Why couldnt we do windows on PPC


macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 12, 2006
I was wondering why we couldn't use WinBlows on G4,G5, and G3 machines? Is it because windows doesn't use PPC?

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
imacintel said:
I was wondering why we couldn't use WinBlows on G4,G5, and G3 machines? Is it because windows doesn't use PPC?
Basically yes, Windows NT was canceled on the PPC platform.

MS updated it somewhat for the XBox -- but it ain't a full OS, just enough of one to run games.

However, MS does offer a PC emulator -- but it is painful to use.

Something best used for opening and translating a document so you can work on it in the Mac OS.


macrumors regular
May 25, 2006
Dearborn, MI
That is mostly correct. In order for Windows to run on a PPC computer, Microsoft would have to recompile all of their software on a PPC processor, which is a large task. As you may know, processors only understand 1s & 0s, how the processor interprets the 1s & 0s is up to the designer of the chip. This is why Rosetta is needed to translate PPC instructions into an understandable form for Intel processors to run native PPC code.


Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
Gone but not forgotten.
Basically that there has only been one version of Windows to run on PowerPC machines and that was in the mid to late 1990s. If Microsoft had wanted to run Windows on another processor, they could do it, but it wasn't worth the money to them.

Add to that the fact that 3rd party developers would also have to develop software for the platform and you end up with a situation where Mac OS X users are now--waiting for native software.


macrumors 65832
Aug 2, 2004
The last version of Windows for PowerPC that Microsoft released was Windows NT 4.0 (and as I recall they stopped supporting that around service pack 4). Further, there wasn't much software for it and Apple never made systems that it could run on.

So if you can find an old non-Apple PowerPC system (they are on ebay from time to time) and don't mind having almost no software, and using a 1996 version of Windows and Internet Explorer... well, then there is nothing stopping you.

I think I saw an IBM workstation that went for under $150... I believe that system had a PowerPC 604e at 200 MHz. Windows NT 4.0 should work on that one. And would be a lot faster than any PCs of that era... though without a lot of software it would be hard to tell. :D


macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2003
we couldn't do windows on ppc much like we couldn't do os x on x86. But now we can do os x on x86 because apple os x for both from the beginning, but didn't tell us about it till recently.

ms really doesn't have a reason to port windows to ppc, it wouldn't gain them a lot more customers. hence, no financial reasons to.


macrumors 601
Nov 16, 2004
I don't think he's really asking, he's just raising his post count. What kind of question is that, anyway. Nobody, who has the skills to find, register at, and post at a Macintosh community forum, is that clueless. Especially by their 350 something-th post. Also, take a look at another thread he started here.