When will Apple stop Making OSX compatible with PowerPc G4?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by iFool, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. iFool macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    #1
    Well, the requirements are getting closer and closer to the spec of my system, any ideas when I may have to get a new system, I can't see it happening in 10.6, but it may well happen with 10.7, OS X always has much lower requirements the Windows, but like I said, it's edging ever closer to my spec.

    Discuss....:apple:
     
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #4
    To some degree I imagine it depends on what the schedule is for 10.6 to come out. G4s were sold until May 2006 as new computers. Leopard came out Oct, 2007. Clearly the gap between OS X releases is getting longer. OS 10.6 probably won't come out until late 2009 or even 2010 or even early 2011. Sounds like a reasonable timeframe to drop the G4, but they can't drop the G5 as quickly, I don't think. Which makes me think they won't drop the G4.

    If it's late 2010 or early 2011, I'd say dropping powerPC entirely might be a strong possibility.
     
  3. crees! macrumors 68000

    crees!

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    #5
    That means I'd have to buy a new computer. If 867 is the required minimum now then I see 1Ghz, if they bump it up, as the next required min.
     
  4. chrisbeebops macrumors regular

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    Jun 8, 2007
    #6
    I think that if they did drop support for G4, that they would drop support for G5 also. Aluminum Powerbook G4's were sold alongside PowerMac and iMac G5's.

    I don't see why Apple wouldn't drop support for PowerPC altogether in 10.6. If 10.6 was released in 2010, then all PowerPC machines sold before the Intel switch announcement would be at least 4 years old. People buying after the announcement would have had warning that they were buying right before a *major* architectural shift in Apple's hardware.

    It would certainly simplify development of the operating system, and allow them to decrease OS X's footprint by stripping out all legacy PPC code from all of the core binaries. Only Rosetta would remain, to support legacy applications.

    After that, in 10.7, I could see them going to 64-bit Intel only.

    This would definitely piss off many Apple customers. However, the move will keep OS X a lightweight, modern OS, unhindered by requirements to support legacy hardware and software.

    But then again, no one can be sure. If anything at all, Apple is still in the basic planning stages of 10.6. Their devs are fully focused on updating Leopard, ironing out any bugs or patching any vulnerabilities. Apple probably still hasn't decided yet....
     
  5. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #7
    Highly unlikely.

    They probably have two teams one working on Leopard one on 10.6.
     
  6. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #8
    +1 to Cromulent.

    This has been Apple's standard pattern since 10.0 at least.
     
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #9
    This is exactly backwards. Rosetta is a PPC emulator. However, MacOS X has been Universal since before Day 1. It does not contain source code that is specific to the PPC. For the foreseeable future, Apple will not transition MacOS X from Universal Binary to Intel-specific code. In fact, Apple now produces intelligent products based processors other than Intel's x86 ISA. They do, however, run versions of OS X. Ever heard of the iPhone, iPod touch, or Apple TV? By keeping OS X processor-independent, Apple can choose the best processor for the job rather than the best x86 ISA processor.
     
  8. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #10
    Err yes it does.

    A universal binary is an application which contains both a version for PPC processors and a version for Intel processors.

    Mac OS X does have portions which are specifically designed for PPC processors and other parts which are universal binaries thus doubling the size of the executable as there need to be two version effectively for each architecture.
     
  9. Henriok macrumors regular

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    Gothenburg, Sweden
    #11
    It contains plenty of code specific to PowerPC, such as optimization for G4s and G5s and Altivec, and PowerPC generally such as FPUfunctionaity, bus protocols, OpenFirmware, endianess and so forth.
    Apple TV does run on a stock x86 processor.

    However.. the reason for Apple to drop support for anything isn't technical, it's political and strategical. They don't want to support legacy platforms forever. It's hard to make a high quality product as OSX and keep innovating if they are to keep testing and making adjustments with nearly obsolete plattforms. The quality assurance matrix would be enourmous, the support costs will surmount the benefits. AND.. this goes for the surrounding ecosystem too. Third party developers don't want to support legacy platforms forever either.

    OSX is great. I enjouy using even 10.3 today. And 10.3 run on pretty old hardware. If we fast forward to 2009, 2010 when 10.6 arrives, 10.3 will still run great on iBook G3s and first generation iMacs. But.. What kind of operating system would 10.6 be if they were to upport coputers like that?

    In 2010 you'd probably get a new portable for $500 (4x3 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 300 GB HD) 10.6 included. Why on earth would you concern yourself with a 10 year old computer, with a fraction of computing power? Let it run legacy stuff as a home server. Put it in the closet where it belongs. Join the consumer bandwagon! Keep spending! Keep Apple happy innovating, not having to worry about old boring stuff.
     
  10. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000

    FoxyKaye

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    #12
    I would hope that 10.6 stays compatible with some G4s and all G5s, which means that I would expect 10.7 to drop PPC support completely.

    However, given the nature of Intel-specific code that could be incorporated into either 10.6 or 10.7, it seems plausible to me that the installers for 10.6 could be much larger (to cover both PPC and Intel variations) and slim down with greater optimization in 10.7 with the complete drop of PPC support. Now, as to how much or how little Apple pays attention to Intel's chip specific instruction sets in OS X, that's anyone's guess.
     
  11. Henriok macrumors regular

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    #13
     
  12. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #14
    I think this is some good insight. PPC is PPC, and doesn't matter on it being a G3, G4 or G5. What matters is the hardware available to run whatever 10.6 may require. I say that G4's will not be dropped when 10.6 rolls around.
     
  13. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    #15
    I imagine it's much simpler than everyone thinks. Apple just looks at how many copies of Leopard were sold on to PPCs, and then looks at the attrition trend for PPC machines overall to make a guess as to how many copies of 10.6 might sell on PPC. If it looks too low, PPC is done.
     
  14. chrisbeebops macrumors regular

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    Jun 8, 2007
    #16
    For Apple, sales of Leopard are a drop in the bucket compared to sales of new hardware. By dropping PowerPC support, they will be encouraging users of then obsolete hardware to spend $1000+ on a new computer versus $100 for a license of 10.6.
     

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