What I believe to be the truth of "Markler"

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by hotFusion, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. hotFusion macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    #1
    What I believe to be the truth of "Marklar"

    First let me say that I have been following the, mostly scarce, information blurbs concerning this supposed version of Mac OS X. From what I have heard, this is a version of Mac OS X,... refitted shall we say, for the Intel-CISC processor architecture.

    All of the articles I have read all speculate that markler is some type of PowerPC exit strategy. The theory goes that if the PowerPC chip ever becomes so dated as to threaten the very existence of Apple as a computer company, they would use Markler to move as quickly as possible (which is to say not very) to the CISC architecture and take their chances in the Wintel world.

    I guess the theory for Apple in this scenario is that if the PowerPC ever got into such a state, they could be no worse off. I'll agree that the Markler effort probably was begun with this is mind and is probably still being pitched to the handful of developers working on it as this, but I believe it's true purpose will, if it hasn't already, shift in light of IBM's recent commitment to the PowerPC chip. I believe that Markler will indeed see the light of day, probably in the next 12 months, but NOT as some type of competition to Windows on the PC desktop.

    Let us not forget that the Windows and Mac OS X desktop operating systems are really nothing more than the cheese that gets customers in the door. For Apple, customers that spend money on hardware. For Microsoft, customers that buy more software,...from Microsoft. The real hard cash comes from Corporate clients.

    To cut to the chase, the real money is in servers. While Apple is making a profit on Macintosh hardware and Mac OS X Client, I am sure they would like nothing more than to sell as many copies of Mac OS X server as they sell of Mac OS X Client. This is evident in their, extremely intelligent, decision to have a very simple licensing plan with a quick cap ($500 for 10 or $1000 for unlimited). As I'm sure you've guessed by now, I believe Markler is being positioned to be Mac OS X Server for Intel Compatible (I just invented that, BTW. Probably won't get any credit though,...seeing as how both names are already copywrited and all).

    Think about it, this is the perfect solution for all those involved. First, the standard for Intel compatible servers is quickly shifting from Windows NT based operating systems (NT/2000/2003) to Linux based operating systems. Because of this, almost all server side applications are first or simultaneously developed for UNIX (to allow them to quickly move to Linux and the already established UNIX servers) and Windows server.

    This plays into right into Apple's hand as it allows them to due to Linux essentially what Linux has done to other UNIX's. I would say eat them alive if that didn't sound unpleasant so I'll just say move in on their market share. Linux did this because it was free and virtually immune from becoming dated do to it's open source nature. While not free, Mac OS X Server is similarly immune from becoming dated due to the open source nature of it's core, Darwin, and the profitable nature of it's client offspring (Mac OS X desktop), even if that client is on a different platform.

    This would also explain Apple's seeming overnight interest in X11, as this is the main GUI for Linux. If Apple can integrate X11 into the Aqua GUI as least as well as it does the classic environment (and I think it could be integrated much better sense the X11 libraries are an extension to the Aqua GUI rather than a completely separate GUI attempting to run simultaneously), then it would be possible to compile current Linux/X11 based applications on Mac OS X Server with little more difficulty than Solaris or any other X11 enabled UNIX. Yes, pure Aqua would look better, but Aqua/X11 conversion would be perfectly acceptable for a server that might not see a monitor for weeks or months after it is initially setup.

    Sale cannibalization would really not be an issue as the clients who would be interested in using Mac OS X Server in lieu of Linux probably would not be in the market for Xserve anyway, opting instead for the larger servers sold on the Intel Compatible market (such as 8 and 16 processor equipped models). In fact, using Markler as Mac OS X Server, instead of Mac OS X Client, really gives Apple the best of both worlds. It allows them to market on of their most profitable per copy products to some of the largest consumers in the world.

    To top it all off, they do not in any serious way endanger their desktop hardware sales. This approach also allows Apple to avoid the application problems that ultimately killed the original Rhapsody operating system as Mac OS X server depends almost exclusively on open source server software (Apache, etc..) can be readily moved between the two architectures with little to know modification. Most users of Mac OS X server do not add anything other than security updates and use it as is. This would truly be a win win situation for all those involved, save Linux.
     
  2. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #2
    First, two words: paragraph breaks. It's insanely hard to read a huge block of text.

    Second, while an interesting idea, marklar as a server OS still has all the problems of marklar as a client OS. In fact, the problems are made worse. What programs are going to run on it. NO mac programs would, and since things like x-serves sell very few units, you won't see developers making anything for them, especially when MS and linux servers running on the same hardware is already available.

    What real advantages would this scenario offer over a linux or MS server. It runs the same software (indeed, less software in some scenarios), and costs more, with none of the advantages of powerPC (low power consumption, etc). Add to that the additional cost of now maintaining and testing two separate OS (it may be similar, but all x86 testing would have to separate from powerPC, whereas now OS X and OS X server are very similar).

    What about people that want to run OS X server on their macs. Do we then have a third OS, or do we just ignore them and make them buy hardware from which apple doesn't make any profit.

    Oh lets not forget that if apple wants to do large scale enterprise business, they need to setup dedicated support staffs and service contracts. These things get complicated and can be expensive.

    I just don't see it as realistic. interesting idea, but doesn't seem practical.
     
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #3
    I'd go further and make a comment, but decided not to read it -- too hard to read without simple paragraph breaks.
     
  4. macphoria macrumors 6502a

    macphoria

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2002
    #4
    Allow me.

    It is an interesting proposition. Not likely to happen. But it would make a fascinating news.
     
  5. hotFusion thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    #5
    Sorry about the paragraph breaks. I intended to clean it up before actually posting it, but got side tracked and am single minded anyway, so...

    Reading the replies has given me additional trains of thought, thinking is fun :).

    Second, while an interesting idea, markler as a server OS still has all the problems of markler as a client OS. In fact, the problems are made worse. What programs are going to run on it. NO mac programs would, and since things like x-serves sell very few units, you won't see developers making anything for them, especially when MS and linux servers running on the same hardware is already available.


    First, I am not advocating Apple produce ANY Intel Compatible hardware, this would only be for bundling with currently established Intel Compatible server manufactures. Second, I do not foresee the lack of Mac applications as a serious problem as their simply aren't that many applications targeted solely at Mac OS X Server.

    It is true that normal Mac OS X software would not work out of the box on Mac OS X Server for Intel Compatible (from here on known as Mac OS X Server FIC), the target market would likely not miss them. The software they would be interested in (http://www.stalker.com/CommuniGatePro/ for example) could be converted with assistance from Apple to speed the process. I do not think you would have the same developer worries moving Mac OS X Server from the PowerPC architecture to the Intel Compatible architecture as you saw when Apple contemplated moving Mac OS X client. The reason is simply because most developers of Mac OS X Server oriented software were/are original Unix developers who simply want their product on as many operating systems as possible (don't we all) and could include OS X server in their list with little more effort than supporting another derivative of Linux/Unix.

    Also remember that in doing this, Apple wouldn't necessarily (but certainly wouldn't discourage) be attempting to woo current Mac OS X Server for PowerPC developers. Instead, they would be attempting to woo current Intel Compatible Linux/Unix developers. With X11 and probably a few other additional libraries (not a developer, so I don't exactly what the nit picky differences between Mac OS X and Linux are), moving applications between Intel Compatible versions of Mac OS X and Linux would be even easier than it currently is.

    What real advantages would this scenario offer over a linux or MS server. It runs the same software (indeed, less software in some scenarios), and costs more, with none of the advantages of powerPC (low power consumption, etc). Add to that the additional cost of now maintaining and testing two separate OS (it may be similar, but all x86 testing would have to separate from powerPC, whereas now OS X and OS X server are very similar).


    You bring up an interesting point about why would they switch from Linux FIC to Mac OS X Server FIC. The customers Apple would be going after would be those who are currently using a Windows Server Operating System and who are used to paying licensing fees. Off the bat, Mac OS X Server is cheaper than Windows Server if we look only at license fees.

    Aside from the initial purchase, Apple does not have the same predatory reputation (wether it is truly earned or not) of Microsoft. This will get Apple in the door, certainly by itself it won't guarantee a sell, but it will get Apple in the door with some of Microsoft's less than satisfied customers, such as Dell.

    Mac OS X Server for FIC is the perfect compromise for clients who want to avoid paying Microsoft overly large licensing fees, but still want a refined Server operating system. The secret Linux IT professionals know is that it requires the same level of IT staff to service Linux systems as it does Windows systems. Mac OS X was designed to be much more hands off, which allows a similar number of servers running with a smaller IT staff. This, in turn, saves money without sacrificing quality. In other words, Mac OS X Server FIC will give people a Linux Server with a Windows like familiarity, sans the headaches.;)

    As for power consumption, anything that costs money is important to a corporation, this is common sense. Frankly, however, I do not think corporations who are buying large banks of perhaps tens to hundreds to thousands of server systems consider power consumption high on their list of demands. I do, however, see your point.

    As for the additional cost of maintaining two OS, I can only say you are correct. I never said this was going to be like falling off a log. You have brought up excellent points, most I believe I've dealt with, but not all. This would require an investment on Apple's part and would require a very good salesman to pull it off. Personally, I believe Apple and Steve Jobs are up to the challenge.
     
  6. LimeLite macrumors 6502a

    LimeLite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #6
    Why didn't you just edit your original post? And also, I'm pretty sure it's spelled Marklar, two a's, no e.

    Also, what benefit would this have? Apple makes servers...and it's known that Apple uses their software to sell its hardware...so why would they make an OS X Server that's x86 compatible when they can just use the current OS X with their own servers? I find it very very doubtful that this is the case, especially in your estimated time frame of one year.
     
  7. hotFusion thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    #7
    Also, what benefit would this have? Apple makes servers...and it's known that Apple uses their software to sell its hardware...so why would they make an OS X Server that's x86 compatible when they can just use the current OS X with their own servers? I find it very very doubtful that this is the case, especially in your estimated time frame of one year.

    Granted, my timeframe was nothing but a wild guess, and even money says it's ludicrous.

    What I am talking about (and this is not derogatory to you because I can see now I didn't make my views clear and rather jumped around), what I am talking about is partnering with a PC manufacture who is currently making servers far more powerful than Apple's. Yes, you are correct that if Apple produced a version of Mac OS X FIC and sold it through an X86 manufacture who was only manufacturing a 1U dual processor Intel Compatible server it would be like robbing Peter for $10 and paying Paul $20.

    However, the target for Mac OS X Server FIC would be servers currently manufactured by Dell and others, such as the PowerEdge series (http://www.dell.com/us/en/esg/topics/segtopic_servers_pedge_towermain.htm), (I apologize for constantly using Dell in my examples, but their X86 servers are where my experience comes) which are magnitudes more powerful. BTW, this is not meant as a slam against Apple because Server performance is not just measured in processor speed and RAM. The Xserve is the best 1U server currently being sold in my opinion and in the opinions of those who's opinions really matter (critics, etc.) But you can't use a 1U server for everything.

    These servers not only offer dual and quad processor configurations, they also support configurations like 10 hot swappable PCI cards and RAM that can be scaled from 512MB to 32GB. People or organizations who purchase these would never purchase an Apple Xserve simply because it does not offer these options, options they obviously need or they wouldn't be looking at the PowerEdge in the first place.

    If Apple is currently planning to introduce an Xserve which offers these options with even more powerful processors (G5s would do nicely :)), then great. That torpedoes my whole plan and I'm the first to admit it, but I do not think this is going to happen soon, eventually, but not anytime soon.

    This would be the most effective way to get Mac OS X Server (even if it is for Intel Compatible) out into the world of heavy hitters. Sure, there are lots of people who are in the market for 1U servers who now look at Apple because of the Xserve, but most still consider the heavy hitters (the big iron so to speak) to be Dell, IBM, etc.

    This would allow them to get Mac OS X Server into the hands of those who need such powerful hardware now. Get them accustomed to the refinement and power of Mac OS X Server (again, even if it is on X86 hardware) and, more importantly, take a stab at the boatloads of money that would normally go to Microsoft or Red Hat.

    Let us not forget, very few Server operators simply download Linux off the net and do all the grunt work themselves, most pay Red Had or any number of other Linux Server proprietors just as they pay Microsoft for Windows. As the saying goes, Linux is certainly cheaper, but it isn't free. Apple doesn't have to provide a free operating system, just one that costs the same as the cheapest (or is cheaper, of course) but is better.

    Mac OS X gives them everything Linux does but is easier to use than Windows.
     
  8. LimeLite macrumors 6502a

    LimeLite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #8
    But you have still completely failed to point out why you think Apple or the consumer would be motivated to make and buy this software.

    Apple makes barely any money on it's OS. The OS is just there to sell the hardware, that's where they make their big money. Where, then, is the motivation for them to spend all of that money on R & D to build an x86 compatible version of their server software? Who would buy an Xserve if they could get OS X Server to run on an x86? Creating this software would ultimately kill their entire server department.

    And where is the motivation from the consumer? If they're happy with what they've got, why throw something new into the mix? If they want OS X Server so bad, they should buy an Xserve.

    I'm sorry, but this idea of yours really just makes no sense. It's very impractical. And it also does not hold true to the rumors floating around about Marklar already.
     
  9. hotFusion thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    #9
    Apple makes barely any money on it's OS. The OS is just there to sell the hardware, that's where they make their big money.

    They make money on Mac OS X Server at $500 to $1000 a pop. That money then goes into the general Mac OS X development group, from where both Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server originate. A one for all, all for one scenario.

    Where, then, is the motivation for them to spend all of that money on R & D to build an x86 compatible version of their server software? Who would buy an Xserve if they could get OS X Server to run on an x86?

    As I've already explained, people who would buy a Dell PowerEdge Server aren't going to buy a current Xserve under any circumstance. You're basically saying that if they don't like the hardware, then off with them. That attitude is what got Apple where it currently is. I'm saying that if they won't buy the server hardware, we can at least sell them the server software.

    You do bring up a valid point about R&D. Keep in mind, I'm not talking trying to develop Mac OS X Server FIC in a fashion like Windows where out of the box it supports every hardware configuration known to man. I'm talking about setting reasonable goals with reasonable expectations.

    For Example, Apple could approach Dell with this offer,

    "We [Apple] are currently interested in developing a version of our server OS, Mac OS X Server for YOUR hardware. We ask for an agreement that allows our engineers access to the specific hardware configurations you currently offer now and in the future for a timeframe of [whatever is felt to be appropriate] and assistance in the development of our OS by way of access to your engineers. Their roles will be solely as advisers in our efforts.

    In return, we pledge to develop a Unix based server operating system (the aforementioned Mac OS X Server) that is seamlessly compatible, both by way of current server applications and protocol interchangeability, with current Linux systems. We also pledge that it will protocol compatible with current Windows systems [Samba, FTP, HTTP, etc.].

    In return for our pledges and efforts and your minimal supportive efforts, we ask only that our product be judged without prejudice and by the same standards by which you currently judge the server Operating System efforts by Microsoft and Linux distributors.

    If given these considerations, we [Apple] feel that our product, Mac OS X Server for Intel Compatible, can serve your clients, and by definition your corporation, better than the currently offered solutions by Microsoft and Linux developers independently."

    Apple could not go so far as to demand a guarantee of purchase, this would quickly cause the curiosity that drove them to even listen to the pitch to rapidly evaporate. But if Apple could truly deliver on these promises, then I think Dell would be more than satisfied, especially if it cost them financial resources comparable to Linux (as opposed to Microsoft) to implement. Instead of thinking of the short term tasks of Integrating Mac OS X Server (which would be extremely miniscule if Apple could deliver on the interoperating pledges, amounting to little more than redesigning packaging and advertisements), they would be considering the long term benefits of using an Operating System Developed by an actual company.

    A Company that is going to listen to whatever they have to say about the product because that is what capitalism is all about. However, they still retain the Open Source nature of Linux, which by the way is just about Linux's single biggest selling point. If an operating system is open, then the chances of being forced to upgrade (as is the case with Microsoft) are negligible. This is why people will be interested, because they will have the piece of mind telling them that it is just like Windows but their IT departments (and there accounting departments) will be telling them that it is just like Linux.

    And in the middle is Apple who has now opened a completely new revenue stream, a stream they could use, for example, in the further development of their current product inventory. Apple has the piece of mind knowing that they have not jeopardized their hardware business as there simply does not exist Macintosh equivalents of the Servers which Mac OS X Server FIC are running. If anything, Apple can congratulate themselves by saying they have figured out a way to make money off software where they COULD NOT make money off hardware.

    They could have their cake [Apple's current hardware and software lines] and eat it too [by making money off other's server offerings], they just couldn't also ask for a cup of coffee [instead of buying those servers, settle for ours, something no one in the market for servers larger than 1U would do].

    As to your comments about current rumors, I'm not trying to claim this is rumored. I simply taken the current rumors to heights as yet not imagined. And in a way, laying out what I think is a suitable plan of action.
     
  10. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    I don't really care whether Apples uses x86 or PPC chips, I just want cheaper/faster Macs. The G4 Macs are just too slow compared to PCs and the G5s are too expensive.

    Anyway if Apple can hold on with the PPC for a few more years, they will have an advantage over Intel/AMD since the x86 design is slow and out of date and will need to be updated soon if Intel wants to keep up with the Pentium speed increases.
     
  11. cubist macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Location:
    Muncie, Indiana
    #11
    If they want to bundle with a hardware manufacturer...

    ... then who better to bundle with than IBM? IBM already offers a variety of servers, with all kinds of storage and network options, and get this: They have PowerPC processors! No Markler (sic) needed!
     
  12. hotFusion thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    #12
    ... then who better to bundle with than IBM? IBM already offers a variety of servers, with all kinds of storage and network options, and get this: They have PowerPC processors! No Markler (sic) needed!

    I did consider this, I then discounted it for several reasons.

    For one, IBM already develops their own versions of Unix for their servers. On the high end, they use and develop AIX and for the lower end they use Linux. In fact, they have made a $500 million dollar investment in Linux this year alone.

    The problem is that I cannot see why they would want to replace their own server operating systems with anyone else's, including Apple's. Companies like Dell are completely reliant to others for their operating systems (Red Hat, Microsoft, etc.) and therefore have a vested interest in using whichever best fits their needs. IBM can simply turn AIX or Linux into whatever they need, no third parties required.
     

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