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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Earlier this week, IBM announced its plans to buy Transitive, a small cross-platform virtualization company.

MacRumors readers will remember the company for providing the technology behind Rosetta, Apple's PowerPC emulator for Mac OS X. Rosetta played a major role in allowing Apple to transition from PowerPC to Intel architectures and remains a part of Mac OS X. Apple's need for Rosetta, of course, has lessened over the years as the switch to Intel has progressed.

It's not clear if this will affect Apple's ongoing license for Transitive technologies.

Article Link: IBM to Acquire Transitive
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,365
432
Boston, MA
what is IBM exactly buying? the rosetta technology won't be used anymore in the future. unless someone else does a platform switch like apple but who would that be?
 

poundsmack

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2005
287
0
what is IBM exactly buying? the rosetta technology won't be used anymore in the future. unless someone else does a platform switch like apple but who would that be?

they are buying it to get x86 linux apps to run easily on their POWER line of servers and what not.

also as far as how this will affect apple? It won't. the reason for that will become evident soon.
 

Winni

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,207
1,195
Germany.
they are buying it to get x86 linux apps to run easily on their POWER line of servers and what not.

Which is Rosetta exactly the other way round - does that company already have an x86 emulator that runs on Power CPUs?

And does this really make sense in the Linux world, where you actually have the SOURCE CODE for (almost) everything and can compile your software on the platform?

Anyway. IBM will have their reasons for the purchase, and I'm sure that only a fistful of us will ever see that technology anywhere in real life, unless you work in a HPC data center or a large insurance firm or bank.

Will this affect Apple's license for the technology? Of course not. Contracts don't become invalid just because a company got bought. MySQL is also still using the InnoDB engine, although that technology is now owned by Oracle.

Besides a few games, I still have two apps on my Intel Mac that require Rosetta: Office:Mac 2004 and the driver software for a TDK label printer. Neither will ever be ported to Intel, so for me Rosetta still is an essential feature of OS X.
 

kaiwai

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2007
709
0
Christchurch
what is IBM exactly buying? the rosetta technology won't be used anymore in the future. unless someone else does a platform switch like apple but who would that be?

Ah, how about Sun, Solaris SPARC to Solaris x86 transition? HP-UX PARISC to Intanium Transition? heck, what about the move from the IBM mainframe POWER based mainframes? Endless possibilities.
 

Peel

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2004
576
86
Seattle
Besides a few games, I still have two apps on my Intel Mac that require Rosetta: Office:Mac 2004 and the driver software for a TDK label printer.

During the initial switch to Intel, I started color coding all my apps by what type they were: Red for PPC only, Blue for Universal, and Green for Intel only (Parallels and the like). I think I might have 3 apps that are still red: 2 games, and Quicken. Hopefully someday they will actually make the switch.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,870
703
Redondo Beach, California
IBM is not doing this because they want some product. They are moving into a "hot" new area and need the expertise of the engineers. When all you need is a product you buy it like Apple bought Rosseta.

Running multiple virtual servers on on physical box is kind of a big deal now. In the Mac Desktop world we see just two version of this in Rosseta and Fusion/Paralles but this is actually a much bigger thing in the server world. The idea is that you can stand up (say) 12 servers all on one computer then as the demand goes up you can add more pysical computers up to 12. So you electric bill can rise and fall with demand, or you can swap out hardware on a running server. Who ever does this best will have a big advantage.

It used to be that people would just buy many cheap PCs and put them in big racks but now people are seeing the running the PCs and maintaining them cost a lot so the move is back to big, high end servers that can run many virtual servers.
 

Eric5h5

macrumors 68020
Dec 9, 2004
2,420
453
I wouldn't be surprised if Snow Leopard dropped Rosetta.

I would be. There's nothing to gain by dropping it, so unless it costs Apple millions of dollars a year to license it or something, they have no reason whatsoever to do that.

--Eric
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,880
1,538
Falls Church, VA
I would be. There's nothing to gain by dropping it, so unless it costs Apple millions of dollars a year to license it or something, they have no reason whatsoever to do that.

--Eric

I agree. I know I still use a handful of PowerPC only apps, the Office 2004 suite being some of them.
 

heisetax

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2004
943
0
Omaha, NE
I wouldn't be surprised if Snow Leopard dropped Rosetta.

That would mean that I would have to stop at OS 10.5 Lwopard. I make my living using Excel in my accounting & tax prep business. Excel 11 (2004) works great under Rosetta. Excel 12 (2008) works like a dead car & it is an Universal app. I have found no spreadsheet that can handle the job done by Excel 11.

The result is that I would have to change to a Windows income program if i would stop using Excel 11. That would be way too much use of Windows on my Mac. So no OS upgrades that does not support Rosetta. That would mean no new Macs after that systemwould come out as new Macs cannot run old OSs. I'm holding my breath for MS to fix their many problems & missing features in Excel 12 when they bring out Excel 13. That means that I need Rosetta for years to come.
 

macoazm

macrumors newbie
Sep 8, 2006
19
0
"Imagine the possibilities....."

I really think IBM is scared by what could come from the Apple-Papermaster partnership, and is counter-attacking.

I don´t believe the Linux-Power thing.... I think IBM thinks Apple is planning some kind of rip-off from the Power chip design. Maybe IBM knows something...
 

conleyt

macrumors newbie
Apr 6, 2006
3
2
I don´t believe the Linux-Power thing.... I think IBM thinks Apple is planning some kind of rip-off from the Power chip design. Maybe IBM knows something...

Uh, you can already run x86 Linux programs on IBM POWER servers. It's called PowerVM Lx86. I wouldn't be surprised if IBM is already using the Transitive technology for that, so why not buy the company? :D

Tom C.
 

djgamble

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2006
917
398
hmm, i really hope this doesn't hurt apple. i wonder if this is more bad blood between ibm and apple

I don't think IBM care; they sold out to Microsoft for the Xbox 360 rather than helping Apple, who at the time they had an okay relationship with.

Apple has now used Intel for some years and already owns the Rosetta technology (which I personally haven't used for years).
 

Amdahl

macrumors 65816
Jul 28, 2004
1,438
1
:) it makes it easy to release an optimized version of leapord when you strip out all the PPC code and things used for PPC code

Yeah, now if we can just get Apple to drop the iPhone, they can actually make it x86 only and it will run so fast, instead of running a PPC inside my mac all the time and wasting my cores, plus the ARM is wasting a core in my Mac too due to the iPhone.

I can't wait for the iPhone to die, then my Mac will be so fast!
 

Amdahl

macrumors 65816
Jul 28, 2004
1,438
1
. That would be way too much use of Windows on my Mac. So no OS upgrades that does not support Rosetta. That would mean no new Macs after that systemwould come out as new Macs cannot run old OSs. I'm holding my breath for MS to fix their many problems & missing features in Excel 12 when they bring out Excel 13. That means that I need Rosetta for years to come.

Too bad, Apple is about progress, and you're holding us back.
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
1,025
115
I wouldn't be surprised if Snow Leopard dropped Rosetta.
There have been no reports that Snow Leopard is dropping Rosetta and Apple is unlikely to do so. It may seem like a good idea to cut old PPC related stuff, until people realize that many still popular apps no longer work. Like Office 2004. Personally, I think many people would be up at arms if they couldn't play Starcraft anymore.

However, I do think this will give Apple an excuse to drop Rosetta as soon as possible. Probably in 10.7. Perhaps they were already planning on doing this, but this gives them another justification. I also wouldn't be surprised with the Mark Papermaster thing, if IBM refuses to relicense Rosetta to Apple when it comes up for renewal.
 
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