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Mac OS X x86 Put To The Test

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the a-boy-can-dream dept.

OS X 672

stivi writes "ZDNet has tested Mac OS X x86 on a Toshiba laptop. The article discusses installation process, performance and power consumption comparison and has a thorough photo gallery as well." From the article: "Mac OS X will not be available on any old x86 PC, though, as Apple wants to retain control over its hardware platform. From the company's point of view, this is an understandable position, as the margins on Apple-branded computers are much higher than is usual for standard x86 PCs. Were Apple to put the x86 version of its operating system on general release, Dell would begin to manufacture Apple clones. This would put enormous pressure on the price of Apple's own computers -- something the company is naturally keen to avoid."

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Apple being hinted to as evil? (2, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007825)

I'm not sure I agree with the author's positions at all...

Mac OS X will not be available on any old x86 PC, though, as Apple wants to retain control over its hardware platform. Right, Apple wants the fastest, smoothest and most gorgeous OS. It won't run on any old X86. You don't see V12 engines in Hyundais either. You don't see marble floors in Section 8 housing. You don't see big, soft seats in coach class.

From the company's point of view, this is an understandable position, as the margins on Apple-branded computers are much higher than is usual for standard x86 PCs. Which allows them more money to develop the next OS, more money to pay employees and more money for risky R&D. If you sell $500 cost hardware for $500, you're left with nothing for the future. Yet profit isn't the only motive. By restricting the base hardware, Apple spends less on supporting what ends up being dumb users. My MS helpdesk team fixes 90% of problems that can be assessed as "sub par hardware" and "user is a moron and bought crap."

Were Apple to put the x86 version of its operating system on general release, Dell would begin to manufacture Apple clones. And lose MS' favor? I highly doubt it. New techs needed, new marketing, a bifurcated customer base? Keep bullshiting, ye who know not business.

This would put enormous pressure on the price of Apple's own computers -- something the company is naturally keen to avoid Right. Every business wants to avoid competition. Even the one the editor (or his parents) works for.

I see intelligent thought behind Apple. Lexus makes a great car, with a ton of room for third party add-ons and third party service. But their smooth engine and user friendly console won't fit in a Hyundai. Are Hyundai drivers mad?

No producer of high quality goods should listen to cheapskate NewEgg buyers who don't care for quality and future development.

For instance, when setting the time zone in Windows, you must select it from a list; with Mac OS X you simply click your region on a map of the world. I shouldn't even comment on the quality of reviews like this.

Mac OS X x86 also runs on the AMD platform. ???

Final versions are generally considerably faster and less resource-hungry than beta versions. Or, "it'll run better on the required hardware, which is more than just a processor."

I'm actually excited for this move by Apple, but it changes nothing for me. I haven't seen a Mac in nearly 6,000 work orders.

Its not really fair testing Beta Software... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14007875)

Its not really fair testing Beta software for performance. Apple may still have lots of debug clutter in there amongst other things. I know everyone is excited about x86 OSX, but honestly, its only a few months away, wait for the real deal.

Re:Apple being hinted to as evil? (4, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007881)

Were Apple to put the x86 version of its operating system on general release, Dell would begin to manufacture Apple clones. And lose MS' favor? I highly doubt it. New techs needed, new marketing, a bifurcated customer base? Keep bullshiting, ye who know not business.

Dell's already said that they'd sell OS X if they could. That happened within the week of the Apple intel announcement.

-jcr

Re:Apple being hinted to as evil? (5, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007912)

Lexus makes a great car, with a ton of room for third party add-ons and third party service. But their smooth engine and user friendly console won't fit in a Hyundai. Are Hyundai drivers mad?

The engines won't fit in a Hyundai, but they fit in Toyotas and are often found (with trivial modifications) in Toyotas at much lower price points. Another example are Hondas and Accuras. My neighbor owns a 2000 3.2TL Sedan and I have an Accord V6 sedan of the same year. The car is almost identical, with a few more bells and whistles on the Accura. The big difference is the nameplate, not the car.

Re:Apple being hinted to as evil? (1, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008022)

Another example would be VW versus Audi. They basically use the same platforms to build the cars. (Or if you know the European market: Skoda and Seat also use those platforms)

The difference is mostly finish... and the pricetag ;-)

Re:Apple being hinted to as evil? (5, Insightful)

Horatio_Hellpop (926706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007919)

//No producer of high quality goods should listen to cheapskate NewEgg buyers who don't care for quality and future development.//

Not all products on newegg.com are cheap and poorly made.

I put together a very nice system (for gaming) for under $800, all with quality parts from newegg.com. It's been running for four months, with not one problem.

Ok, one problem: Fedora Core 4 won't recognize my wireless PCI card.

Anyway ... you're painting all newegg customers/products as cheap and/or craptastic. Simply not true.

Re:Apple being hinted to as evil? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14007920)

Your comparisons are not valid. You cannot fit a Lexus engine in a Hyundai, but you can put Apple OSX on a X86 platform.

Lexus does not "prevent" Hyundai drivers from putting Lexus engines in their cars.

Your only valid point is the need to have a nice profit margin for R&D.

'My MS helpdesk team fixes 90% of problems that can be assessed as "sub par hardware" and "user is a moron and bought crap."'

-- Why is a user a moron? I can guarantee you that the parts this user purchased claimed they were 100% compatible with Microsoft products. What is the user supposed to do about this?

Re:Apple being hinted to as evil? (3, Insightful)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007957)

I get the feeling that you're saying that you don't want to OSX on cheap computers because then, anyone could be working using it.

Your OSX system is a status symbol like Lexus.

Re:Apple being hinted to as evil? (2, Insightful)

zootm (850416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007965)

Right, Apple wants the fastest, smoothest and most gorgeous OS. It won't run on any old X86. You don't see V12 engines in Hyundais either. You don't see marble floors in Section 8 housing. You don't see big, soft seats in coach class.

The difference being that even with technically (I mean, by specification, not including whatever funky copy-protection nonsense is on there) identical hardware, Apple wishes to restrict their base.

Mac OS X x86 also runs on the AMD platform. ???

This is probably just to point out that it's not locked to some specific Intel optimisations/instructions at present.

They do have a cheek referring to this as a review though, it's barely more than a set of screenshots.

An Apple Monopoly is just as evil. (1, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008014)

By monopolizing the hardware Apple is just as evil if not worse than Microsoft. The one great thing about the x86 platform was that we could put what operating system we wanted on it.

Apple is bringing to the x86 world that it is okay to lock consumers into your own brand of hardware. This is not the direction we need to go.

too many people excuse Apple's actions just because they are Apple. After what Apple did to the original Mac clone makers it makes one wonder how anyone can excuse them. Perhaps its just "correct" to continue to excuse their obviously monopolistic activities because a lot of geeks think they are cool (and all so not Microsoft)

Re:Apple being hinted to as evil? (1)

JasonKChapman (842766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008037)

By restricting the base hardware, Apple spends less on supporting what ends up being dumb users.
You don't see V12 engines in Hyundais either. You don't see marble floors in Section 8 housing. You don't see big, soft seats in coach class.
No producer of high quality goods should listen to cheapskate NewEgg buyers who don't care for quality and future development.

Clearly, elitists are a very dependable and profitable market segment as well.

Re:Apple being hinted to as evil? (1)

Spackler (223562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008052)

Were Apple to put the x86 version of its operating system on general release, Dell would begin to manufacture Apple clones. And lose MS' favor? I highly doubt it. New techs needed, new marketing, a bifurcated customer base? Keep bullshiting, ye who know not business.

Dude, if Dell does not manufacture cheap apple clones, I WILL

Re:Apple being hinted to as evil? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14008063)

Um, I hate to break this to you, but Newegg sells higher-quality items than are shipped in any Apple product. Higher-quality RAM, higher-quality HDDs, higher-quality video cards, higher-quality soundcards, motherboards with higher-quality chipsets, faster processors, higher-quality input devices, higher-quality optical drives, higher-quality NICs, etc.

It just works... (2, Interesting)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008065)

Apple are justifiably proud of their boast "It just works". If you start letting people run OSX on any platform, then that becomes much harder, if not impossible.

Personally I think Apple should continue producing quality hardware and software for those that want the best, and not cater for the cheapskates who want to run the OS on crappy cheap hardware.

Hey! Leave Hyundais out of this. (1)

RandoX (828285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008071)

I like mine.

Re:Apple being hinted to as evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14008075)

You don't see V12 engines in Hyundais either. You don't see marble floors in Section 8 housing. You don't see big, soft seats in coach class.

No you don't, but then again, we aren't talking about something that is impossible, stupid to do, or just plain dumb here...we are talking about extending the OS user base.

Which allows them more money to develop the next OS, more money to pay employees and more money for risky R&D. If you sell $500 cost hardware for $500, you're left with nothing for the future. Yet profit isn't the only motive. By restricting the base hardware, Apple spends less on supporting what ends up being dumb users. My MS helpdesk team fixes 90% of problems that can be assessed as "sub par hardware" and "user is a moron and bought crap."

Uhh yes, this is why IBM, who has the largest R&D budget routinely price(s)(d) all their hardware with the same large margin eh? I think not. Make up your mind please...is it sub par hardware or user stupidity? I think it's user stupidity because 90% of my calls as well as others in my field are usually spyware related...very few times do I have to deal with hardware issues...and besides that you are now arguing with yourself as the hardware in the apple machines will be the same sub par crap you are spewing about. Me thinks it is you who is bullshitting pal.

And lose MS' favor? I highly doubt it. New techs needed, new marketing, a bifurcated customer base? Keep bullshiting, ye who know not business.

Right right right, I forget how those reasons stop every other company from releasing/selling new products...bifurcated base eh? So you must think they give the same service/support to everyone right? Including the large scale customers who pay the top dollar for enterprise hardware...the base is bifurcated down that line as is, they aren't scared of that...it's a necessary evil to do larger business and grow Mr. Business genius.

Right. Every business wants to avoid competition. Even the one the editor (or his parents) works for.

Yep, your point? I don't think it's as if your parent poster wasn't aware of this.

I see intelligent thought behind Apple. Lexus makes a great car, with a ton of room for third party add-ons and third party service. But their smooth engine and user friendly console won't fit in a Hyundai. Are Hyundai drivers mad?

Nobody said they were dumb. No their engines don't fit in a Hyundai but their engines are made by Toyota so go figure..maybe if you chose the right foreign car for your comparison you wouldn't have an argument on those points.

No producer of high quality goods should listen to cheapskate NewEgg buyers who don't care for quality and future development.

Nice troll, if you want to spend more money for the same retail part, then by God, go right ahead your idiocy...because we all know that means your part is better..because you spent more for it...what are you, 10?

Mac OS X x86 also runs on the AMD platform.

Uhh yes it does actually, but only certain ones.

Or, "it'll run better on the required hardware, which is more than just a processor."

Uhh yeah, it's the same hardware we all have already pretty much...please show me some specialized hardware they have added that allows the OS to run faster in required hardware machines you putz.

I'm actually excited for this move by Apple, but it changes nothing for me. I haven't seen a Mac in nearly 6,000 work orders.

No kidding.

Re:Apple being hinted to as evil? (1)

kayak334 (798077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008089)

You seem to be missing the point.

Apple doesn't want OSX to be able to run on any x86 hardware because then they'd be out of business. Not because their hardware is somehow superior to other x86 hardware. It isn't. They make their money off of selling an entire solution; hardware and software that work very well together. Most of their money comes from the hardware sales. They don't want to be another OS vendor.

There are plenty of x86 machines that could run OSX, but Apple won't let because they'd lose money. It's understandable in my opinion.

Re:Apple being hinted to as evil? (1)

Silverstrike (170889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008132)

How does reducing their profit margin on hardware equal a reduction of overall profits?

Microsoft certainly didn't build their empire selling hardware -- they built it selling software, an OS in particular.

Now, Apple might be avoiding head-to-head competition with Redmond with this move, since it keeps their OS still in the niche end of the market with hardware sales as a fallback.

However, if they broke down and just sold the OS seperately, they would stand a chance of making it big, as OSX would certainly win over some Windows users (especially if Dell/Gateway/etc picked it up).

Thats what puzzles me about this move, however, its likely they're "easing into the market", and in a few years, they'll be ready to take on the rest of the market.

Unleash the hounds! (2, Interesting)

toupsie (88295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007826)

Steve does not like it when you operate outside the bounds of the reality distortion field. Will Apple go after ZDNet like it does bloggers for "violating" the license agreement for OS X x86?

Re:Unleash the hounds! (1)

QAChaos (793637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007973)

I didn't get into trouble because I was solicitating sex in a pre-teen chat room - it was because I was trying to impress the kids that I downloaded OS X via bittorrent.... screw getting OS X and having apple lawyers get all mad at you - there are plenty of open source projects who need people to try out their alpha and beta builds... QAK

Re:Unleash the hounds! (1)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008084)

Will Apple go after ZDNet like it does bloggers for "violating" the license agreement for OS X x86?

No, but they probably will go after them for showing Sherlock under the heading "The Mac OS Advantage".

Are we serious here? (4, Insightful)

mattyohe (517995) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007839)

"Put to the test?" = Installing pre-release software on hardware it wasn't developed for?

Can't we just wait until Apple ships a mac with intel inside? I love Apple and everything, but this barrage of useless Apple articles has got to stop.

Re:Are we serious here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14007955)

Just like all the useless Google Ads.. er Articles on /.?

Re:Are we serious here? (4, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007997)

Not only that, but the entire summary is about what we already knew, that OS X is not likely to be available for commodity PC's.

Yes, thanks for being the 159th person to point that out. Now, did you find out anything new, surprising and/or useful by playing around with your unsupported hack of OSx86 on your Toshiba laptop?

Drivers? (1)

DJStealth (103231) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008106)

Just wondering.

I would assume that apple only has drivers for their own hardware. How do they get OSX to run properly on an x86 that's not Apple if it does not supply proper video, network, mboard drivers, etc?

This good for Apple? (4, Interesting)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007842)

I think that if Apple allowed third parties to make Apple clones, or Apple-Approved machines to run the new OSX on, this could potentially be good for Apple. I'd rather spend $200 on OSX for my workstation, than $200 for Windows anything -- especially if it worked properly.

This might be useful if Apple embraces the FOSS community, and lets them fill in the gaps in device drivers, etc. Keeping things closed isn't good for anyone except the company that is doing the closing, and there are many many anecdotes of where that kind of practice isn't even good for them.

Re:This good for Apple? (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007868)

Apple sees how much Microsoft pays in supporting what ends up being other manufacturer's problems. MS isn't innocent, but if Video Driver #16 works where #1-15 crashed, why did MS have to handle 500,000 phone calls?

Re:This good for Apple? (3, Insightful)

cortana (588495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007908)

When they tried that before, what happened was that Mac users just bought the cheaper Mac clones, cutting into Apple's profits, and PC users continued to buy PCs. :)

Re:This good for Apple? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008128)

They tried it before with System 7, which had a few minor UI improvements over the current versions of Windows, but nothing else. They didn't try it before with something like OS X.

There is also a difference that people still had to choose between Mac and PC on the hardware side. If I were Apple, then after the Intel switch was completed I would introduce an OS X retail box, with a hardware compatibility list on the back. People could buy that for existing PCs, but not buy it bundled (so they get to keep the full retail profit - no OEM discounts). If there is enough demand, then I would start to license to OEMs as a second phase.

Re:This good for Apple? (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007949)

This might be useful if Apple embraces the FOSS community, and lets them fill in the gaps in device drivers, etc. Keeping things closed isn't good for anyone except the company that is doing the closing, and there are many many anecdotes of where that kind of practice isn't even good for them.

If Apple loses their hardware business to clones and their software business to CheapBytes, how exactly are they going to keep making OS X? Their going out of business may be good for everyone but them (although I'd disagree with that) but that seems like an odd calculation to expect them to make.

Re:This good for Apple? (1)

feldsteins (313201) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007969)

Hardware clones would be very bad for Apple. It would a) kill their user experience, b) degrade their chic consumer appeal and c) dry up their revenues to the point where innovation takes a permanent back seat.

Re:This good for Apple? (1)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008029)

I'd rather spend $200 on OSX for my workstation, than $200 for Windows anything -- especially if it worked properly.

They don't want your $200. They want thousands of your dollars over a very long period of time. They would rather you buy a new $2000 workstation from them in a few years than just buy a $200 operating system today.

The only way to really acheive that (even if the product is great) is by maintaining control over the platform. Microsoft did it through shady business pracitices and extraordinary luck. Apple does it by having a tightly closed system.

Re:This good for Apple? (1)

wwwillem (253720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008041)

Don't forget, Steve Jobs has been through this whole process. And then the variant you prefer. NeXT was first a computer, then became the NeXTstep OS running on standard X86 hardware (OK, the HCL wasn't that long, but still). NeXT as a workstation didn't become the "success bigger than the Macintosh" that Jobs had expected, but NeXT as a pure software company brought in even less money. So Apple will definitely not go there again. People sometimes learn from their mistakes... :)

Re:This good for Apple? (2, Insightful)

paintswithcolour (929954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008129)

It's tricky. This may have been a move by Apple to increase marketshare, but I don't think that's a real motivating factor. I'm inclined to believe Steve when he tells us the switch was to appease those demanding faster chips (and therefore more of a retaining move to keep the profits in the Mac platform). I'm a Mac user and its reasonable to say that the design-factor of hardware is a compelling sway factor in their favour. So assuming that this is a retaining move then why should Apple make a general x86 release? Many of us that have Macs (misguided elitist people that we are, and proud of it) find the idea of installing OS X on a Dell box somehow horrifying. Regardless of what the cracking world does the Apple faithful will probably not be moving to beige boxes in droves because they are cheaper. Regardless of whether or not it's a sane way of thinking, brand name means a lot.

Time zones (2, Funny)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007847)

Aren't some people going to find it harder to pick out their state graphically than picking from a list. Not everyone knows what a world atlas looks like.

Re:Time zones (3, Funny)

olalla (676234) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007929)

When the U.S. attacks California, people will know where it is.

Re:Time zones (1)

phlegmofdiscontent (459470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007946)

I agree. Remember, this is America, where geography education is SERIOUSLY lacking. I think it's more likely for people to know what time zone they're in than how to pick their state on a map.

Re:Time zones (1)

escay (923320) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007986)

hmmm...how about the time zone is set automatically by finding the location of the machine from its IP? this way it can even configure for different time zones if you are a frequent traveller...

Re:Time zones (1)

myspys (204685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008010)

won't work with a lot of isps though

know some german isp operating in the uk, so uk-users will get a "german" ip

and aol have a block of ips that can be allocated to any of their users, ie could be in the states, could be in the uk

Re:Time zones (2, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008020)

hmmm...how about the time zone is set automatically by finding the location of the machine from its IP?

$ timezone

Finding timezone for 127.0.0.1...

Toe in the water (2, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007850)

I think Apple will put a toe in the x86 water by locking OSX to their own hardware, so they don't compete head to head with Microsoft. If it works well for them though, I suspect they'll start to sell the OS alone.

Re:Toe in the water (3, Insightful)

mattyohe (517995) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007879)

No they won't. The whole reason people buy macs is for the stability of OSX. If apple had to start supporting 3rd party hardware, this level of stability would severely drop.

Re:Toe in the water (2, Insightful)

afd8856 (700296) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007916)

Linux seems pretty stable with a lot of hardware and I might say, out of the, has hardware drivers for most of the stuff out there.

Re:Toe in the water (2, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007928)

If apple had to start supporting 3rd party hardware, this level of stability would severely drop.

Why? BSD is stable on plenty of 3rd party hardware. Why wouldn't a Mac be as stable?

Re:Toe in the water (0, Flamebait)

john83 (923470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007938)

Of course, you have to consider one question here: why are they trying this?

The whole reason non-geeks buy Macs is because either they're a journalist, or they think Apple is cool. Talk to someone who knows very little about computers - most don't even know that Apple makes computers.

If Apple could support x86 hardware and were sold by Dell in direct competition with Microsoft, they'd have a higher profile. I wouldn't like to make any broader predictions about their success in that situation. It looks to me like they're thinking about that road though.

what third party hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14008090)

honestly? the motherboard is all i can think of. both major platforms run EXTREMELY similar hardware now. for the most part, hardware in general use by the public is available for both, with little difference but a driver. the driver is just as third party on a current mac as it would be on a clone mac. this third party support argument is nonsense. the only real argument you can wage against Apple is on sales, and in doing so you must compare the Apple of today to the Apple of the late 80s. surely you understand the massive differences between the two, from ideological and marketing to technical?

So sell it from the Apple store (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14007854)

Sell OSX x86 only through the online Apple store. Put a big line of text in the EULA saying no resellers allowed. If someone named "M. Dell" attempts to put 50,000 copies in a shopping cart, deny the transaction. Is it really that difficult?

Not going to be an overwhelming success (2, Interesting)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007862)

The reason that most people want to switch to Apple is the perceived quality that accompanies it. The reason people don't switch is because of cost and lack of software.

Keeping the prices high on what is essentially commodity hardware does nothing to alleviate the cost problem.

Re:Not going to be an overwhelming success (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008045)

If by commodity hardware you mean the equivalent of the most standardized hardware configuration you can imagine across multiple lines of PCs with very tightly integrated components from suppliers who have proven the quality of their product and manufacturing processes (excepting a very few snafus every two years, iPod Nano *cough*)...

then by all means, it will be 'commodity hardware'.

Re:Not going to be an overwhelming success (1)

adzoox (615327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008070)

Keeping the prices high on what is essentially commodity hardware does nothing to alleviate the cost problem."

INSERT OIL into that and you see how non sequitur it sounds

Commodities have no quality equation (at least not completely) ... therefore a computer cannot be a commodity.

"Keeping the prices high on oil (what is essentially a commodity) does nothing to alleviate the cost problem."

Sure it does, demand goes down if prices are high ... but you fail to see the value of Apple beyond a computing platform ...

No virus tax,

Quality components,

Better (and tested) feature set,

Included apps or low cost apps that do what would cost $1000's on a PC

I'm sure you've seen the Apple fanboy posts (which are mostly true)

A similarly equipped PC vs an Apple is either more expensive or equal in price ... and that does not factor in the above.

Hmmmm..... (4, Insightful)

8127972 (73495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007867)

"Steve Jobs might not approve, but Apple's latest operating system can be installed on any x86 hardware."

That will last as long as it takes Apple to DRM the hell out of it. Or worse, dispatch it's army of lawyers armed with cease and desist orders to anyone who dares to suggest a method to install on a non Apple box.

Re:Hmmmm..... (1)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008059)

That will last as long as it takes Apple to DRM the hell out of it. Or worse, dispatch it's army of lawyers armed with cease and desist orders to anyone who dares to suggest a method to install on a non Apple box.

I'd rather they send the lawyers than put DRM in. DRM affects everyone (EULA violators & legitimate users). Lawyers only affect EULA violators.

Too bad Apple isn't taking a different route (-1, Troll)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007888)

Mac OS X will not be available on any old x86 PC, though, as Apple wants to retain control over its hardware platform.

IMHO, this is exactly why Apple will never be number one. Every kid out there knows Apple hardware is way less expensive than what they sell it for. That's what keeps me from buying Apple, anyways.

You know, a certain other OS manufacturing guy took the other route. He made an OS and even though it is an inferior product, gave the buyer the freedom to install it on the hardware of their choice. He's doing pretty well these days.

Re:Too bad Apple isn't taking a different route (3, Interesting)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007966)

Then every kid out there is wrong.

While it is true that Apple sells the hardware for more than the sum of the parts; Apple hardware costs more because it goes through more quality control and has better design. Neither of those comes cheap, and they are appreciated by people who appreciate such things.

Regards to markup being your major opposition to buying Apple: what's wrong with the mini? Dirt cheap as far as computing goes and a very capable system to boot. It is actually your lust to possess the latest and greatest that prevents you from buying a cheap and good Mac? Perhaps you feel that you are something of a "top dog" with computing equipment and you don't want to loose that edge by going to the cheaper Macs and can't afford the uber-Tower G5's (which are really for professional work)?

While there are many reasons to skip Apple, price is no longer one of them!

Re:Too bad Apple isn't taking a different route (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14008108)

You gotta be kidding me. Apple hardware design is below average... waaaay below average. There's no way their custom motherboards can compete with quality brands like Abit, Asus and MSI and this is the reason I would never buy a computer from them to begin with.

Re:Too bad Apple isn't taking a different route (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007987)

You know, a certain other OS manufacturing guy took the other route. He made an OS and even though it is an inferior product, gave the buyer the freedom to install it on the hardware of their choice. He's doing pretty well these days.

You mean Linus, right? Created an OS kernel that wasn't as functional as other Unices, but released the source code. Then people could install it on the hardware of their choice, rather than only on the platform for which binaries had been published, which was the style at the time.

Certainly no closed-source OS can be installed on the hardware of your choice; only on hardware on which the publisher saw fit to compile the OS.

Are you a communist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14007996)

Everyone's hardware costs less than what they sell it for. That is called profit. It is the only way companies stay in business. Sure, Apple makes a little more than HP or Dell, but HP and Dell don't have to do R&D on their computers. Apple builds a platform. HP and Dell build crap in a pretty box and let someone else do the R&D. That is why Apple can build a better product.

Re:Too bad Apple isn't taking a different route (4, Interesting)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007999)

Because people think hardware cost is all that is important.

I bought a Mac Mini, just to give the Apple thing a try. And I have to say that the software is what impresses me. What comes for free on this machine is superior to many products under Windows I'd have to pay money for.

As long as people think software has no value, they are going to be unwilling to pay extra for what Apple is offering. I will not be one of those.

Re:Too bad Apple isn't taking a different route (1)

wvitXpert (769356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008007)

Yes the Apple hardware is cheaper than they sell it for, but the OS is worth more than they sell it for. The profit from hardware sales allows for thier huge R&D budget, without which OSX would suck. Plus you have to allow a little of the extra price for the innovative and usually high quality cases that Apple designs.

Re:Too bad Apple isn't taking a different route (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14008011)

What you don't seem to understand is that Apple is not driven culturally to be the biggest, they have a burning desire to be the best.

The positive changes in their market cap and bottom line are the rightful reward for their mission.

Re:Too bad Apple isn't taking a different route (1)

zootm (850416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008025)

You know, a certain other OS manufacturing guy took the other route. He made an OS and even though it is an inferior product, gave the buyer the freedom to install it on the hardware of their choice. He's doing pretty well these days.

Torvalds?

Don't hurt me

Only a matter of time... (3, Insightful)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007891)

So... Apple has a developer version that can install on any machine, but they'll restrict it to Apple-only at release.

Apple is playing with fire. Those developer releases will certainly get out in the world. I'm also certain someone will find a way to get around the Apple-only requirement once the x86 Macs start shipping, cutting into Apple's hardware revenue.

Re:Only a matter of time... (1)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008053)

And the developer boxes use Rosetta for iLife. When you put OSX on Intel Apple can put extra checks that stop you using the up to date iTunes etc. Think about it iTunes is already available for Windows and Apple probably already had the fat binaries ready even before the announcement. The reason that the iTunes is slow for OSX on x86 is that Apple want it to be slow at the moment. It's the only reason.

Re:Only a matter of time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14008126)

No, people have hacked copies of the pre-release versions to make OSX/x86 install on non-Apple x86 hardware.

Kind of silly... (-1, Redundant)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007894)

They're running an unreleased OS on unauthorized hardware and making tables of startup time and power usage? (Hint: who restarts an OS X laptop, anyway, except for software updates?)

Obviously iTunes MP3 encoding, and a lot of the other things they mention, are going to be optimized for the x86 -- it seems silly to complain about that today.

Re:Kind of silly... (1)

AdamWeeden (678591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008080)

Obviously iTunes MP3 encoding, and a lot of the other things they mention, are going to be optimized for the x86 -- it seems silly to complain about that today.

The article didn't complain, it was more of a "State of OSX" type article. The author conceded that these were early numbers and that things would probably get much better.

Hardware Issues (4, Insightful)

afra242 (465406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007896)

OS X will not be available on any old x86 PC

Good. This means that, like the hardware in my Powerbook, OS X should play well with the hardware of their x86 PC. Better than trying to support all odds and ends of hardware for all x86's. Things are much more stable in the Powerbook, than the Linux desktop with the Nvidia graphics card (on which X.org crashes and freezes up the screen after 5 minutes of use).

Hey, I'm a huge fan of Linux, but sometimes, you just want things to work the way they were meant to and not spend 3 hours setting something up. This is how OS X spoiled me I suppose....

Re:Hardware Issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14008009)

The difference here is that OS X locks you to specific hardware it works on, Linux doesn't, but still wants specific hardware to work best. Put in other words, on OS X you don't have the freedom to choose hardware, but on Linux you do, although you should be aware of the implications of using less supported hardware. On OS X you don't have to be that, because you can't even do it. Same holds true for Windows too, although you're less likely to run into trouble thanks to its market dominance.

I fail to see the worry about Dell Apple clones (1)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007897)

" Dell would begin to manufacture Apple clones " ... presumably without the rights from Apple this would be illegal and is not something your going to see happen. Even in a worst case scenario that it's possible to run it on generic x86 boxes people downloaded bastardized isos of p2p probably aren't Apple's target market and most people aren't going to want that kind of unsupported untested stuff.

keen to avoid? (2, Insightful)

Dominatus (796241) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007906)

"Were Microsoft to not put the internet explorer version of its browser on general release, Netscape would begin to sell people their browsers. This would put enormous pressure on the price of Microsoft's own browsers-- something the company is naturally keen to avoid."

Of course I now expect several comments telling me why this analogy is wrong. They will range from "Microsoft is a convicted monopolist!!!" to "Apple needs to control the hardware to create the best user experience". Bottom line is, Apple wants to keep its hardware prices high and doesn't want Dell to undersell them.

To address the second issue MS would argue that they need IE on Windows to control the Windows experience. That it wouldn't be the same without it. (This is true, it would probably be much better without it). To address the monopoly issue...everyone's gotta start somewhere ;)

So Is Ballmer crapping in his pants now? (0)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007917)

So is Ballmer crapping in his pants now? Or is he trying to pick out a nice, new chair to throw at someone?

It would be really neat to see Apple take on MicroSoft in a big way, then have Gates come "out of retirement" to take over. That is, Gates would tell Ballmer, "step aside, big boy. I'm back!"

The gloves would come off and Bill would try to deliver the biggest asswhipping to Steve, ever. And we'd get to see who's Kung Fu is truly the best.

I can't help but think that if Bill really, really wanted to, he could take out either Google or Apple, but not both.

Re:So Is Ballmer crapping in his pants now? (0, Troll)

Internet Ronin (919897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008094)

If you think that scrawny, hot-wife banging, glasses wearing nerd could whup up on Stevie J, you've been hitting the bong to hard. Everyone knows that Steve Jobs could totally kick Bill Gates ass. Balmer might be tougher though...

Will Windows run on Mac hardware? (5, Insightful)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007926)

Everyone else seems to be harping over how Apple will lock out unapporved hardware. I'm interested in the opposite. Will Apple companies to make hardware that Apple has approved but also works for other x86 platforms? This is interesting because I can forsee "Apple Approved" being a quality standard for x86 hardware. That could potentially be a very good thing regardless of your OS or computer manufacturer.

Apple sould balance: Craking vs Incoming. (1)

bubulubugoth (896803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007933)

Sure Apple gets it revenew from hardware sales, software sales AND gadget sales... Keeping Mac OSx86 out of mayority of x86, will cost money to Mac, shouldnt be more bussines to Apple if drops prices of MacOSx86 and let be on selected more machines? I know the quality assuranse of Apple Software, driver componentes, is much more harder than MS, and since there is a LOT less hardware, there a lot less cheap hardware... But, since Aplle likes so much licencing, they could license Ready for Apple logo to hardware vendors only support selected hardware, I belive this could get so much revenew to Apple... AND also, Apples hardware is being selling more and more due the iPod, iTunes, iThing gadgets, and that people 'feel' they work better at MacOSX... The market is waitting for a generic version of MacOSx, why not give it to them? Maybe that MS money at Apples is restrining to do that?

Re:Apple sould balance: Craking vs Incoming. (1)

SorcererX (818515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008076)

The problem is that the cost of Mac OS X itself is very low compared to development costs, Apple doesn't earn much money just by selling the software. If they were going to offer it on all hardware, they'd have to increase the price a lot, and it'd take a lot more effort to support a zillion different hardware configurations.

Apple? (1, Funny)

loakers (925219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007939)

Apple?

who are they?

Re:Apple? (1, Funny)

Fluk3 (742259) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008023)

Loakers? Who is that?

Nobody.

time will tell (1)

doyoulikegoatseeee (930088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007942)

It will be interesting to see how apple attempts to maintain the reputation (accurate or otherwise) of OSX as being stable etc. when people start installing warezed versions on their cousin's compaq or other dodgy pc's. could this have a lowering effect of the overall outlook on apple in the long run? a lot of people won't look at the specifics: "well what do you expect when you install it on THAT" and will chalk it up to the fault of apple.

I wanna (-1, Redundant)

faqmaster (172770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007943)

I want to buy OSX x86 on an AMD64 x2 from Dell.

"Dude, Hell froze over!"

Maybe not exactly... (2, Insightful)

metomynon (890924) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007944)

Were Apple to put the x86 version of its operating system on general release, Dell would begin to manufacture Apple clones. This would put enormous pressure on the price of Apple's own computers -- something the company is naturally keen to avoid.

While this is undoubtedly true, perhaps the bigger risk to Apple is that without maintaining their traditionally tight control over the hardware/software integration, the Mac OS X user experience would be likely to suffer, and thus so would Apple's reputation for quality.

What would piss Apple off even more in such a scenario would be when software vendors were slow to adopt new hardware characteristics specific to Apple models simply because those features were unavailable in the clone market.

So it's not necessarily so much about a loss of revenue for Apple (which they could, after all, potentially make up for with some appropriate licensing scheme) as it is about a loss of control, which is, after all, something Steve Jobs obviously values very highly.

Re:Maybe not exactly... (1)

adzoox (615327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007964)

It's all about quality and the support that goes with lack of quality components and tight engineering.

The /. posts suggests pricing competition - it's not even a factor.

Re:Maybe not exactly... (2)

master_p (608214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008109)

While this is undoubtedly true, perhaps the bigger risk to Apple is that without maintaining their traditionally tight control over the hardware/software integration, the Mac OS X user experience would be likely to suffer, and thus so would Apple's reputation for quality.

I do not agree that the user experience will suffer. First of all, if OS X APIs are sane, then it would be easy to write new drivers for it. Secondly, Apple could run an 'Apple approved' campaign so as that people know which x86 hardware is good for Mac OS. That will also help screen out inferior Windows-based products written by small companies that simply want to make a buck or two by riding the Windows train.

Predictions (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007974)

I might as well get in on the tech punditry game and make some wild predictions (then feel smug is they happen to be true).

Clearly Apple want peoplke to install dodgy copies of this on generic PCs but they don't want to admit it. All the geeks in the world will get hold of a pirate copy of OSX, and the appropriate hacks to install it on a generic PC. Suddenly, OSX is a much more mainstream OS, and people see Apples as a viable alternative. A lot of people - especially home users - would buy apples but want the same as everyone else. If OSX is common then it becomes a truly viable alternative.

However, apple knows this is risky as an explicit strategy. MS would do aything is can think of to stop them, the shareholders may object, and it might actually not happen. However, tyhis way Apple will reap the rewards whichever happens either because they hold on to their hardware markup, or because they dratically increase software sales.

I love the installation time (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007977)

Installation from a bootable DVD takes about two hours, and the operating system requires 5.9GB of hard disk space.

Compared to a normal installation which takes less than 40 minutes and what, about 3 gigs of space?

Considering this article, I would also be very interested in what they think of the DNF physics engine performance.

Hey ZDNet... (5, Interesting)

Chickenofbristol55 (884806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007978)

...You know it's illegal to install Mac osX on non-mac hardware, so why are you doing it!

When I was looking up tutorials online for this, I always found "It is completely illegal to install Mac os X on any old x86 machine, take no responcibility for your actions"

Then obviously they installed it on their computers (and probably downloaded the dvd img from bittorrent), and they act like they never did it. I understand they are trying to protect themselves by giving you a warning, but they have photographic proof that they did something that they shouldn't have. Seems silly to me.

Programming Complexity in Supporting All Hardware. (0)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007983)

Jobs and the Apple crew know how hard it would be to design an OS so it "Fits All". It literally becomes impossible to 'check everything' due to the limits to testing. The cost and complexity of designing the whole OS due to all the large numbers of Intel box hardware options would simply result in an almost infinite increase in the chances for glitches that would bring down the OS and that sounds a lot like... the 'Other' operating system I use when I must use it because I have no other choice. Bo

Not so good of a review (1)

mmzplanet (904697) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007984)

How can they benchmark the OS using a program requiring the use of Rosetta. If you want to compare you should use an app that is already native to x86. If you do, don't bother putting out data on it. My 4-year old could have told you that the PowerPC iTunes running through Rosetta would have been slower.

The rest of the review felt incomplete and lacked any sort of useful information. Not much of a review as far as a slashdot reader would be concerned.

How long can Apple keep their business model? (-1, Redundant)

master_p (608214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007995)

as the margins on Apple-branded computers are much higher than is usual for standard x86 PCs

That's one of the reasons OS X will be pirated a lot. Apple's business model is flawed at its basis: they sell design and pretty cases very expensively, while the internals are very cheap and can be found in any other PC. Apple should understand that most people want OS X for the operating system's technical superiority, not the beautifulness of Apple's hardware.

Apple wants to lure consumers into buying their full products (software + hardware), but nowadays the real value is in software, not in hardware. Hardware comes and goes, and in the near future the central computer of the 70s may come back (for example). But software is here to stay, and its value is that of many times the hardware. People want a stable and secure O/S to do their job on.

Ultimately Apple will have no other choice but to give up hardware and become a software company. Because that is what Apple is and what Apple was right from the start: a software company. the Mac OS was a marvellous operating system, a piece of software that could be run in IBM-compatible PCs if Apple wished so. The real value of Macs was the software. Imagine a Mac computer with MS-DOS, and you can see the horror...imagine a PC/XT with MacOS and you can see what a success it would be. After all, Microsoft made itself the giant it is today with Windows that copied the Mac software, not the Mac hardware.

Personally I think that if Apple released OS X for x86 and not for its computers only, Apple would take at least 50% of the desktop share, if not more. And the lack-of-drivers excuse can no longer hold, because there are not that many hardware vendors left around, and Macs already use the same peripherals as Intel PCs.

Not ONLY a bottomline decision (2, Interesting)

rfisher (6491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14007998)

I have to agree that, while protecting their hardware business is the most important reason for Apple to try to prevent the Mac OS from running on non-Apple hardware, ensuring a smooth customer experience is nearly as important a reason.

A large percentage of the trouble I've had with PCs while running Microsoft's OSes stem from Microsoft having only vague ideas of what my hardware might be.

Even moreso, probably 80% or more of the troubles I've had with PCs while running Linux stem from the developers having only vague ideas of what my hardware might be.

I'm perfectly happy with that situation under Linux, though. Linux is a power tool; a bread-box; &c. But my Macs are as close to appliances as I've seen a general purpose PC come. That's exactly what I want from my Macs for my wife, my children, & even myself.

Now, personally, I might rather see Apple take an approach that encouraged people to use Apple hardware but allowed those who knowingly choose a worse user experience to use any hardware. Make the installer say, "Hey, this ain't our hardware, so we're making no promises. Go buy our hardware if you want the best-of-breed user experience we've been working hard to give you."

Uh...great summary? (1)

Ibanez (37490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008004)

So the article is about testing and reviewing Mac OS X on the x86 processor? Why the hell is the summary about the reasons behind why Apple isn't allowing it on any computer other than an Apple branded one? And not even full treatment of that...

Middle ground? (5, Interesting)

swb (14022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008008)

Is there middle ground in this?

The usual assumption is that Apple can't sell OS X x86 for generic x86 because they're a hardware company, and nobody will buy their hardware if they can buy x86.

I can think of several possible solutions. Right now Apple is making OS X x86 locked to their hardware. What if Apple was to license this locking technology to hardware vendors, allowing them to sell at a premium, a machine that could run X or Windows. This would allow them to collect part of the price.

The licensing agreement could also require that the licensing chip was only available to hi-tier machines priced at similar price points as Apple machines, as well as requiring certain hardware elements (ie, built-in BT, Firewire 800, USB2, display adapters, etc).

This would allow people interested in OS X but unwilling to buy an Apple machine to get into OS X, but still retain revenue from hardware sales and maintain the quality level associated with Apple hardware. Even if there were no restrictions on price points, the hardware licensing should make up for lost margin on Apple hardware.

Slashdotting ZDnet?!? (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008028)

Pages currently show "planned downtime". Have we actually managed to bring down ZDnet? Color me impressed!

Re:Slashdotting ZDnet?!? (1)

QuatermassX (808146) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008060)

Blast, I only reached page two before that planned downtime (at 3.15pm on a Friday, yeah right) happened. I'm assuming that the editors at ZDnet reviewed their editorial policy and decided to pull the piece. Or the nice lawyers at One Infinite Loop sent them a friendly "Hallo" from the state of California.

Evidence Apple may be sucking up to Dell... (3, Informative)

Orrin Bloquy (898571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008038)

One of the less-touted aspects of the 10.4.3 update for both platforms was "enhanced compatibility with FAT16." Who the hell cares, you ask.

Better question: What still uses FAT16 specifically?

The Dell Restore partition you get when CTRL-F11-ing at startup.

Food for thought?

do the math, Apple (2, Interesting)

boxlight (928484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008049)

For every 1 million computers shipped each year 5% are Apple.

That's 50,000 Apple computers that Apple has to manufacture and ship. Let's say Apple profits $500 on each unit, that's $25 million.

Microsoft, meanwhile is making about $200 per each of the other 95%. That's 950,000 x $200 = $190 million just for software licenses -- no hardware manufacturing, no shipping.

If Apple licenses OS X to Dell, HP, and Sony to ship with clones, they have a realistic shot at 20% of the computer market in the short term.

That's 200,000 units times the $200 MS currently makes = $40 million.

So, Apple makes $40 licensing OS X instead of $25 million selling Macs per every 1 million units. That's a 160% increase in profits, and that's assuming clones completely canibalize Macs which is unlikely -- there's no reason why they couldn't still sell Macs anyway.

CONCLUSION: Apple WILL license OS X to Dell/HP/Sony. It's inevitable.

boxlight

Price margin not the only issue (1)

autophile (640621) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008056)

This would put enormous pressure on the price of Apple's own computers -- something the company is naturally keen to avoid.

This is one case where I would gladly pay more for a box, because the hardware has been certified by Apple. I'm sure Apple is concerned that their O/S work correctly, rather than hope that it will run on any old shitbox.

--Rob

The link... (1)

fitchmicah (920679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008133)

The link won't open for me anymore... has ZDNet been hindered from being slashdotted? This is Slashdot's way of taking out the other tech news sources... pwn3d n00bs!!!!!

Tablet? (2, Interesting)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 8 years ago | (#14008135)

Has anyone tried it on a Tecra M4 [toshibadirect.com] Tablet convertible? I wonder if inkwell would work with the display. That would be schweeeeet!
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