OS X on x86 Prototype Boxes

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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MacEdition updates with further confirmation of the rumored OS X on x86 project (Marklar), indicating that prototype boxes have been seeded with versions of Final Cut Pro as well as an OS X-only browser.

First serious confirmation of an OS X on x86 project came from eWeek in August, 2002. x86 OS X appears to be a contingency plan for Apple, based on these rumors.

An OS X-only browser would likely be based on Mozilla, with Chimera's creator having been hired by Apple in July.
 

drastik

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2002
978
0
Nashvegas
This is a hard one to call.

I like the idea of cheaper machines, but there just isn't anyway to tell if they x86 chips will actually provie any speed boost.

I am at the point where the OS is what I love the most, and I don't think that apple would stop making hadware in any event.

This may be the way of the future, bringing a Mac into most homes is in no way a bad thing. After Moto has made apple dangle so long, I can't say I want to keep them around.

This seems wierd though. Marklar would be a huge move, a very big deal. I would think the clamps would be on super tight for this type of thing. Steve with a shotgun and a pit bull comes to mind.

Wonder if this might surface in Dell and Apple's newfound friendship?

HA, first Post!
 

medea

macrumors 68030
Aug 4, 2002
2,517
0
Madison, Wi
the only part of this that interests me right now is that the creator of Chimera may be working on an Apple Browser, I've been wanting an Apple browser for the longest time and Chimera is currently the best alternative to IE so who better to develop it.

oh and if you don't have anything to add or any interest in the thread, then don't just post so you can try to get the "first post," that's just lame.
 

BenderBot1138

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2002
439
0
x86

hmmm... is there something deeper going on with Motorola chip development. Not a stall or anything, but maybe such a big gulp in development there's some contingency issues. Is there some revolutionary change on the Horizon that's absorbing Motorola resorces?

Awesome summary above... makes me think for sure about those contingencies.

:cool:
 

wrylachlan

macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2002
102
0
My take on all this is that apple is more than capable of keeping something a secret if they want to. Therefore, logically, if we're finding out about the x86 project it is because apple wants it leaked. Why? To put pressure on Moto to come through with some quality products or loose their business. Will it work? Who knows. But I highly doubt that Motorola would throw away the R&D already expended on the G4+ and not put out, at the very least, a process shrink of it. Therefore I have to assume that Moto is working on a 7457 or some such G4++ chip and Apple is trying to hurry them along.
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,561
0
VA
Originally posted by wrylachlan
Why? To put pressure on Moto to come through with some quality products or loose their business. Will it work? Who knows. But I highly doubt that Motorola would throw away the R&D already expended on the G4+ and not put out, at the very least, a process shrink of it. Therefore I have to assume that Moto is working on a 7457 or some such G4++ chip and Apple is trying to hurry them along.
Interesting idea. I think that if a OSX installed PC was available and you could load all your MacApps on it, Apple would be cutting into their own business. It would be worse than the few years of clones back in the mid nineties.

As a contingency plan, maybe, but it seems the date for all of this was before the IBM Power4 announcement, so maybe its a legacy.

I hope so.

D
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,507
1,789
Originally posted by wrylachlan
My take on all this is that apple is more than capable of keeping something a secret if they want to. Therefore, logically, if we're finding out about the x86 project it is because apple wants it leaked.
No this is illogical. Apple does do a good job at keeping secrets... but that does not mean that every leak of info is Apple approved.

arn
 

drastik

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2002
978
0
Nashvegas
IF this happens, it may mean that aple will change the price/performance structures on their machines as well.

To get everything included with apple hardware on a Pc, you have to spend roughly the same amount of money. People who can spend this money do, and will continue to do so. I don't think this will hurt apple at all.

Since OSX, the biggest complaint I hear about Macs is the money issue. A lot of people would switch if it were more economicall viable. My guess is that apple would make scaled down boxes themselves, with less expandability and fewer built in perks, but a cheap machine to sell the masses.

:D
 

unclepain

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2002
67
0
Va Beach VA
Originally posted by dukestreet


Interesting idea. I think that if a OSX installed PC was available and you could load all your MacApps on it, Apple would be cutting into their own business. It would be worse than the few years of clones back in the mid nineties.

As a contingency plan, maybe, but it seems the date for all of this was before the IBM Power4 announcement, so maybe its a legacy.

I hope so.

D
I doubt it would be the same type of situation. Apple got in trouble with the clones because they licensed the OS and other manufacturers were dipping into the existing pool of Mac users to sell hardware to. No matter what kind of processor is installed in Apple's new machines, they can make it so the OS will only install on their hardware. There's no way they'll just release a boxed version of OSX that Joe Six-Pack can install on his eMachine.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
Originally posted by dukestreet


Interesting idea. I think that if a OSX installed PC was available and you could load all your MacApps on it, Apple would be cutting into their own business. It would be worse than the few years of clones back in the mid nineties.

D


Maybe not. If Apple switches from PPC to X86, but keeps it proprietary<sp?> somehow (OS checks for firmware validation on an Apple only mobo or something) then nothing would change that much as far as their business model.


Personally, I'd like Apple to switch to x86 if that means they'll be able to stay on the cutting edge, and not be held back by their chip supplier.


Lethal
 

rugby

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2002
222
0
chicago
Originally posted by arn


No this is illogical. Apple does do a good job at keeping secrets... but that does not mean that every leak of info is Apple approved.

arn
Nor does it make it correct.;) I have a feeling there's a big wheel in SJ's office with various rumors taped to it. They spin the wheel once a week and that's the rumor they "leak"
 

puffmarvin

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2001
98
0
NY
Originally posted by rugby


Nor does it make it correct.;) I have a feeling there's a big wheel in SJ's office with various rumors taped to it. They spin the wheel once a week and that's the rumor they "leak"
it's actually a dartboard. :D
 

therandthem

macrumors newbie
Jul 22, 2002
4
0
Poor Linux

One thing is for sure, if this is true, it will be a major blow to Linux. With a choice UNIX like Mac OS X the stability and anti-MS reasons for Linux will be gone.
 
My take on this is:

- Apple probably has Mac OS X running on their specialized Athlon motherboards made by another company (ASUS, perhaps?) including the latest and greatest (8x AGP, dual channel DDR, dual Athlon MP, whatever) based Power Mac XX and is seriously considering it when they think is time to move to Mac OS X completely. Sure the developers might be pissed off since they moved from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X, but Apple should provide some tool to run through the source codes to find Altivec optimizations and convert them to x86/SSE/SSE2/3DNow! at least most--might need some manual tweaking, but would make recompiling quicker and getting the updated product quicker.

Maybe the rumored "FAT" technologies are going to be in use, that'd be cool.

- About that Mac OS X-only browser. Could it be OmniWeb? It's popular. Chimera is more likely, but Internet Explorer isn't done by Apple, is it? Doesn't rule out OmniWeb.

Cela donne à réfléchir. :D
 
Re: Poor Linux

Originally posted by therandthem
One thing is for sure, if this is true, it will be a major blow to Linux. With a choice UNIX like Mac OS X the stability and anti-MS reasons for Linux will be gone.
Linux and the other various flavors of UNIX available for x86 is still the world's choice for relatively cheap, high margin profit server software.

I don't think Linux and the others will ever go away, just in the desktop, then again, Linux was never for the desktop.

When I mean "desktop," I mean being able to plug in a firewire device, autoconfigure it or follow some dialog boxes, and voilà. Same with USB, etc. In Linux, this 99.9% never happens. Therefore, I believe it's an inferior desktop OS, no matter how stable it is.
 

D*I*S_Frontman

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2002
450
17
Appleton,WI
..yawn...

Here's the last OS X-on-x86 thread:

same lame topic

As long as IBM and Motorola do not go completely under, this WILL NEVER HAPPEN. With the latest very strong indications of the modified Power4 from IBM being the future of high-end Apple offerings and continuing incremental improvements by Motorola to what will most certainly become the consumer market G4, Apple will never have to swallow this poison pill.

OS X running on a cobbled x86 system techies can throw together for a few hundred bucks--that is a fantasy you can all jog yourselves awake from. Apple will go BELLY UP before it ever happens.

Apple exists on the strength of its marketing. They die overnight the very instant they say:

"Oh, I guess mhz DOES matter and AMD and Intel ARE great processors--and we've been overcharging you all for our slower, closed architecture systems all this time! Sorry about that--we'll immediately become a commodity sales company like the rest so you can have your faster bus speeds, quicker RAM, and the entire host of crappy PC peripherals out there. This will mean your likelihood of software and hardware incompatabilities will instantly increase a thousandfold and you'll spend half your waking hours hacking through the mess--which we promised you wouldn't have to do with Apple systems--but at least you'll be running Quake 50 fps faster on your x86-based system. Yahoo. Great for us, too--we'll sell ten times the systems...of course, well make 20 times less net profit per machine and be filing Chapter 11 within 18 months... but you'll be able to run OS X on a Gateway, which is all that matters, right?"

Wake up. The US government probably has a Pentagon contingency for nuking the entire Eastern Hemisphere--that doesn't mean they are EVER going to do it. For all we know, Apple's R&D lab has OS X running on Crays, high-end Sun systems, and on TI pocket calulators. I doubt any of the three are slated to replace the G4, or whatever the next Moto/IBM offering is.

I would love to see an Apple browser, however. IE is the only program on my system (Pismo running 10.1.5) that crashes with any kind of frequency.
 

wwworry

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2002
235
0
If I remember correctly, the Mac cloners did not want to pay for the real costs of the operating system and they did not want to pay to have their machines "certified" to run the Mac OS. The true cost of the operating system sold at this volume may be $250 or more per box. As we all know, OS X development is funded by hardware sales.

Another thing to remember is that at that point a lot less of their manufacturing was outsourced. Now apple is becoming more and more of a design and software company. Also, OS X is a lot more modular so it can handle a lot more hardware variations, maybe.

It seems quite plausible to me technologically and economically but who knows. They could just as easily make a monitorless entry level computer but they don't. Ford could make hybrid cars but they don't.
 
Originally posted by D*I*S_Frontman
As long as IBM and Motorola do not go completely under, this WILL NEVER HAPPEN. With the latest very strong indications of the modified Power4 from IBM being the future of high-end Apple offerings and continuing incremental improvements by Motorola to what will most certainly become the consumer market G4, Apple will never have to swallow this poison pill.
Where did you read that the PowerPC 970 is 100% confirmed to be in Apple's future?

Exactly. There's no confirmation. It is just purely logical inference.

For that reason, *MAYBE* Apple is actually going x86-64 by late next year.

We just have to wait and see. Don't discount OS X on x86 because it is a possibility, whether you like it or not; Apple is a business, it can't afford to lose customers due to slow processors, etc. Therefore, they will take actions to counter this.

PowerPC 970 might as well be the action, but the 8th Generation Athlon and Opteron is a very viable option.

Edit: Oh, by the way. Never say never. :p
 

Doctor Memory

macrumors newbie
Nov 12, 2002
9
0
Originally posted by wwworry
If I remember correctly, the Mac cloners did not want to pay for the real costs of the operating system and they did not want to pay to have their machines "certified" to run the Mac OS.
No. That is more or less what Steve Jobs claimed was the case when they killed off the cloners by refusing to license MacOS 8, but it was a lie, pure and simple.

Ric Ford debunked this claim thoroughly on macintouch.com (and got several personal nasty emails from Steve Jobs for his troubles), and Apple never supplied any actual figures to back up the claim.
 

wwworry

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2002
235
0
Here's how they could do it:
They write a free downloadable program that analyses the users computer that would test compatibility with your existing x86 box. Then you would know what you would have to upgrade to switch.
New boxes would have to be certified by the manufacturer to ship with OS X.

If Apple wants to stay in the hardware business they would have to start selling headless entry level computers. The pro-line would have to be competitive with AMD and new p4s in terms of speed and price. Their laptops seem fine the way they are.

The question is whether OS X and the bundled iApps are competitive with windows and can Apple make money selling software alone.
 

wwworry

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2002
235
0
Originally posted by Doctor Memory


No. That is more or less what Steve Jobs claimed was the case when they killed off the cloners by refusing to license MacOS 8, but it was a lie, pure and simple.

Ric Ford debunked this claim thoroughly on macintouch.com (and got several personal nasty emails from Steve Jobs for his troubles), and Apple never supplied any actual figures to back up the claim.
They weren't making enough money from the clones. Why would they cut off a money making business. It could be that the hardware side was a wreak in 1996, so much so that unless the cloners were going to pay $300 per box Apple as a whole would lose money. Plus those Starmax computers sucked. Who would pay $300 for OS 7.5.5? That stunk too. Maybe Apple did not want to reveal how bad the hardware side of the business was nor did they need to reveal that.

It's much different now. Ending Quanta's contract is a lot cheaper than closing one of your own manufacturing plants.

All my numbers are guesses.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,507
1,789
Originally posted by wwworry
Here's how they could do it:
They write a free downloadable program that analyses the users computer that would test compatibility with your existing x86 box. Then you would know what you would have to upgrade to switch.
New boxes would have to be certified by the manufacturer to ship with OS X.
No,

As this has been discussed countless times... far more likely is that Apple will create Apple branded x86 boxes if it gets to that. OS X will only be able to run on these Apple-branded machines. Apple still sells the hardware, and controls the hardware...

Apple still makes more money in hardware that in software... it would be financial stupidity to drop all hardware.

What everyone who suggests that Apple should create OS X for generic x86 boxes doesn't understand is this: Apple is a profitable company _right now_ as a hardware company. To change their entire business plan would risk all that on a gamble with poor odds. As a public company, Apple has an obligation to its shareholders.

arn
 

rigor

macrumors newbie
Aug 17, 2002
12
0
No hacker should be letting a little welding stop him! Saw that puppy open and take some pics :)
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
x86?

If you look at the x86 rumor along with a multi-processor assumption, a box could have both a G4 and a 586 and do various tasks well.

If you repurpose it to server only tasks or application server tasks, the apps that need x86 serve off those and the apps that use G4/G5 serve off those.

It is a possible way to dominate the world.

The client-server model is back BTW.

I see this as a Phase II in the server strategy and sending test units in desktop mode is a good cover for the real purpose of the final units.

Dell could sell them because they use Intel chips and any agreement they have with M$ could be fought on the basis of the anti-trust suit.

Rocketman

The only special knowledge I have is good awareness and buddies in the biz.