Will the OSx86 project help or hurt Apple and Mac?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by sartajc, Oct 1, 2007.


Will OSx86 Hurt or Help Mac?

  1. Help

    39 vote(s)
  2. Hurt

    20 vote(s)
  3. Hurt in some ways, help in others

    25 vote(s)
  4. Other

    11 vote(s)
  1. sartajc macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2007
    Many of us know the new OSx86 project. Its basically a website teaching you how to install Mac OS X on PC computers. They show the legal way of doing it (buying the developer liscense for 1000 bucks or something), but we all know people just BitTorrent it. My question is, do you think this will help or hurt mac and apple?

    I honestly believe that this will hurt mac very badly. Before i bought my macbook, i installed mac on my dell and loved it, but then it hit me. This means that hackers all around the world now have easy access to the Mac OS X system. And as macs become more popular, hackers will have more of a reason to look for vulnerabilities. I honestly believe that within 5-10 years Mac will be having some major virus problems because its not exclusive to those who have access to relatively expensive apple computers anymore. Now you can just build a PC and install Mac on it as you would Microsuck Windows or a Linux Distro.
  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I think that a small enough ammount of people will actually do it that it will have no noticable effect on Apple to either way.
  3. portent macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2004
    People who don't pay for their software do nothing to help Apple, and (more importantly) nothing to support developers who write Mac applications. They are a cancer on the platform.
  4. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    The only legal way of installing Leopard is by having a Select or Premier license and installing it on a Mac.

    Installing it on a PC is a no no.
  5. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    Currently it is all pirated but that will probably change later this month or next when Leopard gets hacked then some of the people will pay for the software instead of pirating it.
  6. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    Yet the people who hack the iPhone so that you can install all your pretty little apps are praised? I smell hypocrisy.

    Oh get real. Hacking into OS X and making it run on different platforms is exactly what Apple does in their own testing labs. The only difference is that there are others that hack OS X and make it run on different platforms who aren't employed by Apple. Big Deal. If you have the technical skill to make it work, you have every right to do it. That's the spirit of hacking.

    Not to mention, it's an excellent learning opportunity for someone who is interested in operating system design and such.

    It's not like you're hurting anyone. I don't see people selling OS X install disks that work on any PC, there are quite a few hurdles to get it to work. Joe Schmo isn't going to go and try to make OS X work on his Gateway.

    Also, In before this thread gets locked or deleted.

    Having a discussion about the OSX86 project on this site is totally pointless. You're sadly not going to get a healthy discussion IMO.
  7. seanneko macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2007
    How is that the same as what he said?

    There's a very big difference between stealing an operating system depriving the company of profits, and simply modifying one that you've paid for so that you can run third-party freeware.
  8. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    Because it's really hard to steal OS X, you know, with that OS X Genuine Advantage Validation. Wait a minute....

    OSX86 doesn't hurt anyone. No corporate profit margins were hurt, the only thing hurt was someone's ego (hint: someone's ego who has always supported lock-ins). I'm surprised that nobody has ever dared to compare the hardware lock in of OS X with say, DRM, which everyone hates with a passion.

    But everyone will go off the handle spitting fire about WGA and all the stuff what Microsoft does to stop piracy.

    What is also ironic about this whole debate is the fact that the other Great Steve (Steve W.) was always a tinkerer/hacker and I doubt he would care about the OSX86 project. It's jut not a Big Deal. You're not going to see David Pogue review OS X on a crap PC box, nor is Apple's stock going to rise and fall on the news of OSX86.

    I would imagine that plenty of OSX86 enthusiasts own some piece of Apple hardware, or through contact with the OSX86 project are tempted to purchase Apple hardware.

    I had a OS X theme for a windows laptop and a linux laptop and I ended up buying a piece of Apple hardware. Apple got their money, they're plenty happy.
  9. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    Not much of a hint, maybe you could be more specific.

    As for the whys and why nots of this from Apple's perspective, one need only return to the history of this type of thing, and the lessons that Jobs learned from that history.

    Our first example, NeXT Computer decided to shift to a software based strategy back in 1993. It seemed simple enough, and to a degree was quite simple... move NEXTSTEP to 486 based processors so that it could run on generic PCs. The plan seemed so simple and straight forward that NeXT shutdown hardware production long before the 486 version of NEXTSTEP was ready to ship.

    What people have forgotten (or in the case of most Apple and Windows users, most likely never knew to begin with) was the general reaction to NEXTSTEP's arrival on PCs. What many people assume was that the price of NEXTSTEP was the flaw, but NEXTSTEP wasn't aimed at the desktop market, it was a workstation platform. Price wasn't the issue. The issue was compatibility with the vast amount of PC hardware configurations. This made the first version of NEXTSTEP for PCs (NEXTSTEP 3.1) difficult to deploy and maintain.

    First impressions are lasting ones, and for the rest of the time that NeXT/Apple continued to sell NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP (up to 2001) they continued to fight that early perception. And in a NeXT forum someone recently asked where that early perception came from... showing that I'm not making up this perception issue.

    Jobs isn't one to repeat a mistake, he usually attempts to fix failed strategies before trying again.

    Our second example. Rhapsody for Intel based PCs (1997-1999). This time, rather than attempt to push the OS out the door before letting hardware and software developers have a chance to create products for it, Jobs figured that giving them a chance to work with the new OS first would help make sure that it was able to put it's best foot forward when introduced to the public.

    What people have forgotten (or in the case of most people, most likely never knew to begin with) was that beyond being a platform for application development, the Rhapsody Developer Releases were designed for makers of third party hardware to develop drivers. This was specifically done to avoid the same problems of perception that NEXTSTEP 3.1 for PCs faced years earlier.

    The problem... few NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP developers of drivers ported their software to Rhapsody, and few NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP applications developers continued to maintain both PowerPC and Intel versions of their software (opting for mainly PowerPC versions by the release of Rhapsody DR2). Even worse, almost no new hardware developers joined in to help make drivers for Rhapsody for Intel.

    So even with a couple of years of preparation and foundations based on OPENSTEP, Rhapsody was facing a similar (if not worse) launch than NEXTSTEP 3.1 had. The final version of Rhapsody for Intel runs on a small fraction of the hardware that OPENSTEP for Intel can run on. And often times Rhapsody for Intel has stability issues when forced onto inappropriate hardware configurations.

    What we know today is that Apple continued to maintain the Rhapsody for Intel build line which eventually became Mac OS X for Intel. What is not fully known is that Apple did not maintain the same amount of drivers for Mac OS X for Intel as was available for Rhapsody for Intel (which in turn was a much smaller amount than existed for OPENSTEP for Intel).

    Anyone who knows Jobs at all knows that he hates bad impressions... specially bad first impressions. Maintaining Mac OS X on Mac hardware is the only way Apple can avoid the same impressions that NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP suffered from on PCs, and the very impressions that has kept Linux out of the desktop market all these years. Almost all the hardware in the world is designed to just work with Windows, and anyone seeing Mac OS X or Linux on generic hardware is going to expect the same compatibility that Windows has... and one only need look at people's perceptions of Linux to guess how they would view Mac OS X on PCs.

    Between that overwhelming hurdle of perception and the fact that any loss of a sale of a Mac would have to be made up by the sales of at least four copies of Mac OS X for PCs to maintain stable (but not growing) revenues makes the whole idea pointless from Apple's perspective.

    I mean, how many people are willing to do twice the work they currently do, endure looking bad in the process, and make no more than they currently do? That is a bad model for anyone, including Apple.

    But SC68Cal also thinks that this is some form of hardware lock-in... How?

    The US government has never considered the marriage of hardware and software as a single product to be lock-in. On the other hand, they have convicted Microsoft for abusing their monopoly position to keep other operating systems off of generic PCs who's manufacturers do not make their own software.

    Maybe he is thinking of the iPod/iTunes music store...but I would point out that the DRM is not something that Apple wanted... or needs for that matter. 90% of the purchases off the iTunes music store that I've made have never seen an iPod (mainly because I only own a first generation iPod shuffle). And many people don't feel a need to carry their music around with them, so iPods wouldn't even the main beneficiaries of iTunes media, Macs and PCs are.

    No, it isn't hardware lock-in that makes the iPod the market leader... and Jobs knows this very well. What makes the iPod so strong is, in fact, perception.
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Your logic is off here. Basically you are saying that the OSx86 project will lead to MacOS X being installed on more computers, so there is more reason to write anti-MacOS X viruses, so there will be more MacOS X viruses.

    May I just remind that Apple is working very, very, very hard itself to increase the number of computers running MacOS X. So according to your logic, Apple should stop all advertisements for Macs, double the price to reduce number of sales, and we will all be happy?

    In reality, the number of people using these tools to run MacOS X on a non-Apple computer is minimal. And those people will claim that they are brighter than the average user (at least they were clever enough to install MacOS X on a PC) and may be less likely to catch some virus, so the number of vulnerable people running MacOS X might not actually increase anyway.
  11. CashGap macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2007
    Music City, USA
    "No impact at all" would be the most likely answer, but I understand why that wasn't one of the choices.
  12. jonnylink macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2007
    I couldn't disagree more. Wil Shipley has said quite a bit on the affect (or perhaps effects is more appropriate) of pirated software. A lot of which can also be transposed on people hacking licensed versions of OS X. It might not be legal in terms of the EULA, but then again the EULA might not be legal in terms of the law (see Klocek v. Gateway). That said, I certainly wouldn't want to own a hackintosh. part of what I like about Apple is the (relative) quality of their hardware.
  13. markfc macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2006
    Prestatyn, Wales, UK
    No Impact At All - If I want to run OS X, I'll do so on my Mac.

    It I wanted to waste time looking for drivers, messing about and hacking stuff to work, I'd still be running Windows wouldn't I?
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Agreed. I don't see the project as having any noticable impact on consumer behavior, and I also don't see it producing any valuable code or art that could be used for other purposes, so I see it as just a big geek waste of time. Not that they aren't entitled to amuse themselves in that way, but that's all it is to me.
  15. theman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2007
    I think apple should release a crippled version of Mac OS (like Vista home basic or whatever, except more crippled) and sell it for PCs really cheap, like $40 or less. then they will get a bunch of people hooked on Mac OS and they'll have no choice but to buy a Mac computer with the full OS. great business strategy.
  16. notsofatjames macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2007
    Wales, UK
    I tried and did just about install OSX on my old desktop. This was my pre-apple days. Installing it and giving it a bit of a test run was enough to convince me that it was worth paying for a whole new computer just to run that operating system. Previously I would just upgrade my PC as I went along. Was a bit of a pain with Windows activation popping up everytime I changed something, but it was cheap. But after trying OSX, i bought myself a mac mini and a KVM switch. Then I bought an iMac, then a macbook, and now I make it a hobby to convert friends to macs! But i dont ever mention the X86 project. I just show them my computer.

    I dont dis-agree with the concept of the project, though it is theft of copyright. But as someone said Steve W wouldn't be bothered by this project, and too many Apple fans forget how Steve W is the brains behind Steve Jobs charisma.
  17. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    Except it would cost them a fortune to set up, creating drivers etc.
  18. theman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2007
    on the note of piracy, i would ONLY pirate something that has protection against being pirated. if it didnt, like OS X, i couldn't bring myself to pirate a product whose makers have that much respect for their buyers (and potential buyers).
  19. MacVault macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2002
    Planet Earth
    OS X will ALWAYS SUCK in a BIG WAY until Apple allows US to choose which hardware we want to run it on. Yes, until then, Apple and OS X can SUCK MY FATTY SATCHEL! Oh yea, and the iPhone is a piece of DOG POO until Apple OPENS it.

    Why the H3LL does Apple keep insisting on locking everything down and forcing their lifeblood customers to using one brand of hardware, or one wireless carrier, etc.??? It's starting to P!$$ me OFFFFFFFFFF!

  20. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I don't think that this would be a good stratagy, if they want to open it up officially to any hardware it needs to be the entire thing or none. Otherwise people will buy it because it is a cheap way to try the Mac OS and because it is a crippled version they won't see any reason to use it over windows or linux.

    This is sarcasm I hope. the reason OS X is so good is that it works perfectly with the hardware which could not be accomplished by allowing people to choose any hardware they want.
  21. thegrifman macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2006
    Kennesaw, GA
    I voted Help just because I wasn't willing to make the commitment to change my entire computing experience based on faith in something I'd never used so I tried it out on my Toshiba laptop. It ran like crap but I knew it would going into it. I really just wanted to play with it, see what features it had, how easy or difficult it was to configure and such, things that I didn't feel I could really get away with at an Apple store, not without them wonder what I'd been doing there for so long :) I loved it enough though that I bought my MBP after a couple of months of saving up the money for it.
  22. Sunnzy macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2007
    How many didn't end up buying a Mac because of OSX86? And how many of these people (who didn't buy a Mac) would have brought a Mac without it?

    How many brought a Mac because of OSX86? And how many of these people would NOT have brought a Mac without it?
  23. Me1000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 15, 2006
    Anyone who has used OS X on a PC knows how crappy it is.
    Apple is defiantly not being hurt because chances are, anyone who is running OS X on a pc was never going to use OS X any other way.

    I (may) have converted several people to macs with the OSX86 Project.
    it gives people the opportunity to try OS X without forking over a couple grand on a new mac!
  24. CashGap macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2007
    Music City, USA
    "Why the H3LL does Apple keep insisting on locking everything down and forcing their lifeblood customers to using one brand of hardware, or one wireless carrier, etc.???"

    I'm guessing they want their products to work. Open-ness and reliability are at opposite ends of a spectrum. Apple picks a spot on that spectrum, and customers comfortable at that spot buy from Apple. Customers uncomfortable at that spot buy from someone else.
  25. Sunnzy macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2007
    Not entirely true.

    Look at Solaris for example, they work great on Sun Microsystem's own machine, just like OS X works on Macs. They however release the full source code as OpenSolaris and anyone is allowed to tweak the source and make it work on their own computer. They don't have to support it on generic boxes, they just let people to support themselves on generic hardware.

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