PDA

View Full Version : There May Be an End-run for Apple Around Windows After All


MacBytes
Apr 21, 2006, 04:42 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Mac OS X
Link: There May Be an End-run for Apple Around Windows After All (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060421174215)
Description:: Dave Winer, in his NerdTV interview several months back, said that he viewed his software developer job as giving customers whatever they want.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

dongmin
Apr 21, 2006, 05:32 PM
Some interesting insights:

Remember Steve Jobs' first days back at Apple in 1997 as Interim-CEO-for-Life? Trying to save the company, Steve got Bill Gates to invest $150 million in Apple and promise to keep Mac Office going for a few more years in exchange for a five-year patent cross-licensing agreement? The idea in everyone's mind, of course, was that Microsoft would grab lots of Apple technology, which they probably did, and it quite specifically ended an Apple patent infringement suit against Microsoft. But I'm told that the exchange wasn't totally one-way, that Apple, in turn, got some legal right to the Windows API. One wonders if the presence of OS X-like GUI elements in Vista is a direct result of this technology sharing agreement. "Redmond, Start your copiers!"...

and

I'm told Apple has long had this running in the Cupertino lab -- Intel Macs running OS X while mixing Apple and XP applications. This is not a guess or a rumor, this something that has been demonstrated and observed by people who have since reported to me.

Think of the implications. A souped-up OS X kernel with native Windows API support and the prospect of mixing and matching Windows and Mac applications would be, for many users, the best of both worlds. There would be no copy of Windows XP to buy, no large overhead of emulation or compatibility middleware, no chance for Microsoft to accidentally screw things up, substantially better security, and no need to even take a chance on Windows Vista.

So Apple will let you run Windows apps directly on top of Leopard, without virtualization??? Interesting proposition. So if Leopard is running Windows APIs directly, does that mean Windows apps will be able to utilize the Mac hardware 100%? That would be the ultimate solution. But WINE in its current form seems to have somewhat a limited set of applications that it can run. Would Apple's solution make for 100% compatibility since they've had full access to XP code base?

Cringley also speculates that Apple will adopt a new kernel to speed up OS X. That seems to be a bit of a reach but the recent departure of Tevenian seems to support that theory. So for Leopard we will get 1) new kernel for Intel Macs, 2) WINE-type compatibility layer for XP, AND 3) improvements to the Finder. This could be the biggest release since the OS X first came onto the scene.

bbydon
Apr 21, 2006, 05:37 PM
That is awesome!

Kingsly
Apr 21, 2006, 05:39 PM
!!!!!:eek:

*waits nervously for 10.5*

(by the way, I asked if this would happen about a month ago)

dashiel
Apr 21, 2006, 05:51 PM
don't put too much stock in this. cringely is as bad as dvorak.

dongmin
Apr 21, 2006, 06:11 PM
don't put too much stock in this. cringely is as bad as dvorak.You're probably right. It seems too radical for Apple. More of a fantasy, maybe...

nagromme
Apr 21, 2006, 06:44 PM
I thought sci fi was dead--but then along came Firefly, Galactica, and Cringley.

Apple won't sell Windows--it would dillute a message they already have a tough time spreading: that there is life without Windows. Apple will leave selling Windows to resellers, if they see fit.

The Windows API thing sounds great--but I remain skeptical.

It would be kind of a slap in the face of MS if, say, 2% of Windows users decided they didn't even NEED Vista, they'd be happy with XP and Leopard :p

DMann
Apr 21, 2006, 08:12 PM
I thought sci fi was dead--but then along came Firefly, Galactica, and Cringley.

Apple won't sell Windows--it would dillute a message they already have a tough time spreading: that there is life without Windows. Apple will leave selling Windows to resellers, if they see fit.

The Windows API thing sounds great--but I remain skeptical.

It would be kind of a slap in the face of MS if, say, 2% of Windows users decided they didn't even NEED Vista, they'd be happy with XP and Leopard :p

As if Windoze 95 wasn't a slap.....

macnulty
Apr 21, 2006, 08:34 PM
Being a Cringley piece, I was mildly entertained until the Apple selling Windows prediction, then my brain imploded.

dongmin
Apr 21, 2006, 08:58 PM
Being a Cringley piece, I was mildly entertained until the Apple selling Windows prediction, then my brain imploded.Just to clarify, Cringley himself is not predicting or advocating that Apple become a Windows OEM vendor. Cringley is simply reporting what Dvorak was speculating. Cringley is more in the virtualization/WINE camp. The WINE route will actually allow Apple and its customers to avoid Windows altogether. That works for me. Why boot Windows at all, in virtualization or dual boot, when I need to run an application or two???

Rocksaurus
Apr 21, 2006, 09:52 PM
Here's what I didn't understand about this article. He mentions that users would get Windows Apps on their Mac, with Mac security.... But if the Mac can run any Windows app, can't it run, say, a Windows trojan? Wouldn't this hurt Macs severely? Not to mention no one would ever write a Mac app again.........

kainjow
Apr 21, 2006, 10:49 PM
OK think about this for a moment.

99% of all people using Windows don't use Windows because of the OS, but because of the applications. People would switch to OS X in droves if they could run their current existing apps without having to buy a new license for XP and without having to dual boot.

He also mentions that Apple is not re-implementing the Windows API, but has a license from M$ for the API. Which means, it's not like WINE, which is just reverse engineering the API. It's the actual API itself! All they'd have to do is add some compatibility for HFS+,etc add a Windows classic theme, and you've got Win32 compatibility built-in to OS X without the need for any additional software or licenses.

Those who think running Win32 apps on Mac OS X would kill native Mac apps are wrong, I think. Take for example X11 apps. There are tons of X11 apps, but few use them unless they really have to because they're so ugly and are obviously not native apps. OS X users know when they are in a native app or some hackish port of an app. This would be the exact same for running Win32 apps. They would be completely obvious that they are not native Mac apps. People would use them until there is a native Mac equivalent, then dump the Win32 app.

I think it makes beautiful sense :D Now to see if they have DirectX working, for games :cool:

generik
Apr 21, 2006, 11:00 PM
Take for example X11 apps. There are tons of X11 apps, but few use them unless they really have to because they're so ugly and are obviously not native apps. OS X users know when they are in a native app or some hackish port of an app. This would be the exact same for running Win32 apps. They would be completely obvious that they are not native Mac apps. People would use them until there is a native Mac equivalent, then dump the Win32 app.


Actually I can't really tell.

For instance Firefox on MacOS looks like a Mac application to me. Safari looks out of place with its "brushed metal" look, and the new iTunes have this other "titanium metalic" look that is distinctive from the brushed metal look used by Safari.

Firefox looks just like Camino, but people all hail Camino as something wonderful...

Nermal
Apr 21, 2006, 11:08 PM
Interesting, I think Firefox looks out of place.

macnulty
Apr 21, 2006, 11:23 PM
Just to clarify, Cringley himself is not predicting or advocating that Apple become a Windows OEM vendor. Cringley is simply reporting what Dvorak was speculating. Cringley is more in the virtualization/WINE camp. The WINE route will actually allow Apple and its customers to avoid Windows altogether. That works for me. Why boot Windows at all, in virtualization or dual boot, when I need to run an application or two???

"I believe that Apple will offer Windows Vista as an option for those big customers who demand it"

I don't think the statement could be any clearer, you may be able to hedge a bit with "big customers" as a clarifier, but Cringley looks to Apple to be a Windows OEM.

bigandy
Apr 22, 2006, 08:19 AM
Interesting, I think Firefox looks out of place.

i agree. stand it, i cannot. :rolleyes:

Shananra
Apr 22, 2006, 09:36 AM
x11 apps may be ugly, but think for a second. you're a developer, and writing your application is a quite lengthy and expensive process. Would you go te the expense of writing and supporting a second version of your application, or simply write your windows version and figure your mac users can take advantage of it anyway?

Believe me, especially when it comes to gaming companies, no one will go to the expense. There just wouldn't be enough incentive. That move could effectively kill apple. Well, not really as their sales would sky rocket, but it would be a major slap it the face to their users as there would be very few native apps. Apple is one of the few companies that seems to care about the end user, which is why I think the very idea is silly.

Virtualization, yes. Built in api, no.

zweigand
Apr 22, 2006, 12:35 PM
DaringFireball's response (http://daringfireball.net/2006/04/cringelys_machinations) ..which I agree with.

I don't see a built in API happening. It doesn't make sense to me because the benefit doesn't outweigh the cost. I don't see the WINE version happening because it would be a complete pointless blow to the face of MS. It would make MS very upset with Apple while doing little for Mac users. Most Mac users don't need that functionality in their OS. Not to mention it would DEFINITELY kill Office for the Mac (after their 5 year agreement is up) ...that may not be all that big of deal 5 years from now, but it's still like poking a bear with a stick for no good reason.

The only way I could see them doing this would be with the full support of MS ...and I don't think this is likely. Intel's brand new Virtualization technology is THE BEST ANSWER PERIOD. Those who need Windows will be able to add it to their Macs ...the rest won't have useless bloat to deal with.

The furthest I see Leopard going would be adding some sort of Fast OS Switching feature that becomes active if you install another OS. It would use the new Intel virtualization technology (like Parallels) and would be out of the way for those who don't use it. That way you would also have to pay extra to get a windows license. I think it is in Apple's best interest in keeping Windows support to something that costs extra. Not to mention Apple would have to support any incompatibilities that arose in the native API scenario. I don't want to see them in that position.

daveL
Apr 22, 2006, 02:07 PM
The furthest I see Leopard going would be adding some sort of Fast OS Switching feature that becomes active if you install another OS. It would use the new Intel virtualization technology (like Parallels) and would be out of the way for those who don't use it.
What would be the purpose of "Fast OS Switching"? If you are virtualizing with Parallel or VMware, the guest OS is running in a window or activated from a pick list. Does it need to be simpler than that?

Having native support for the win32 api would be interesting, for the very few Windows-only apps I need to run, but it seems to me that a number of apps are going to depend on other MS dlls that are part of XP, but not part of the win32 api. Given the price of memory these days, running a guest OS in Parallel or the like seems more realistic. And, as you point out, it's less risk / hassle for Apple.

Anyway, for my purposes, a virtual machine running within OS X is the most flexible solution.

zweigand
Apr 22, 2006, 02:36 PM
What would be the purpose of "Fast OS Switching"? If you are virtualizing with Parallel or VMware, the guest OS is running in a window or activated from a pick list. Does it need to be simpler than that?
By fast OS switching ..I mean the same thing as Parallels is currently doing ...except Apple putting a nice cube effect on it and making it full-screen instead of inside a window. Same principal though.

solvs
Apr 23, 2006, 02:09 AM
One wonders if the presence of OS X-like GUI elements in Vista is a direct result of this technology sharing agreement. "Redmond, Start your copiers!"...
Which would explain why they couldn't get their groundbreaking rewrite working. Same thing happened when they tried to reverse engineer the Mac OS for the original Windows. Apple always seems to have better luck when they steal stuff. At least they make things better! :p

hob
Apr 23, 2006, 08:53 AM
Interesting, I think Firefox looks out of place.
I would say it doesn't necessarily look out of place, but it certainly feels like a windows app. I've tried switching to it twice, and as soon as I felt like I was using a windows app, I dumped it straight away!

Silencio
Apr 23, 2006, 01:32 PM
I am still not buying all this talk about Apple dumping Mach just because Avie left the company. Bertrand Serlet has been running the Mac OS X development effort for the past couple of years, and he is also a died-in-the-wool NeXTie who is probably just as philosophically and/or emotionally tied to Mach as Avie is. Still, I hope they can make significant improvements to Mach so that it's more suited for server as well as desktop usage.

Where Cringely talks about integer calculation performance being a weakness of Mach, that's really a weakness of PowerPC in comparison to x86. PowerPC kicked butt at floating point, but integer calculations are far more common.

Bosunsfate
Apr 23, 2006, 03:34 PM
Vista home edition comes out.

Home computer buyers are faced with the following choice.


New HP/Dell running Vista. New OS, had a bad rap.....probably won't run your old Windows apps very well, if not at all.....

New IntelMac. Great OS, fast, been around, lots of native apps.....and oh, it will run all of your old and new Windows apps as well...

Hmm, which one will they choose?

As I see it....the future is coming true....the Apple market share may really top 10% and more....:rolleyes:

macnulty
Apr 24, 2006, 09:21 PM
Vista home edition comes out.

Home computer buyers are faced with the following choice.


New HP/Dell running Vista. New OS, had a bad rap.....probably won't run your old Windows apps very well, if not at all.....

New IntelMac. Great OS, fast, been around, lots of native apps.....and oh, it will run all of your old and new Windows apps as well...

Hmm, which one will they choose?

As I see it....the future is coming true....the Apple market share may really top 10% and more....:rolleyes:

Sweet

macnulty
Apr 24, 2006, 09:28 PM
I am still not buying all this talk about Apple dumping Mach just because Avie left the company. Bertrand Serlet has been running the Mac OS X development effort for the past couple of years, and he is also a died-in-the-wool NeXTie who is probably just as philosophically and/or emotionally tied to Mach as Avie is. Still, I hope they can make significant improvements to Mach so that it's more suited for server as well as desktop usage.


I am not a tech but I am into marketing, I agree with your position but for other reasons. It would be assinine of Apple to tie it's future into the presence of one person rather then a product. Consumers buy a product not an executive.