Apple: Microsoft free in '03?!

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by MacQuest, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. MacQuest macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    A very informative article from BusinessWeek Online comments on the recent purchase of Connectix's Virtual PC by Microsoft and the opportunity that this may provide for Apple to further distance themselves from MS.

    [from the article linked below]:

    "With Microsoft buying Virtual PC, which lets Macs run Windows wares, Apple's independence may well rest with programs such as Bochs."

    Also,

    "Apple could weave Bochs into the operating system. Perhaps even as early as the upcoming Panther release (you know, the one after Jaguar OS X 10.2), Apple users could pop a Windows CD or DVD into the drive, and OS X would seamlessly launch Bochs and run the Windows code."

    Please, let's try to keep this thread intelligent and informative. I would like to hear more about this "Bochs" application[?] from anyone who knows of it. Feedback from open-sourcers would be greatly appreciated!!

    An Open-Source Opening for Apple
    http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/feb2003/tc20030226_0465_tc056.htm
     
  2. Chimaera macrumors regular

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    #2
  3. MacQuest thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Thanks Chimaera. Now I can study it a little more.
     
  4. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #4
    wow, i cant imagine how much this would help sales with the mac if people could open some windows apps in mac os x without the slowness of the gui in virtual pc. kindof like x11. open up a game or program and it will run in a native os x window. i'm all for it.

    iJon
     
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #5
    The writer carries on as though Apple needs to port Boch to the Mac when, in fact, there are both Classic and MacOS X ports already. It would, however, be great if someone would convert this project from the Mozilla of emulators to the Chimera of emulators.
     
  6. wormy macrumors member

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    #6
    Couldnt Microsoft sue over this? I mean, would Apple allow XPoop users to run OSX apps? Or have an aqua interface? Doubt it....
     
  7. snahabed macrumors regular

    snahabed

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    #7
    The XP interface is intellectual property of MS, but if one buys a program, then one has, per the license agreement, a valid and legal copy of the program to execute. I don't believe there are terms in most license agreements stating the OS on which the program must be run.

    Any attempts to make such a clause PART of a license agreement, I suspect, would be open to successful legal challenges. If MS makes a software program like Access, then if I buy a copy, why shouldn't I be able to run it on my Mac, if it is technologically feasible?

    It is strange, in the past few weeks, I thought about how genius it would be if Apple could SOMEHOW get .exe files to run on their hardware... but I thought it was a pipedream. Then I thought, well Lindows can run many .exe's on linux, maybe Apple can take advantage of its unix base here. Presumably there are tons of compatibility problems with chips, but I think this is bochs thing is tremendously exciting.
     
  8. springscansing macrumors 6502a

    springscansing

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    #8
    What you do not understand is though, it would not work NEARLY as fast as Lindows or something like that. There's no way you could get windows software to run natively on the mac, because macs do not use x86 chips. The emulation likely would not be much faster than Virtual PC. If anything, I suspect its slower.
     
  9. Chimaera macrumors regular

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    #9
    You seem to have the wrong idea, programs like Virtual PC and Bochs emulate the x86 processor, not the windows environment, M$ couldn't sue even if they wanted to - you still need a OS to run things between the emulated processor and the applications.

    Basically it works in the same way as AMD can make x86-compatable CPUs without violating copyright as the Athalon isn't a reverse-engineered product, but is AMD's own design, thats compatable with the technology Intel developed without using that technology to do it.

    So assuming developers of such emulators develop them without using the intellectual property of Intel, then they are safe from legal comebacks from the company.
     
  10. Chimaera macrumors regular

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    #10
    For that to work you'd need something closer to WINE, not a CPU emulator like VPC or Bochs. A big reason its slow is because the system is running two operating systems, in the same way as apps are a lot slower in classic mode than in OS9 native.

    If there was some way to integrate the WINE technology into OSX, or for Apple to develop its own similar tech, that would be a lot faster that running through a virtual machine as VPC does, however its also a lot more dodgy from a legal point of view too.
     
  11. snahabed macrumors regular

    snahabed

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    #11
    Oh I think I understand that. VPC is on version 6 and is still horribly slow. I am sure that bochs and its progeny will be slow for quite some time as well. But this is where the "raw power" factor comes in. Sooner or later, there will be processors that are powerful enough to make such emulators tolerable or even delightful to use. The G4 is not such a processor. The mythical 970 might be.

    I figure there might be lots of technological reasons why this would be impossible, but why can't Apple change the powermac structure to add a low-cost AMD chip that could aid in emulation? Is it possible to have an emulator's commands routed to that processor rather than the 970/G4-successor?

    If there were a way to do that... imagine. I bet Apple's market share would double.
     
  12. FelixDerKater macrumors 68000

    FelixDerKater

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    #12
    A system based on the 970 will likely take emulation to new levels. The G4 doesn't cut it in terms of providing the necessary power. A faster bus, multiple FPU units, general performance boost, and outrageous amounts of RAM will make emulation smooth.
     
  13. FelixDerKater macrumors 68000

    FelixDerKater

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    #13
    One more thing...

    They needs to have the emulator written so that it can offload graphics-intensive tasks to the GPU. This would even be helpful for running XP, which, like OS X is full of performance-degrading GUI eye-candy.
     
  14. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #14
    i knew it probably wouldnt have worked that easily. just sounded nice for a second.

    iJon
     
  15. szark macrumors 68030

    szark

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    #15
    Actually, you would need some combination of the two. Bochs for x86 instruction emulation and WINE for Windows API emulation.

    Apple did this once before a long time ago, so it's certainly not impossible. Also, Sun currently sells a PCI card which allows you to run x86 applications on their Sparc-based systems. I'm really surprised that no third party manufacturers have come up with a decent x86 hardware emulation card.
     
  16. Chimaera macrumors regular

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    #16
    szark>

    Oops, you are indeed right - WINE is designed as an application layer for x86-based unixes for running windows applications, so emulating that would need to pass through Bochs or something like that. It would be a formidable problem though I suspect...
     
  17. RooBen macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Firewire based emulation??

    I had (way back when...) a Power Macintosh 6100/66 DOS Compatible. I never actually got around to using it, so I can't say how good of a machine it was, but I always thought it would be neat to have a two machines in one.

    Would it be technically feasible to have an external processor (like the PCI card except via firewire) through which windoze applications could run? I am picturing an external-sripped-down-PC that connects through your firewire port.
     
  18. szark macrumors 68030

    szark

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    #18
    Re: Firewire based emulation??

    If you use TCP/IP over Firewire, then you would essentially be using a remote desktop session to a PC -- so it's definitely possible. But it would be much slower that way than an internal card.
     
  19. FattyMembrane macrumors 6502a

    FattyMembrane

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    #19
    WINE cannot run on the ppc. wine allows linux to access windows dll files and execute the windows code because both systems are compiled for x86, wine is not an emulator. windows apps are not compiled for ppc, so they can't run on a mac (except through x86 emulator). bochs is really slow, slower than virtual pc, so unless apple puts some major work into it, it's not a viable option.

    but really, what is the point of buying a mac if you're just going to run your old windows software? i know some people need that one quirky app, or some kind of pr0n sharing program, but for most things, finding an osx alternative is a much better solution.
     

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