Is Apple's decision to switch a good move?

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Is Apple's decision to switch to Intel a good move?

Yes
10
67%
No
1
7%
Uncertain
4
27%
 
Total votes: 15
Mac Emu
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Is Apple's decision to switch a good move?

Post by Mac Emu »

Just wondering what everyone here thinks about the subject.

I'm thinking it's good as Intel usually produces faster chips (then IBM Mac), so future Mac OSes can only get better and faster. It's also promising for possibly running multiple operating systems fast on either a Macintel or a PC via virtualization.

But that's not taking into account feelings about Apple eventually dropping all PPC support in the future (2007?) and how developers will react. Luckily I haven't bought any recent Macintosh PPC hardware (or studied PPC assembly language programming). :wink:

Anyone note how Apple, Intel and IBM stocks did the day\day after Apple's announcement?
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Post by Marc »

I voted uncertain. There are a lot of senarios I think could occur and not all of them are pleasant for Mac users, or the community.

The time from now until the first Intel mac will be a difficult time for Apple. The hardware sales will undoubtably fall back, as few users will want to support a platform whose makers show little faith in it (even if we get the promises of support, it will be dropped a lot faster than it should be due to the CPU change). This may be why Apple done what we never thought it would do for the first two quarters of this year - release a low cost, mass market machine (the mini) to build a bit of extra profit in the first half of the year to offset a reduction in revenue in the second.

The best case senario for Apple, Microsoft and those who love the platform is that Apple succeed in making the Mac a closed x86 platform so that the OS can only successfully boot on their hardware. In this case we see not much a change from the sitauation just now. We have a Mac platform completely detatched from the 'PC', only the CPU is changing.

Incidently, even tho the OS will support PPC in near future versions, how an we be sure that all apps will be 'fat' or 'universal' as promised? I am not sure about how Linux works, but I am pretty sure that not all Linux apps work on x86 and PPC Linux. Will we see the same kind of discrepancies here? Will PPC mac users quickly become second class users since companies will not feel it worth their while - eentually - to support two platforms?

Someone also raised the OS/2 point. If a very good windows virtual machine is made for the mac, perhaps some companies may cease Mac develeopment and advise users to use the windows version from within the vM, as many done with OS/2.

Another senario is the Mac OS being hacked to boot on any Whitebox. Bad news for Apple, as although they would sell lots of copies of the MacOS, potential Mac users, whose numbers have recently increased if all accounts are to be believed, may just buy the OS to work on their existing hardware. Bad news for Microsoft as they have competition in the PC OS market. Bad news (potentially) for end user as M$ may cease development of Office for Mac, and there will be a plethora of x86 add ins and devices without MacOS drivers.

In this senario, the best case is Apple's OS leading to a real duality in PC OS market. Worst case, Apple becomes another Be or NeXT (which would be ironic, given the 'new' Apple's roots).

It is a difficult time for Apple, in my view
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Post by Marc »

Btw, the day of the announcement Apple and Intel's share prices were slightly down.
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Trombone Bob
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Post by Trombone Bob »

I also voted uncertain. While running on x86 will help with, pardon the pun, compairing "apples to apples" If IBM had kept up with Apples supplies and goten the G5 into a Powerbook Apple would have stayed with the PowerPC design. I also think that if Apple was ever going to transition to x86 then now is the perfect time with the iPod able to keep the company going with its strong sales. I think that an x86 mac would be fun to use but I was about to get a G5 to replace my G4 and now I will wait until I see the x86 mac.
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Post by MWhite »

I am working more on Windows and have only one little outdated Mac. But becuse I am working on graphic & multimedia I know very well that solutions for graphic & multimedia on Mac are always step ahead from PC solutions. So I would gladly invest in X86 based Mac, because I know it will be best quality hardware, very good OS, it will be resonable priced. And because of X86 processor I can sooner or later run Windows in some kind of emulation. And this Windows will run at almost full speed. So I can change roles from PC working machine and my old Mac as testing machine to X86 Mac as primary working machine and Windows emulation for testing. I forgot to tell that I am coming from one of the European countries where present Macs are 25% - 50% more expensive as comparative PC-s. I hope this will change in future.
Going to X86 is smart move to Apple. You can see other big IT companies moving to INTEL solutions. If you just for example look on SGI. Their former Visualization Systems based on ONYX computers with MIPS processor are now moving to systems with INTEL ITANIUM processors.
And of course Jobs is clever person. He knows what to do!
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Post by CFran2 »

i just read some article that said that Apple wants Pentium D's because it has some things that control the copyrights....
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Post by Marc »

Yep, they have built in DRM apparantly
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Post by CFran2 »

Marc wrote:Yep, they have built in DRM apparantly
sucks, thats a reason for not buying a x86 mac. by the way, whar will mac hardware will be like now? i mean, they still gonna have Apple motherboards and only the design of the motherboard and the socket will change right?
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Post by Havin_it »

I didn't vote, as the question doesn't specify good or bad for whom.

For Apple: given how many people are hot for multi-OS systems as a practical measure these days, it could be very good for them. There will soon be the option to have a high-performance machine that multi-boots OS X and any number of traditional x86 OSes. The catch is, to do this legally and with the benefit of support for all these OSes, you'll need to buy Apple hardware. Ka-CHING!

For developers: good-ish. They might not like the idea of a hardware lock-in with the increasingly mercurial Mr Jobs, but since the hardware is expected to be quite generic, they'll get over it. Multi-booting and enjoying native speed rather than virtualisation speed=good. Not having to buy 2 PCs=good.

For OS hobbyists: good. They can hack their whiteboxxen to run OSX and not even need to shell out for new Mac hardware (I'm quite certain this will happen. No support and dubious legality, but did that bother them before?

For PearPC: Mostly bad. Let's be honest, OS X was what brought most members to this community. If the project remains true to itself and continues working on PowerPC emulation (and after such achievement anything else would be bad taste), that community will shrink dramatically. Then again, there won't be another CherryOS debacle and they can work in peace!

For Microsoft: now this one is what really interests me. They were right there on the podium with Steve, but have they thought this through? Given the points I raised above, I idly speculate, standalone Windows license sales=up but OEM sales=dowwwwwwn. You have to wonder whether, if this does happen, Microsoft will counter-attack with their own hardware lock-in (or rather lock-out) so you *can't* run Windows on a MacIntel. The whitebox manufacturers would also be losing sales to Apple, so all sorts of Macchiavellian pacts could surface.

For Intel: Hella good. Their bases are pretty much covered whatever happens. They could end up being a bigger monopolist than even Microsoft.

Did I leave anyone out?
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Post by Marc »

Havin_it wrote:For Microsoft: now this one is what really interests me. They were right there on the podium with Steve, but have they thought this through? Given the points I raised above, I idly speculate, standalone Windows license sales=up but OEM sales=dowwwwwwn. You have to wonder whether, if this does happen, Microsoft will counter-attack with their own hardware lock-in (or rather lock-out) so you *can't* run Windows on a MacIntel. The whitebox manufacturers would also be losing sales to Apple, so all sorts of Macchiavellian pacts could surface.
Microsoft must be convinced that Apple has the necessary expertise to stop hackers running Windows on their Whiteboxes. I imagine this is one of the first points MS raised when Apple courted them about the business plan. Apple needs MS to develop Office for the Mac for many people to perceive it as a viable platform, while Microsoft does NOT need the competition of an OS widely regarded as being superior to their own operating in their arena. If MacOS became widely used on non Mac x86 boxes, you can be sure that Microsoft would throw their weight around about the development of Office for MacOS and make things very difficult for Apple.

Incedently, I don't think MS would lock Windows out from being able to run on MacIntel. If you buy a Mac and install Windows, it benefits both Apple and Microsoft, so, they will not go out of their way to prevent it. In fact, Apple may promote (not to a great extent as promoting Windows over MacOS would make them look bad, but tell people that it is possible to keep Windows when you switch) this ability to coax switchers.

This whole project's success (in terms of for Apple, Microsoft, and the Mac evangelist) hinges on whether Apple and any other partner (maybe Intel with the DRM in the CPU) can tighly control which hardware the OS will run on.

Frankly, until I see a good solution to the problem, I don't know if they can since hackers are a clever bunch, and the interest in PearPC suggests that there is sufficient interest in running MacOS on standard x86 hardware.
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Post by CFran2 »

> There will soon be the option to have a high-performance machine that multi-boots OS X and any number of traditional x86 OSes

um... are you sure that they'll be able to run any x86 OS??? i wouldnt bet much on it, but maybe u got info i aint got. the good thing anyways is that such things as Virtual PC shouldnt have to emulate CPU no more.

> For PearPC: Mostly bad. Let's be honest, OS X was what brought most members to this community. If the project remains true to itself and continues working on PowerPC emulation (and after such achievement anything else would be bad taste), that community will shrink dramatically. Then again, there won't be another CherryOS debacle and they can work in peace!

hold on hold on, what you think, even when Mac OS X could run on x86, PearPC will still be needed, because it aint cuz Mac OS X can run on x86 that it could run on PC without anything like PearPC, its indeed gonna be a good thing for PearPC since it could run near native speed, in other words at speeds never considered possible before.
Havin_it
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Post by Havin_it »

Marc wrote:Microsoft must be convinced that Apple has the necessary expertise to stop hackers running Windows on their Whiteboxes.
You meant Mac OS there, right?
Marc wrote:Incedently, I don't think MS would lock Windows out from being able to run on MacIntel. If you buy a Mac and install Windows, it benefits both Apple and Microsoft, so, they will not go out of their way to prevent it.
I'll go with you on this one. I guess my speculative situation of MS getting killed in OEM sales is pretty far-fetched, in hindsight, and either way they're still flogging a copy of Windows (for more money as a standalone). :oops:
CFran2 wrote:hold on hold on, what you think, even when Mac OS X could run on x86, PearPC will still be needed, because it aint cuz Mac OS X can run on x86 that it could run on PC without anything like PearPC, its indeed gonna be a good thing for PearPC since it could run near native speed, in other words at speeds never considered possible before.
Let's be clear about what PearPC actually is. It is an emulator of the PowerPC architecture. That is what the developers set out to create, and I don't know about the others, but I'm fairly certain at least Daniel Foesch (Altivec developer) will keep doing just that. It is not about running OS X - that was just the happy by-product of the larger scheme. Furthermore, project solely to run OS X on whiteboxen would probably never be tolerated by Sourceforge or anyone else, since the first thing Apple said was "Oh no, you don't."
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Post by Marc »

Yes, I meant MacOs. I was typing in a hurry, sorry! :oops:
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Post by CFran2 »

is it a sure thing that those x86 Macs will run Windows?? does it also mean that the bios will look like PC's at start? (that'd surprise me a bit)
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Post by Marc »

Someone from Apple said they wouldn't stop people trying to boot Windows on the Macintosh. I don't know if this would mean that the ability to boot Windows would automatically mean that it was a standard PC BIOS (see my posts in the Apple and Intel thread for my opinions and some possible senarios). I think they would be pretty dumb if they went down that road.
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Post by CFran2 »

Marc wrote:Someone from Apple said they wouldn't stop people trying to boot Windows on the Macintosh. I don't know if this would mean that the ability to boot Windows would automatically mean that it was a standard PC BIOS (see my posts in the Apple and Intel thread for my opinions and some possible senarios). I think they would be pretty dumb if they went down that road.
yeah, i think it'd be dumb if it acted just like a PC cuz then that wouldn't be a Mac no more. I guess that in spite of the x86 CPU they gonna try to make it still be as Mac-ish as possible, however i wonder how it would work to put windows on it. anyways, how seducin is that, a $466 Mac Mini computer that can run natively both Mac OS X and Windows and any other x86 OS.

Makes me think, it's gonna be a slow ass death for such things as PowerPC distros of linux. oh after all, there still is a 68K distro being developped...
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Post by Havin_it »

Yeah ... sad really. I'd heard great things of YellowDogLinux...

I wonder if anyone would have the audacity to make PPC whiteboxen now, with Linux preinstalled? There aren't many corporate Linuxes around for PPC, only one I can think of is Mandrake...
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Post by PPC_Digger »

Marc wrote:Someone from Apple said they wouldn't stop people trying to boot Windows on the Macintosh. I don't know if this would mean that the ability to boot Windows would automatically mean that it was a standard PC BIOS (see my posts in the Apple and Intel thread for my opinions and some possible senarios). I think they would be pretty dumb if they went down that road.
I bet it'll be something completely different which simply implement's the PC BIOS API. That's not so hard to do these days (since the specification is widely available. We are no longer in the 80s). And all the support would only have to be 16-bit, since everything else is done by the OS with specialized drivers.
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Post by CFran2 »

about dual booting, found out this site http://www.twinmac.com/
Havin_it
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Post by Havin_it »

CFran2 wrote:about dual booting, found out this site http://www.twinmac.com/
Nice find, they haven't hung about have they? That'll be one to watch.
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