OS X For x86, Here's How

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by rice_web, Aug 24, 2002.

  1. rice_web macrumors 6502a

    rice_web

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    #1
    Now, there have been many arguments that Apple should port OS X to the x86 platform. To this, I try to hold back my laughter. The chances of it ever happening or slim at this point. The soonest one could possibly expect an x86 port would be roughly 2004 by analysts expectations.

    That aside, I'd like to see OS X ported to x86. However, port it with little or no functionality, and sell it for $49. Take a look:

    • Apple could release a full version of OS X for x86. However, only certain applications would work, and no third-party applications could be created
    • Apple could port iMovie (with limited FireWire to DV Camera capabilities), iTunes, iPhoto, etc. to lure people into the new x86 operating system
    • Apple could also bundle OpenOffice. Rumors have suggested (and so have actual news stories) that Apple and Sun are trying to work together with an Office Suite of applications. A word processor and spreadsheet program would be enough for most users
    • Finally, sell it for about $49. An absurdly low price for the quantity of software, but the point is to bring new users into the OS X experience. If users like OS X, they might be inclined to purchase Apple hardware to use the thousands of other OS X-native applications
    • Plus, can you imagine how many Apple junkies would spend $49 per machine to move their x86 machines to OS X? It wouldn't even be funny. This could definitely be a money maker for Apple

    There you have it, my take on the only chance of ever seeing an x86 version of OS X. By the way, I could see where Apple could ship millions of copies of OS X for x86, even in this limited fashion, and Apple could see revenues shoot through the roof.
     
  2. eskilling macrumors newbie

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    #2
    Not Likely.

    I'm sure it's technically possible to port Mac OS X to x86 hardware. Heck, both Darwin and NeXTSTEP run on x86 and Mac OS X is more NeXTSTEP than it is Mac OS 9. I really don't think it's going to happen for one reason. Steve. As long as he's captain of the ship, at least. Because Apple is about the whole shebang. The Hardware & Software are so closely integrated that any seperation of the two would not work as well.
     
  3. MacMaster macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I wish...

    I just found out that next year at my school everyone is getting laptops...It just so happens that half of the school is getting ibooks and half is getting PC laptops...I'm in the half with the PC's:( :mad: And I really would like to run OS X instead of windoze...
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #4
    Porting OS X to x86 is a crack smoker's fantasy, it won't work...

    Microsoft has already proven that they WILL win a price war against anybody willing to encroach on their turf, the only way to compete against MS is to be willing to give away the product free - and that won't always work because MS is also willing to give away lots of hardware to steal customers.

    Apple is a public company, and the shareholders would revolt if Apple became the world largest shareware company and turned even marginal profits into massive losses.
     
  5. rice_web thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rice_web

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    #5
    Yep, pretty much the responses I expected, except for the one about Steve Jobs.

    He is too ideological to make a half-ass OS X for x86, even at the prospect of millions of dollars of yearly growth potential.
     
  6. rice_web thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rice_web

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    #6
    Oh, about that whole Microsoft thing...

    Apple could merely use an OS X on x86 operating system as a stepping stone to a full-blown OS X on Apple-made hardware. Those switchers that are thinking of switching would have a chance to try out OS X before laying down $1000+ on a brand new computer.

    Heck, if it did well enough, it might enough become a long-term solution. Although, they'd have to sell a LOT of $49 copies for that to happen.
     
  7. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #7
    Lots of people buy apple hardware because of the apple Operating System. If apple put their OS on a x86 wintel machine, then it might cause a lot of people to 'switch' - but in the wrong direction. So instead of people buying their hardware + software, they would only have people buying their $49 OS. I would like Mac OS X on an x86, but apple shouldnt have their OS be compatible with x86 until they use the x86 chip architecture, so they dont lose costumers.
     
  8. rice_web thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rice_web

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    #8
    But you see, an x86 version of OS X should only feature a few of the iApps and a word processor based on OpenOffice, and, of course, Aqua. It should have very few options, and should not be considered a full OS. Plus, it should be impossible to program for it. There should be no developer developing the platform, and no program but the programs that Apple decides.

    It would merely be a stepping stone for customers. If they wanted to use OS X in any reasonable fashion, they'd have to spend the real money on an Apple system.
     
  9. peterjhill macrumors 65816

    peterjhill

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    #9
    If Apple choose to, it could easily use intel chips instead of PPC, but not use windows compatible motherboards. They could make a version of OS X that run on a Pentium, but would not run on a Dell.

    I don't think they will do this, though. As IBM has "shown" there is life in the Power processor.
     
  10. rice_web thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rice_web

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    #10
    Peterjhill, you completely missed my point. An OS X for x86 version would only support a few apps that Apple would make (i.e. iPhoto and iTunes). It would be closed to developers, and would only be used to preview OS X and encourage potential switchers in going ahead with moving to the Mac platform.
     
  11. arn macrumors god

    arn

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    #11
    Re: OS X For x86, Here's How

    I disagree 100%.

    Let me ask you this... can you even imagine the bitching on the internet about a crippled version of Mac OS X for $49?

    Basically, it's a $50 demo.

    ... and you think people will consider $49 is a good deal, while tons of people are complaining about $129 for a fully functional os (Jaguar)?

    arn
     
  12. rice_web thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rice_web

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    #12
    Compared to a crippled WindowsXP for a few hundred...

    I think Windows users would have a much better time coughing up the money for this demo than the whining Apple users would. I paid for Jaguar willingly. I'm trying to get as much life as I can out of my iMac DV 400.
     
  13. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #13
    Why buy a new computer for over $1000 to get the fantastic iApps, when you can spend $49 for the iApps and still be able to run all your old PC games?
     
  14. arn macrumors god

    arn

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    #14
    But in the end, it's $50 for a demo - not a fully functional product.

    Is there any windows user who would pay $50 for this?

    arn
     
  15. arn macrumors god

    arn

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    #15
    You going to convince people to reboot their machines when they want to listen to an MP3, or store their photos?

    But if they want to then.... let's say... use a 3rd party app... they have to reboot their machine?

    People who are willing to install a second OS and do a dual boot situation are the "power users" who will see that this is ridiculous.

    People who might only need to use a browser, mp3s and email won't really know what an operating system really is, and certainly wouldn't want to install one.

    arn
     
  16. arn macrumors god

    arn

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    #16
    OSX on x86

    In my opinion, here is the only way we'll see Mac OS X on x86 machines:

    PPC dies... and Apple creates Apple-branded proprietary x86 machines that can boot OS X. But OS X would not run on generic clones.

    arn
     
  17. rice_web thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rice_web

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    #17
    Yeah, I've been pretty open about the fact that it's a demo to this point, I'll say it now, "It's a demo, that costs $50."

    But, if will have quite a bit of functionality for a demo.

    It will feature OpenOffice, a web browser, an e-mail client, iPhoto, iTunes, maybe Sherlock. It has all the functionality that many users need, without the features of OS X on Apple hardware.

    It would lure people into the Switch campaign, and likely be a money maker for Apple. I know that I personally would pay two hundred dollars to move my PCs to a crippled version of OS X, though I most certainly do not represent the typical Mac user.
     
  18. arn macrumors god

    arn

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    #18
    seriously, find a Windows/PC forum, and post this idea, and see how many people go for it.

    arn
     
  19. rice_web thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rice_web

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    #19
    In a Windows/PC forum!?!?!?!? I'd be flamed for days!

    Admittedly, you've narrowed down the target audience a fair amount, but just remember, there are many people that are considering the switch to the Mac platform thanks to the ads, but many of them have no intention of plopping down $1000 or more to get a respectable computer.
     
  20. BongHits macrumors regular

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    #20
    dude the $50 demo would be a waste of time for apple. anyone who is interested in trying out what apple has to offer, needs only to go down to their local apple shop and get busy with the computer of their choice. why give them the false idea that OS X is a crippled piece of crap, but hey it's cheap? i say give them apple's approach...come try it out at our store, and if you like it feel free to take one home :D a featureless x86 demo with no 3rd part software would be like saying...here we're back to OS 5 or 6 (i only know of os x and 9 so...) which basically put our company in the toilet, but now it looks even better!
     
  21. big macrumors 65816

    big

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    #21
    so could applications built now run if OSX was ported to a pentium processor in 2 years (using the current OSX or a modified version there of?)
     
  22. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #22
    Doing this would take a modest to insane amount of those WILLING to plunk down the $1000 and make them SWITCH to the $50 PC demo instead.

    If you can get the iApps for $50 that'll run on your PC, you be absolutely stupid to spend over $1000 for new Apple hardware.

    Basically if you can run the iApps on the PC, why buy the Mac.
     
  23. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

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    #23
    Sorry but this is a stupid idea. I think porting a full featured edition of OSX to x86 is a stupid idea as well. Apple is a great company and has a great OS and high quality, good performing hardware, but common...Microsoft is a freaking huge corporation and would find a way to kill Apple off if they tried to compete head-on with Windows. For most people the new PowerPC machines offer great performance and the PPC design is a good match for OSX. Apple controlls the software and the hardware and that is the reason it works, if the OS was put on all the PC junk out on the market and all over the world you would start to run into the same stability issues that Windows has. Leave OSX to the Mac and work harder to convince people to dump that old pc out the window and buy a real computer.
     
  24. jadam macrumors 6502a

    jadam

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    #24
    alright, listen you stupid ars, how old are you??? OSX will NEVER come to x86, AND JUST SO YOU KNOW OSX is fully portable including Aqua, porting over OSX to x86 hardware is just a simple recompile, all the PPC code that apple puts into OSX is jsut extra code there are portable C equivalents to all of those functions. now listen anyone says apple should port OSX to x86 you know what ill do to you???? ill take your x86 and STICK you with it!! OK?????

    one more question, must of said this already, are you around 13 or something?? you really SHOULD take a class in econimics and understand why this will never happen. [edit] and i really should take a class in spelling :p [/edit]
     
  25. peterjhill macrumors 65816

    peterjhill

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    #25
    In a total longshot version of reality, the only way that your demo would work, IMHO, would be if Apple made a version that:

    You got a CD with your PCWorld Magazine
    You stick the CD in your computer
    It has some propaganda about the mac
    It says, reboot to give it a try
    The user reboots their machine, and it boots up in aqua and darwin
    which we all cal Mac OS X
    That OS is somehow crippled in a way that can not be reverse engineered

    Now what would be cool about a demo like this is if they could allow the user to access their hard disk, and open up their quicken and microsoft files. Like if there were copies of Office, quicken, filemaker, and maybe a game.

    They would have to make sure that the demo could only run for ten minutes at a time.

    Why would this not work? There is no way in hell that Apple would publically demonstrate that they had OS X working on WinTel hardware, because everyone would freak out if they didn't release it and Apple would be deathly afraid that someone would hack the demo to make it work permanantly.

    IMHO, it will never happen, unless as Arn pointed out, AIM/PPC goes to the crapper.
     

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