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MacBytes
Sep 14, 2010, 12:05 PM
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Category: Apple Software
Link: Mac OS X to continue for another 10 or 20 years? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20100914130521)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

samh
Sep 14, 2010, 12:26 PM
From the article:
In the penultimate paragraph of the article, Tevanian is quoted as follows:
Apple had a 20 to 30 year lifespan in mind for OS X during its development, says Tevanian, but he suspects its fundamental underpinnings may last even longer.
Given that we're already 10 years into the life of OS X, this implies that Apple are hoping and expecting the operating system to last for at least another 10 or 20 years.

This is sloppy. Very sloppy. Tevanian's quote does not imply that Apple expects another 10 or 20 years out of OS X. What is quote implies is only what it, in fact, says: That 10 years ago, Apple envisioned a 20-30 year lifespan. To say that today Apple has the same expectation is terrible logic. It's farcical, really, to use decade-old expectations as a roadmap and expect them to still be current.

I mean, five years ago I expected to be done with grad school by May 2009. By the logic of this "article," this implies that I've been out of school for 15 months. In fact, I had to change my expectation. I will now be finished by December of 2010.

whooleytoo
Sep 14, 2010, 12:37 PM
Shouldn't be much of a surprise, there haven't been many significant new developments in desktop OS technologies or design in some time.

For the most part you want a stable, fast, secure back-end (which OSX has); and the UI is likely to change quite a bit over that period of time. But for the most part, things aren't likely to change much.

(Murphy's Law: Now that I've said that, there will be some major desktop OS development which will blow current OSs out of the water!)

jayducharme
Sep 14, 2010, 12:48 PM
(Murphy's Law: Now that I've said that, there will be some major desktop OS development which will blow current OSs out of the water!)

There already is. It's called iOS. :D

cybaster
Sep 14, 2010, 01:02 PM
Wow, this article or whatever it is called is definitely written by someone who knows little about OS development.

First the question must be asked, what IS OS X?
OS X shares a lot with any other BSD based system, which in turn shares alot with other Linux systems/Unix systems.

It's more or less 1 umbrella under Unix.
so saying that OS X is going to last 10-20 years isn't saying much.

UI can change, the way we interface with the system can change (hardware) but unless the Mach Kernel is totally ditched and they take a totally different aproach in desiginging the lowest level of the OS, then it is not considered a change (or is it?)

Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard have similarities yet major differences in Frameworks and even CPU architecture... so are they the same OS?

I'd say its more of a branding thing. if they cannot make something that at least LOOK drastically different, (maybe ditching finder and or not having a desktop idea etc) then they won't call it OS XI or 11 or what have you. 10.0-10.6 more or less seems the same, but the underlying technologies are so different that each release is really its own OS

Lord Blackadder
Sep 14, 2010, 01:13 PM
The biggest shift was the switch from Apple's old "Classic" OS that had roots in the original Macintosh OS to the NeXTSTEP/BSD/UNIX-derived OSX. The Intel transition was, in technical terms, a pretty minor event.

Now that the Mac is an x86-based, UNIX-like OS, I don't see anything fundamental changing for a long time. The iOS family may take on new roles, but I don't see it ever completely replacing the PC line - desktops and laptops will always have substantially more power and features than iOS devices.

UNIX-derived OSs are very old in computing terms, and I suspect they will be around for the forseeable future. I can easily see OSX's basic underpinnings lasting 30+ years.

this is funah
Sep 14, 2010, 01:31 PM
i remember Jobs saying that it would last at least a decade back in 2000.

BeyondtheTech
Sep 14, 2010, 01:37 PM
They should expand the features even more and call it Mac OS EX.

WiiDSmoker
Sep 14, 2010, 02:11 PM
i remember Jobs saying that it would last at least a decade back in 2000.

Well it's been a decade.

URFloorMatt
Sep 14, 2010, 02:31 PM
Well it's been a decade.And given the current pace, assuming Apple goes through OS X updates as they have been, with 10.7, 10.8, and 10.9 coming before we get a "new" OS 11, they could pretty easily get close to that 20 year projection.

Cougarcat
Sep 14, 2010, 03:12 PM
Ten more years of OS X, maybe. But we are approaching the computing limits of silicon. Whatever comes next (quantum computing?) will require brand-new software. By 2030, I hope OS X doesn't exist.

ppnkg
Sep 14, 2010, 09:16 PM
They should expand the features even more and call it Mac OS EX.



hmmm...perhaps the successor to Mac OS X should be called X Mac OS :p

MisterMe
Sep 14, 2010, 11:29 PM
From the article:


This is sloppy. Very sloppy. Tevanian's quote does not imply that Apple expects another 10 or 20 years out of OS X. What is quote implies is only what it, in fact, says: That 10 years ago, Apple envisioned a 20-30 year lifespan. To say that today Apple has the same expectation is terrible logic. It's farcical, really, to use decade-old expectations as a roadmap and expect them to still be current.

I mean, five years ago I expected to be done with grad school by May 2009. By the logic of this "article," this implies that I've been out of school for 15 months. In fact, I had to change my expectation. I will now be finished by December of 2010.Did you read the same article that I did? First off, what the Hardmac article attributes to Tevanian is not a quote. Neither Hardmac.com which repeated the original report nor MacWorld.com (http://www.macworld.com/article/154036/2010/09/osxorigins.html) which first published it claims that the passage is a quote. Now that that is out of the way, to the best of my recollection, what was said was "MacOS X will be the basis of Apple's OS for the next 20 years." This does not contradict the MacWorld.com report. It would be perfectly consistent with an announcement tomorrow that the next Macintosh operating system will be named Bulldog. We would know, however, that Bulldog is the evolutionary next step for Apple's OS.

As for the potential of a new OS released as a bolt out of the blue--ain't gonna happen. New operating system don't come as complete surprises. Various and sundry pieces of them are the subject the subject of academic, professional, and the general interest computer press. Look at Apple. The Lisa OS preceded the Macintosh System. The Lisa OS served as inspiration for NeXTstep. Unix was around for about 10 years prior to the Lisa OS and Unix was a cut-down version of Multics. In the opensource world, remember how long GNU had been around before Linus produced the Linux kernel.

From where I sit, it appears that the computer world except for Microsoft has settled on Unix. For its part, Apple has tripled-down on AT&T's progeny. Let us not forget that MacOS X is certified UNIX 03, the latest version of the unified (AT&T and BSD) specification. In fact, Apple is assuming the role of proprietor of such import UNIX technologies as CUPS and zeroconf.

Ten more years? It would surprise me if there is a move away from Unix in the next 50 years.

Andeavor
Sep 15, 2010, 02:45 AM
I was under the impression that Apple is already working on a large-scale iOS as a replacement of Mac OS X, which should come within the next 5 years. With many Mac and Windows users already familiar with iOS through the iPhone or iPod, they could do a complete switch as long as all Mac apps are re-programmed accordingly.

MacsRgr8
Sep 15, 2010, 06:15 AM
I was under the impression that Apple is already working on a large-scale iOS as a replacement of Mac OS X, which should come within the next 5 years. With many Mac and Windows users already familiar with iOS through the iPhone or iPod, they could do a complete switch as long as all Mac apps are re-programmed accordingly.

iOS is derived from Mac OS X.
iOS will not replace Mac OS X, they will get more and more of each other's features.
Finally we might get an  iOS, which can run on iDevices and Macs.

Queso
Sep 15, 2010, 06:18 AM
There already is. It's called iOS. :D
iOS may have a different interface, but it still counts as OSX.

womble2k2
Sep 15, 2010, 08:41 AM
Ten more years of OS X, maybe. But we are approaching the computing limits of silicon. Whatever comes next (quantum computing?) will require brand-new software. By 2030, I hope OS X doesn't exist.

Why would a change of how computers process information require a change of software? I the fundamental architecture changes, then it is just tweaks to the kernel and some drivers to change.

It is like saying that whatever replaces the combustion engine in cars will require a completely new way of driving / new roads, etc.

Phil

BornAgainMac
Sep 15, 2010, 09:03 AM
i remember Jobs saying that it would last at least a decade back in 2000.

He said two decades.

Brinkman
Sep 15, 2010, 09:07 AM
It's hard to say what more I'd want out of this OS. The general OS aspects is great for day to day tasks and even my work environment. However I feel the iLife suite and macmail etc can be updated. I guess I can only say I'd want more synchronization and unilateral communication between apps. MacMail is really feeling it's age right now and could really do for an overhaul.

MisterMe
Sep 15, 2010, 09:12 AM
I was under the impression that Apple is already working on a large-scale iOS as a replacement of Mac OS X, which should come within the next 5 years. ...What impression? This is a notion that someone on a forum like this pulled out of their butt. iOS is the new name for iPhone OS which has been named OS X which, in turn, was a newer version of the same code base as MacOS X. The original iPhone shipped with OS X 10.5 at a time when the newest version of the operating system on the Mac was MacOS X 10.4.x.

The takeaway message is that the UNIX 03-based MacOS X/iOS was a long time in the making. It will be with us for a long time to come.

cohibadad
Sep 15, 2010, 09:42 AM
With patents and copyrights it's unlikely that OS X would change from it's basic BSD Unix underpinnings ever. iOS is just another flavor of OS X. Operating systems don't just spring up overnight and they sure don't spring up without trampling on someone else's patents.

DylanLikesPorn
Sep 15, 2010, 09:50 AM
still much work to be done on OSX filesystem. please make a zfs clone. osx badly needs it.

erm, osx has 15 more years left. all i can give it before it becomes a dinosaur, like crappy os9

cubist
Sep 15, 2010, 01:01 PM
If you're talking about the software itself, then iOS is pretty much the same thing as Mac OS X. It has most of the same frameworks, filesystem, etc. As others have mentioned, it's Unix-based. Unix, as a set of concepts, has been around for around 35 years, altho the innards, kernel and so on, have changed substantially. Would the Mac change back to the Mach kernel, or some other message-passing design? Perhaps. Likely it would be an evolutionary change over a period of time.

If you're talking about the Brand, "Mac OS X", that could change anytime on Apple's whim. For example, they only went from Mac OS 7 to Mac OS 8 as a legal dodge to escape their contractual obligations to licensees, there was no significant technology change.

bretm
Sep 15, 2010, 02:16 PM
And given the current pace, assuming Apple goes through OS X updates as they have been, with 10.7, 10.8, and 10.9 coming before we get a "new" OS 11, they could pretty easily get close to that 20 year projection.

My math says they'd fall 6 years short of that.

FoxyKaye
Sep 15, 2010, 04:30 PM
There already is. It's called iOS. :D

To quote an old-time MR poster, and from numerous other places:

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

The day iOS replaces OS X proper on anything but iToys is the day I go back to Windows.

And no, I don't care that iOS is "based on" OS X - it is an over DRM-locked, App Store, walled-garden nightmare.

mabaker
Sep 15, 2010, 05:15 PM
With Apple you never know. They can kill Mac OS pretty quickly and recklessly. Mac OS X will become and IS becoming marginalized just as the Mac Pro computer line.:(:(:(:(

macintoshtoffy
Sep 15, 2010, 06:55 PM
When Mac OS X was released Steve Jobs said that it would a good base for the next decade; people are now conduction gnosticism on such a view claiming that the life of Mac OS X is coming to an end based on a complete misreading on what he said.

The point Steve was being cautious and yet optimistic that the foundations of Mac OS X are so good that the ability to evolve the operating system in a coherent way. This means that until there is some new radical technology comes out Mac OS X is pretty much here indefinitely in one form or another.

Oh, and iOS isn't going to replace Mac OS X to matter how many idiots here scream about it.

whooleytoo
Sep 15, 2010, 07:01 PM
There already is. It's called iOS. :D

:p

Ok, it's new and it's a big development; but it's not a desktop OS. It's a good OS because it's designed specifically for the task. (Not to mention, underneath the interface it's more or less OSX).

whooleytoo
Sep 15, 2010, 07:19 PM
If you're talking about the software itself, then iOS is pretty much the same thing as Mac OS X. It has most of the same frameworks, filesystem, etc. As others have mentioned, it's Unix-based. Unix, as a set of concepts, has been around for around 35 years, altho the innards, kernel and so on, have changed substantially. Would the Mac change back to the Mach kernel, or some other message-passing design? Perhaps. Likely it would be an evolutionary change over a period of time.

If you're talking about the Brand, "Mac OS X", that could change anytime on Apple's whim. For example, they only went from Mac OS 7 to Mac OS 8 as a legal dodge to escape their contractual obligations to licensees, there was no significant technology change.

Agree with most of that, except for the highlighted bit. The original OS 8 (Copland) had been in development for some time, and was nearing release before it was canned. Their back-up plan (Rhapsody) would take some time - so they had to release something, to reassure users. Hence the 'real' OS 8.

So I don't think it was simply to dodge licensing obligations, they had to do it to reassure users/save face. I do agree there was little innovative in it.

darijoe
Sep 15, 2010, 07:20 PM
The interesting thing is that at WWDC 2005, not long after the OS 9 to OS X transition was declared "over", Steve Jobs said that, "it has set Apple up for the next 20 years." Expect OS X to still be going strong in 2025!

sth
Sep 15, 2010, 08:58 PM
It doesn't matter how many "years" somebody predicted.
An operating system is a very complex piece of software, it takes a lot of time to develop and mature. As long as the current Unix/BSD based core of OSX serves it's purpose well, it simply won't be replaced.

Given that UNIX has been around for over 40 years and is still going strong, I expect the UNIX-based MacOSX/iOS to stay for a looong time. No need to fix something that isn't broken.

The UI will continue to evolve but that doesn't have much to do with the core OS itself...

MisterMe
Sep 15, 2010, 11:52 PM
With Apple you never know. They can kill Mac OS pretty quickly and recklessly. Three things:

Apple can do lots of things. Apple can build a rocket, load it up with a carload lot of iPads and launch them into the Sun. But it won't.
Apple killed MacOS years ago. MacOS was the operating system that we commonly referred to as MacOS 9. The operating system known as MacOS X is a UNIX-based operating system that is completely different than MacOS.
MacOS X is the basis of all of Apple's intelligent devices. Apple cannot kill it--either quickly or recklessly--not if it wants to stay in business.


Mac OS X will become and IS becoming marginalized just as the Mac Pro computer line.:(:(:(:(You sound like a spoiled child who fears that mommy and daddy won't love you anymore now that they have brought the new baby home. Your assertion that MacOS X will and is becoming marginalized is irrational fear created out of whole cloth. The Mac Pro is less important due to simple economics. The less expensive iMac has more than sufficient power to what the vast majority of users need.

Andeavor
Sep 16, 2010, 01:25 AM
What impression? This is a notion that someone on a forum like this pulled out of their butt. iOS is the new name for iPhone OS which has been named OS X which, in turn, was a newer version of the same code base as MacOS X. The original iPhone shipped with OS X 10.5 at a time when the newest version of the operating system on the Mac was MacOS X 10.4.x.

The takeaway message is that the UNIX 03-based MacOS X/iOS was a long time in the making. It will be with us for a long time to come.
There's no reason for them not to change or merge the MacOS X and iOS brands at one point since they are both based on the same principle OS. Once Apple decides to make touch-based desktop or laptop computers they will most likely use iOS as a basis of touch-based functions.

MisterMe
Sep 16, 2010, 09:35 AM
There's no reason for them not to change or merge the MacOS X and iOS brands ....Au contraire. There is every reason not to merge iOS and MacOS X. iOS is designed specifically for touch screen devices. MacOS X is designed specifically for interaction primarily by keyboards and mice. Apple is now making larger touchpads. However, the keyboard is going nowhere. The notion of some kind of Frankenstein monster of a touch-based Macintosh is the artifact of a bad dream. How do you develop an Excel spreadsheet or layout the latest edition of my department newsletter on such a computer?

Andeavor
Sep 16, 2010, 09:52 AM
How do you develop an Excel spreadsheet or layout the latest edition of my department newsletter on such a computer?
By going further and developing a hybrid OS that implements both keyboard/mouse input as well as a touchpad interface. Windows already does that with select touch-enabled PCs. They're a bit choppy in execution but it's a step into that direction.

And also think about much easier it would be to use trackpad moves directly on the application on the screen.

MisterMe
Sep 16, 2010, 03:43 PM
By going further and developing a hybrid OS that implements both keyboard/mouse input as well as a touchpad interface. Windows already does that with select touch-enabled PCs. They're a bit choppy in execution but it's a step into that direction.

And also think about much easier it would be to use trackpad moves directly on the application on the screen.You are just stringing words together. Macs are able to handle just about any available input device that you attach to them out of the box. For the rest, the installation of a driver has you up and running. Connect a tablet to your Mac and see what happens. What you don't seem to get is that iOS and MacOS X are designed around two different UI paradigms. Your notion of a hybrid OS would produce an animal that is both fish and fowl with no real reason to either fly through the water or swim through the air.

BTW, Windows is the place where dumb ideas go to die. There is no reason for Apple to deny Microsoft any opportunity to demonstrate this fact.

CaoCao
Sep 16, 2010, 04:10 PM
OS X is awesome, iOS is OS X with a new front end

kingtj
Sep 17, 2010, 10:41 AM
I like iOS for what it is, but not for much else. The idea it would replace a full-blown operating system like OS X is like saying Windows Mobile would be a good replacement for Windows 7, or that the Palm OS as found on devices like the "Pre" would be a suitable OS replacement.


To quote an old-time MR poster, and from numerous other places:

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

The day iOS replaces OS X proper on anything but iToys is the day I go back to Windows.

And no, I don't care that iOS is "based on" OS X - it is an over DRM-locked, App Store, walled-garden nightmare.

jdiamond
Sep 17, 2010, 06:09 PM
Unix was launched in 1969. The reason we're still using it as a core is because they got things right. People who always want to see change for change's sake, even if it's not actually as good as before, end up with things like Vista and Office 2010.

IOS4 (which I believe is still Unix based) shows that the graphical user interface can progress a bit from the desktop metaphor to the Avatar style, and of course, you can always change fashions (OS skins), but that's not the core OS or even the UI - that's just make up.

For example, notice the way OSes keep transitioning back and forth between 3-D and flat widgets, colors vs gray, etc, etc...

macintoshtoffy
Sep 23, 2010, 10:06 AM
The biggest shift was the switch from Apple's old "Classic" OS that had roots in the original Macintosh OS to the NeXTSTEP/BSD/UNIX-derived OSX. The Intel transition was, in technical terms, a pretty minor event.


I agree; moving from Classic to Carbon then to Cocoa is a massive under taking - in many cases the move from Classic to Carbon required almost re-writes of code hard wired for Classic.

I hope though that there will be a further swing towards Cocoa and vendors realising the merit of using the most high level frameworks possible as to allow Apple to tweak things and software to inherit those benefits without needing manual tweaking.