Apple going Intel: The beginning or the beginning of the end?
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acs236

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Apple is making the switch to Intel processors. All the software has to be rewritten. No cross-compatability other than through emulators.
 
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AlanY

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Quote:

Originally Posted by acs236
No cross-compatability other than through emulators.


That's true, but it's an overly bleak assessment. They're using Transitive Technologies' dynamic code conversion tool, which is much more than an emulator, and it should let applications run at near native speeds, even if they haven't yet been recompiled for Intel. It's not magic technology -- I used to run Intel apps on a DEC Alpha machine using their Fx32 technology (essentially the same thing as what Transitive is providing) and they did run at effectively native speeds.

For most applications, Intel native versions are just an easy recompile away. Code doesn't have to be "rewritten" unless it's low-level, mostly AltiVec stuff, and most AltiVec programmers use the C-style abstraction layer anyway.
 
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MrSlacker

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well we can make conclusions when more info about this shows up.
 
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perplex

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Apple are supposed to have OS X running on x86 for a while now, so they must have been preparing for a while
 
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lini

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Well, so far I'm not too fascinated - of course, that switch will enable Apple to offer cheaper hardware. And they generally have a lot more options, 'cause there are a lot more available solutions on the x86-platform. Teaming up with Intel also makes perfect sense - there are a lot of potential advantages for a partner of what has become the most important company for computer hardware standards. Still, as hinted to above, if they'd ever run into difficulties with say Pentium 4 for example, they could easily switch to AMD Athlon 64 on the x86-platform.

However, it would even make more sense to me as part of a bigger plan: finally producing Mac OS X for standard x86-PCs. If Apple does a good job(s), then this could lead to an incredible boost for both Apple's hard- and software. And just think of it: Those would be interesting times, Apple competing with MS on the x86-platform - both always undermined by Linux & Co.!
Yes, I think, as soon as we will see Mac OS X for standard PCs, then the new era for Apple will really be here.

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini
 
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Apparently they've had every version of OS X for the last 5 years complied for x86. I'm just curious about whether or not it will run on pc hardware or not. I guess the only question really would be driver support. Honestly, I'd buy myself a copy of OS X if I could run it on my media server. I doubt that will happen though.
 
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IstariAsuka

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Apple has stated that they will not allow OSX to be installed on non-Mac branded computers. So to get OSX you'll still have to actually buy a MAC, you won't just be able to toss into into any old computer.

Of course, how long until someone circumvents this... I'm guessing not very long.


Anyways, this is the make-or-break time for Apple, I think. Screw up here and they piss off a ton of current Mac users, and just generally flop. They'll fall even more behind in performance than they currently are, look bad, and generally lose market share. If they manage to pull it off: manage to keep everything about OSX as good or better than on their PPC-macs, make sure the transcoding is up-to-snuff enough to be able to run PPC-OSX programs seamlessly, and reduce the price significantly, then they'll probably thrive. The time is ripe for a less niche Mac, especially with the iPod popularity, which simply won't last forever (probably only for another 2 years, tops).

I understand why they're limiting it to Macs, not just any old x86 computer, is probably so they have complete control over the devices, so that they can keep stability and "just working" to a maximum, just as the closed PPC system has allowed them to do. The danger is that they keep prices too high compared to other x86 computers, such as they've been doing for quite some time now. That has only held up because A) It was the only way to get OSX, and B) Because Apple maintained this myth, which so many Macsters believed, that they were getting a computer that could run everything 200-300% faster than the very best Intel or AMD machines, which Apple has just stated is NOT TRUE. With this move neither of these reasons will hold anymore, and people will expect a more price-competitive Mac, and will only buy the thing if it is. Apple must be willing to lower the prices on their machines, even the higher end G5 equivalents. I think realize this too, seeing how they just released the Mac Mini.
 
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gsferrari

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I think the immediate effect will be a drop in Apple's market value AND a drop in price of all current Apple hardware.

Time to buy a gorgeous powerbook


gs
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by gsferrari
Time to buy a gorgeous powerbook



have been eyeing those beauties for a while
 
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AlanY

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Quote:

Originally Posted by IstariAsuka
Apple has stated that they will not allow OSX to be installed on non-Mac branded computers. So to get OSX you'll still have to actually buy a MAC, you won't just be able to toss into into any old computer.


Where have they stated this? As far as I know, they haven't made clear whether or not they'll be releasing a version of OS X for ordinary, non-Mac computers. It was rumored that the Intel Macs would have Apple's special OpenFirmware BIOS, but in their new Intel porting guide at developer.apple.com, it says that the Intel Macs won't have OpenFirmware, just the standard PC BIOS. It sounds to me like they're keeping their options open about the OS X on non-Macs issue.

Edit: It looks like you're right. Apple's VP of Marketing, Schiller, said that there won't be OS X on non-Macs. Interestingly, he also said that while Apple won't support Windows on the Macs it sells, Apple won't be doing anything to stop you from running Windows. I suppose this suggests that a dual-boot scenario on Apple-branded machines might be straightforward to set up. Doesn't seem like a great move to me, since it could reduce the incentive for developers to create Mac-only apps.
 
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Intel has been barely keeping up with its competitor it seems as of late, but with the extra money boost they'll get from Apple, I think it'll accelerate things, and then in turn help Apple as well int he long run.
 
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das_bill

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does this mean games for apple??? Does this mean more open software??? probably not. We can hope though.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by das_bill
does this mean games for apple??? Does this mean more open software??? probably not. We can hope though.


No it won't, it just means lower production cost for apple. This is why I can't stand them as a company. They want to be hip and cool, but they're more closed than microsoft is. I just hope people follow Id and the Unreal team's lead and start producing games for linux. And hopefully ATI will get their act together and write decent X drivers.
 
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The future of computing will be dual processors running virtualisation - the ability to run two OSs natively on one chip. The advantage, for example, will be running all internet content through a Linux or Unix software partition to isolate the main OS from the internet via a firewall. Or let's say that a company has a need to still run a W95 application; they can run it on one processor after assigning it a max of 512MB ram. The data can then be piped over to another processor, say a database search engine. In effect you will be able to run a terminal server on one proc and an application which is completely isolated on another proc.

When such a scenario appears what is Apple to do with their dual proc machines? They may have to run WinOS or Linux. Their problem is that their OS is made to use different device driver mappings (IRQs, DMAs and memory allocations); their strength is that OSX is built upon Unix, so there really is no reason why OSX can't run on a x86 machine.

Let's put it this way - I'm building a small Mac right now. The first thing I did was install FireFox, and the second thing was to install OpenOffice. IE for Mac? It's a joke. Safari? Are you kidding? Thunderbird will probably be replacing the Mac email client.

In the old days people bought Macs for Photoshop and WordPerfect. Now it's video editing and music conversion. The next phase will be multi-media centres which integrate to HDTV. The small iMac is a first step but it won't last long if MS beats them to the punch. Apple's problem is that there is only so much hardware certified to be used with their computers. Intels are mostly completely open, Linux drivers are problematic. But if Apple thinks that people will upgrade from 8.1 to 9.2 to 10.1 to Panter to Tiger to 'whatever' and are willing to pay over $100 every 6 months - they are out of their minds.

Yeah, I'd buy OSX for my Intel. But since I can't I'll use Ubuntu Linux, instead. I've already discovered enough holes in OSX to know that I prefer Linux. But for those who want a dumbed down Linux, OSX is perfect.
 
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perplex

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MD1032
Intel has been barely keeping up with its competitor it seems as of late, but with the extra money boost they'll get from Apple, I think it'll accelerate things, and then in turn help Apple as well int he long run.


haha that's funny
"the extra money boost they'll get from Apple" - at the moment Intel have Much more money than Apple. It's more about a long-term investment for Intel because with this deal Apple has the potential to increase their market share and this will increase demand from Intel to produce more for them. Apple have the better deal because Intel will help them by funding marketting. For Intel this is more about prestige, rather than making money - initially.

Don't forget Intel has around 85% market share, while their "competitor" AMD are supposed to have increased their market share by a few percentage points upto ~17%. And this was a "bad" year for Intel concering market share. They probably also have a good roadmap for 2006/2007 and beyond, with goodies for Apple too.
 
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