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Could Apple Kill Off Mac OS X? 577

Posted by timothy
from the they-certainly-could dept.
Barence writes "When Steve Jobs announced last night that he was 'going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device,' it was the clearest indication yet that Apple is phasing out Mac OS X, argues PC Pro's Barry Collins. 'Over the past couple of months, there have been continual rumours that Apple is testing the iPad's A5 processor in its MacBook range, suggesting Apple believes iOS could stretch further than smartphones and tablets,' Collins argues. Plus, Apple would take a 30% cut on all Mac software if it mandated downloads via the App Store only. 'The only part of Apple's portfolio where iOS doesn't make sense is in the high-end. Yet, Apple's already discontinued its Xserve range of servers and... it's almost exclusively fixated on the consumer market,' he argues."
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Could Apple Kill Off Mac OS X?

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  • by nigel_atkinson (158842) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:07PM (#36363250) Homepage

    I can't see an iOS based IDE working.

  • by Assmasher (456699) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:09PM (#36363266) Journal

    Jobs comes across as the greediest villain (black turtleneck sans fluffy white cat) since the early days of Bill Gates...

  • by Space cowboy (13680) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:10PM (#36363280) Journal
    Or, should I say "linkbait" instead.
  • Re:Stupid! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SirGeek (120712) <.sirgeek-slashdot. .at. .mrsucko.org.> on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:12PM (#36363314) Homepage

    You sure about that ? From what I've seen, most people who have an Apple Product will forever purchase OTHER Mac products. They will purchase EVERY thing that Mac puts out (How many different Mac Laptop/Desktop have you owned/do you own, how many different version of iPad or their MP3 Players ?)

    Perhaps you're different, I don't know.

  • Nope. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by psergiu (67614) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:14PM (#36363338)

    The Apple cannot do this - they have too much to lose. All the "creatives" who use macs are their greatest evangelists and if Apple takes their "toys" away, they will turn to foes. There won't be a single Apple device appearing casually in movies & TV shows as the angry Final Cut editors will airbrush them out.

  • by Radi-0-head (261712) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:14PM (#36363352)

    In Bill Gates' book from 1995, "The Road Ahead", he discusses how computing switched from "mainframe"-type applications where the bulk of the storage and processing was done by a centralized system, and how that was falling out of favor for a more distributed desktop PC environment. He further predicted this model would eventually revert back to the "mainframe" (now known as "cloud").

    Steve Jobs must have read this book.

  • The Answer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lucabrasi999 (585141) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:16PM (#36363374) Journal
    Yes!!!

    No!!!

    Maybe!!!
  • by wandazulu (265281) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:19PM (#36363422)

    Apple just recently announced Final Cut Pro X, they've revamped XCode, and they're heavy into LLVM and clang. Doesn't seem like they're ditching the Mac any time soon. An iPad with iMovie is fine, just like Garageband is fine (and a lot of fun to use!), but for my next $100 million dollar blockbuster, I'm going to want more robust tools.
    All the content consumed on an iphone, ipad,etc., has got to originate from somewhere, and I think apple would be happy to have both ends of the spectrum: the content producers and the content consumers.

  • by TheCycoONE (913189) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:19PM (#36363424)

    "When Steve Jobs announced last night that he was 'going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device,' it was the clearest indication yet that Apple is phasing out Mac OS X, argues PC Pro's Barry Collins

    In context, this was while hyping a cloud computing solution that at the moment is a little more than shared storage. To me this isn't a very clear indication of anything except increased interoperability with a cloud service, possibly for automatic synchronization of settings and access to the same documents and media. I'll take that to mean that there is no clear indication yet that Apple is phasing out Mac OS X.

  • bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by andsens (1658865) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:19PM (#36363438)
    This is total linkbait. Just like the one from pcworld asking whether OS X Lion could be Apples Vista. This article has no research behind it whatsoever, I do not understand how this trash can get on slashdot, it annoys me. A single quote: "iOS is mainstream: Mac OS X isn’t and likely never will be." Based on what research?!?! Just yesterday at the keynote, they announced that the OS X platform has risen to new heights and the PC market has shrunk. Android is gaining on the smartphone market. Why the hell would they bet everything on one horse if they have two that perform perfectly well?!
  • Re:Stupid! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brannoncyll (894648) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:28PM (#36363582)
    I don't think they'll miss you. Lets face it, people like yourself who make informed decisions about such things are not a major component of Apple's consumer base!
  • Re:Nonsense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LoudMusic (199347) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:36PM (#36363698)

    So OS X will be moving into the market that IRIX and SunOS left behind?

  • Re:Troll (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:37PM (#36363710) Homepage

    So what if people stop buying Macs?

    That's the real problem here. Apple lost the desktop wars a long LONG time ago. Jobs might be willing to concede that completely and try to displace Windows desktops with some form of their more successful platform rather than trying to fight a losing pointless battle with MacOS.

    The mundane desktop MacOS user probably won't even be bothered with the whole MacOS -> PhoneOS thing.

    H*ll, your average fanboy will probably declare that such a shift is actually a good thing and defend it with vigor.

  • by pmontra (738736) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:48PM (#36363870) Homepage

    With a Mac-only XCode Apple locked in their developers into its ecosystem and is getting a nice fee from every single one (the margin on the sale of a Mac). Actually removing that lock in would be a wise move to expand further the developers base but IMHO it would be a very un-Applish one. The way to go would not be switching to a single competitor's OS but the Android one, that is a cross platform development system. Just imagine if a Windows update accidentally breaks XCode and there isn't any working development system for iOS for a couple of weeks.

    By the way, iOS 5 went the Android way by removing the dependency from a computer. You can use an Android phone without any supporting computer because you can buy and install apps directly from the store and use all the Google's cloud services. Apple still lacks some flexibility (I can attach USB pen drives to my Android phone) but it also went further in some other directions, with the backup and those synchronization little services like syncing ebook's page marks. Hopefully Google will catch up as Apple did. Competition is (often) good.

  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorpNO@SPAMGmail.com> on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @01:02PM (#36364130) Homepage Journal

    I can't see an iOS based IDE working.

    First off, start at the basics: iOS isn't going to "replace" OS X, because they share the same codebase. I know some people here will balk at this description, but iOS is nothing but OS X optimized for mobile touchscreen devices. They're basically the same operating system. This is why it's so easy to incorporate iPad software into Lion. This isn't a situation like Microsoft had, where their early mobile operating systems... Win CE... were from a completely different codebase than the NT-based PC systems. So a PC-type desktop OS isn't going to disappear from Apple's product line.

    Second, while I see the corporate appeal to Apple in forcing customers to their own home-brewed "A" based CPU's (and the friction they've had with Intel lately), even if they do this, it doesn't necessarily mean a "PC" is really disappearing from their product line. If it's got a USB port and a video miniport, then you can essentially make it a PC. I don't see the A processors being powerful enough for real desktop use, but that could change in the near future. I could also see Apple abandoning the truly professional-grade workstation market if they're going to focus completely on consumer devices.

    But to sum it up, even as radical as Steve Jobs can be at times (remember, he wanted the first edition of the iMac to ship without a keyboard until wiser heads talked him down from that ledge), I just don't see him completely eliminating all desktop options. Some form of real desktop computer from Apple will continue to be on the market. Reduce consumer choices in that regard, yes... he'll do that in a heartbeat and demand that you love him for it. But eliminate the option itself? No.

  • Re:Stupid! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by macs4all (973270) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @01:15PM (#36364328)

    You sure about that ? From what I've seen, most people who have an Apple Product will forever purchase OTHER Mac products. They will purchase EVERY thing that Mac puts out (How many different Mac Laptop/Desktop have you owned/do you own, how many different version of iPad or their MP3 Players ?)

    Perhaps you're different, I don't know.

    This is a paradigm shift too far; it won't happen.

    Why? Partially because Apple is now the industry leader in notebooks. And part of the reason for that is Windows compatibility. That is what is getting Apples to be accepted both in the boardroom as well as the livingroom, and they bloody well know it.

    Now, you can talk all you want about MS playing around with porting Windows to ARM; but rest assured, MS cannot abandon x86; they just can't. To do so would be to commit software suicide. Yes, at its core, NT is basically as processor-agnostic as OS X; but the applications, drivers, DLLs, etc, are NOT. And MS is not moving the world to a "managed code" world like they planned, that would have made a processor transition far less painful.

    And, although the A5 is a pretty sweet machine, especially considering its power consumption, it ain't no i7, and Apple knows it.

    Will there continue to be a subtle merging of some iOS features and capabilities into OS X (and vice versa)? Sure. But it doesn't mean the end of OS X. Not at all. Or of Apple's commitment to the Intel roadmap. Intel is serving them just fine right now, and the ARM architecture has a long way to go to catch up.

    What Jobs was saying is merely an extension of his remarks in March, 2011; where he pointed out that the majority of Apple's revenue comes from the sale of iOS devices, not Macs anymore.

    Apple looks pretty far out into the future; and, IMHO, what Jobs is saying is that, in the next 10 years, there will be much less computing done on traditional towers, and even lappies, and that things like tablets will continue to become more commonplace, as they become more powerful. It does not mean the death of OS X as we know it. Afterall, who will then write all these apps? Apple? Even SJ isn't THAT arrogant. It will be quite a while before we see XCode running on iOS. And no, Apple will not keep OS X alive simply on the Mac Pro. That would be financially unfeasible. For every Mac Pro Apple sells, they sell 10,000 MacBook Pros and iMacs (guessing, but still...)

    So, stand down from Red Alert. It simply ain't happenin' The article is nothing but slashdot linkbait. Don't feed the trolls.

  • Re:Stupid! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bondsbw (888959) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @02:11PM (#36365206)

    Mac OS X gives us more than pretty... it gives us UNIX. I chose Mac OS X because I could get UNIX, and my wife could have pretty.

    Take away the UNIX shell and sudo, all that's left is a device that my wife uses. I might as well get her an iPad.

  • Re:Troll (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @02:11PM (#36365218)

    That's the real problem here. Apple lost the desktop wars a long LONG time ago. Jobs might be willing to concede that completely and try to displace Windows desktops with some form of their more successful platform rather than trying to fight a losing pointless battle with MacOS.

    I don't know what you are looking at, but Apple gave up the desktop market share war and started the desktop and laptop profit war, without telling anyone, especially without telling Microsoft and you. And they are winning by a mile. Net income for the company six times that of Dell. Even if only one third were Macs, that would make "Apple Computers Inc. " twice as profitable as Dell.

  • by Tom (822) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @02:13PM (#36365248) Homepage Journal

    Err... not even close. What you're doing is a wide interpretation. What Bill meant was the "thin client" model, a big hype in the 90s. He was far, far away from predicting cloud computing or iDevices.

  • Re:Stupid! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dahamma (304068) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @02:45PM (#36365692)

    Highly doubtful.

    The Macbook Pro is already a "professional" level computer - millions of developers use it for development. You can get a high end model for a bit over $2000. And take a look at their laptop product line, it's almost perfectly distributed with offerings between $1000 and $2500. iPads cover the range just below that, from $500 to $830; iPod Touches (and subsidized iPhones) right below that from $200 to $400. You can get an AppleTV for $100. None of this is by accident! The don't want consumers to choose one of these devices, they want them to buy all of them. And the iCloud announcement made this even clearer...

    Apple has become the 2nd largest company in the world (by market cap) by almost completely giving up the budget segment of the market to others and focusing on customer loyalty and a self-contained ecosystem. Why would they suddenly change that strategy?

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