Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) Coming for the PC?

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In 2001, Transitive Technologies demonstrated a technology called "Dynamite" which allowed code written for one CPU to be run efficiently on another CPU. This "translator" was said to dynamically translate and accelerate binaries -- claiming to provide substantial performance over traditional "emulators". Recent numbers claim 80% performance matching.

Some more details came in 2003 at which time a "major" customer was reported. While speculation pointed towards Apple, no reliable reports emerged.

Transitive once again made headlines in September 2004 when they announced a derivative product called QuickTransit. They have since announced having a number of customers including Silicon Graphics Incorporated.

QuickTransit allows software compiled for one processor/operating system to be run on another processor/operating system.

According to an unconfirmed report, there is evidence that Apple has had special internal seeds of Tiger which support this technology for the x86 platform. Beyond allowing Tiger to run on x86, perhaps more significantly is the potential to also allow existing Mac OS X applications to be run on the x86 (PC) platform without recompilation. Otherwise, requiring developers to recompile all current Mac OS X applications has been seen as a major hurdle in providing Mac OS X on the PC.

Other arguments against such a transition would, of course, still hold. Apple has traditionally been a hardware company, with the bulk of revenue coming from Mac hardware. The past few years, however, has seen software become a larger portion of their revenue.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
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Yes, I realize this is an overdone topic. Transitive is interesting however.

Take it for what it's worth, however... an unconfirmed rumor.

arn
 
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ryanw

macrumors 6502
Oct 21, 2003
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tomjleeds said:
This would, as always, be truly awesome.

But it won't happen.
I'm torn. The thing I like about apple is the complete & total package. OSX on x86 will not have that total package feeling and frankly will have nothing but problems. People will have driver issues left and right, it won't happen.
 
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the Rebel

macrumors member
Feb 24, 2005
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Releasing OS X for Intel based computers is a good idea AS LONG AS APPLE DOES NOT OEM LICENSE IT TO ANYONE.

OS X for x86 should only be sold as a software product. It should only be available via Apple and Apple Authorized Resellers. The OS X for x86 retail box should have a clear disclaimer telling the end users that OS X runs best on Apple branded Mac PowerPC based hardware. There should be no doubt that the 4th generation OS X for PPC is superior to the 1st generation OS X for x86.

Under those circumstances, if an end user choses to spend $149 buying OS X for his/her x86 computer instead of spending $499 for a G4 based mini Mac preloaded with OS X and applications then it is a good sale for Apple. It is $149 more revenue than Apple would have been able to get from that user otherwise. After the user has had the opportunity to use x86 OS X for a while, there would be a very good chance that when it came time to buy new hardware that it would be a real Mac.
 
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Phillip

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Aug 13, 2003
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the Rebel said:
Releasing OS X for Intel based computers is a good idea AS LONG AS APPLE DOES NOT OEM LICENSE IT TO ANYONE.

OS X for x86 should only be sold as a software product. It should only be available via Apple and Apple Authorized Resellers. The OS X for x86 retail box should have a clear disclaimer telling the end users that OS X runs best on Apple branded Mac PowerPC based hardware. There should be no doubt that the 4th generation OS X for PPC is superior to the 1st generation OS X for x86.

Under those circumstances, if an end user choses to spend $149 buying OS X for his/her x86 computer instead of spending $499 for a G4 based mini Mac preloaded with OS X and applications then it is a good sale for Apple. It is $149 more revenue than Apple would have been able to get from that user otherwise. After the user has had the opportunity to use x86 OS X for a while, there would be a very good chance that when it came time to buy new hardware that it would be a real Mac.
Pc users won't go out and buy Mac OS X. Do you think that Microsoft makes much money relying on people to go out and purchase boxes of Windows XP? Microsoft makes money licensing the software - if Apple did a deal with HP or Sony or even Dell, Apple will be mighty rich. But that would be the end for the PowerMacs and iMacs. The Apple notebooks business will still survive however, IMO. This would be a big business move for Apple, and a move I personally won't be happy about cause I love the hardware and so does Steve. Can you even imagine him demoing an OS he made on a POS computer that someone else made?
 
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russed

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2004
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! i just think it would be a bad move. apple wouldnt be apple then.

the software sounds interesting though!
 
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nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
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Macrumors said:
According to an unconfirmed report, there is evidence that Apple has had special internal seeds of Tiger which support this technology for the x86 platform.
I am sure Apple DOES have OS X for Intel "in the works." But only in a "just in case, someday" sense.

Porting it themselves (Rhapsody did run on Windows), and/or using Transitive, and/or some other method... I'm sure they are keeping the possibility somewhere on a back burner. And rumors of those internal projects are interesting.

At the same time, it makes no sense for Apple to SELL such a product. But if, one day, it DOES make sense, it wouldn't totally surprise me.
 
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Mac-Xpert

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Dec 18, 2003
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The Netherlands
This technology sounds interesting. But I would rather see Apple use it the other way around than being suggested here. Apple could use this to build "Virtual PC" into the operating system, allowing x86 apps to be run on PPC hardware. It would allow users to run specific x86 apps that aren't available on PPC natively, or even x86 games. Maybe they could integrate some sort of classic-like mode into the system that runs windows within OS-X.
 
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eSnow

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2004
164
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Nothing to see here

Move along, people, there is nothing to see here.

First, even if this company has some clever engineers, the speed of emulated applications is going to be noticeably slower. It might do for some light text processing, but not for heavy duty work like Photoshop, video editing and gaming. The Mac platform is not exactly known as a speed demon, so saddling it with even slower apps is not going to cut it.

Second, if Apple plays the x86-card, developers are going to follow suit and neglect PPC. For a lot of companies, stopping native Mac development might be worth considering, because on x86, they could use something like WINE to make their windows versions running on OS X. Does Apple want to go there? I doubt it.

Third, porting OS X to x86 is possible of course, but getting drivers of all or even most of the millions of PCI cards, modems, mice etc. if not. What good is an OS if there is no or only very limited hardware support?

Fourth, if Apple wants to get rid of native instruction sets, they should rather look at Java or C#/.NET, instead of patching in some emulation here and some blue box there.

Fiveth, if Transitive is so damn good, why haven't they released any consumer version of their emulation engine since 2001? Vapor ware, that's why.

This horse has been beaten to death many times over.
 
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redeye be

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Jan 27, 2005
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Mac-Xpert said:
Maybe they could integrate some sort of classic-like mode into the system that runs windows within OS-X.
Make that a "prehistoric-like mode" ;)

it would be nice though, indeed
 
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tersono

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2005
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Hmm - thought this horse died already? lol

Apple would be crazy not to have some sort of way out of the PPC architecture in case of disaster - doesn't mean they're even remotely likely to do it unless forced. Anyhow, an x86 based Mac is a looooong stretch from allowing just any D*ll box run OS X. Makes me shudder to think of it....
 
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wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
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I don't believe there's any substance to this rumor. Even if there was, Apple would have 2 options for what to do with it if they decided to use it, but neither of them make sense for Apple as a business.

1. Via emulation, deliver Mac OS X for x86 (discussed to death, I think many of us know why this isn't viable)
2. Allow x86 programs to run on Mac OS X for PPC (this would reduce native PPC development to a trickle - again, not good for Apple in the long run)
 
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ntg

macrumors regular
May 3, 2002
231
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UK - Rushden, Northants
Phillip said:
Pc users won't go out and buy Mac OS X. Do you think that Microsoft makes much money relying on people to go out and purchase boxes of Windows XP? Microsoft makes money licensing the software - if Apple did a deal with HP or Sony or even Dell, Apple will be mighty rich. But that would be the end for the PowerMacs and iMacs. The Apple notebooks business will still survive however, IMO. This would be a big business move for Apple, and a move I personally won't be happy about cause I love the hardware and so does Steve. Can you even imagine him demoing an OS he made on a POS computer that someone else made?
If it ran as smoothly on misc PC hardware (NOT necessarily as fast!) as it does on Apple hardware, then I don't see why not.

I would certainly evaluate it for our networks - from a security perspective it would be worth it!

Nig
 
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mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
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Adelaide, Australia
ntg said:
If it ran as smoothly on misc PC hardware (NOT necessarily as fast!) as it does on Apple hardware, then I don't see why not.

I would certainly evaluate it for our networks - from a security perspective it would be worth it!

Nig
Doesn't this imply that the only thing holding people back at the moment is the cost of the hardware? I would have thought that the main reason people won't switch in droves is the fact it's different. Whether it runs on PPC or x86, it will ALWAYS be different to Windows thankfully! :)
 
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rosalindavenue

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2003
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Virginia, USA
Mac-Xpert said:
... I would rather see Apple use it the other way around than being suggested here. Apple could use this to build "Virtual PC" into the operating system, allowing x86 apps to be run on PPC hardware. It would allow users to run specific x86 apps that aren't available on PPC natively...
I think this would explain Apple's interest in this kind of software. Apple is a hardware company and they won't be offering an x86 version, IMO. But if they were able to provide an app that ran some key windows-only apps in osX, they would overcome the best argument against switching.
 
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Chappers

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Aug 12, 2003
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No matter what happens I just know our IT man (spelt : m, o, r, o, n.) will still hate Macs just because they don't run real unix.
 
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ntg

macrumors regular
May 3, 2002
231
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UK - Rushden, Northants
mad jew said:
Doesn't this imply that the only thing holding people back at the moment is the cost of the hardware? I would have thought that the main reason people won't switch in droves is the fact it's different. Whether it runs on PPC or x86, it will ALWAYS be different to Windows thankfully! :)
No - the problem with emulating a system is the difference in emulated speed.

Only now there is spare processing available on most new systems can the emulated OS be as transparently functional as necessary for the average office environment.

Now it's a viable alternative, network managers will look and (like me) evaluate.

Nig.
 
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redeye be

macrumors 65816
Jan 27, 2005
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Chappers said:
No matter what happens I just know our IT man (spelt : m, o, r, o, n.) will still hate Macs just because they don't run real unix.
LOL,
so what are u guys working with? real dos? :p ;)
 
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BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2003
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iTunes 4.8 coming...no details

Tiger on the PC


What is with Page 2? Are they just making stuff up?

I mean come on. I don't mean to be harsh, but this is just silly.
 
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HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
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eSnow said:
Fourth, if Apple wants to get rid of native instruction sets, they should rather look at Java or C#/.NET, instead of patching in some emulation here and some blue box there.
It's not such a ridiculous idea...the Foundation and AppKit Cocoa APIs already are accessible from Java, and there's the QuickTime for Java API as well (although QuickTime is already natively cross-platform), and several OpenGL for Java APIs, and WebObjects is now exclusively Java, and many Tiger widgets will be Java-based. OK, it's still ridiculous, I don't see it happening, to move OS X over to all-Java would be a monumental task. Plus, the UI would be slow as molasses...you think you see the spinning beachball of death a lot now?
 
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andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
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Boston, MA
strale said:
Snake oil - ah, I mean Transitive, however ...
yeah, i like those companies. every other year an annaoncement about some breakthrough technology with a market potential in the billions. but somehow you never see a product. then there a some announcements of high profile collaborations but still no product.
sounds familiar. wasn't that the new economy/high tech/dot com system of getting investors money? what was the percentage of bullsh** companies the went broke? 90%?

if somebody had had a technology in 2001 that gives you 80% speed in the emulation we should have seen a product by now.

andi
 
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