity hardware, I'm doubting the willingness of most IT and development houses to even give the Carbon and Cocoa APIs a first glance.


Sorry, but this is just as stupid. Once again, what is OS X, if not Carbon and (especially) Cocoa? Lots of developers code for X, not because it runs on PowerPC, but because, well, it's cool. Powerful apps are quite easy when you're provided a good set of frameworks.


Can anybody with a more optimistic view think of a scenario where a modern development house will do Mac development in an age where the help desk will just say either 'switch boot to Windows/Linux' or 'run Virtual PC?'


You definitely don't get it. Mac is the frameworks. Intel changes none of this.

The American Dilemma (1)

dreamer-of-rules (794070) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753791)

Life could be better!
..and..
..change is bad!

(I liked it so much, I bought the sig)

Apple is now a staid, conservative corp (2, Insightful)

Colonel Panic (15235) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753799)

I tend to agree with your pessimism, but perhaps for somewhat different reasons.

The shift from PPC to Intel signals a shift in culture at Apple. It means that Apple has gone from being an innovative 'cool', 'hip' company (of course we know that a lot of that is just marketing hype) to being much more staid and conservative.

If Steve Jobbs felt he really needed to make a move to a different CPU he could have made a very bold move (something he _has_ done in the past) and chosen to move towards the Cell processor. Why would that make so much sense? Well, for one each Cell processor contains several PowerPC processors, so chances are there would have been a fairly easy transistion from PPC to Cell - almost seamless. And two, the Cell architecture promises a quantum leap in performance over what is available now.

But instead, Steve looked out over the CPU landscape and chose Intel. Intel: boring, staid, not terrifically innovative anymore, married to an old CPU architecture. Their only real gamble in recent years was the Itanium and it failed miserably.

So this time the switch from PPC to X86 is nothing like the switch from 68K to PPC for Apple. Going to the PPC really did give Apple a quantum leap in performance. This switch is being done more for bottom-line business reasons. Jobbs feels he can get better pricing out of Intel. He also feels that the relationship with IBM was somewhat rocky. I think one of the big problems was that he couldn't get a G5 in a laptop. However, he may have lost his patience at just the wrong time. IBM was apparently about to be able to fulfill that wish.

This was a huge opportunity lost for Apple. Had they gone with the Cell processor it's possible that they would have been able to create machines that were so much faster than Intel/AMD PCs that it would have drawn a lot of attention and market share. But instead Apple took the safe route. Too bad. These are strange days when Microsoft is going towards PPC (XBox 360) and Apple is moving towards Intel. Perhaps the bold move in the computing world will come from an IBM/Sony partnership creating Cell-based boxes that run Linux.

But look on the bright side: in a few years you'll be able to pick up dual 2.5GHz G5 machines at garage sales for about $25.

The sound of 1000 people missing the damn point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753826)

The original poster actually brings up a huge point that NO ONE SEEMS TO GET. You're all blathering on about how no consumers are going to abandon the mac, it's more than the chip, blah blah blah when the guy (or gal) was actually talking about DEVELOPERS abandoning the platform because it's no longer necessary to develop for it because it'll run any old Wintel app via VPC or other emulation. That's sounds pretty freaking plausible, if you ask me. For example:

CFO: Well Mr. Chairman, we could either invest $5 million dollars to develop the next version of Killer® App(TM) MX CS 6.0 for both Windows and Mactel and Mac PPC machines... ooooooorrrr, we could spend $2.5 million to develop it for Windows and tell the 3% Mac market to run Virtual PC.

Chairman of the Board: Well, I think the decision is obvious, then, Ted.

CFO: But, OS X has a wonderful user experience, a beguiling user interface and no viruses...

Chairman of the Board: *blank stare*

Shareholder: SCREW THE MAC! SAVE MONEY! MORE MONEY! GROWTH! REVENUE! SYNERGY! MOREMONEYMOREMONEMOREMONEY! *DROOL*SLATHER*HOWL@THEMOON*

CFO: *sigh*

Chairman of the Board: We're awfully glad to have a team player like yourself on our team, Ted. Here's a solid gold card for your quarterly bonus, plus a luscious high-class prostitute.

CFO: Screw the Mac. Let them eat Virtual PC!

Christ people, can't you read the writing on the wall for 20 seconds before letting your flap traps start whapping uncontrollably against your keyboard?

Apple, the new Be Incorporated (4, Insightful)

mnmn (145599) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753928)

Like Be and RedHat, Apple is the new OS vendor out there. Be ran on 2 platforms and is dead now. RedHat runs on 3 (or more) platforms and has big community backing. Apple does too. They both have good application base, although Apple has more on one platform, the PPC.

Some say Apple has a good OS, so they'll have success. Others say their Intel hardware will be superior and people will buy more of it, since it will be cheaper and efficient, so Apple will be successful.

And yet for some reason, I'm also pessimistic here.

We had the evil wintel. And then we had the Apple, motorolla, IBM alliance. IBM is very busy pushing Linux-on-PowerPC, which means that hardware platform will have a future, and might just pull ahead of x86.

However, the AMD64 platform showed that the x86/x64 platform is the best thing out there and Apple is too moving to it. Less diversity. Just a bunch of OSes on the same chip on roughly the same motherboard (since the mem handler is built into the chip, theres less else on the AMD64 mobo). Thats now the entire desktop market of the world.

There was once a time when we had IRIX on MIPS, OpenVMS and Tru64 on Alpha and VMS, Solaris on Ultrasparc, HPUX on PARISC, Unixware on Intel, OS2, and all the BSDs plus Linux out there. It was a rich world. Lots to learn. Each one had a strength you could count on. All thats collapsed, Be was bought out, SCO was too, Alpha, Tru64, OpenVMS were too, Ultrasparc and Itanium and PARISC are dying, MIPS is dead, OS2 is dead, the diverse mainframes are dead, and we're seeing even more industry consolidation, and later the demise of some of the companies who couldnt differentiate enough.

I suppose I'll feel different when I'll see a cheaper macmini with an Athlon64 FX55 (or equiv) running OSX.

OSX had better be able to make me buy the whole deal now.
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