Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
OS X Businesses Operating Systems Apple

Mac OS X x86 Put To The Test 672

Posted by Zonk
from the a-boy-can-dream dept.
stivi writes "ZDNet has tested Mac OS X x86 on a Toshiba laptop. The article discusses installation process, performance and power consumption comparison and has a thorough photo gallery as well." From the article: "Mac OS X will not be available on any old x86 PC, though, as Apple wants to retain control over its hardware platform. From the company's point of view, this is an understandable position, as the margins on Apple-branded computers are much higher than is usual for standard x86 PCs. Were Apple to put the x86 version of its operating system on general release, Dell would begin to manufacture Apple clones. This would put enormous pressure on the price of Apple's own computers -- something the company is naturally keen to avoid."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mac OS X x86 Put To The Test

Comments Filter:
  • I'm not sure I agree with the author's positions at all...

    Mac OS X will not be available on any old x86 PC, though, as Apple wants to retain control over its hardware platform. Right, Apple wants the fastest, smoothest and most gorgeous OS. It won't run on any old X86. You don't see V12 engines in Hyundais either. You don't see marble floors in Section 8 housing. You don't see big, soft seats in coach class.

    From the company's point of view, this is an understandable position, as the margins on Apple-b
    • by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Friday November 11, 2005 @10:59AM (#14007881) Journal
      Were Apple to put the x86 version of its operating system on general release, Dell would begin to manufacture Apple clones. And lose MS' favor? I highly doubt it. New techs needed, new marketing, a bifurcated customer base? Keep bullshiting, ye who know not business.

      Dell's already said that they'd sell OS X if they could. That happened within the week of the Apple intel announcement.

      -jcr
      • by rthille (8526) <{gro.tagnar} {ta} {todhsals-bew}> on Friday November 11, 2005 @12:23PM (#14008757) Homepage Journal
        I think it'd be interesting (though not worth apple's time to administer) if to expand the choices of the consumer that Apple would license OS-X to people at the price of the margin on their basic (no added RAM) highest-end hardware (ie. the current Dual G5). That way if there was hardware that Apple didn't support someone _could_ use it legally. However, I doubt anyone would want to pay $1000+ for OS-X just to be able to run it on their particular hardware, given that the drivers would also have to be custom written (not by Apple in this scenario) and the kind of situation where it might make sense would be a big honking server where OS-X just doesn't outperform the competition.
        So, never mind :-)
        • If I could buy OSX server to run on my existing intel servers I would. It's worth a thousand dollars to get a pre-configured ldap, samba, apache, php, jabber, java, remote desktop, etc would certainly be worth it.

          Hell if there was a linux distro like that it would be worth it.
      • by multimed (189254) <mrmultimedia.yahoo@com> on Friday November 11, 2005 @12:40PM (#14008936)
        And Michael Dell has also said about 100 times, that he was considering switching to AMD processors. He also said that Apple shareholders would be better off Apple shut down. He says things to promote himself or his company not because they are true. In this case, like the "we're thinking of going AMD" it's just about putting pressure on one of his suppliers to get a better deal. Anyone who takes this statement at face value is just not paying attention. Ain't gonna happen.
      • by eclectic4 (665330) on Friday November 11, 2005 @06:11PM (#14011996)
        For the very last freaking time (yeah right), Apple is a hardware company. You need not ever go further than that to understand the reasonging behind not letting OS X out into the wild. Why people still discuss this is beyond many of us.

        Lastly, the experience (a great one, IMO) of owning a Mac, is knowing that the people I bought this computer from makes and supports everything from the computer to the OS that runs it, seemlessly. It's one of Apple's mantras. Complete and total solutions from beginning to end. iTunes to iPod, Machine to Mac OS, etc... it's why Apple users are so damned happy. You lose that, and the company will, finally, become "beleaguered" because the joy of owning a Mac will fall to the way-side. OS X (damn nice OS) on Bob's X1200 (made in his garage using crappy parts) would completely destroy what Steve/Apple have been doing for years.
    • by swb (14022) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:03AM (#14007912)
      Lexus makes a great car, with a ton of room for third party add-ons and third party service. But their smooth engine and user friendly console won't fit in a Hyundai. Are Hyundai drivers mad?

      The engines won't fit in a Hyundai, but they fit in Toyotas and are often found (with trivial modifications) in Toyotas at much lower price points. Another example are Hondas and Accuras. My neighbor owns a 2000 3.2TL Sedan and I have an Accord V6 sedan of the same year. The car is almost identical, with a few more bells and whistles on the Accura. The big difference is the nameplate, not the car.
      • The reason Lexus engines fit in Toyotas, is because they are Toyota engines. Lexus is Toyota. When Toyota wanted to sell cars to Americans, they created the Lexus brand (Luxury Export to the U.S. = LEXUS). That way they can rebadge their cars as Lexus and charge an extra few thousand.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Wrong.
          When Toyota wanted to sell cars to Americans, they sold Toyotas. I think that's pretty obvious now since they are the #2 or #3 selling brand in the states? Toyota wanted to sell luxury vehicles and had attempted to buy Porsche (or BMW) in the early to mid 80s but the Germans didn't want the Japanese to own a German brand so they put the money together to prevent that. Toyota then opted to build a luxury brand where quality would trickle down into their regular Toyota line instead of trying to hybri
      • by Talinth (855653) on Friday November 11, 2005 @01:31PM (#14009479)
        I personally work in a factory that produces steering wheels/shift levers/dash panels for both Toyota (and of course) Lexus. If we misform a Toyota steering wheel we repair it (usually with a little super glue) and it looks good as new. ANY problems with any of our lexus parts and they go to the scrap dock instantly no matter how small the defect. Yes, the parts are interchangable between a Lexus and Toyota for the most part. The difference is in the quality standards we adhere to at the factory.
      • by quickbrownfox (900989) on Friday November 11, 2005 @01:44PM (#14009594)
        I wonder if people who complain about the price of Macs apply this same logic to other aspects of their lives? When grocery shopping, do they try to find the greatest amount of calories/protein they can get for their dollar? Do they eat nothing but beans and horsemeat? Do they buy the longest CDs/DVDs, regardless of content?
        • I wonder if people who complain about the price of Macs apply this same logic to other aspects of their lives? When grocery shopping, do they try to find the greatest amount of calories/protein they can get for their dollar? Do they eat nothing but beans and horsemeat? Do they buy the longest CDs/DVDs, regardless of content?

          Yeah, you know, i think some people do just that, as bizarre as it may seem. I know a guy who just this past weekend absolutely stuffed his gut with shrimp at a wedding reception - an

    • by Horatio_Hellpop (926706) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:04AM (#14007919)
      //No producer of high quality goods should listen to cheapskate NewEgg buyers who don't care for quality and future development.//

      Not all products on newegg.com are cheap and poorly made.

      I put together a very nice system (for gaming) for under $800, all with quality parts from newegg.com. It's been running for four months, with not one problem.

      Ok, one problem: Fedora Core 4 won't recognize my wireless PCI card.

      Anyway ... you're painting all newegg customers/products as cheap and/or craptastic. Simply not true.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:04AM (#14007920)
      Your comparisons are not valid. You cannot fit a Lexus engine in a Hyundai, but you can put Apple OSX on a X86 platform.

      Lexus does not "prevent" Hyundai drivers from putting Lexus engines in their cars.

      Your only valid point is the need to have a nice profit margin for R&D.

      'My MS helpdesk team fixes 90% of problems that can be assessed as "sub par hardware" and "user is a moron and bought crap."'

      -- Why is a user a moron? I can guarantee you that the parts this user purchased claimed they were 100% compatible with Microsoft products. What is the user supposed to do about this?
    • I get the feeling that you're saying that you don't want to OSX on cheap computers because then, anyone could be working using it.

      Your OSX system is a status symbol like Lexus.

      • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Friday November 11, 2005 @12:57PM (#14009118)
        "10 percent of computer users are Mac users, but remember, we are the top 10 percent." - Douglas Adams

        Although, I believe what the poster was saying that he doesn't want OS X running on cheap computers for anyone to use it, because that would degrade the quality of the operating system and the user experience. Hello, Windows.

        Mac and OS X will always be intertwined. That's how Apple does things.
    • Right, Apple wants the fastest, smoothest and most gorgeous OS. It won't run on any old X86. You don't see V12 engines in Hyundais either. You don't see marble floors in Section 8 housing. You don't see big, soft seats in coach class.

      The difference being that even with technically (I mean, by specification, not including whatever funky copy-protection nonsense is on there) identical hardware, Apple wishes to restrict their base.

      Mac OS X x86 also runs on the AMD platform. ???

      This is probably just to

      • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Friday November 11, 2005 @01:27PM (#14009438) Homepage
        The difference being that even with technically (I mean, by specification, not including whatever funky copy-protection nonsense is on there) identical hardware, Apple wishes to restrict their base.

        First, the technically identical hardware is temporary, its convenient, it may be a good feint, etc. Switching to an Intel PCI chipset and Intel CPU *does not* mean you will have PC/AT compatible hardware. Apple has the expertise to design their own motherboards and chipsets. They could do anything from take their current proprietary design and replace the PowerPC with a Pentium to take a stock Intel PCI chipset as a reference and incorporate some of their custom chipset work, or simply leave out legacy PC junk that they have no historical dependency on but the currently shipping Windows does. Apple *did not* say that the current version of Windows would run on their hardware, they said they would not prevent Windows from running on their hardware. This suggests Windows will need to be ported to Apple's x86 hardware. Look back in history, once upon a time MS-DOS machines were not IBM PC compatible, the IBM PC was merely one of various MS-DOS machines. These machines had Intel CPUs and other similar hardware and benefitted from commodity parts as a result. However these systems were fundamentally incompatible, you had to adhere to the MS-DOS API to be safe. I'm leaning towards a repeat of history over a standard off-the-shelf PC design plus a DRM chip.

        Secondly, Apple does not wish to restrict their user base, they wish to ensure that they survive in a meaningful sense. Apple fundamentally is a hardware company, they are famous for their software but that software is largely a tool to get people to buy their more expensive hardware(1). Their software is not really their core business, it is their core marketting to some degree. To run Mac OS X on generic PC hardware would kill their hardware business. They tried growing the Mac market by introducing alternative hardware vendors and it nearly killed them. The market did not grow, Apple's sales were cannibalized as existing Mac users flocked to the Mac clones. You can look to Linux as another example. Sun once had a thriving desktop business selling generic (with respect to the functionality that the user needed) unix boxes. Once a generic unix (Linux - again, only addressing people who needed generic unix apps/tools) could be run on inexpensive hardware Sun's desktop market evaporated. Apple would suffer a similar evaporation of their hardware market, suffer a devestating loss in revenue, and be a ghost of their former self. So a PC user may benefit from Mac OS X on generic PC hardware but what is in it for Apple. It has to be a mutually beneficial deal for it to happen, it is not, it won't happen.

        (1) I have to note the mini as an exception. Unlike other systems it is pretty damn price competitive, or maybe its just that Apple's proportionately higher markup is being applied to such an inexpensive machine that the difference between the mini and a comparable PC is insignificant. Or maybe the mini's margin is much less than other Macs and the mini is being used as a "loss leader" to draw users into the Apple family. If enough people buy a bigger Mac as their second Mac whenever it comes time to upgrade Apple may have made a very good long term versus short term tradeoff.
    • Were Apple to put the x86 version of its operating system on general release, Dell would begin to manufacture Apple clones. And lose MS' favor? I highly doubt it. New techs needed, new marketing, a bifurcated customer base? Keep bullshiting, ye who know not business.

      Dude, if Dell does not manufacture cheap apple clones, I WILL
    • It just works... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pubjames (468013)
      Apple are justifiably proud of their boast "It just works". If you start letting people run OSX on any platform, then that becomes much harder, if not impossible.

      Personally I think Apple should continue producing quality hardware and software for those that want the best, and not cater for the cheapskates who want to run the OS on crappy cheap hardware.
    • by DrXym (126579) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:29AM (#14008152)
      It won't run on any old X86. You don't see V12 engines in Hyundais either. You don't see marble floors in Section 8 housing. You don't see big, soft seats in coach class.

      Out of interest why do you compare an Apple branded x86 PC as a having a v12 when all other PCs are deemed as "Hyundais"? The straight fact is that any modern "Hyundai" could quite easily run any x86 operating system from Windows, Solaris, Linux, BSD and OS X with absolutely no performance issue whatsoever. If Apple wants to cripple their OS so it only operates on a subset of hardware that is their own business, but it doesn't mean it's somehow superior or intrinsically more demanding to run than any other OS out there.

      I can understand why they don't want any common garden variety PC to run their OS - opening it up to any OEM PC system would seriously impinge on their hardware sales. Still, if that was their big concern, perhaps they should have stuck to the PowerPC platform where it would be the non-issue it is now. It's quite obvious that within six months of OS X x86 coming out that there is going to be some kind of emulator for it, possible running as close to full speed that it would be viable to use it from a generic PC.

  • Unleash the hounds! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by toupsie (88295)
    Steve does not like it when you operate outside the bounds of the reality distortion field. Will Apple go after ZDNet like it does bloggers for "violating" the license agreement for OS X x86?
  • by mattyohe (517995) <matt,yohe&gmail,com> on Friday November 11, 2005 @10:55AM (#14007839)
    "Put to the test?" = Installing pre-release software on hardware it wasn't developed for?

    Can't we just wait until Apple ships a mac with intel inside? I love Apple and everything, but this barrage of useless Apple articles has got to stop.
    • by Golias (176380) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:12AM (#14007997)
      Not only that, but the entire summary is about what we already knew, that OS X is not likely to be available for commodity PC's.

      Yes, thanks for being the 159th person to point that out. Now, did you find out anything new, surprising and/or useful by playing around with your unsupported hack of OSx86 on your Toshiba laptop?
  • This good for Apple? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drewzhrodague (606182) <drew@zhr[ ]gue.net ['oda' in gap]> on Friday November 11, 2005 @10:55AM (#14007842) Homepage Journal
    I think that if Apple allowed third parties to make Apple clones, or Apple-Approved machines to run the new OSX on, this could potentially be good for Apple. I'd rather spend $200 on OSX for my workstation, than $200 for Windows anything -- especially if it worked properly.

    This might be useful if Apple embraces the FOSS community, and lets them fill in the gaps in device drivers, etc. Keeping things closed isn't good for anyone except the company that is doing the closing, and there are many many anecdotes of where that kind of practice isn't even good for them.
    • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Friday November 11, 2005 @10:57AM (#14007868) Homepage Journal
      Apple sees how much Microsoft pays in supporting what ends up being other manufacturer's problems. MS isn't innocent, but if Video Driver #16 works where #1-15 crashed, why did MS have to handle 500,000 phone calls?
    • by cortana (588495) <sam@robo[ ]org.uk ['ts.' in gap]> on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:02AM (#14007908) Homepage
      When they tried that before, what happened was that Mac users just bought the cheaper Mac clones, cutting into Apple's profits, and PC users continued to buy PCs. :)
    • by Otter (3800) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:07AM (#14007949) Journal
      This might be useful if Apple embraces the FOSS community, and lets them fill in the gaps in device drivers, etc. Keeping things closed isn't good for anyone except the company that is doing the closing, and there are many many anecdotes of where that kind of practice isn't even good for them.

      If Apple loses their hardware business to clones and their software business to CheapBytes, how exactly are they going to keep making OS X? Their going out of business may be good for everyone but them (although I'd disagree with that) but that seems like an odd calculation to expect them to make.

    • Hardware clones would be very bad for Apple. It would a) kill their user experience, b) degrade their chic consumer appeal and c) dry up their revenues to the point where innovation takes a permanent back seat.
    • I'd rather spend $200 on OSX for my workstation, than $200 for Windows anything -- especially if it worked properly.

      They don't want your $200. They want thousands of your dollars over a very long period of time. They would rather you buy a new $2000 workstation from them in a few years than just buy a $200 operating system today.

      The only way to really acheive that (even if the product is great) is by maintaining control over the platform. Microsoft did it through shady business pracitices and extraordina
      • Why? The profit on a $2000 workstation is around 10%. The profit on a $200 OS is around 100%[1]. And the $2000 workstation has a lot of associated costs (shipping of large things, warehousing of components that depreciate in value very quickly, etc.)

        [1] Unit profit, ignoring R&D costs.

      • by Golias (176380)
        Actually, they want both.

        They would like you to buy a $2000 tower every 3-5 years, and then buy OS upgrades every year and a half or so at $130 a pop.

        And so far, they've been providing enough value with thier OS to get a lot of Mac users to agree to exactly that.

        Apple appears to have very little interest in appealing to people who run Linux (or pirated Windows) on $300 AMD systems. If you don't have enough use for a Mac to at least justify the cost of a Mac mini plus yearly upgrades, then OS X is not for y
    • Don't forget, Steve Jobs has been through this whole process. And then the variant you prefer. NeXT was first a computer, then became the NeXTstep OS running on standard X86 hardware (OK, the HCL wasn't that long, but still). NeXT as a workstation didn't become the "success bigger than the Macintosh" that Jobs had expected, but NeXT as a pure software company brought in even less money. So Apple will definitely not go there again. People sometimes learn from their mistakes... :)
    • by GaryPatterson (852699) on Friday November 11, 2005 @09:13PM (#14013077)
      They already do this.

      http://developer.apple.com/devicedrivers/ [apple.com]

      Someone from the Open Source crowd wants to write a driver for a piece of hardware? knock yourselves out. Everything you need from Apple is available freely. Of course, you also need data from the hardware manufacturer, who may not be so open.
  • Time zones (Score:2, Funny)

    by ronanbear (924575)
    Aren't some people going to find it harder to pick out their state graphically than picking from a list. Not everyone knows what a world atlas looks like.
    • by olalla (676234)
      When the U.S. attacks California, people will know where it is.
    • I agree. Remember, this is America, where geography education is SERIOUSLY lacking. I think it's more likely for people to know what time zone they're in than how to pick their state on a map.
  • Toe in the water (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ozmanjusri (601766)
    I think Apple will put a toe in the x86 water by locking OSX to their own hardware, so they don't compete head to head with Microsoft. If it works well for them though, I suspect they'll start to sell the OS alone.
    • by mattyohe (517995) <matt,yohe&gmail,com> on Friday November 11, 2005 @10:58AM (#14007879)
      No they won't. The whole reason people buy macs is for the stability of OSX. If apple had to start supporting 3rd party hardware, this level of stability would severely drop.
      • by afd8856 (700296)
        Linux seems pretty stable with a lot of hardware and I might say, out of the, has hardware drivers for most of the stuff out there.
      • by ozmanjusri (601766)
        If apple had to start supporting 3rd party hardware, this level of stability would severely drop.

        Why? BSD is stable on plenty of 3rd party hardware. Why wouldn't a Mac be as stable?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sell OSX x86 only through the online Apple store. Put a big line of text in the EULA saying no resellers allowed. If someone named "M. Dell" attempts to put 50,000 copies in a shopping cart, deny the transaction. Is it really that difficult?
  • The reason that most people want to switch to Apple is the perceived quality that accompanies it. The reason people don't switch is because of cost and lack of software.

    Keeping the prices high on what is essentially commodity hardware does nothing to alleviate the cost problem.
    • If by commodity hardware you mean the equivalent of the most standardized hardware configuration you can imagine across multiple lines of PCs with very tightly integrated components from suppliers who have proven the quality of their product and manufacturing processes (excepting a very few snafus every two years, iPod Nano *cough*)...

      then by all means, it will be 'commodity hardware'.

  • Hmmmm..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 8127972 (73495) on Friday November 11, 2005 @10:57AM (#14007867)
    "Steve Jobs might not approve, but Apple's latest operating system can be installed on any x86 hardware."

    That will last as long as it takes Apple to DRM the hell out of it. Or worse, dispatch it's army of lawyers armed with cease and desist orders to anyone who dares to suggest a method to install on a non Apple box.
    • That will last as long as it takes Apple to DRM the hell out of it. Or worse, dispatch it's army of lawyers armed with cease and desist orders to anyone who dares to suggest a method to install on a non Apple box.

      I'd rather they send the lawyers than put DRM in. DRM affects everyone (EULA violators & legitimate users). Lawyers only affect EULA violators.
  • by tinrobot (314936) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:00AM (#14007891)
    So... Apple has a developer version that can install on any machine, but they'll restrict it to Apple-only at release.

    Apple is playing with fire. Those developer releases will certainly get out in the world. I'm also certain someone will find a way to get around the Apple-only requirement once the x86 Macs start shipping, cutting into Apple's hardware revenue.
    • Apple is playing with fire. Those developer releases will certainly get out in the world. I'm also certain someone will find a way to get around the Apple-only requirement once the x86 Macs start shipping, cutting into Apple's hardware revenue.

      Almost no one is going to run OS X on generic boxes. You'll need considerable technical know how to do it, ruling out the majority of people. And those who do know how, won't want to, because you'll only have access to security updates running a licensed copy of OS X.
  • Hardware Issues (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afra242 (465406) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:01AM (#14007896)
    OS X will not be available on any old x86 PC

    Good. This means that, like the hardware in my Powerbook, OS X should play well with the hardware of their x86 PC. Better than trying to support all odds and ends of hardware for all x86's. Things are much more stable in the Powerbook, than the Linux desktop with the Nvidia graphics card (on which X.org crashes and freezes up the screen after 5 minutes of use).

    Hey, I'm a huge fan of Linux, but sometimes, you just want things to work the way they were meant to and not spend 3 hours setting something up. This is how OS X spoiled me I suppose....
  • keen to avoid? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dominatus (796241)
    "Were Microsoft to not put the internet explorer version of its browser on general release, Netscape would begin to sell people their browsers. This would put enormous pressure on the price of Microsoft's own browsers-- something the company is naturally keen to avoid."

    Of course I now expect several comments telling me why this analogy is wrong. They will range from "Microsoft is a convicted monopolist!!!" to "Apple needs to control the hardware to create the best user experience". Bottom line is, Apple wan
    • A closer analogy is this: Sony sends out PSP firmware updates, but won't let you install the PSP OS on homebrewed hardware. A Mac is an integrated piece of hardware and software. If Apple doesn't want to sell you just the software, that's their business.
  • by hal2814 (725639) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:05AM (#14007926)
    Everyone else seems to be harping over how Apple will lock out unapporved hardware. I'm interested in the opposite. Will Apple companies to make hardware that Apple has approved but also works for other x86 platforms? This is interesting because I can forsee "Apple Approved" being a quality standard for x86 hardware. That could potentially be a very good thing regardless of your OS or computer manufacturer.
    • by dafz1 (604262) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:32AM (#14008187)
      One of the Apple honchos has said that while OS X for x86 won't run on non-Apple hardware, he thinks an Apple x86 machine will be able to run Windows. This is a great idea, especially, if an emulator like Wine would be able to run Windows in a window in OS X(much like Apple's Classic mode[OS 9 for you non-Mac people]), at native, or near native speeds. Keep the mini and the ability to run their "old" Windows apps, and watch the "Switchers" flock to Apple Stores.

      Secondly, I like the idea of "Apple Approved" hardware. I don't know who the responsibility of testing of such capabilities, and have the concern it would become the equivalent of audio THX certification(basically a paid-for label, that requires components to meet certain, minimum specs). That said, when I buy parts for the PCs I support, I usually order parts Apple uses in their machines(e.g. Pioneer DVD burners).
  • by metomynon (890924)

    Were Apple to put the x86 version of its operating system on general release, Dell would begin to manufacture Apple clones. This would put enormous pressure on the price of Apple's own computers -- something the company is naturally keen to avoid.

    While this is undoubtedly true, perhaps the bigger risk to Apple is that without maintaining their traditionally tight control over the hardware/software integration, the Mac OS X user experience would be likely to suffer, and thus so would Apple's reputation

    • It's all about quality and the support that goes with lack of quality components and tight engineering.

      The /. posts suggests pricing competition - it's not even a factor.

    • While this is undoubtedly true, perhaps the bigger risk to Apple is that without maintaining their traditionally tight control over the hardware/software integration, the Mac OS X user experience would be likely to suffer, and thus so would Apple's reputation for quality.

      I do not agree that the user experience will suffer. First of all, if OS X APIs are sane, then it would be easy to write new drivers for it. Secondly, Apple could run an 'Apple approved' campaign so as that people know which x86 hardwar

  • Installation from a bootable DVD takes about two hours, and the operating system requires 5.9GB of hard disk space.

    Compared to a normal installation which takes less than 40 minutes and what, about 3 gigs of space?

    Considering this article, I would also be very interested in what they think of the DNF physics engine performance.
  • Hey ZDNet... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chickenofbristol55 (884806) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:11AM (#14007978) Homepage
    ...You know it's illegal to install Mac osX on non-mac hardware, so why are you doing it!

    When I was looking up tutorials online for this, I always found "It is completely illegal to install Mac os X on any old x86 machine, take no responcibility for your actions"

    Then obviously they installed it on their computers (and probably downloaded the dvd img from bittorrent), and they act like they never did it. I understand they are trying to protect themselves by giving you a warning, but they have photographic proof that they did something that they shouldn't have. Seems silly to me.

  • I have to agree that, while protecting their hardware business is the most important reason for Apple to try to prevent the Mac OS from running on non-Apple hardware, ensuring a smooth customer experience is nearly as important a reason.

    A large percentage of the trouble I've had with PCs while running Microsoft's OSes stem from Microsoft having only vague ideas of what my hardware might be.

    Even moreso, probably 80% or more of the troubles I've had with PCs while running Linux stem from the developers having
  • So the article is about testing and reviewing Mac OS X on the x86 processor? Why the hell is the summary about the reasons behind why Apple isn't allowing it on any computer other than an Apple branded one? And not even full treatment of that...
  • Middle ground? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swb (14022) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:14AM (#14008008)
    Is there middle ground in this?

    The usual assumption is that Apple can't sell OS X x86 for generic x86 because they're a hardware company, and nobody will buy their hardware if they can buy x86.

    I can think of several possible solutions. Right now Apple is making OS X x86 locked to their hardware. What if Apple was to license this locking technology to hardware vendors, allowing them to sell at a premium, a machine that could run X or Windows. This would allow them to collect part of the price.

    The licensing agreement could also require that the licensing chip was only available to hi-tier machines priced at similar price points as Apple machines, as well as requiring certain hardware elements (ie, built-in BT, Firewire 800, USB2, display adapters, etc).

    This would allow people interested in OS X but unwilling to buy an Apple machine to get into OS X, but still retain revenue from hardware sales and maintain the quality level associated with Apple hardware. Even if there were no restrictions on price points, the hardware licensing should make up for lost margin on Apple hardware.

  • Pages currently show "planned downtime". Have we actually managed to bring down ZDnet? Color me impressed!
  • One of the less-touted aspects of the 10.4.3 update for both platforms was "enhanced compatibility with FAT16." Who the hell cares, you ask.

    Better question: What still uses FAT16 specifically?

    The Dell Restore partition you get when CTRL-F11-ing at startup.

    Food for thought?
  • do the math, Apple (Score:2, Interesting)

    by boxlight (928484)
    For every 1 million computers shipped each year 5% are Apple.

    That's 50,000 Apple computers that Apple has to manufacture and ship. Let's say Apple profits $500 on each unit, that's $25 million.

    Microsoft, meanwhile is making about $200 per each of the other 95%. That's 950,000 x $200 = $190 million just for software licenses -- no hardware manufacturing, no shipping.

    If Apple licenses OS X to Dell, HP, and Sony to ship with clones, they have a realistic shot at 20% of the computer market in the short

  • This would put enormous pressure on the price of Apple's own computers -- something the company is naturally keen to avoid.

    This is one case where I would gladly pay more for a box, because the hardware has been certified by Apple. I'm sure Apple is concerned that their O/S work correctly, rather than hope that it will run on any old shitbox.

    --Rob

  • Tablet? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by utexaspunk (527541) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:27AM (#14008135)
    Has anyone tried it on a Tecra M4 [toshibadirect.com] Tablet convertible? I wonder if inkwell would work with the display. That would be schweeeeet!
  • by fooguy (237418) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:34AM (#14008203) Homepage
    I'll preface this by saying I'm not an Apple pundit, and while my current machine is a Powerbook, my last dozen were all PCs (of the AMD kind).

    Why do people get all worked up about OS X being hardware locked? If it were my OS, I'd do the same thing -- not just to secure my profits (though they are entitled, it is THEIR operating system), but to actually standardize on a reference platform that can be supported.

    How much of any OS developer's time is wasted trying to account for instabilities in your cheap ass, five dollar, no name, Korean sweat shop motherboard? I don't care if Intel just botched a huge batch of boards, it happens, but trying to accomodate a hundred different chipsets and video cards and ram types and people messing with voltage...

    We complain about how this industry has been around for so long, and how computers still aren't that stable? It's because there are N! possible combinations of hardware and software to try and get working together nicely, which is a lofty goal at best.

    Call me crazy, but I'm at an age where I just want it to work, and my Powerbook at home always does, and my Powerbook at work always does. Part of that is the quality of the OS, and that's reflected in the (relative, not concrete) stability of the reference platform it's built on.
    • The windows driver model (WDM), is, quite frankly, one of the most impressive parts of the entire operating system. It is quite a bit more flexible and a lot easier to use than the unix model, and is so simply because there are so many cheap-ass broken devices out there.

      I'm sorry, but you are just wrong. The parent is correct, and obviously you've never tried to develop a device driver and in fact are an end-user at best. I have done drivers, and let me tell you - unix is a pain in the ass to develop for. T
  • Screenshots (Score:5, Funny)

    by smallguy78 (775828) on Friday November 11, 2005 @11:39AM (#14008267) Homepage
    It's lucky they provided screenshots, I was wondering how different it would look on x86.
  • Why the big deal? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by frdmfghtr (603968) on Friday November 11, 2005 @12:30PM (#14008827)
    I'll admit to my potential ignorance now and get it over with...I don't follow the whole MS/Apple/Intel/??? soap opera as closely as most of the Slashdotters do, I'm probably more the everyday Joe Sixpack who just wants a machine that works.

    Having switched to Mac OS X from Windows, I have achieved that goal: a machine that "just works." Reboot my iBook? Why? Reboot my HP? Every other day, and make sure I take out the Linksys WiFi card, because half the time it won't boot with it installed.

    OK, enough of that, back to the topic at hand.

    For years the MacOS has run only on Apple hardware. Now Apple has decided to switch to an x86-based architecture and has a version of OS X that will run on said architecture in advanced development. Marvelous, now they can use x86 processors in Apple hardware instead of PowerPC processors.

    Now there's a big hullabaloo about wanting to run OS X on non-Apple hardware. There are pros and cons, many of which have already been brought up for discussion here. "Sell it for standard PC hardware and you'll capture market share!" "Lock it to Apple hardware to prevent loss of hardware sales and keep the stability of running on known hardware!" All valid points.

    My question to the masses is: if it is limited to Apple hardware, who cares? How is that different from present, where OS X is only available to the general public with Apple hardware?

    It's Apple's OS. Whether it runs on an Apple or grapefruit, that's their own business. Frankly, as a user, I'd prefer that OS X stay on Apple hardware. It works. It's stable. Apple doesn't sell a computer or an OS, they sell a package solution--a package solution that works.

    Now, that brings up the question of Microsoft and Microsoft-produced hardware. If Microsoft were to come out and say "Starting with Longhorn, Windows will only run on Microsoft-built hardware." The lawsuits would come down hard and heavy.

    How is this different from Apple? With the brief Mac clone market, Apple Mac hardware has always been required to run Apple Mac software (don't know if this is true for the Apple II/III line so I can't go back that far.) Marrying OS X to Apple hardware isn't a new business practice, it's been that way since the beginning. Microsoft starting the same thing now would be abuse of it's near-monopoly position.

    So to keep myself from getting long-winded I'll end with the question again. Apple OS tied exclusively to Apple hardware. It's been that way since the beginning, what's the big deal now?
  • by mhollis (727905) on Friday November 11, 2005 @04:32PM (#14011181) Journal

    I note a whole lot of comments about how Apple "ought to do clones so that I could homebuild my own Mac," and Apple sux or Apple rox or whatever.

    The real interest in this article is that Apple is moving forward to increase its market share. They're a hardware company and they also write software that makes their hardware really sparkle, though I have read a number of articles that suggest that their OS software created so much overhead that it's not a great server for a back-office application

    But from the user's perspective -- a GUI tool to partition a hard drive, imagine that! Easy installation that starts out with a simple GUI, gosh, that's neat! -- Apple's operating system generates a user experience that sets it above many others. Apple has "done design" on its hardware and they have also "done design" on their software.

    A great follow-on article to this would be a research project to teach 10 students to use Windows, 10 to use Apple's OS X, 10 to use a popular and easy-to-use distro of Linux, 10 to use BSD, etc. Then submit a survey to them after they're up and running on their computers and try to elicit how each user feels about the experience of using the operating system and the applications they would use to do regular work, like write term papers, do finances, research things on the Internet and so on.

    From my own experience of having used Windows and Apple's System 7, 8 and 9 as well as OS X, I'd say my personal experience on a Mac is an easier one. I think I am more relaxed on it. I think less about computer problems than I used to and now think only in terms of getting the sork accomplished.

    Apple won't allow clones because when they had clones, it almost took down the company. They need the high income stream to continue to innovate. Sorry about all of you homebrew computer enthusiasts out there who want to build your own Mac but this cannot be helped.

    And there are cheaper Macs out there; the Mac Mini [apple.com] is being sold for as little as $499, "nicely outfitted" at $998, plus the cost of a monitor. But remember, you're not buying "homebrew." You're not buying an Acer heapy-cheapy clone from some box assembler that does not innovate. Apple should be compared to HP in terms of price because HP actually does put innovation in their computers. IBM used to but they sold out to Lenovo and now they'll fast besmirch the name. So price comparisons need to take reality into consideration -- one should not rank Apple's price with a lower-tier manufacturer.

    Also, the Apple computer I purchased in 1999 is still going strong and very useful. I know of no pee cees that can last that long. This probably cuts into the perceived market share for Apple computers because, if you buy a good one, it'll last longer than the equivelant pee cee. Look at the user-installed base to see Apple's true market share. I even know of people who are still using Apple's old System software and have not transitioned to OS X. One, in particular, does audio mixing with Digidesign's Pro Tools [avid.com] and not Avid's because the old software that ran under the old OS meets all current and future needs -- until his Mac finally bites the dust.

    Intel makes processors and motherboards. Apple went with Intel, presumably because they had something more to offer than IBM.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

Working...