OS X on a regular PC

Nermal

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Sorry if somebody has already posted about this, there are too many huge threads here!

Many people have been concerned that you'll be able to 'hack' the Intel version of OS X to run on a regular PC. I'm not so sure that it'll be so easy. I compare running OS X on a PC to running Xbox games on a PC. Are there any working Xbox emulators yet? I certainly don't know of any. The Xbox has been out for what, 4 years? In 4 years, nobody's managed to run Xbox games natively on Intel hardware, yet people seem to think that running OS X will be easy.

Your thoughts please :)
 

Dont Hurt Me

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Apple should sell its last version of OSX as a PC version. Example Panther for windows. Apple is missing millions........whats a disc cost? a dollar ? the software is paid for. Apple wants to push Chineese hardware Made Macs instead of selling their STRENGTH known as Software. Apple has great Software.
 

Plymouthbreezer

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Sure, but that would be the end of Apple hardware. That's a terrible though.

One reason Apple has the great software is because it has great hardware.
 

Apple

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I agree with Plymouthbreezer that it would be the downfall of apple hardware because everything people want is in the os.
 

Plymouthbreezer

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Apple said:
I agree with Plymouthbreezer that it would be the downfall of apple hardware because everything people want is in the os.
Yes... There would be a major drop in the OS's quality when running on just any old crappy PC.
 

Dont Hurt Me

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Plymouthbreezer said:
Sure, but that would be the end of Apple hardware. That's a terrible though.

One reason Apple has the great software is because it has great hardware.
Apples Software has been saving its hardware division for years...........come on.
 

Plymouthbreezer

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Dont Hurt Me said:
Apples Software has been saving its hardware division for years...........come on.
Sure software (and iTMS) is almost half of Apple's income, but where does the other part from?

iPods and Computers. Yep.
 

brap

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With OS X on Intel there are a lot more known variables. See the CXBX pages for some background on exacty why the software-level was/is so hard.

Darwin is a known -- well, at least at core level, and if reports are true, for at least developer previews the chipset/motherboard stuff will all be known, BIOS has known addresses. The only unknown quantity is Transitive's involvement.

Certainly won't be easy, by any means. But it's such a big prize; the kind of guys who read ctrl+alt+del religiously and want to "Stick it to the [Mac] man" will be drooling.
 

Nermal

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Could we please stay on the topic of my original post, rather than argue about whether Apple should 'open up' OS X.
 

Dont Hurt Me

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With Apple allowing Windows to run on a Mac how are they going to stop OSX from running on Pcs. The hardware is the same. Unless they engineer a software or hardware block of some kind but this question will spin down to Apple should then market its PC version sooner or later.
 

Cooknn

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I believe it is inevitible that OS X will run on a regular PC because of a hack. But, I predict Apple will free OS X at some point and allow it to happen.

When NeXT was doing PC's they had a pretty good sized list of compatible systems including PC's from Dell, IBM, Gateway and HP. Problem was there was not much application software. Right about the time I was looking at NeXT in 1993 WordPerfect was pullling out.

I am in the same camp as 'Dont Hurt Me'. I think Apple is missing out on HUGE money by saving it's hardware division. I'm still curious as to what significance the appearance of Ando from Sony at MacWorld 2005 had for Apple's future plans. And, we already have HP branded iPods. OS X could dominate if it were to go head to head with Longhorn. As I've said in other threads, HP and Sony could help make it happen. Microsoft does just fine selling an OS and some hardware. Apple could do even better ;)
 

Mav451

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Dont Hurt Me said:
Apple should sell its last version of OSX as a PC version. Example Panther for windows. Apple is missing millions........whats a disc cost? a dollar ? the software is paid for. Apple wants to push Chineese hardware Made Macs instead of selling their STRENGTH known as Software. Apple has great Software.
That's Taiwanese, not Chinese. Chinese don't have nVidia. They don't have Asus. They don't have RAM factories (think memory price hike during 'quake). Mac/Intel/AMD, they all have motherboards produced by Taiwan. Intel could make the boards too, but they just as easily could tell Asus to make its own mobo from the official design.

So what is this supposed to be, protect America by only buying domestic? Sounds like the same bull you hear in the auto industry.
 

admanimal

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Apr 22, 2005
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Nermal said:
Sorry if somebody has already posted about this, there are too many huge threads here!

Many people have been concerned that you'll be able to 'hack' the Intel version of OS X to run on a regular PC. I'm not so sure that it'll be so easy. I compare running OS X on a PC to running Xbox games on a PC. Are there any working Xbox emulators yet? I certainly don't know of any. The Xbox has been out for what, 4 years? In 4 years, nobody's managed to run Xbox games natively on Intel hardware, yet people seem to think that running OS X will be easy.

Your thoughts please :)
This is actually a good analogy that I hadn't thought of before.

Running OS X on any old PC would be somewhat analogous to somehow copying whatever the embedded version of Windows that's in the XBox and making it work on a PC. Let's assume that it's easy to just take the OS out of the Xbox and put it on a PC hard drive. It's probably not going to run, because chances are it has no support for most of the hardware that's on that PC, even though the Xbox is many ways is just a PC itself. The same is true to a lesser extent for OS X. You can put it on whatever computer you want, but will it support all of the hardware? The answer in most cases is going to be no. There won't be any drivers.

In both the Xbox and Mac cases, it's also possible that each contains some small but proprietary components that their respective OS's require in order to run properly. These won't be on a PC either.

A final thought: how often does an Xbox game crash? I don't actually own one, but I have other systems and the answer is hardly ever (never?). Why is this? Because the developers of the OS (and the games) know PRECISELY what hardware they need to support, and therefore can develop and test to the point where they can be next to certain that it will work perfectly. Again, the same is true to a lesser extent with OS X. Apple only includes a very small subset of the total hardware possibilities across their entire line of computers, so OS X can worry about supporting this small set of hardware very well, rather than a very broad range of hardware just "good enough". This contributes a lot to the stability of the OS.

I think what will happen is that OS X will be hacked up to run on PCs, but it won't run well enough for anyone to seriously use on a regular basis.
 

MisterMe

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Nermal said:
Sorry if somebody has already posted about this, there are too many huge threads here!

Many people have been concerned that you'll be able to 'hack' the Intel version of OS X to run on a regular PC. I'm not so sure that it'll be so easy. I compare running OS X on a PC to running Xbox games on a PC. Are there any working Xbox emulators yet? I certainly don't know of any. The Xbox has been out for what, 4 years? In 4 years, nobody's managed to run Xbox games natively on Intel hardware, yet people seem to think that running OS X will be easy.

Your thoughts please :)
I believe that it is impossible to prevent hacking MacOS X to allow it to run on non-Apple hardware. I also believe that nobody knows this better than Steve Jobs. The conclusion that I come to is that rather than engaging in a futile effort to lock MacOS X into Apple hardware, Apple will embrace the prospect of having its OS run on third-party hardware. Quite frankly, I believe that if is not a done deal, it is a deal being done.
 

Plymouthbreezer

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MisterMe said:
I believe that it is impossible to prevent hacking MacOS X to allow it to run on non-Apple hardware. I also believe that nobody knows this better than Steve Jobs. The conclusion that I come to is that rather than engaging in a futile effort to lock MacOS X into Apple hardware, Apple will embrace the prospect of having its OS run on third-party hardware. Quite frankly, I believe that if is not a done deal, it is a deal being done.
You are all missing the point...

OS X will suck on "regular" PCs! Why would we want to do this? Apple makes enough money currently.

I would go on more, but I have to leave for school.
 

edesignuk

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Mar 25, 2002
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If OS X were to be made available for any old generic PC everything that makes OS X stable, and "just work" would be down the drain, and it'd just be another version of Windows :rolleyes:
 

Roy Hobbs

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admanimal said:
This is actually a good analogy that I hadn't thought of before.

Running OS X on any old PC would be somewhat analogous to somehow copying whatever the embedded version of Windows that's in the XBox and making it work on a PC. Let's assume that it's easy to just take the OS out of the Xbox and put it on a PC hard drive. It's probably not going to run, because chances are it has no support for most of the hardware that's on that PC, even though the Xbox is many ways is just a PC itself. The same is true to a lesser extent for OS X. You can put it on whatever computer you want, but will it support all of the hardware? The answer in most cases is going to be no. There won't be any drivers.

In both the Xbox and Mac cases, it's also possible that each contains some small but proprietary components that their respective OS's require in order to run properly. These won't be on a PC either.

A final thought: how often does an Xbox game crash? I don't actually own one, but I have other systems and the answer is hardly ever (never?). Why is this? Because the developers of the OS (and the games) know PRECISELY what hardware they need to support, and therefore can develop and test to the point where they can be next to certain that it will work perfectly. Again, the same is true to a lesser extent with OS X. Apple only includes a very small subset of the total hardware possibilities across their entire line of computers, so OS X can worry about supporting this small set of hardware very well, rather than a very broad range of hardware just "good enough". This contributes a lot to the stability of the OS.

I think what will happen is that OS X will be hacked up to run on PCs, but it won't run well enough for anyone to seriously use on a regular basis.

It was my understanding that the Xbox runs off Linux not Windows?
 

weg

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kvanwagoner said:
It was my understanding that the Xbox runs off Linux not Windows?
*rotfl* Actually, it has been hacked in order to run Linux on it. According to rumors, originally it runs some kind of Windows 2000. I don't know how much this derivative of Windows 2000 has in common with the original version. My guess is, that the deviation will increase with the Xbox 360 (which actually is PowerPC based). But the Xbox operating system is still some kind of stripped of Windows derivative.

As for running Mac OS X on a PC: Even if Apple tries to prevent that Mac OS X runs on off the shelf PCs, I guess there will always be a way to make it work, since Darwin is open sourced... Apple would be risking to have unauthorized, crappy (and crashing) Mac OS X installations around, significantly damaging the Apple image.

And I think the IMAGE is the major problem of this switch: I bought my Mac because I loved the flair of exclusiveness. If all I get for my money is just a PC that happens to run Mac OS X, dammit, I'll switch back to Linux ;-)

Who wants to have a Mercedes, if 90% of the cars on the road are Mercedes, too.
 

Veldek

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weg said:
Who wants to have a Mercedes, if 90% of the cars on the road are Mercedes, too.
Well, Mercedes is a good car, so I'd still buy it. It's not so much about exclusivity, but about feeiling good.
 

MisterMe

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Plymouthbreezer said:
You are all missing the point...

OS X will suck on "regular" PCs! Why would we want to do this? Apple makes enough money currently.

I would go on more, but I have to leave for school.
I'm not missing the point at all. Prior to Apple's announcement, I could not believe that it would ever switch to Intel. Now that it has acknowledged the rumors, we are left to speculate how it will make switch work. The first thing that you have to understand is that Apple's development systems are essentially generic PC's in G5 boxes. These are the machines on which Apple and its third-party developers use to develop the new software and convert the old. Are we to believe that these machines will suddenly stop working when Apple ships its commercial models? I certainly don't believe that. As I have posted elsewhere, Apple has two choices. One is that it can enter a futile effort to limit its OS to its own hardware. I don't think that anyone believes that the effort would be more than partially successful. The second choice is to embrace the prospect of having its OS on third-party hardware. Nobody knows better than Jobs that Apple's switch to Intel is more than just a processor switch. This will require a new business model that will allow it to succeed in this new world. If you listened to Job's presentation, he alluded to new things having nothing at all to do with running M$ Word 10% faster. Weeks prior to Apple's announcement, it was reported that several OEM's were lobbying Steve Jobs for licenses for MacOS X. As I said before, if this is not a done deal, it is a deal being done.
 

aricher

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Hmmm - HP iPod and an HP Mac Mini?

Seriously though Apple is going to have to have Intel rig their Mac processors with something proprietary so OS X will run on only those particular chips. Otherwise it's only a matter of time before some clever folks find a hack to run OS X on generic PCs
 

wrldwzrd89

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Jun 6, 2003
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aricher said:
Hmmm - HP iPod and an HP Mac Mini?

Seriously though Apple is going to have to have Intel rig their Mac processors with something proprietary so OS X will run on only those particular chips. Otherwise it's only a matter of time before some clever folks find a hack to run OS X on generic PCs
I don't think the proprietary hardware will be on the processor. I suspect it'll be nothing more than Apple's proprietary power management system. Making Mac OS X for Intel run on generic PCs will be one huge hack because several problems will need to be overcome:

1. Drivers will need to be written for all the hardware on generic PCs
2. Driver mappers will need to be written to map proprietary Apple hardware to the equivalent generic PC hardware
3. Installing the hacked version will require creating a modified bootable CD, which isn't something most users can do or have the hardware/software to do
 

mischief

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MisterMe said:
The first thing that you have to understand is that Apple's development systems are essentially generic PC's in G5 boxes. These are the machines on which Apple and its third-party developers use to develop the new software and convert the old. Are we to believe that these machines will suddenly stop working when Apple ships its commercial models?
In the past Apple has made several examples of development hardware that was truly unique, in which the standard models would not install the finished OS. A custom 9600 with Apple-installed custom G4 processor card comes to mind when early development of OS X was under way. The finished OS looked for open firmware to confirm an installable model. Since the 9600 had fixed ROM's the OS would only install on the custom 9600 and not on any other without several (fairly cumbersome) workarounds involving third party cards, drivers and installation "facilitators" that emulated open firmware via the PRAM.

Apple currently has no impetus to provide it's OS as a generic. It would be suicide. What younger Mac Users don't seem to understand is that half of the remarkable stability and flexibility of OS X is attributable to Apple's limited and highly select hardware. Opening the OS for the common market would require the same cumbersome and hellaciously large update packs and driver libraries found in Windows but completely recompiled.

I'm assuming that Apple has figured out how to put a HW lock on Mac OS X, perhaps as simple as having a valid Apple Machine ID ROM chip, but more likely it'll be a combination of a customized replacement for standard BIOS (see OSX on Intel thread for discussion of this) and customized versions of certain controllers and ASICs.

In terms of the "Someone will probably run Windows on the new Macs" comment.... Since Windows has a driver for almost every possible combination of Intel compatible chipsets it'll be nearly impossible to keep Windows off the new machines. Conversely, since Mac OS has always been built specifically for Apple Hardware and Apple Developer internal add-ons it's list of drivers is actually still quite small by comparisson, therefore installing OS X on any given PC would require not only hacking the installer to get it onto a non-Apple/Intel Mobo but having an intimate knowledge of EXACTLY which devices, BIOS settings, driver versions and Device firmwares are needed for compliance.

In short: It'd be like trying to take out a tank column with four guys armed with rifles.... It's possible, in fact there are those out there who could do it routinely but they're so rare that it's not worth thinking about.

This whole issue comes down to the fundamental precepts of Hacking. Security on any system is defined as adequate security to provide diminished returns on the time and effort required to break the system. Any security measure can, and will eventually be breached. The key questions in the minds of those designing security infrastructure are:

Will it keep out an acceptably high number of those willing to make the attempt?

Is the act of breaching this system cumbersome enough to discourage the vast majority of those with Hacking skills?

Usually an acceptably high level of security here around the Silicon Valley is any system so cumbersome to breach that there are so few people capable of breaching and potentially willing to breach it you can name all of them and have several of them on your Cell Phone.

In terms of releasing OS X for generic Windows boxes later on?

I can see Apple releasing a "Generic" version sans all but the Utility Apps for $50.00 a pop as a developer kit with an "install at your own risk" EULA that states explicitly that this developer version will not support all of your Windows-compatible hardware unless you write the drivers yourself.

This would keep the main, money making OS proprietary and simple while increasing development of drivers and software.

Eventually (read: at least five years out) Apple may release an open-market version but it's too early in their relationship with this hardware for that. One does not take the first opportunity to take your opponent's Queen... You'll likely lose both Knights and half your pieces.
 

admanimal

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Apr 22, 2005
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MisterMe said:
Weeks prior to Apple's announcement, it was reported that several OEM's were lobbying Steve Jobs for licenses for MacOS X. As I said before, if this is not a done deal, it is a deal being done.
Immediately after the keynote, Apple's VP publicly stated that they will not be doing this.

Apple does not -have- to change the way they do business at all just because they are switching to Intel. There is nothing stopping them from basically taking the hardware designs of the current Macs and tweaking (to varying degrees) the components to work with Intel CPUs. Now they may have decided it will be more cost effective to use more off-the-shelf components, but that doesn't mean they can't still add various proprietary hardware to effectively prevent OS X from running on other PCs.

OS X will be hacked anyway, if only because there is so much hype about doing so at this point, but no average consumer will want to use that version on their PC over a fully working version of it on a Mac (or just regular Windows on their PC).