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pshufd

macrumors G3
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
9,983
14,460
New Hampshire
There are discussions of how long Apple will maintain Rosetta 2 and the answer might be forever. I'm working on my taxes using the download version of TurboTax and it's x86. I'm amazed that a company as big as Intuit can't just create a universal binary by flipping a switch.

Fidelity Active Trader Pro is in the same situation: they have a huge legacy product written for Windows that runs through WINE and Rosetta 2.

I do not see a great impetus for software vendors to port these days and this means that I will need to keep an x86 Mac around that runs current operating system if Rosetta 2 ever goes away.
 

sunny5

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2021
1,712
1,582
Probably after 7~8 years, they will ditch all Intel Mac and software completely. They did that with PowerPC and obsolete products no longer get supports with macOS anyway which also takes 7 years in average.
 

pshufd

macrumors G3
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
9,983
14,460
New Hampshire
Probably after 7~8 years, they will ditch all Intel Mac and software completely. They did that with PowerPC and obsolete products no longer get supports with macOS anyway which also takes 7 years in average.

If software vendors don't produce AS kits and Apple drops Rosetta 2, then I'll have to go back to Windows for a couple of programs.
 
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senttoschool

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2017
2,587
5,354
TurboTax isn't going to get ported for a while. It's not a piece of software that cares about performance or RAM usage. You use it once a year, and discard it. That's it. It'll get ported when Apple announces the end of Rosetta 2.

As for Fidelity Active Trader Pro, is it the same? Does performance matter? I know executing the trades fast enough matters but I would assume that the network is magnitudes slower than Rosetta 2.
 

pshufd

macrumors G3
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
9,983
14,460
New Hampshire
TurboTax isn't going to get ported for a while. It's not a piece of software that cares about performance or RAM usage. You use it once a year, and discard it. That's it. It'll get ported when Apple announces the end of Rosetta 2.

As for Fidelity Active Trader Pro, is it the same? Does performance matter? I know executing the trades fast enough matters but I would assume that the network is magnitudes slower than Rosetta 2.

Intuit would rather you buy the cloud version than the installable software and they may wind up going all the way on the cloud. I like to have the tax files on my system that I can pull up when I want to; even going back a decade. TurboTax can get pretty slow when you have a lot of stuff to process.

Performance definitely matters for trading platforms. I have probably 10K pageviews on my videos to get Think or Swim running natively on Apple Silicon. The performance of native Apple Silicon to Intel is 3 to 1. One of the big things about these trading programs is that they take a long time to start up and you can program your own indicators and those are performance hogs. I think that the max RAM allocation in Think or Swim is 128 GB of RAM - it's more like an operating system than a application program.

The other killer on TurboTax is installing updates. It seems to do that everytime you run it.
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,342
19,391
I think the most sensible thing is to keep Rosetta 2 around for as long as possible, while at the same time dropping macOS and developer framework support for Intel in the next few years.

One problem is maintaining backwards compatibility — it's not just Intel code, it's Intel code built for old versions of macOS (with their share of bugs and idiosyncratic behavior). At some point the maintenance effort will be too much. But old software might still run under virtualisation.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,708
Apple has to do what they did last time. Announce a date when support for Rosetta 2 ends.

They can't effectively do that until they stop selling Intel Macs and as of today you still can buy a Mac with an Intel chip. In other words, since Apple sells intel Macs, they cannot force developers to only develop ARM based applications.
 

jdb8167

macrumors 601
Nov 17, 2008
4,761
4,482
Apple has to do what they did last time. Announce a date when support for Rosetta 2 ends.
Why do they have to do that? Last time Rosetta was licensed 3rd party software and the original developers were bought by IBM. This time Rosetta 2 is 100% in house development by Apple.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,708
Why do they have to do that?
Force developers to write ARM apps - pure and simple Without a club, developers will be slow to adopt, some may choose to not even consider it. The aforementioned Turbo tax.

When Steve Jobs did it back during the transition to Intel, that forced all of the developers sitting on the fence to move. They need just as much motivation now. Well, not now since Apple still has intel macs, but shortly after we see a M series Mac Pro
 

jdb8167

macrumors 601
Nov 17, 2008
4,761
4,482
Force developers to write ARM apps - pure and simple Without a club, developers will be slow to adopt, some may choose to not even consider it. The aforementioned Turbo tax.

When Steve Jobs did it back during the transition to Intel, that forced all of the developers sitting on the fence to move. They need just as much motivation now. Well, not now since Apple still has intel macs, but shortly after we see a M series Mac Pro
I see no upside for Apple to drop Rosetta 2. They went out of their way to help the Wine developers get their software working with Rosetta 2. There is no chance that Wine will ever be Arm native so if they had future plans to kill Rosetta then why bother helping out Wine?

Apple is in a very different place than they were during the Intel transition. Macs are a smaller part of their business and no longer as critical. Rosetta 2 is pretty efficient and a relatively small piece of system software. I can’t foresee much future maintenance either.

Dropping Rosetta might force a few developers to update their software but who really cares if TurboTax is never updated? The majority of software has already been updated. That together with a lot of software moving to the web makes it unlikely that current holdouts have much interest in supporting Apple’s Arm transition.

Update: I forgot to mention that Apple has made Rosetta 2 available to Linux VMs too. Again, if you have plans to drop Rosetta, why put in the work to support Linux?
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,342
19,391
I see no upside for Apple to drop Rosetta 2. .. Update: I forgot to mention that Apple has made Rosetta 2 available to Linux VMs too. Again, if you have plans to drop Rosetta, why put in the work to support Linux?

I think it’s important to differentiate “Rosetta 2” as a software component for running x86 code and “Rosetta 2” as a tool for running macOS Apple compiled for Intel. The first one can be provided pretty much indefinitely*, the second one comes with additional overhead (as one needs to maintain compatibility to applications compiled for old versions of macOS). So I think at some point Intel apps will stop working - not because they are Intel apps, but because they use very old versions of system frameworks.

*there is also some additional overhead Apple Silicon emulates x86 memory model in hardware. It is unclear whether this emulation is expensive and whether Apple would one day want to drop it.
 

iAppleOrchard

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2022
887
1,254
Colorado
The only Rosetta app I still use are Roblox and Roblox studio, which are expected to gain universal versions within the next couple of months.
 

pshufd

macrumors G3
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
9,983
14,460
New Hampshire
Apple has to do what they did last time. Announce a date when support for Rosetta 2 ends.

They can't effectively do that until they stop selling Intel Macs and as of today you still can buy a Mac with an Intel chip. In other words, since Apple sells intel Macs, they cannot force developers to only develop ARM based applications.

They are still selling 2017 iMac Pros in the refurbished store and we're six years out from when that launched. If they do the same for the Mac Pro, then we're looking at 2030 for end of Intel support at the earliest.

One thing about Intuit, though. They only need to flip a build switch to get a Universal Binary. It's not like Apple makes it hard to produce Apple Silicon targets. In Fidelity's case, it's a Windows x86 program so they can't do that. They would have to do a rewrite.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,708
They are still selling 2017 iMac Pros in the refurbished store and we're six years out from when that launched. If they do the same for the Mac Pro, then we're looking at 2030 for end of Intel support at the earliest.
Yeah, that's my point - they can't do it yet. Not when they're actively selling Intel Macs.
 
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pshufd

macrumors G3
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
9,983
14,460
New Hampshire
Yeah, that's my point - they can't do it yet. Not when they're actively selling Intel Macs.

I can go to Windows if I have to though it means hooking up a Windows machine. It's a problem that's not on the horizon - but I just wish that Intuit would make an AS native kit. They have a marketcap of $122B - I think that they could spare a few engineering resources to make an AS kit.
 

dmccloud

macrumors 68040
Sep 7, 2009
3,007
1,758
Anchorage, AK
I can go to Windows if I have to though it means hooking up a Windows machine. It's a problem that's not on the horizon - but I just wish that Intuit would make an AS native kit. They have a marketcap of $122B - I think that they could spare a few engineering resources to make an AS kit.

Intuit moved into the "nickel and dime everyone" business years ago. Their primary focus is finding ways to drive continuous revenue into the company rather than spending money to develop a version of their software for Apple Silicon. Their solution to everything is "put it in the cloud!"
 

pshufd

macrumors G3
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
9,983
14,460
New Hampshire
Intuit moved into the "nickel and dime everyone" business years ago. Their primary focus is finding ways to drive continuous revenue into the company rather than spending money to develop a version of their software for Apple Silicon. Their solution to everything is "put it in the cloud!"

They charge $105 for TurboTax Premier which I need because I have thousands of trades per year and entering them manually is not a viable option. For that, you get one free state tax return. But you have to pay an additional $25 to e-file it. So I'm going to print it out and mail it in.

Nickel and Dime indeed.
 

Lounge vibes 05

macrumors 68040
May 30, 2016
3,658
10,621
I assume Apple will drop Rosetta support the same way they dropped 32-bit app support.
Spring 2018: High Sierra begins warning users of 32-bit applications that the next version of macOS will be the last version to support them.
June 2018: Apple announces Mojave, the last version to support 32-bit applications.
Spring 2019: the warnings on Mojave become more persistent for 32-bit users, making it very clear that future updates will not be supported.
June 2019: Apple announces Catalina, which like promised, does not support 32-bit applications.
October 2019: the Catalina installer includes a built-in tool to see all of the 32-bit applications still on your system, and warns again that they will not be supported with this update.
Fall 2021: Apple stops providing security updates for Mojave, officially ending support completely for 32-bit applications.
That was a 3 and a half year transition, not sure why they wouldn’t do the same thing with Rosetta.
Begin warning about a year out, increase the warnings as time goes on, provide security updates for the last Rosetta supported OS for an additional two years.
 

pshufd

macrumors G3
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
9,983
14,460
New Hampshire
I assume Apple will drop Rosetta support the same way they dropped 32-bit app support.
Spring 2018: High Sierra begins warning users of 32-bit applications that the next version of macOS will be the last version to support them.
June 2018: Apple announces Mojave, the last version to support 32-bit applications.
Spring 2019: the warnings on Mojave become more persistent for 32-bit users, making it very clear that future updates will not be supported.
June 2019: Apple announces Catalina, which like promised, does not support 32-bit applications.
October 2019: the Catalina installer includes a built-in tool to see all of the 32-bit applications still on your system, and warns again that they will not be supported with this update.
Fall 2021: Apple stops providing security updates for Mojave, officially ending support completely for 32-bit applications.
That was a 3 and a half year transition, not sure why they wouldn’t do the same thing with Rosetta.
Begin warning about a year out, increase the warnings as time goes on, provide security updates for the last Rosetta supported OS for an additional two years.

Fidelity's approach was to just use WINE to take care of the 32-bit to 64 bit stuff. I have no idea how they accomplished this but they only recently added 64-bit support for Windows and therefore macOS - in that I guess that they didn't need WINE to do 32-bit to 64-bit translation.
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,342
19,391
I assume Apple will drop Rosetta support the same way they dropped 32-bit app support.
Spring 2018: High Sierra begins warning users of 32-bit applications that the next version of macOS will be the last version to support them.
June 2018: Apple announces Mojave, the last version to support 32-bit applications.
Spring 2019: the warnings on Mojave become more persistent for 32-bit users, making it very clear that future updates will not be supported.
June 2019: Apple announces Catalina, which like promised, does not support 32-bit applications.
October 2019: the Catalina installer includes a built-in tool to see all of the 32-bit applications still on your system, and warns again that they will not be supported with this update.
Fall 2021: Apple stops providing security updates for Mojave, officially ending support completely for 32-bit applications.
That was a 3 and a half year transition, not sure why they wouldn’t do the same thing with Rosetta.
Begin warning about a year out, increase the warnings as time goes on, provide security updates for the last Rosetta supported OS for an additional two years.

I think that the story with the 32-bit support is interesting because it illustrates the difference between running "code" and running "apps" that I pointed out in #11. The thing is, macOS is still perfectly capable of running 32-bit Intel code — in fact, Rosetta 2 can translate it to 64-bit ARM. This is what Wine uses to run 32-bit Intel applications on M-series Macs for example. So I can imagine something like this happening to Intel apps in the future — the OS will drop support, but still provide the component for running x86 code.
 

Spaceboi Scaphandre

macrumors 68040
Jun 8, 2022
3,414
8,096
There are discussions of how long Apple will maintain Rosetta 2 and the answer might be forever. I'm working on my taxes using the download version of TurboTax and it's x86. I'm amazed that a company as big as Intuit can't just create a universal binary by flipping a switch.

Stop using TurboTax. TurboTax is absolutely awful and Intuit is the reason we don't have Return Free Filing in the United States like Europe.


Use a free file option instead. https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free

I do not see a great impetus for software vendors to port these days and this means that I will need to keep an x86 Mac around that runs current operating system if Rosetta 2 ever goes away.

Now back to the topic at hand, yeah I don't see Rosetta 2 going away, especially since Apple made it available for Linux distributions too. Rosetta 1 was removed for two reasons: 1. It was awful and didn't work as good, and 2. PowerPC was a dead architecture. No one was making PPC apps anymore, and IBM stopped the research and development of PowerPC, so with PowerPC gone and no one using it anymore there was no reason to keep it

Rosetta 2 is a different beast. Rosetta 2 actually works and for many apps it works better than running the app natively on an Intel Mac. Plus x86 ain't going away since PCs use it. If Rosetta 2 was removed from the Apple Silicon Macs Apple would be committing corporate suicide again and destroy the massive popularity and good will the new Macs have gained.
 

Spaceboi Scaphandre

macrumors 68040
Jun 8, 2022
3,414
8,096
Apple has to do what they did last time. Announce a date when support for Rosetta 2 ends.

They can't effectively do that until they stop selling Intel Macs and as of today you still can buy a Mac with an Intel chip. In other words, since Apple sells intel Macs, they cannot force developers to only develop ARM based applications.

They do that, and another mass developer exodus happens. They already lost most game devs when they divested OpenGL. If they cut Rosetta 2 as well then hardly anyone will develop for the Mac anymore and will stick to Windows. Rosetta 1 had a reason to be removed since PowerPC was a dead architecture. x86 is far from dead and it's unlikely it would die. There are just some functions x86 does better that ARM doesn't, so those translation layers gotta stay or else the Mac is gonna get screwed again.
 

pshufd

macrumors G3
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
9,983
14,460
New Hampshire
Stop using TurboTax. TurboTax is absolutely awful and Intuit is the reason we don't have Return Free Filing in the United States like Europe.


Use a free file option instead. https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free

Now back to the topic at hand, yeah I don't see Rosetta 2 going away, especially since Apple made it available for Linux distributions too. Rosetta 1 was removed for two reasons: 1. It was awful and didn't work as good, and 2. PowerPC was a dead architecture. No one was making PPC apps anymore, and IBM stopped the research and development of PowerPC, so with PowerPC gone and no one using it anymore there was no reason to keep it

Rosetta 2 is a different beast. Rosetta 2 actually works and for many apps it works better than running the app natively on an Intel Mac. Plus x86 ain't going away since PCs use it. If Rosetta 2 was removed from the Apple Silicon Macs Apple would be committing corporate suicide again and destroy the massive popularity and good will the new Macs have gained.

I've used free tax packages in the past and switched to TurboTax Premier a decade ago. It just blows away the other software out there if you have very complex returns. It's found me tens of thousands of dollars in benefits that other packages didn't find. The other thing is that my broker gives me TurboTax Premier for free.
 

Spaceboi Scaphandre

macrumors 68040
Jun 8, 2022
3,414
8,096
I've used free tax packages in the past and switched to TurboTax Premier a decade ago. It just blows away the other software out there if you have very complex returns. It's found me tens of thousands of dollars in benefits that other packages didn't find. The other thing is that my broker gives me TurboTax Premier for free.

Yeah it makes complex returns easy because Intuit lobbied to make taxes a chore to pressure people to get their software. Watch the video it's absolutely disgusting what them and H&R Block have done to the American tax system.

If we were like Europe with Return Free Filing, you wouldn't have to do complex returns in the first place, the IRS would be doing it for you. All you'd have to do is check to see if the IRS got it right to see about a bigger refund. No muss, no fuss.

But no, Intuit lobbied the government to make life harder. They lobbied for a problem so they could sell their solution
 
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