Is this the road to OS X on open systems?

James Philp

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 5, 2005
What are peoples opinions on this?

Is this step by Apple intended to be the first along a line to finally release an OS for the "masses"??

Or is it simply a CPU manufacturer switch, and Apple intend that OS X only be used on Macs for years to come?

To go for the first argument is to go against everything Steve and mainly Apple have stood for in the last 20 years. I really hope that a Mac will still be a Mac, but the other path also seems possible from recent news!

What are everyone's thoughts?

Willy S

macrumors 6502
May 8, 2005
I just asked a similar question on another thread. I think it was not well done of Steve of creating more questions than he actually answered today.

I hope you can just buy a cheap PC and install the world´s greatest OS on it. :D Also, if you like fancy and reliable computers you have the choice to buy a Mac.

However, I hope Apple and applications makers will make products for existing G4 and G5 computers in the near future. I would not like to buy an expensive computer and only be able to run Tiger on it after it has been replaced.

Jaffa Cake

macrumors Core
Aug 1, 2004
The City of Culture, Englandshire
I'd imagine that Apple is going to do everything it can to keep OS X exclusive to its own machines – one reason for OS X's stability is Apple enjoys very tight control over the hardware it runs on. To release a version 'to the masses' would mean giving up that control and would most likely lead to a serious decline in Apple's hardware sales to boot.

I certainly don't pretend to be an expert on coding operating systems, so I've no idea how easy or difficult it would be to lock the Mac OS onto Apple manufactured computers. I'm certain though that they wouldn't make such a major move without considering stuff like this.


Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
Bergen, Norway
God I hope not, any multipurpose mass market product tends to deteriorate fairly quickly. Apple's (more or less) total control with both hardware architecture and the software to run on it is one of their best advantages...


macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2004
C-ville, VA
I don't think this is a change in Apple's path. I think it was a business decision that they made in an effort to keep improving their products. Making OSX available for all would be a large amount of work with no return for Apple.

For the most part, the PPC uses commodity hardware. You could plug in most any card (except Video, for firmware reasons) and have it run if you have a good driver. Same with x86. This is why I get confused when people refer to "Open Systems". Do you just mean that it is open because it is ubiquitous? That logic means Windows is an "Open OS." Is it open because you can mix and match? Why can't my wireless card work in x86 Linux then? Drivers are the key, and true open systems would have available specs for driver writers, but none really do, whether x86, PPC, SPARC, Alpha whatever.

Don't worry. Apple will be Apple, selling computers with OSX installed. The l33t kiddies won't really be able to run OSX on their Alienware boxes, because they probably don't know the first thing about programming drivers, or even hacking Open Firmware, which I hope Apple keeps.