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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:22 pm 
I want to see Apple port the mac OS to the pc rather than to rely on a PPC emulator. I understand that it would be costly to support two platforms. I understand that it would cost a great deal to get it started. I say this though - With Microsoft holding a 90%+ market share, why not move in on that? Apple wants to increase their market share. Apple is a big time corporation. Big time corporations usually think in the long term. They think long term investment. I understand it would require a substantial investment to get it up and running. However the end result would be quite worth it.

Many people would opt for the Mac OS including the average consumer. Something has always been more attractive about the Mac OS. Apple is great with marketing and could really market the hell out of this. Their OS is so much more stable than XP. I rather hate working in XP with Photoshop on a client's project for three hours and suddenly having the program completely disappear with no traces of it in the task manager. Quite irritating. There are many things Windows users complain about that I have yet to hear a Mac OS user complain about.

The PC user would love to have an alternative. The average user knows nothing of linux and if they do, their scared of it. It sounds too advanced to them. They want an alternative to Windows but not Linux distros. The Mac OS, however, would highly appeal to the mainstream user.

I myself don't own a Mac. The cost of a high end one is too high for me to adopt one. I am quite cheap and I love being able to build my own nice pc rig for under $1200. That gets me a pretty nice pc. Apple's computers are quite expensive however. I long for the Mac OS but not for the G5 computer.

I understand that Apple sees this as a highly ambitous thing. I say that the end result would be quite worth it. They'll make all their money back. I have heard that Apple wanted to do this before. Can someone touch on that and why they pulled out? I know that Microsoft is actively marketing Linux as a bad thing. No one should listen to that. The average person would though. No one would listen to Microsoft saying that the Mac OS pc version is a bad thing. A pc Mac OS would be a godsend.

Who knows? I probably don't know what the hell I am talking about. Feel free to put me in my place.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:47 pm 
Steve Job's pride is probably the largest barrier between OSX and the X86. He's a control freak, and has publicly stated he wants full control of the "user experience" from hardware to software. It's in his head that an X86 port of OSX would tarnish the Apple image... An image he feels he's working hard to restore after the short lived PPC clones of the 90's.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 9:22 pm 
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Maybe they don't care about stuff like that. Maybe they just realize that the real bucks are to be found in selling expensive toys to yuppies.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 5:05 am 
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Whenever this topic comes up, people always say "Apple isn't stupid enough to do this. They make their money by selling HARDWARE!!!".

Yes, and when they start selling an x86 OS, they will make their money by selling SOFTWARE.

I don't understand the argument. If a magical genie/wizard/gay unicorn appeared before me and gave me a ton of gold bars to sell, I wouldn't say, "I can't sell gold bars! I make money by working in a grocery store!!!!"".


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 7:43 am 
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A lot of people download gold bars illegally. Apple has too much tied up into their proprietary hardware to strech themselves out to support tens of thousands of x86 periperals, chipsets, etc. Plus all 3rd party software companies would have to once again port their software over to OSx86. That's too close to x86 Linux for Microsoft to support with a new Office version (sarcasm).

Apple may go PC someday, but it won't be for many years IMO.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 1:36 am 
A good portion of the reason Mac OS is more stable is due to the fact that Apple does support a very small portion of hardware. An x86 port of the Mac OS would end this advantage of the Mac OS as third party hardware builders build subpar hardware. I always believed that a good portion of Windows stability issues are caused by so-so quality standards of pc hardware. Linux is more stable due to a limited list of supported hardware. Mac is more stable because they know every piece of hardware before it is sold. The huge undertaking of developing a million Mac OS X-x86 hardware drivers would be nearly impossible.

However, the option of dumping the slow Motorolla chips for an AMD proccessor with a special proprietary build of some sort would be possible. Imagine, Apple announces a new development strategy. Apple through a joint effort with AMD is developing a new version of the AMD64 proccessor supported and licensed to exclusive use by Apple. Apple would reap a faster, proprietary and cheaper proccessor. Then Apple would invite hardware vendors to develope and license extended hardware, such as video cards, soundcards and such to the new architecture. Developement would be simply a recoding of hardware. And then Apple can pick and choose who's Hardware they would support and license. Not to mention some hardware developers already have cross-platform versions. A complete redevelopement is not needed. And due to the limited licensed proccessor, no one can build a mail order parts computer and run MAC OSX-x86 on it. Steve would have his control while reducing cost and increasing speed.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 3:21 am 
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Lanthos wrote:
A good portion of the reason Mac OS is more stable is due to the fact that Apple does support a very small portion of hardware. An x86 port of the Mac OS would end this advantage of the Mac OS as third party hardware builders build subpar hardware. I always believed that a good portion of Windows stability issues are caused by so-so quality standards of pc hardware. Linux is more stable due to a limited list of supported hardware. Mac is more stable because they know every piece of hardware before it is sold. The huge undertaking of developing a million Mac OS X-x86 hardware drivers would be nearly impossible.

However, the option of dumping the slow Motorolla chips for an AMD proccessor with a special proprietary build of some sort would be possible. Imagine, Apple announces a new development strategy. Apple through a joint effort with AMD is developing a new version of the AMD64 proccessor supported and licensed to exclusive use by Apple. Apple would reap a faster, proprietary and cheaper proccessor. Then Apple would invite hardware vendors to develope and license extended hardware, such as video cards, soundcards and such to the new architecture. Developement would be simply a recoding of hardware. And then Apple can pick and choose who's Hardware they would support and license. Not to mention some hardware developers already have cross-platform versions. A complete redevelopement is not needed. And due to the limited licensed proccessor, no one can build a mail order parts computer and run MAC OSX-x86 on it. Steve would have his control while reducing cost and increasing speed.


Well, I've been using FreeBSD and OpenBSD on a number of PCs with no problems...and guess what OSX is? Whoops, BSD.

So, recompiling drivers to work with Darwin won't be an issue. In fact, it would be to Apple's benefit to make an IA32 version of OSX, because there is already a lot of drivers, software and such availiable. Remember that most of the Linux codebase is also based loosely off of BSD, so porting drivers is a snap, also. With ALSA for sound, dri for Video (as well as the plethora of specialized drivers) and the multitude of Network Card drivers, it would be a cinch to get OSX to work on IA32 machines. Keep in mind my main PC, a Linux Workstation, has also been running 24/7 since last August, with no crashes whatsoever. So, in spite of the myriad of PC configurations, BSD and Linux do manage to be stable.

Also, keep in mind that developing a proprietary processor, even basing it off of another core, is VERY expensive. That's why Apple's components are so pricy. They just simply cannot be cheap, because there is a sole source of them. That would negate your argument. It would merely be a different supplier, different from IBM, the ones that make the POWER series of CPUs.

Also, while the AMD64 does well against the G5 in some areas, it does lag in others. I think Apple is fine where it is with proprietary hardware (the way you described simply won't work because the way the market is: the idea is conjoured up, then it is innovated on, not vice-versa).

I'm gonna toss my vote into the "Make an IA32/64 version of OSX." Because, I think sometimes "Thinking Different" may be a matter of Thinking Ahead. Linux is murdering Apple's market share, as is Windows. So perhaps it's time for apple to play a different tune...an IA32/64 one.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 2:04 am 
mmm i assume that youve all known of marklar, the supposedly maintained build of os x for the pc that theyy keep hidden away in the depths of apple's dungeons?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:50 am 
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It's a legend. There's too much assembler code in OS X to cross-compile the OS to IA32 or x86-64. Not to mention Apple would not sit on it for years if they put all that effort into a port. Rather, they would sell it.

Oh, and to correct my above post, IA64 is a trainwreck. My personal interest is in x86-64. That's the good architecture developed by AMD.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:46 pm 
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phirkel wrote:
It's a legend. There's too much assembler code in OS X to cross-compile the OS to IA32 or x86-64. Not to mention Apple would not sit on it for years if they put all that effort into a port. Rather, they would sell it.


They didn't sell Rhapsody....also Star Trek wasn't sold to the public.

You never, ever know what the good boffins at Apple are doing. I do however, think that Maklar or whatever it was supposed to be called is a myth/


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:46 pm 
There is a way apple could still control to some degree over the hardware quality, while moving to an x86 chipset:
1. They can write their own BIOS to be used in the x86 chipset. This will make Windows unrunnable without some vmware-like software, while drastically lowering the price of the hardware. Apple will then license the BIOS software only to hardware companies that stand-up to apple's standarts and compatibility.
2. Apple will force, as part of their contract with x86-computers companies, all x86 "Mac" ot include PowerPC PCI card inorder to make PowerMac users' move to x86-based computers more easy.

This way will gaurantee good-quality x86 machines, while lowering the price of a MacOS computers and making them much more affordable.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2004 12:28 am 
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... while lowering the price of a MacOS computers and making them much more affordable.

Ah, that goes against Apple's mission statement. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2004 1:19 am 
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2. Apple will force, as part of their contract with x86-computers companies, all x86 "Mac" ot include PowerPC PCI card inorder to make PowerMac users' move to x86-based computers more easy.

So the computer would have an x86 CPU and a PPC.....would this not negate any savings on cheaper hardware, really?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:00 am 
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Marc wrote:
2. Apple will force, as part of their contract with x86-computers companies, all x86 "Mac" ot include PowerPC PCI card inorder to make PowerMac users' move to x86-based computers more easy.

So the computer would have an x86 CPU and a PPC.....would this not negate any savings on cheaper hardware, really?


But wouldnt the cost of a PowerPC expansion board be more expensive?

Btw, are you the OldOs Marc?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2004 5:34 pm 
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2. Apple will force, as part of their contract with x86-computers companies, all x86 "Mac" ot include PowerPC PCI card inorder to make PowerMac users' move to x86-based computers more easy.


Why would apple do such a thing if they made an x86 port? Just toss on a PPC emulator, and start convincing developers to ship two binaries.

phirkel wrote:
There's too much assembler code in OS X to cross-compile the OS to IA32 or x86-64.


For every asm optimized branch, you can bet there's also a C branch it was modeled from.

The ONLY thing getting in the way of an x86 port is Steve Job's pride -- To him, it's analogous to putting a Jaguar engine in a Buick.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 8:50 pm 
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Seems to me Apple has a world of reasons not to ship an x86 port, at least, not right away.

1) Apple has virtually no worry about piracy. Sure, people can download the latest MacOS from the p2p program of their choice, but they can't run it without Apple hardware. Since Apple is the only vendor of Apple hardware, no Apple computer ships without MacOS. Therefore, everyone with an mac has paid for at least one MacOS license.

Compare that to x86 where people build whitebox machines and install whatever the Windows catch of the day is online, without paying a dime to Microsoft. (Linux aside, naturally).

Of course, there are people who got machines with Jaguar and don't want to pay for Panther, but at least Apple was paid for Jaguar rather than nothing at all. Hence, it's not as much of a problem for Apple, since they control the supply of hardware, they also control the software installed on that hardware. With an x86 release of OSX, they would suffer Microsoft syndrome, and piracy would run rampant among the whiteboxes of the world, much like with Windows XP.

2) Hardware support. Part of the reason people complain about Windows is it's so universal, it sacrifices stability and performance for compatibility. Compare that to a system like Linux or BSD, which have decent compatibility, but no "One Size Fits All" solution. It's a highly customized environment for the box its on, right at the kernel level. The thing is, Linux is open source, and has a community backing it for support, to aid in any random hardware compatibility problems which may come up. If Apple were to enter into the market, much of the responsibility for hardware would fall on them if they wanted to make a splash on the market. Microsoft provides basic drivers for almost all hardware in the system, while manufacturers come up with the enhanced drivers necessary to support all features. It would be a huge burden on Apple to have to test drivers from hundreds of manufacturers to ensure it won't break anything in the O/S.

True, Apple's underlying Darwin is a *BSD flavor, but I've worked with linux for a long while, and it's still much more of a pain to install drivers there than to simply plug a device into a Windows box and click "automatically find drivers". Keep in mind the target audience should OSX go x86- mainstream PC users who have enough trouble installing printer drivers on Windows, nevermind having to compile video support into the kernel.

3) Competition. As crumby as it sounds, and as obvious as this may be, OSX would compete directly (emphasis on directly) with Microsoft Windows. Right now, there is a subtle barrier between Microsoft and Apple- the hardware line. The x86 side of the fence is dominated by Microsoft, with linux encroaching slowly from the back. The PPC side is dominated by Apple. Should Apple cross the line, you can bet all odds Microsoft will do everything in it's financial and legal power to squash it, whether ethically or otherwise. At this point, with Apple slowly gaining popularity, a fight with an 800lb gorilla would completely drain them to the dregs, which I would wouldn't want to see. Microsoft would fight tooth and nail to hang on to their monopoly on x86 hardware, and hold a tighter leash on their coward OEMs. At this point, anyone who knows a thing or two about computing will recognize OSX as a far superior platform (as per stability, usability, etc) to Windows, however, a) stability might be threatened by expanding compatibility in the kernel, and b) mainstream PC buyers go to major OEMs (Dell, Gateway, Compaq), who, under the influence of Microsoft, and most likely wouldn't bundle or support OSX.

Of course, competition could be a good thing, but given Microsoft's history of brushings with direct competitors (remember BeOS anyone?), and it's subsurface attacks against Open Source, I'd hate to see one of the few corporations I respect (Apple) fall to the merciless hammer of a greedy monopoly.

4) Compatibility. Any applications written for OSX on Mac would have to be rewritten/compiled for x86. Just because a common O/S exists, doesn't mean the underlying hardware is compatible. Linux is a perfect example. Linux runs on virtually all hardware out there. However, there are different binaries for x86, PPC, SPARC, etc. etc. None of which are compatible with each other. It would be futile and tedius for major software producers to recompile binaries to run on yet another platform and support it, especially given the wide range of processors (AMD, Intel, Cyrix/Via), all of which have subtle differences in how they handle x86 compatible code.

This may not be the biggest issue, at least, not on Apple's plate directly, but software makers already have to deal with OSX on PPC, Win32, some even do Linux, and to add another platform means adding more developers, spending more time testing, and providing more support.


I can probably think of a few more reasons, but this post is too long as it is, and I hope it makes sense. I'll also say, if Apple does release OSX-x86, I'd be the first in line to get it. However, at this point, from a corporate and logical standpoint, it doesn't make too much sense for them. Again, I say "at this point" because in a year or two, it may make sense. If Microsoft is issued an injunction or forced to downsize, or otherwise looses a grip on the x86 market, I'd hope Apple will be there to pick up the slack and nudge into the market. Until then, I wait patiently.


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 3:53 pm 
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Agree with ShadowFox especially about MS.

Still It'd really be sooooooo great to see Mac OS native on PC !!!
But Apple would probably lose ther overpriced hardware market.


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 6:19 pm 
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There are plenty of reason for it I'm sure, and none of us are going to know the definitive answer to the question. Probably most of the reasons cited are good ones from Apple's point of view, and if there is no sign of an x86 build coming, then I'm sure it isn't going to appear soon.

What interests me most is the fact that MS have consistently followed Apple in terms of GUI design. Look at Windows XP - what is that if not a copy of OS X without any sense of taste? Apple blows away MS in terms of designing user interfaces, and if that was the only consideration I'm sure OS X would outsell Windows XP if it was in direct competition.

This is all academic however, and only time will tell if we are ever going to get x86 Mac OS.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 11:02 pm 
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if apple did that they would take over the world i dont think steve could handle all that power i know bill cant

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