Apple's Intel Move... Early Details and Notes

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,446
8,512


As readers digest yesterday's announcement about Apple's move to Intel. Here are some notes gathered about the upcoming transition.

- It appears Rosetta, Apple's Intel-Mac PowerPC emulator which was demonstrated at WWDC does not support AltiVec (Velocity Engine) according to Game developers.

- The new Intel-Macs may likely support Windows in a dual-boot capacity, assuming Microsoft provides software support:

Apple also confirmed that they would not stop customers from running Windows on the Intel-based Mac, although the Mac OS will not run on another PC.
Alternatively, Windows could potentially be run in a window under Mac OS X in a Virtual PC-type environment. Older users may realize this may cause some problems with potential software development. It has been said that one large reason for the demise of IBM's OS/2 was due to its support of Windows applications and the ability to dual boot into Windows. Developers were said to be reluctant to spend time on OS/2 specific applications when OS/2 users could typically also run Windows.

- Rosetta will not support programs written for Mac OS 8 or OS 9. Schiller is quoted as saying that no definitive plans to address Classic mode support have been made by "it's certainly not very high on the priority list."

- Trivia: Apple has recycled the name "Rosetta". It was previously used as their in-house handwriting recognizer for the Newton.

- Don't expect benchmarks soon. The developer's transition kit agreement which provides a PowerMac with an Intel processor for $999 has many conditions. One including:

You also agree not to make any changes or alterations to the Developer Transition System, not to publish or release the results of any benchmark tests run on the Developer Transition System...
 

AoWolf

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2003
956
0
Daytona Beach
In the end I think this move is a good thing thought it may be stressful. One a side note some guys from some blizzard guys at WWDC said that they got wow to run on roseate just not at acceptable speeds ;-) They also said they had the first intel build of the game done. Weather or not this is any kind of indication on how easy this transition will be I am not sure...
 

yoda13

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
1,460
0
Texas
interesting thing about the OS/2 trivia. Wonder if that is applicable in our situation at all?? Hope not....I love my Mac and Apple software and hopefully it won't be a problem getting developers to continue development for the platform, even if it will boot into Windows or have some better Virtual PC type situation.
 

vouder17

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2003
826
0
Home
So does it mean that the app will still run on Rosetta just without the optimization of Altivec..or will it just not run at all.
 

mcarnes

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2004
1,929
1
USA! USA!
It would be nice if it can boot windows. Virtual PC sucks so bad...

I can finally ditch the blasted PC I keep for running that one program.
 

MacTruck

macrumors 65816
Jan 27, 2005
1,242
0
One Endless Loop
vouder17 said:
So does it mean that the app will still run on Rosetta just without the optimization of Altivec..or will it just not run at all.
I would guess it wouldn't run at all. Programs requiring altivec won't run now on G3 computers. iDVD is a big one.
 

the.snitch

macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2004
110
0
Auckland, NZ
So if the intel based macs can run windows, i assume we can use PC hardware and GFX cards etc in these intel-macs and install the windows drivers to use them in Windows.

Does this mean we will get to use Standard PC hardware in our Macs? :eek:
 

MacTruck

macrumors 65816
Jan 27, 2005
1,242
0
One Endless Loop
the_snitch said:
So if the intel based macs can run windows, i assume we can use PC hardware and GFX cards etc in these intel-macs and install the windows drivers to use them in Windows.

Does this mean we will get to use Standard PC hardware in our Macs? :eek:

Not putting standard pc hardware in the new macs would REALLY suck. As they are cheaper and have a wider selection.
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,594
141
Bergen, Norway
Classic support is really not that big an issue. People can always keep an old world Mac (like my G3 upgraded Power Mac 7500) if they really have to run any Classic apps.

Rosetta seems fine. But I'm more worried about the other "way". How long will companies include fat/universal binaries for their apps? Even if it is very easy, from a developers POV, the extra binaries takes extra space, and space costs money. I remember there came PPC exclusive apps fairly fast after a short transitional period with PPC optimized apps still capable of running on 68k Macs last time around...

Running Windows... in a window... at native speed... is going to be awesome... :D

Still no news on which processors that will be used? That is really what I want to know...
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,643
0
On repeating OS/2 history: This isn't really the same situation, at least not completely. OS/2 and Windows had a lot in common, both having been developed as sequels to MS-DOS and starting from a common user interface and common protocols such as DDE. Windows applications weren't perfectly transparent under OS/2, but they were overall a pretty good fit.

Windows applications would continue to look and feel alien on a Macintel, much as they do under Virtual PC today. Customers will still be expecting integration, and a virtualized Windows environment can only offer so much.
 

CubaTBird

macrumors 68020
Apr 18, 2004
2,135
0
i dunno.. this is all becoming somewhat confusing.. with all that could happen.. i mean will mac users finally be able to install custom soudn cards/graphics cards in there macs now that they are intel based? one would think so.. and games.. well pc games are more direct x based than anything else so porting those still would have issues... gnaw... this is becoming somewhat messy is what im gathering.. but then thats just me.. :eek:
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
yoda13 said:
interesting thing about the OS/2 trivia. Wonder if that is applicable in our situation at all?? Hope not....I love my Mac and Apple software and hopefully it won't be a problem getting developers to continue development for the platform, even if it will boot into Windows or have some better Virtual PC type situation.
Sort of, back in the OS/2 days everybody though it was all about Windows compatibility.

These days consumers are looking for alternatives to Windows, which will probably help ease the transition with developers.

And it wasn't that developers were reluctant to spend the time, the bean counters looked at the situation and realized they wouldn't lose a single customer if they killed OS/2 -- so it got axed in the budget cuts.

We may have a dry period as far as games are concerned, but the Mac OS along with an Apple PC should give corporations an alternative to Windows -- if they bite developers will follow.
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,643
0
Mitthrawnuruodo said:
Classic support is really not that big an issue. People can always keep an old world Mac (like my G3 upgraded Power Mac 7500) if they really have to run any Classic apps.
There is also PearPC for those old programs, which I'm sure will be ported to Macintel in short order.
 

chatin

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2005
872
555
MAC OSX stuck with Rosetta and 32-bit binaries!

Rosetta will not run apps that use Velocity Engine (Altivec instructions, also G3 optimized.)

The universal binaries, previously called fat binaries, support IA-32 not EMT64/AMD64.

Let's see. Apple clones the FreeBSD kernel from open source, Intel shamelessly copies AMD64. Then Steve wants to keep the Mac closed and not let the binaries use EMT64/AMD64.

Hold on for a wild ride on this one. Jobs clearly puts the con in i-Con! :)
 

.Joel

macrumors member
May 10, 2005
87
36
CubaTBird said:
i dunno.. this is all becoming somewhat confusing.. with all that could happen.. i mean will mac users finally be able to install custom soudn cards/graphics cards in there macs now that they are intel based? one would think so.. and games.. well pc games are more direct x based than anything else so porting those still would have issues... gnaw... this is becoming somewhat messy is what im gathering.. but then thats just me.. :eek:
I can't see standard hardware becoming an option. Everyone here is jumping at the theory "new cpu, new pc." I think if you looked at Steve's iMac at the WWDC conference, it looked like a standard G5 iMac, with an Intel CPU in it. So I think that hardware etc will stay as it is, patented to Apple's standards and pre-requisets. However, the CPUs will be the only major change in my opinion.
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
6,352
3,213
Florida Resident
OS/2 wasn't that much better than the Windows 3.1 except it had real multitasking. It was a great wrapper OS to run your Windows 16bit and DOS programs. Windows 95 wasn't supported with OS/2 and I think that killed it. Video Driver support required going into the command line on OS/2. OS/2 seemed like a Frankenstein hybrid of DOS and a Windows 3.1 clone.

OSX is 10 years ahead of XP so probably developers will still want to write apps for it. OS/2 had no original thinking or culture since it was IBM. The user experience was cold. OS/2 Warp 4 showed signs of life but it was too late just like the future G5 development.
 

tsk

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2004
642
0
Wisconsin
Bah! With a new topic each day, how can one of these topics top 5000 posts!

That said, I wonder how long it is till there is an ISO on the net of the developer MacOS for x86.

Edit: Didn't read they got an x86 PowerMac too. I guess that developer MacOS is probably pretty crippled driver wise.
 

Maedus

macrumors regular
Dec 4, 2004
137
0
Indiana
Macrumors said:
Alternatively, Windows could potentially be run in a window under Mac OS X in a Virtual PC-type environment. Older users may realize this may cause some problems with potential software development. It has been said that one large reason for the demise of IBM's OS/2 was due to its support of Windows applications and the ability to dual boot into Windows. Developers were said to be reluctant to spend time on OS/2 specific applications when OS/2 users could typically also run Windows.
Though Mac OS X does have the fact that it is a full featured OS with a long history of development and support as well as a large and loyal user base as well as Mac OS X and Windows XP having very different underpinnings whereas OS/2 and Windows shared a similar architecture that let Windows programs easily run on OS/2, natively I do believe. Linux is still strong and healthy and you can dual-boot Linux and Windows and you can run Windows apps using WINE. And there will probably always be the desire to have Mac OS X native apps instead of running Windows apps from Mac Users since we appreciate the Apple UI and guidelines as well as the look and feel. It is similar to the fact that we can run *Nix programs with X11 but, I personally, would much rather have an Aqua version of the program and will choose an Aqua version over one that has to run in X11.

I hope that all made sense. But to recap for clarity, I wouldn't worry about Mac OS X suffering the same fate as OS/2. I'm more worried about people hacking whatever Apple puts into place to keep Mac OS X on Apple computers only and letting any Tom, Dick, and Harry install Mac OS X on their Dell machine so that Apple sees little if any money.
 

crazylb1

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2002
36
0
Boulder
I agree with Joel, I don't think we'll see nearly as much change as people are predicting. It'll mostly be a switch to new processors and not much more.
 

mandis

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2005
225
0
UK
I would realy like to have a look at those intel equiped powermacs. Has anyone posted any photos yet??

Also SJ promised more PPC products that are yet to come, should we expect to see a Dual 3GHz Powermac?

I can't wait to get my hands on one of those beauties!! :D
 

Object-X

macrumors 6502a
Aug 3, 2004
631
1
That's what they say now

Ya, that's what they say now. It's only a matter of time until OS X ships on your new Dell or HP. They will keep it closed while in transition, but it won't be long until open source finds a way to make it work regardless. Once, all this plays out, Apple will get comfortable with selling hardware for it's design and share holders will see $$ in their eyes as OS X decimates the Windows monopoly.

Imagine all the poeple who will want to buy a Mac just so they can dual boot it with Longhorn and Leopard. :eek:
 

the.snitch

macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2004
110
0
Auckland, NZ
Joel Theodore said:
I can't see standard hardware becoming an option. Everyone here is jumping at the theory "new cpu, new pc." I think if you looked at Steve's iMac at the WWDC conference, it looked like a standard G5 iMac, with an Intel CPU in it. So I think that hardware etc will stay as it is, patented to Apple's standards and pre-requisets. However, the CPUs will be the only major change in my opinion.
It was a powermac