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Operating Systems Apple

Running Mac OS X On Standard PCs 623

ZDOne writes "ZDNet's reviews team have been tinkering with the various ways of running OS X on standard PCs. They found that with the right hardware components, a standard PC running Mac OS X Leopard is, at first sight, no different from a genuine Apple Mac. Special CPU extensions such as Intel VT-x provide support for software solutions like Parallels Desktop for Mac. Even Adobe Photoshop, which queries a Mac to verify its authenticity, runs fine on a standard PC thanks to EFI emulation. However the article points out that it's a pretty technical proposition to get OS X running on non-Apple hardware, beyond all but the most powerful power users. And then there is the legal question. Don't even think about trying to put OS X on your PC without first purchasing a legitimate copy of Mac OS Leopard."
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Running Mac OS X On Standard PCs

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:19AM (#23402570)
    I believe their hardware could stand on its own merits and the additional revenue and marketshare couldn't hurt.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CogDissident (951207)
      Similarly powerful PCs cost 1/2 as much as a Mac does, in almost all areas.

      I use the term "similarly powerful" on the basis of framerate testing and how fast it can do on CPU heavy projects like folding@home
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:33AM (#23402830)
        Ok, Where can I buy a PC that is as small and quiet as a Mac Mini or Apple TV?

        There is currently, no such equivalent.

        For now, I will stick to my Ubuntu running AppleTV. It has digital audio and video out, and casts $250.

        But if you have a suggestion, go ahead.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sabre3999 (1143017)
          You should look around at stuff in the ITX form factor. They're hella small and insanely quiet. They mostly come with processors of the VIA flavor, in speeds of about 1GHz. However, if you really need something that small, you most likely don't need super awesome hardware. Pricing isn't bad either. I've seen fully-built systems for around $300-$350. IMO, you can't find a better option for the flexibility offered.
        • by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:40PM (#23406278)
          Indeed, there are no PC equivalents. Therefore Apple should just liscense out the OS and people should still buy the Mac Mini in droves because it's small, low power, and quiet.

          OR, they may be afraid of the truth: that a huge number of consumers buy the Mini because it's the cheapest Mac and given the option would be a slightly larger, louder, but faster tower in a heartbeat?

          It's weird how zealots will claim that Apple's hardware is the be-all and end-all of computing equipment but simultaneously declare that licensing OS X to third parties would destroy Apple.

          The truth is that Apple makes a wonderful OS. Their hardware is stylish, overpriced, and has too many gaps in their lineup. Licensing OS X probably would result in a dramatic drop in Apple hardware sales simply because: Apple's hardware is not market competitive. On equal footing, with the same software, many fewer people would buy their machines.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by arminw (717974)
            ....On equal footing, with the same software....

            But that's the whole point. A computer is determined by its software AND it hardware. When the two are integrated, such as in Apples products, the sum is greater than its parts. That's why Apple makes better computers. They make the WHOLE system, not only half of it. If they were foolish enough to one again license out their software, they'd be in the same boat as MS. They'd have to support who knows how many different hardware designs.
      • by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:37AM (#23402890)
        Powerful, maybe. But have you seen the video of those clones? It sounds like a jet taking off!

        Apple has a big hole in their lineup, IMHO. That is the mid-sized tower... basically a headless iMac. Apple should just sell one - I don't think it would be too expensive... their other products compete quite well with similarly-spec'd PCs.
        • by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:40AM (#23402958)
          yeah, that's one company's very cheap clone boxes.

          If decent sized manufacturers got in on the deal (and they would) then apple would find themselves significantly undercut with equal quality (though less shiny) machines very quickly.

          Of course they may not lose much in the way of business, as "shiny" seems to be one of the main reasons current customers buy Macs.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by gEvil (beta) (945888)
            Admittedly this time around, they wouldn't be the sole providers of the R&D involved. In the era of PPC clones, Apple created the reference designs that Umax, PowerComputing, etc used in their machines. This time, it looks like Intel is the one providing the reference designs.
        • by JimDaGeek (983925) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @10:40AM (#23403876)

          Apple has a big hole in their lineup...
          Yup. My feelings as well. I have an Intel iMac and an Intel MacBook. What I really want is a mid-tower that I can replace the graphics card in. The Mac Pro is too much money for my tastes. My iMac is almost perfect, except for the fact that the graphics card will get outdated for my needs and then my only option is to buy a new iMac or switch away from Mac OS.
          Come on Apple, put out a mid-tower priced around $800-$1,000 and they will sell like crazy.
      • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @10:34AM (#23403770)
        Apple is a lot like Intel before AMD came along. The Intel mantra was, "You'll get your faster chips when we are ready to give them to you." Apple likes to time system upgrades to when Steve Jobs can introduce them at large, regularly scheduled, Apple gatherings. But improvements in the market march one regardless of the Apple timetable. How long did it take to get the excellent Nvidia 8800GT in your Apple system? How often is faster+cheaper+larger available from someone else? Will Apple ever sell a BluRay writer even though they were an early member of the BluRay camp? You get the idea.
      • by kylehase (982334) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @10:43AM (#23403936)
        I'm not a mac fanboy. I've never even owned a mac but I read an article [] some time ago comparing prices between a mac pro (workstation) and Dell precision (also a workstation) and the MAC came out the price winner. The article is a bit old but it's still interesting. Oh and it was written by Paul Thurrott, a Windows guy.

        It's important, when comparing prices, to pick machines in the same class. Don't just compare CPU/RAM/HDD specs. I have a precision workstation and it's built like a tank compared to the dimension line.

        It would be very easy to buy the cheapest ECS motherboard, no-name power supply and generic case then slap in a quad core Xeon, lots of cheap RAM and a high capacity value hard drive and try to pass it off as "similar" to less technical customers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Similarly powerful PCs cost 1/2 as much as a Mac does, in almost all areas. I use the term "similarly powerful" on the basis of framerate testing and how fast it can do on CPU heavy projects like folding@home

        Allow me to add perspective to your largely correct assertion:

        Similarly powerful PCs cost 1/2 as much as a Sony does, in almost all areas. I use the term "similarly powerful" on the basis of framerate testing and how fast it can do on CPU heavy projects like folding@home

        You can buy a cheap, low reliability system with the features other than CPU stripped out for less than a machine with lots of features designed for real users who do more than run a folding@home farm in the basement. When you compare m

      • by MobyDisk (75490) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @10:58AM (#23404234) Homepage

        Similarly powerful PCs cost 1/2 as much as a Mac does, in almost all areas.
        Not according to any reviews I've ever found. For example, this month's Popular Mechanics [] comparison pits a PC and a Mac at the exact same price, and the Mac blows it away.

        You will find this to be consistent. I bought my MacBook Pro after reading the review in the December issue of Laptop magazine where the regular MacBook was the price/performance king in the home/office category. I personally priced a Dell, an AlienWare, and an Apple. The AlienWare was the cheapest (despite the reputation they have, AlienWare laptops are very price competitive in the high-end), Apple was the next by about $100, and the Dell was over $1000 more expensive. I went with the Apple because it was half the weight of the Alienware and because the Alienware came with Vista.

        The reason Apple has this reputation is because they don't sell cheap computers. You can compare an $1800 PC with an $1800 Mac: but you can't compare a $500 PC to a $500 Mac because Apple doesn't sell to that market.

        * Note: In defense of PC manufacturers, they are crippled recently because Vista is making their benchmarks look terrible. When they compare the Mac's running XP to PC's running XP, the OS X advantage goes away and the results are nearly identical at the same price.
    • by goombah99 (560566) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:37AM (#23402894)

      I believe their hardware could stand on its own merits and the additional revenue and marketshare couldn't hurt.
      Microsoft just had an XP SP3 disaster when on some machines with AMD based motherboards the system would endlessly reboot. I have no doubt MS did test this on AMD processors. The problem was that some motherboard makers and vendors improperly used both the intel and amd power management kernel mods simultaneoulsy. This did not show up for 10 years, and SP3.

      Apple wants to control the experience. They want to spec high values of hardware. And they don't want to support mutt-hardware and end up like SP3.

      What's the number one frustration in calling ANY tech support hotline. Well if you have more than one vendor in the chain then vendor A says it's a graphics card problem, and Vendor B says it's a operating system problem. Meanwhile it's actually a mouse problem because the logitec mouse drivers over wrote some dll the video card was expecting to be an older version.

        Not only does no one claim responsibility but they really can't because they don't control it all like apple.

      So you pay a tad more for a pleasant experience. Savvy apple folks know which things to buy from apple and which to do themselves. e.g. don't buy apple memory upgrades, but perhaps it may be worth it to buy an apple WiFi (since the system will then handle all the firmware updates for you, and things like optical audio, remote disk mounting over the WiFi will all happen magically and reliably).

      As for this latest EFI spoof. Apple, as evidenced by the lack of DRM on their OS and the vulnerable DRM on itunes, tries to use the speedbump model for DRM rather than the Steel Vault model. Any time people start abusing one of their DRMs they tend to issue some new software update that goofs up the current way of gaming the system. Basically a nuiscance which at some point becomes not worth dealing with for the majority of people.

      I would predict they have a long road of nuiscance planned for EFI crackers. They only need to plan about 5 years worth of them, because in 5 years there will be new hardware nuiscances that spwan a whole new list of software nuiscances.

      • by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @10:07AM (#23403376)

        I would predict they have a long road of nuiscance planned for EFI crackers. They only need to plan about 5 years worth of them, because in 5 years there will be new hardware nuiscances that spwan a whole new list of software nuiscances.

        I agree about the 5 years, but for a different reason:
        Considering how much progress in user-friendliness Linux has made in that time, I guess it will catch up to the Mac OS X of today in another five years. So either Apple has something new and shiny by then, or cracking OS X will be pointless for most purposes.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by porcupine8 (816071)
          So either Apple has something new and shiny by then

          Oh yeah, no way THAT'S going to happen.

          You don't think an Intel Mac running 10.5 has no advantages over a PowerPC running 10.2? You think a Linux box that's the equivalent of the latter would be able to seriously compete with the former?

        • by (1024767) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:29AM (#23404862)
          Indeed. I've got a MacBook Pro as my main computer, and an AMD dual-core 4200+ computer in my living room running Windows.

          Yet, I prefer Linux as far as the user experience goes. But I don't even have a Linux partition. Why?

          It's the apps.

          I'm a documentary director so I got the MacBook Pro because I can use it as a monitor and I can use Final Cut Pro. Sony Vegas for windows is good, FCP is better. To date, there is no native GNU/Linux solution that matches the power, stability, and functionality of Final Cut Pro. It has saved me time and energy and has produced some amazing footage. I bought an entire computer and operating system simply for the functionality - FCP, for me, is the Mac killer app.

          But I'd rather run FCP on Linux, if I could.

          What about that Windows PC? Well, if you must know, I'm addicted to PC games. Half Life 2, Oblivion - waiting for Fallout 3... I'd rather play them in Linux, but WINE performance and stability isn't acceptable yet. There, games are the killer app.

          Now, if I wasn't a gamer, and I wasn't a movie maker, I would absolutely love to use GNU/Linux as my only OS. If I need to run a Windows program, I don't mind doing it in virtualization.

          The problem is that games typically don't work, or don't work well, in virtualized environments. Neither does video editing software (which is why I have no desire to run a virtualized MacOSX - what am I going to use it for if it renders video at a turtle's pace?)

          GNU/Linux is at a strange place in it's adoption cycle, and this is a real concern: By the time you are savvy enough with computers to think outside of the marketing and go with Linux as an easy, usable operating system that does everything a beginning user does - you're no longer a beginning user and probably have some application - productivity, gaming, whatever - for which there is no Linux equivalent.

          So long as the GIMP remains substandard compared to Photoshop (with poor typography support, bad CYMK profiles, etc.) you won't see graphic artists considering Linux. So long as Cinelerra remains substandard compared to Sony Vegas and FCP (with poor stability, complex user interface, no 24p support) you won't get the video guys. So long as gaming continues to be a hassle on Linux, you won't get the gamers.

          That's the bad news.

          The good news is that all of these problems - all of them - can be solved simply through software development - the one thing the GNU/Linux community is extremely strong at. If you want to work towards GNU/Linux adoption, work on developing GIMP or Cinelerra. Get together a group of buddies and work to tackle problems as a team.

          I wish I was a programmer but I lack the skill. I know where I would focus my efforts.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by UnknowingFool (672806)

        What's the number one frustration in calling ANY tech support hotline. Well if you have more than one vendor in the chain then vendor A says it's a graphics card problem, and Vendor B says it's a operating system problem. Meanwhile it's actually a mouse problem because the logitec mouse drivers over wrote some dll the video card was expecting to be an older version.

        Many businesses including Apple have recognized the benefits of simplicity. From a manufacturing view, Apple only offers 4 desktop PC models a

      • by snl2587 (1177409) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @10:09AM (#23403410)

        Apple wants to control the experience. They want to spec high values of hardware. And they don't want to support mutt-hardware and end up like SP3.

        I wouldn't exactly call AMD mutt-hardware...

        Interestingly, the hardware control Apple exercises that you say is a good thing is exactly what bothers me with Apple. I know people hate hearing this, but I feel like Apple's operating systems are a cop-out. Sure, everything looks nice and just works...because they spent several months working on a single piece of hardware (which is often no longer on the bleeding edge). And the support is likely no more than a series of kludges, just like in Microsoft and Linux operating systems. Where's the ability to use brand-new hardware? Where's the ability to make whatever modifications you wish to the computer and then simply download a driver for it (easily, I mean)?

        Yes, I know Linux often has trouble supporting new hardware, but that's simply the nature of open-source: things take time. But Linux is also free. Apple is proprietary and expensive, and Microsoft is able to support a vast array of hardware and Windows compared to Mac's tiny amount (partially because the vendors are biased towards Microsoft in making drivers, but I don't see Apple encouraging them for the above reasons).

        Given all this, I don't understand why people insist on hacking the Mac for use on PCs. Why not use Linux? Even on bizarre hardware this would give a more pleasant experience.

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:45AM (#23403042) Homepage
      They dont want that nightmare. the PC can be a mishmash of really bad hardware. I have fixed many PC's by removing that new Winmodem or USB card that someone bought and installed themselves. Crap ram causing random crashes, and the 65,000 different motherboard makers some work some are crap (I'll never buy PCChips and MSI again) and attaching OSX to the non-stable world of PC is something that jobs and Apple does not want.

      They want to give you an "experience" and no not the experience that the Pc world offers.

      Look at the fight that Linux has, OSX would have the same fight.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537)

      Of course, not only would they be facing the risk of whether their hardware can stand on its own merits, but it'll also require Apple to support additional hardware-- and in some cases, crappy hardware, poorly designed hardware, or hardware where the vendors have done a horrible job writing the drivers.

      I'm not a Microsoft fan, but it is true that a fair amount of the instability comes from crappy drivers. Linux overcomes this by using (mostly) open source drivers and not the manufacturer's proprietary dri

  • MacOS on PCs... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TofuMatt (1105351) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:20AM (#23402584) Homepage

    MacOS X on PCs is like Linux on microwaves: it's very cool, and a neat experiment, but I think for most folks, it's not very appealing.

    I'm sure the crowd of people who feel the need to upgrade their computer every 5 seconds but like MacOS X otherwise might dig this. I can see this turning/degenerating into a "why doesn't Apple just license MacOS X for PCs?!" discussion awful quick. But just because it's possible doesn't mean it's a good idea.

    • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:22AM (#23402632) Homepage

      "MacOS X on PCs is like Linux on microwaves: it's very cool"
      ... as opposed to Windows for Microwaves, which keeps your food very cool ;-)
    • by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:41AM (#23402968) Homepage Journal
      but seeing that only one manufacturer holds the keys to the kingdom and they are slower than shit and don't seem to listen to a lot of the forums what choice will we have other than by going this route. In fact I think the primary reason most of us didn't consider this route is because it was too difficult compared to just putting up with the hardware Apple allowed us to buy.

      I am in the camp of needing a Mac Pro for expandability but not wanting one that seems to just exist to list every top end product standard Intel has in its books; yes I see the current Mac Pro as nothing more than a buzzword monster - features included because they sounded good not because they were needed. As such I and those of us on various Mac Forums have been clamoring for a "Mini Mac Pro". Something that uses similar processors and memory of iMacs/Minis but has expansion slots and room for more drives.

      Its a big market. There are people sitting on G4s because the cost of moving up is prohibitive. If it takes a new resurgence in clone makers to rattle Apple's cage then I am all for it. If someone delivers a proven working solution then to hell with Apple.

      As I mentioned at the start, the real reason most of us didn't go this route is because it was more time consuming than and "annoying" than just putting up with whatever we were allowed to buy. Since the process is getting more "ironed out" and practically turn key I expect a few of us to jump at the opportunity.

      Just like we scream that MS has no right to dictate this and that we should hold Apple to that same standard. When they were the little guy we justified it because we could be smug about it deeming pc quality as too low for us. Now that we use the same exact hardware there isn't a real excuse, least one that holds up to any scrutiny.

      When did form forever displace function at Apple. Can they get back to function please. Make the "Pro" line all about function - form means little to us, we just want it to work.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jbarr (2233)'s very cool, and a neat experiment, but I think for most folks, it's not very appealing.

      Actually, I am looking for a very practical reason to do so: I would like to try my hand at developing an application for the iPhone/iPod Touch using Apple's SDK, however, doing so requires a machine running Leopard. This means that at minimum, I must invest at least $500-$600 for a Mac Mini to do development. The problem is that there is no facility to "evaluate" the development environment without actually instal

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:21AM (#23402608)
    ...why not just stick with Windows?
  • by mr_da3m0n (887821) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:25AM (#23402692) Homepage
    Because even if you pay for it, the EULA forbids you from legally running it on non-apple branded hardware. []
  • by tripmine (1160123) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:25AM (#23402694)

    Don't even think about trying to put OS X on your PC without first purchasing a legitimate copy of Mac OS Leopard."
    Oh, I thought about it...
  • Where is the charm? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jkrise (535370) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:26AM (#23402710) Journal
    For the hobbyist and the experimenter, PC hardware is far cheaper than a license of Leopard. No charm in getting pricey OSX apps and software working on a commodity piece of hardware.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      No charm in getting pricey OSX apps and software working on a commodity piece of hardware.

      I can't speak for anyone else, but I just want access to iLife and maybe later FCP. There's really nothing else all that compelling that I can't run on Linux. But, I want to run it in a virtual machine. And until I have a free VM with emulation of an OpenGL/T&L video card, I'm not interested anyway. By which time probably jahshaka will be worth using :D

  • by IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:26AM (#23402718) Homepage Journal
    Step 1: Visit your local friendly torrent site and find "leo4all.v2"
    Step 2: download and burn onto dvd
    Step 3: Use Intel hardware. SATA for hard drive if you wish, but use IDE for the DVD rom
    Step 4: let the "leo4all.v2" do the rest.
    Step 5: there is no step 5

    I first started with AMD hardware, and had endless issues (no surprise really, AMD isn't fully supported by OS X) but the switch to intel hardware went much more smoothly.

    The system I used was a D945GNT board, with an off-the-shelf nVidia 7300GT. OS X picked up everything but the sound (still working on why, claims it's suported) and for the fisrt time ever, I've had the pleasure of playing with OS X on fast hardware.

    Total box cost set me back ~300$ US. Not bad...(mind you, the board and CPU were used)

    Apple updates worked fine, as did other software updates, so kudos to the crew for their outstanding work.
  • by b96miata (620163) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:28AM (#23402746)
    Fuck that, I'm thinking about it, right now.

    Not gonna do it, since all I use my PC at home for these days is playing games (old ones, the only ones it can run very well), and I don't think MS has released Rise of Nations for OSX yet.

    Still, I'll think about it all I want.
  • Paradox (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jbeaupre (752124) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:31AM (#23402786)

    Don't even think about trying to put OS X on your PC without first purchasing a legitimate copy of Mac OS Leopard.
    So buy Leopard before you even consider ever using it? Now that's marketing!
  • way ahead of you (Score:5, Informative)

    by naibas (109074) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:32AM (#23402810) Homepage
    I'm currently browsing slashdot in Firefox running in OSX 10.5.2 on an Asus P5W DH Deluxe board with an Intel Q6600 Quad 2.4Ghz proc, 4GB RAM, and a DigiRack 002 Pro Tools LE rig. And yes, I have legally purchased my copy of Leopard (I was worried they wouldn't sell stand alone retail copies, since it normally comes with the hardware, but NewEgg had 'em, so now I do).

    It definitely takes a lot of tweaks to get right. For example, if my Apple brand USB keyboard is plugged directly into the USB ports on the back of the motherboard, then the machine will not properly wake from sleep. I had to run the keyboard first through a Belkin 7 port hub. That one took me a couple of (frustrating) days (including buying a second video card to rule that out) to figure out.

    The Pro Tools/DigiRack had previously only been run through Windows, and although it installed and recognized the hardware OK, I was having problems with playback and crashes until I went back and did even more BIOS tweaking (I think disabling SpeedStep was the key, although I also turned off everything else I could find that said it might automatically throttle the CPU or RAM). Now even that seems to be running smoothly.

    Summary: not for the faint of heart, and it could break with any Apple software update, but when it works, it is brilliant.
  • Market drivers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by low profile (943206) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:37AM (#23402882)
    The usual argument for wanting MacOS X on PCs is that it will foster wider adoption. Most organizations look for multiple sources when buying computers so Apple, being single source, gets locked out of many purchase decisions. But if you look at it from an OS level, most are buying single source anyway. Windows is M$, even Linux will lock you in to a certain extent to a distro once you add in all the applications needed to support a business. I prefer Apple HW with the OS. Apple is comming back with this strategy. Focus needs to be kept on maintaining the real value propositions: "it just works"; "less overhead to achieve secure operation", "pleasing to work with" ...
  • by SimonGhent (57578) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:39AM (#23402930)
    Here we go...

    posts as follows:

    "Apple won't release Mac OS because they can't tightly control the hardware"

    "That doesn't matter, it's down to the device drivers"

    ".. but will it run Linux"

    "The Mac Book Air doesn't have a removable battery so it's shit"

    "Why would you want to run OS-X, the earth is only 3,000 years old"
  • by Ohio Calvinist (895750) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:42AM (#23402982)
    Disclaimer: I am a Apple user.

    The problem with running an operating system (or application software) on an un-blessed platform is that in a real-world environment (e.g. anything not in your home) is that when a patch the next minor update comes along, it is more apt to cause problems (in particular, strange undocumented problems). For instance, if you could get HP-UX to run on competitor hardware, more power to you, but when it breaks, you've got really very minimal recourse and are on your own to get it working again. The same thing goes for Wine... if you run an application, the next incremental change could cause a performance hit, or make the application not run at all, and you'll have significantly less recourse to get it fixed (e.g. ISV knowledge base, community, etc...).

    I've seen OS X running on a PC and it seemed to work good enough but you could never rely on it in a corprate environment, and I wouldn't want to give a box like this to my mom because when it breaks, you're really on your own to get it running.

    This is a problem when the manufacturer says "We're really sorry, but we didn't certify $PRODUCT (or $OS) for that hardware so support is on a best-effort basis", and it is a even bigger problem when the manufacturer (like Apple) is tempted to, or outright promises to do whatever it can to make the product fail on unsupported configurations.

    In any situation, it is nice about being able to tell my boss "I called Dell, a new mobo is on the way" rather than explaining why *my* design failed, or why to save a few grand in licensing or new hardware or plain novelty, I took production down for 3 days. It is fine for your own personal rig, but beyond that, doesn't seem worth it beyond that.
    • by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:03AM (#23404334) Homepage Journal

      I've seen OS X running on a PC and it seemed to work good enough but you could never rely on it in a corprate environment

      In a corporate environment, uniformity of hardware and lack of 3D gaming performance are advantages of the Mac mini computer.

      As I see it, the big reason that people are so obsessed with running Mac OS X on commodity PCs is to fill the gap in Apple's product line between Mac mini and Mac Pro. But Mac mini is perfect for administrative employees, and creative professionals could make good use of the power of a Mac Pro. What would make a product in that gap useful to someone in a corporate environment?

  • by pla (258480) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:45AM (#23403032) Journal
    Don't even think about trying to put OS X on your PC without first purchasing a legitimate copy of Mac OS Leopard.

    ...Because, of course, the sort of people who would try this in the first place tend to strongly believe in honoring copyrights and EULAs, right?

    Anyway, why would I give Apple any more respect than Microsoft in that regard? ;-)
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @10:17AM (#23403524)
    Apple NEEDS a mid-rage head less system the old g4's and g5 stared at lower price then the $2200 mac pro does.

    The mini is over priced for it's hardware and the older g4 one cost $100 less with a real video card And $599.00 for 1gb of ram and DVD / CDRW what a joke and you have to add $200 to get a
    DVD / RW and you still only have 1gb of ram and it's hard to open up next to a real desktop.

    The imac are ok but the built in screen is not that good and it's hard to open up and only has room for 1 hd unlike the new dell AIO that can hold 2 and is a lot easier to get in to.

    But a system at $1,199.00 with only 1GB memory and ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128MB memory is not that good of a price.

    Apple needs to be more open to ATI and nvdia video cards in the mac pro and a real desktop as a big number of them use the same video chips and they only have 1 driver set for a lot of cards.

    The mac pro at $2200 is over kill for a lot of users and the hardware is over the top with alot of higher costs from sever / workstation parts that are not needed.

    Most office uses need a desktop with desktop parts and desktop ram not a over priced laptop in a small case with out screen that you need to force open.
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:57AM (#23405418)

      Just a quick note. You have a lot of assertions, but I bet Apple has a lot of formal studies on what the market wants. While you may want a given machine and while a lot of people on Slashdot may want it to, that doesn't mean it is the most profitable hardware niche for Apple to enter next. They've been doing pretty well so far. Their latest, the MacBook Air is something I don't want and most people on Slashdot think is useless junk. It's also been sold out in many locations for about 6 months now.

      As a second note, your assertions about desktops versus laptops is well, not the way the industry is going. For office use and home use, the desktop has been slowly dying for several years now.

  • Violating the EULA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @10:25AM (#23403640)
    So ZDNet had just publicly confessed to the mother of all EULA violations, and done so to the most litigious of computer companies. Just what do they think is going to protect them from a massive lawsuit?
  • The price is high, but the limited product line makes the high price for Macs a much bigger problem.

    This low market share is often attributed to the relatively high prices of Apple computers.

    They're only about 40% more than comparable PCs, and sometimes less. But if you are looking for a conventional desktop then the "entry level" is over two grand.

    Yes, I've heard all the arguments about how an all-in-one provides a better "experience", and how you don't "need" the expansion slots, and for people who like the iMac ... I'm happy for you, fellas, I really am. But most people buying home computers don't buy a set-top style box like the Mac mini, or an all-in-one like the iMac, they buy a mini-tower or fat slab with expansion slots, drive bays, and room to grow. Whether they USE it or not, that's beside the point, that's what they buy. Companies look at Apple's high margins and come out with "iMac killers" and "Mac mini killers" and, well, they don't STAY on the market. Now I suppose they could just be selling out and they don't want to cut into their less profitable lines, but I suspect that they just don't sell well.

    People aren't buying Macs because of the hardware "experience", they're buying them because of OS X, and they're often buying them despite the hardware "experience".

    The cheapest Mac that really competes head-to-head with the average PC, on a hardware level, is the Mac Pro. For the rest of the line, you have an all-in-one with almost no upgradability, and a crippled desktop with even less than the all-in-one (the putty knife problem). Now I will go along (for the sake of argument) with the claim that mostly don't upgrade their PCs, but even granting that the reason is that you can generally get any combination of stuff you WANT in a PC, because there's so many of them. Apple can't do that, upgrades are the only route to fine-tuning the box, and Apple doesn't even let you upgrade the one thing that's top on people's list of upgrades these days... the video card.

    And in the mini, you can't put a full sized hard drive in there, you're limited to low power low performance laptop drives, or higher latency external drives.

    The mini, currently, may be the MOST overpriced Mac. For $600 you get a 1.83 GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB RAM, 80GB 5400 RPM hard drive, and Intel integrated graphics... and firewire 400 and wifi. For $300 from HP you get a 1.8 GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB RAM, 320 GB 7200 RPM hard drive, and nVidia integrated graphics, but no wifi or firewire.

    Well, you may say that the small size, the wifi, and the firewire is worth $300.

    But you can't upgrade the mini to match the specs of the entry level HP for any amount of money, and adding wifi and firewire to the HP costs you $30 from HP and about $20 from Fry's.

    So, setting aside the size, after upgrades, the Mac mini is 70% more expensive, and you have to give up 3/4 of your disk, you get a much slower disk, you get a USB port that can't even charge an iPod Shuffle, you get a far inferior graphics chip, and to get no "comfort headroom".

    The size? If that mattered to most people then you can bet HP would have an "a6400z mini" out there. They're not going to leave money lying on the ground. The hardware "experience" doesn't move boxes.

    Apple has to sell Macs to people for whom Apple's hardware is a huge stumbling block. Buying a Mac is like buying a car... and finding the only options are a decked out luxury SUV, a souped up Civic, or a motorbike.

    They're selling laptops like mad because everyone's laptops have the same kind of limitations that APple imposes on all their computers, but desktops are languishing because they're simply not in the race for most people.
  • by rbanffy (584143) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:18PM (#23405784) Homepage Journal
    Shouldn't it be rather easy to do a Wine counterpart to OSX? Windows is, in every aspect it can, Unix-offensive. The same is not true for OSX and I think it would not be that much insane to do a "compatibility layer" for OSX executables.

    Many parts of OSX are even open-source.

    Has anyone ever considered this seriously?
    • System API's? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by JSBiff (87824) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:04PM (#23407836) Journal
      I don't really know. I suspect it might certainly be possible to do a wine-like layer to run Mac Apps on other platforms, but I think Mac isn't *quite* as close to Unix as you think. Well, that is, Mac has, I think, a full Unix compatibility layer, but then in addition to that, they have all the Mac-only stuff like Quartz, Cocoa API, Carbon API, etc, which are not standard Unix libraries. Additionally, Mac OS X uses, I believe, a slightly different standard Filesystem structure than other Unix-like systems. For example, Macs have an "Applications" directory, I believe, where applications are 'installed' by dropping a folder for the application into the Applications directory (not completely unlike "Program Files" on Windows, but rather unlike the rest of the Unix like systems where a single application might have executables in /usr/bin, /usr/local/bin, or some other directory, config files in /etc, library files in /lib, /usr/lib, /usr/local/lib, /opt/libs, etc.

      Mostly, I think the hardest part of creating a compatibility layer for MacOS apps would probably be re-creating the Cocoa and Carbon API's, though. There may be other API's that also need to be re-created (I think Mac's have something similar in concept to DirectX for accellerated media playback, image manipulation, etc).
  • by Slugster (635830) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:22PM (#23407094)
    When OSX86 first came out, there was a lot of curiosity--but most of the people who were watching (myself included) never bothered to actually set up a system. Most of the people who had gotten it running weren't using it much. Many of the people who I asked were people who already owned a Mac, and were just curious to see it running on a PC. I'm sure somebody at Apple worried about losing revenue but from my informal polls I got the impression that anyone who had wanted a Mac had already bought one, and being able to download OSX86 for free didn't change much of anything.

    I was one of the people who didn't bother. Most of my reason was that I already had a bunch of PC software that I knew how to use, and didn't want to bother re-learning other software. I suspect that once people get used to either platform, this is a bigger preventative factor in changing (either way) than the higher prices of a Mac machine.
  • Good Advice (Score:4, Informative)

    by CyberLife (63954) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:41PM (#23408468)
    Don't even think about trying to put OS X on your PC without first purchasing a legitimate copy of Mac OS Leopard.

    This is good advice. However, I would also recommend reading the Leopard SLA too, particularly section 2:

    This License allows you to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time. You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so.

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.