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OS X Businesses Operating Systems Apple

Leopard Already Hacked To Run On PC Hardware 568

PoliTech passed us a PC World link, noting that the newest version of OS X, Leopard, has already been adapted to run on a PC. "The OSx86 Scene forum has released details of how Windows users can migrate to Apple's new OS, without investing in new hardware -- even though installing Leopard on an PC may be counter to Apple's terms and conditions. The forum is offering full instructions on how to install the system, including screenshots of the installation process. Not all the features of Leopard function with the patch -- Wi-Fi support, for example, is reportedly inoperable. Historically, Apple's likely next move will be to track down and act against those behind the hack."
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Leopard Already Hacked To Run On PC Hardware

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  • Re:Question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sqrt(2) ( 786011 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:21PM (#21172189) Journal

    the iPod won over a lot of users to the Mac
    It actually didn't. Most of those iPods are being used on windows computers. If Apple had locked down the iPod to only play with their other hardware we'd all be carrying around Zunes (kidding, but only slightly, SOMETHING would fill the need). The MP3 player market would likely be much more fragmented than it is now, instead of one product line having clear dominance.
  • by v_1_r_u_5 ( 462399 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:24PM (#21172245)
    At last, this shows that virtualization is possible. Apple's next move should be to embrace virtualization and welcome sales of their software with open arms.
  • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 2nd Post! ( 213333 ) <gundbear@ p a c b e> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:25PM (#21172261) Homepage
    They would probably lose money unless they charged $300 per copy of the OS.

    It's not hard to do the math: Take their current earnings per Mac and then the projected earnings per copy of OS X. How many boxes of OS X would you have to sell in order to equal a Mac sale?

    If they get, average, $250 per Mac, then two copies of OS X at current prices would be required to break even. So if all Mac sales die, overnight, they would need to jump up to something like 16% US or 7% worldwide to make up the difference. To make it a profitable endeavor, therefore, they would need to sell 3 copies of OS X... or 32% US/10% worldwide.
  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert&slashdot,firenzee,com> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:33PM (#21172381) Homepage
    That's how many people see the pirated version...
    Most of the recent mac converts i know started out with a pirated copy, unsupported with very few drivers, features not working and not as stable as it should be...
    They liked the OS, and wanted to run it properly, so they went and bought macs.
  • by paiute ( 550198 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:39PM (#21172483)
    Cue up the "I would buy OSX for my PC if they would only offer it" posts.

    This is why you are not running a major corporation, son.
  • by Apple Acolyte ( 517892 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:40PM (#21172511)
    Apple just sold the most Macs ever in a single quarter. I don't think the company wants to mess with that unprecendented level of success by opening OS X to the general PC market. There's no question that if it were done properly, an OS X for PCs retail box would substantially grow the platform. The questions are, can Apple successfully pull that off, and does Apple want to greatly expand an already growing platform at the cost of proprietary control. It could happen, though - Stranger things have - like the x86 switch itself.
  • Re:Shame... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by click2005 ( 921437 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:42PM (#21172545)
    Part of the reason why OS X is liked & so stable is because it can fairly easily be tested on every possible variant of Mac hardware. It would be impossible for Microsoft to test every possible PC setup (which is why they dont bother trying). They release early beta versions and use the in-built phone home features to report bugs.

    Even with no support included they would be swamped with users complaining that it didn't work or was unstable for any number of reasons.
  • Quality = Branding (Score:5, Insightful)

    by njfuzzy ( 734116 ) <ian&ian-x,com> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:42PM (#21172553) Homepage
    This is really so simple, I can't believe I don't see any posts directly mentioning it. Apple doesn't release Mac OS X for other machines because doing so opens them up to unknown performance and stability. People who see Mac OS X running nicely on a Mac love it, and may want to buy a Mac later. People who see it running on a random PC box, with driver issues and performance problems-- even kernel panics-- aren't going to be left with a good impression. It doesn't matter if you say "Supported on Apple hardware only", the impression is still made.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:42PM (#21172555)
    Like many other large companies, Apple still has to learn that one good way to make money is to sell customers something they want, rather than trying to ram something down people's throats.
  • Re:Shame... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geeknado ( 1117395 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:55PM (#21172751)
    You don't get support from Microsoft, but that's not their business model-- theoretically, the support comes from the OEM that builds your machine, not the OS producer. Apple, on the other hand, is a service provider-- it's part of their value-- and the way they make the whole thing maintainable for themselves is by reducing the number of possible machine configurations. Even if they theoretically don't support your configuration, instability may well reflect on their brand, reducing their competative advantage.

    Moreover, once you take this step, there's no going back-- OEMs will introduce their own OSX machines, subject to their own sometimes dodgy support structures....Honestly, how many instabilities perceived as being "Windows" issues are actually caused by OEM hardware? I can't tell you how many machines I've had to tweak for friends that were overheating/throwing up because of bad system design. OSX would suffer the same issues were that door opened.

    Apple's all about control of experience, for good or ill. I'm not going to say you'll never have a non-Apple-branded machine running OSX in a sanctioned manner, but it'd be a huge paradigm shift.

  • by Darth Cider ( 320236 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:56PM (#21172765)
    Apple is worth more than IBM, but armchair CEOs keep saying, "if they were smart, they would sell OS X for 'IBM' PCs. Imagine how much more successful they would be." But Apple has no debt, it has billions in the bank, and its cashflow is astounding and steeply increasing. Why do the armchair CEOs never do a reality check and adjust to what really works in the marketplace? Quality products that are cool and just work.
  • Re:I don't get it (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:56PM (#21172777)

    They are. []

    Apple shipped 1,517,000 Macintosh® computers and 10,549,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 36 percent growth in Macs and 24 percent growth in iPods over the year-ago quarter.

    Geeks want Apple to put OS X on PCs. Consumers don't give a fuck.

  • Re:Freedom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xero314 ( 722674 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:59PM (#21172823)

    there are some significant differences between what Apple wants and what Apple's customers want.
    Not sure actually know any apple customers, or in this case Mac customers specifically. Any Mac user with any knowledge at all knows that they one of the main reasons that OS X is as stable as it is happens to be because it runs on a very controlled set of hardware. Apple customers, those that pay money to apple for the right to use their products as intended, actually prefer the hardware lock-in because of what they gain from it.

    I would love to be able to play with OS X on a couple non-Mac machines I own, but I would never ever request that Apple open the OS for operation on generic hardware.
  • Re:Freedom (Score:4, Insightful)

    by petermgreen ( 876956 ) <> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:59PM (#21172825) Homepage
    It would seem, then, that there are some significant differences between what Apple wants and what Apple's customers want.
    Apple is in the buisness of selling all in soloutions, they don't want people running copies of one of the key components of that soloution on other peoples hardware most likely without paying for it at all (or at best paying the upgrade price).

    Maybe they should give in to what some geeks want and try and turn themselves into a software company in direct competition with microsoft but such a move would be pretty risky.

  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:04PM (#21172905)

    Put it this way: my Hackintosh in it's original incarnation had a 2.6ghz Celeron, 1GB of RAM, 160GB of Hard Drive space, a DVD Burner, and a Geforce 7300LE. Now, this was kind of a toss up between a bare-bones Mac Mini at the time. The mini had it in processor speed, but the $599 machine had less ram, less hard drive space (and a slower hard drive), and a slower video card. That and it wasn't really upgradeable.

    And a BMW M5 probably costs more than a 20 passenger minibus. What's your point?

    The mini is a TINY system. That's why it costs more than a standard, large Dell or HP. Go pick any major manufacturer, and spec out their smallest "SFF" PC. Now put it next to the mini, and laugh at how much smaller and quieter it is. And no 802.11n or bluetooth in that price tag, generally. The mini can be had/comes with both inside (no dongles necessary.)

    Now go online and try and build a mini-itx box similarly configured. Not such a drastic price difference anymore, eh?

    One big reason your system is a better value is because your "Hackentosh" is running an operating system you did not buy a license for.

  • by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:06PM (#21172915)
    "bricking your machine"?

    Unless I'm completely misunderstanding this procedure, the worst case scenario is you have to reformat the disk and reinstall Windows/Linux/whatever.

    That hardly qualifies as "bricking" to me.
  • Re:Shame... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:07PM (#21172945) Homepage Journal
    OS X isn't significantly more stable than Linux and the BSDs (or even Windows NT), so that argument is just another lie from the Apple fanboys. Why, oh why, do you people feel the need to spin every possible marketing decision from Apple as being somehow good for the consumer?
  • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:09PM (#21172981)

    Even at say $200/copy, with the same support I'd get from Microsoft if I were running Windows (read that as "none")....

    Bug in that logic: its not only MS that supports your PC - its also the hardware manufacturers. Every component, peripheral and driver on your PC is compatible with - and has been tested with - one or more flavours of MS Windows by the manufacturer. PC component manufacturers have to do that in order to survive in a MS-dominated market. Their customer support lines may be crap but they've still invested serious dosh ensuring that they work with MS Windows. Unfortunately, the OS monoculture often means that they've eschewed platform-independent interface protocols in favor of cheaper "soft hardware" solutions that depend on windows-specific drivers. Even the mfrs that do support OS X may only bother on their higher-end products (e.g. the cheapest printers that don't have PCL or Postscript on-board are usually WIndows only).

    Now, if you try and sell a "minority" OS product then - until you reach a critical mass and convince hardware mfrs to invest in supporting you - all of that behind-the-scenes support becomes your problem. Linux can scrape by because its got a lot of free labour backed up by multiple sources of commercial backing - but even that has had a hard time. You also have the problem that the vast mass of users buy a PC with Windows installed and are pretty much incapable of installing an OS.

    So, say you get the hack and illegally install OS X. The motherboard, WiFi card, ethernet, bluetooth, video card, sound card, web cam etc. in your PC may or may not work with OS X and if the answer is "not" then tough titty - who ya gonna call? Pay $200 to Apple for a copy of OS X and you're going to expect Apple to support your hardware.

    Basically, its going to cost Apple a lot of money to break into the "aftermarket OS" market - something that Jobs has already tried and failed at once (NeXTStep) and which, even if successful, would risk eroding Apple's hardware sales.

    Bottom line - the MS Monoculture means that there is no "aftermarket OS" market (see: BeOS, NeXTStep, Netware). Even the Linux movement is having an uphill struggle giving away a desktop operating system (not so much in the internet server market, but what with the whole Internet being built on free *nix-oriented code its bloody amazing that anybody even considers Windows).

  • by WIAKywbfatw ( 307557 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:16PM (#21173105) Journal
    Apple's primary concern isn't market penetration at all costs. If that were so then it would have made some sort of effort to release a x86 version of MacOS X for third party hardware. In fact, Apple has gone in the exact opposite direction, and has done everything possible to make such use of its OS on third party hardware impossible.

    Apple isn't a software company. It's not interested in selling you an OS and some tools for a few hundred dollars/pounds/euros. Apple is a hardware company, albeit one which also designs its own software to complete its system. It's interested in selling you a complete experience, one that marries custom-designed hardware with custom-designed software, for several hundred/thousand dollars/pounds/euros.

    Selling its software only with its hardware has been very successful for Apple. It has many benefits (eg, it allows it to focus software R&D only on a handful of hardware configurations, which makes post-sales support orders of magnitude easier) and is the backbone of modern Apple.

    Your idea of getting the OS out there to as many people as possible was tried by Apple in the mid 90s and failed miserably. Several third party clone manufacturers (APS Technologies, DayStar Digital, Motorola, Power Computing, Radius, and UMAX) quickly gobbled a share of the hardware market... but that share was gobbled from Apple itself, as Apple users bought the cheaper clones to run Mac OS 7.x rather than Apple's comparatively more expensive hardware. The rest of the market (mostly DOS and Windows-based PCs) barely noticed at all.

    Rather than gaining it market share (and thus sales) the Mac clone experiment almost became Apple's suicide note. Sure, we can sit around and talk about the "what if..." scenarios and talk about what might have happened had Apple tried it out before Windows had become so entrenched but the simple reality was that by the time that Apple did try it out it was too little, too late for it to capture the market away from Microsoft's baby.

    How bad was the cloning? Well, the first thing that Steve Jobs did when he rejoined Apple was sit down with the clone makers and try to renegotiate their licensing terms to raise Apple's per-computer revenues. The clone makers refused and Jobs effectively withdrew their licences (the next version of the MacOS was released as MacOS 8, and the clone makers existing licences only covered 7.x). Apple's hardware sales recovered, eventually, but Apple never once gained any benefit from the exercise in terms of revenues.

    Apple today is all about presentation. To that end, it carefully controls every aspect of the user experience. Putting its showcase OS out there in the wild would destroy that simply because for every user that had a good experience installing OS X onto a non-Apple configuration there would be many more that would have nightmares dealing with installation on hardware that wasn't compatible, features that didn't want to work, inconsistent support, etc.

    As a technically adept individual, I'd love to run Apple's OS on all my PCs. It would in many ways be a dream come true. However, for the reasons that I've outlined, that will never happen. Apple doesn't want it to happen so it won't happen, and I understand why perfectly.
  • Re:Question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dal20402 ( 895630 ) * <dal20402&mac,com> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:17PM (#21173117) Journal

    Nah. Cheap(R)Ass(TM) EMachines suck because they include dodgy components and often fail. The mini is not super-fast but it's one of the most reliable Macs Apple has ever made. While it won't play 3D games, a Mini with a modern 7200rpm drive, 3GB of RAM, and (optionally) a faster drop-in C2D provides a highly satisfying experience for nearly everything else. Quiet, tiny, and (somewhat) cheap. For better disk performance many people have modified mini-specific 3.5" disk enclosures to use the mini's SATA port. No one will get a bad impression of OS X from a well-configured mini.

    If a mini is not enough, though, I hear you about the giant performance gap between iMacs and drool-worthy but ridiculously expensive Mac Pros.

  • Re:Shame... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kannibal_klown ( 531544 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:25PM (#21173281)

    OS X isn't significantly more stable than Linux and the BSDs (or even Windows NT), so that argument is just another lie from the Apple fanboys.
    You are correct, as an OS it's no more stable than any of the *nix variants out there. As an OS it's not super-stable, though as a package it's pretty good.

    In the end it's more about control and the dollar. They are a hardware/solution company, and NOT a Software company. The percentage they make of OS X sales is not their cup of tea, they rely on their hardware sales.

    However there are some CR@PPY PCs out there, things that make even a good distro of Linux cringe. Most notably poor components that have poor support for drivers and don't work well with generic drivers, let alone have decent Windows drivers. I've received some of these and tried resurrecting them via Ubuntu or what-not and encountered a lot of problems to the point that I gave up.

    Unfortuantely, these are the PCs Joe Sixpack buys at discount: desktop+monitor+inkjet for $150 after rebates. These are the ones that manage to bring down XP and Vista a couple of times per week. And these are the ones Apple wants no part in.

    If they open it up, then every Joe Sixpack out there will give it a go to try on their junk-Machine-5000 to see what all of the fuss is about. When it starts dying 10x more than Windows, they start yelling loudly that OS X runs horrible and has poor support, neglecting to add the fact that Windows runs almost as poorly on those rigs.

    Then Apple's image for quality products go down the drain. So, might as well do what they can to keep it off everything they can't control.
  • Re:Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by greg1104 ( 461138 ) <> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:26PM (#21173287) Homepage
    This is a bit unrealistic. For example, last quarter [] 62% of all Mac sales were portables. Would all these sales go away if you could run OS X on more generic hardware? Considering there's a growing number of people buying Apple portables that spend a good chunk of their time in Windows, I doubt it; a large number of those buyers wouldn't stop buying Apple hardware even if they could grab some generic PC laptop and possibly get it to run an unsupported OS X build.

    The problem with Apple's product line-up is that they have no inexpensive desktop product that makes sense for the "enthusiast" class of PC buyer, the person who wants a computer they can tinker with and expand incrementally. Selling something that those people would buy wouldn't shrink sales because they're not buying anything from Apple right now. In fact, you can make a case that it would grow sales. As someone who fits that category, I can tell you that one of the reasons I don't own a Macbook is because Apple has no desktop solution I'm interested in, which prevents me from making a complete conversion to running OS X. I got one of the hacked Tiger builds running on my assembled from parts PC desktop, but the fact that Apple is downright antagonistic toward such hacks means I don't trust that system to run anything. Were they just to shift their position toward neutral, where I knew that they wouldn't ever actively try to lock me out of running on my generic hardware, that would be enough to get me to buy Leopard for that PC and to strongly consider a Macbook for my new portable as well.
  • Re:Shame... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sammyF70 ( 1154563 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:38PM (#21173487) Homepage Journal
    If it's just about "supporting Apple", then he could do that. If he intends to use the OS on non-apple hardware, it's risky. Not because of the EULA per-se, but, in light of the iBrick patch [], he might end up just supporting Apple, without having any benefit from it (except perhaps for a warm glow in the stomach when thinking about how he rounded up Steve Job's meagre monthly salary)
  • Re:Shame... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:39PM (#21173505) Homepage Journal

    Part of the reason why OS X is liked & so stable is because it can fairly easily be tested on every possible variant of Mac hardware

    Hogwash. Their OS is internally quite device-independent. As long as your drivers aren't buggy, you're not going to have stability problems. Take a look at Linux or any of the BSDs some time, and you'll see how incredibly common and normal it is, for wide driver availability to not have any stability side-effects. Just get good hardware that has been around for a while so that someone else has gone through the bleeding-edge pains.

    I used to run MacOS 7.5.5 on an Amiga (very different hardware than any Mac) under an emulator, which was essentially a driver-driver (i.e. MacOS drivers that called Amiga drivers). No stability problems.

    It would be impossible for Microsoft to test every possible PC setup
    That company and its products are irrelevant.
  • Re:Freedom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jpfed ( 1095443 ) <> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:39PM (#21173507)
    There's a difference between these alternatives:

    1. Actively supporting third-party hardware
    2. Being indifferent to third-party hardware
    3. Actively interfering with attempts to run on third-party hardware

    Please excuse my ignorance in these matters, because I genuinely don't know. Is Apple doing #2, or #3? It's plausible that, as people claim, #1 interferes with Apple's desire to guarantee quality. But #2 and #3 should be essentially equivalent in terms of the quality that Apple can deliver for its customers, and hobbyists would be a lot happier with #2.
  • by bigmouth_strikes ( 224629 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:40PM (#21173525) Journal
    > One big reason your system is a better value is because your "Hackentosh" is running an operating system you did not buy a license for.

    He did buy the license for the OS. He's not using the OS under the terms and conditions that Apple choose to apply to their product, but those terms may or may not be legally binding depending or where the original poster resides.
  • Re:Shame... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GnuPooh ( 696143 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:41PM (#21173551) Homepage
    While IANAL, I've talked to a few about this and they all agree. If you pay your $129 for Apple's OSX 10.5 and then hack it to work on PC hardware there's no court that's going to side with Apple's EULA against you. You can not sell someone a product and tell them how they have to use it. I wish Apple would try to sue someone for running it on non-Apple hardware so they could lose and everyone would see they are free to run Apple's OS on any hardware they like. Of course, you still need to pay your $129.00.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:49PM (#21173677)
    I never trust a hack that isn't documented - that means source level patch, at least. I assume at the bootloader level it means throwing in something from Darwin that expects BIOS rather than EFI, like the source level modifications for Tiger before 10.4.9 (though would it be possible to just use TianoCore's EFI simulator?); then the kernel proper needs to have, erm, what changes? Why is my Leopard GM mach_kernel so different from the patched binary? Reads from custom chips that assist in decrypting essential binaries or confirm we're running on a real Mac are implemented via kext, no?

    A brief look at the osx86 scene suggests that it comprises about half a dozen excellent but secretive hackers and a torrent of relatively clueless followers; there are no individuals interested in studying what's going on with the aim of encouraging auditing/improvement. Add this to the fact that osx86forums appeared to have been created with the aim of being consumed for profit and turned into the InsanelyMac forums, and I feel very uneasy with lack of answers as to who the interested/involved parties are.
  • by Panaflex ( 13191 ) <> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:56PM (#21173791)
    I don't want to be critical.. but my 3 year old IBM Thinkpad has a uniform display brightness & color, better battery life, larger keyboard, won't cook your lap, and a bonus right mouse button. Compared to the Macbook Pro it's "more professional" in many ways except CPU and disk i/o.

    Yes, I own a Mac - and I'd be happy if the screen was just uniform in brightness and the keyboard was a smidgen larger.

    Perhaps that's why people want a hackintosh?
  • by painandgreed ( 692585 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @02:08PM (#21173973)

    Every non-Apple hardware box that a user uses instead of Apple hardware box is much more money out of their pocket than the cost of the OS. Plus, last I was aware, there was no DRM, serial numbers, or other such things besides a simple agreement to prevent installing a single boxed copy of the Mac OS on as many computers as you want. Chances are that the people who would hack and install on cheap hardware would also be willing to not pay past the first copy. As a Mac hardware user, I'd rather not have to deal with any extra constraints Apple would have to put on their software even if that plan would work.

  • by p0tat03 ( 985078 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @02:10PM (#21173999)

    I know people who bought Apple hardware specifically because they wanted the OS X experience and couldn't do it on their existing hardware. For the paltry number of sales Apple would gain in additional OS sales, they would lose many of these customers. And as you said, Apple makes more money on hardware.

    The OS X "experience" is also more closely tied to Apple hardware than you might imagine. For example, iChat allows you to video chat with just about anyone with a Mac, why? Because any relatively recent Mac has a webcam built-in, across the entire line from low to high end. This is the kind of no-brainer thinking that Apple users have grown to love - the fact that they don't have to worry about what kind of hardware is under the hood, nor do they have to worry about what hardware the OTHER end has under their hood.

  • Re:Shame... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @02:42PM (#21174543)

    Of course, the Mac business would take a hit, I don't think it would go under and any loss in the hardware business would be more than made up from the OS sales.

    Apple tried allowing Mac clones once, before the resurrection of his Steveness.

    The result was a significant loss in Apple hardware sales, and that loss was not even close to made up in OS licensing.

    Apple is a hardware company. Sales of Leopard help defray the cost of the OS development that Apple has to undertake anyway in order to sell its hardware.

    If Apple were to sell Mac OS X for generic hardware, it would cannibalise hardware sales to the point where the OS sales would have to pay for OS development. Thus Apple would become a software company and be in direct competition with Microsoft. Microsoft can amortise the development of Windows over hundreds of millions of copies sold. Apple would have to amortise Mac OS X development over millions of copies. Would you buy Mac OS X instead of MS Windows if it cost ten times as much? Who would?

  • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @02:58PM (#21174807)

    Apple needs to drop the laptop in a desktop idea and come out with a real desktop not a $2200+ workstation with high cost FB-dimms and dual cpus or a over priced mini with slow laptop parts and a higher price tag a desktop with on board video and pci-e slots can fit in with lower priced mini for people who want one below it and it fitting in between the mini and the mac pro

    Business plan:

    1. Enter the most price-sensitive, competitive sector of the PC market where companies survive by revising their product range weekly to use the cheapest commodity components and rely on warranties, adware bundling and sales tactics just short of bait-and-switch to actually make a margin.
    2. Compete with your own lucrative and booming sales of high-margin SFF, premium laptop and workstation-class machines
    3. Erode your reputation (deserved or not) as a "prestige" manufacturer
    4. ???
    5. Go bust
  • Re:Shame... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dal20402 ( 895630 ) * <dal20402&mac,com> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @03:05PM (#21174897) Journal

    If Apple really wanted to, they could offer OS X for generic PCs along with a list of hardware required for OS X to run as intended with a nice disclaimer stating that if people choose to veer outside of the required hardware list, they are doing so at their own risk.

    No one but geeks would read the fine print. Joe Sixpack would still try to install on his $150 Wal-Mart PC, run into problems, call Apple, and complain loudly how much Apple sucked when they told him to read the disclaimer.

    I agree that hardware sales are the main motivation for Apple not to support non-Apple hardware, but OS X's very good reputation (which helps lead to those hardware sales) would be severely affected if it were allowed to run, whether supported or not, on unstable junk hardware.

    A better approach would be for Apple to allow one or two known high-quality boutique PC makers to ship OS X with their systems. At least that way the systems would be as stable as Macs out of the box. (Furthermore, Apple could carefully restrict the types of systems sold, ensuring that the third-party makers only sold in segments where Apple doesn't try to compete.)

  • by Budenny ( 888916 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @03:22PM (#21175123)
    The difference is, of course, that Apple is using exactly the same components. It is not like a Lexus ....(why, oh why do Mac people still think BMWs are the ne plus ultra of quality in autos? Is it because none of them have ever owned one? Or is it because they don't know what they are driving? God knows!)....

    To believe this post, you have to believe in alchemy. Cheap Samsung memory suddenly becomes something quite other when installed in a case with the Apple label on it. A cheap disk drive is transmuted into pure gold. What happens to the core2 is beyond me.

    Fact: Apple is using the same mid range components the white box people are using, put together in a fancy case, sold at premium. They are not using better components.
  • by I'm Don Giovanni ( 598558 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @03:36PM (#21175363)
    "they'll a) get more OS sales "

    I know I'll be ripped to shreds for saying this, but my guess is that well over 90% of those that would hack a PC to run OS X would be more likely to get OS X via bittorrent or usenet or whatever rather than thru legal "sales".
  • Re:Freedom (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shmlco ( 594907 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @03:40PM (#21175421) Homepage
    "...and Mac has their own competitor, anyway."

    Regardless, Microsoft dropping Office from the Mac would be a major blow for two reasons:

    First, Apple is one again just starting to make headway into the business world. Losing Office, and especially Entourage (Outlook for Mac), would stop any movement in that direction dead in its tracks.

    Second, one of the major reasons that Apple is had as much success in the home market has been, once again, Office. Hang around an Apple store, and inevitably the first or second question a new customer asks is "Does it run Office?"

    A "no" answer to that question would probably kill a third of those sales.
  • by mjboyle ( 1081145 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @04:39PM (#21176241) Homepage
    In spite of its limited market share, Apple has often been one of the biggest leaders in innovating with acceptance of new hardware standards. Not having to support an arbitrary base of hardware manufactured by other people allows them to be much more nimble. If the next big thing required a particular combination of hardware, Apple can ensure that all new computers made include it, even if it raises the cost slightly for a benefit that won't become clear until later when they enable features that take advantage of it.

    If Apple were to become a mainly software company, not only would they be faced with supporting far more models, they'd loose their ability to ensure that new computers contain the hardware they want and would instead have to dictate the software to the hardware the users have chosen. Look at Vista. Faced with the choice of buying new hardware that supports Vista well or sticking with XP, many people choose XP.

    To be successful as a purely software company, Apple would have to compete directly with Microsoft and shift their focus to high volume, low margin. This is absolutely contrary to everything that Jobs is interested in. He would much rather have a successful minority company with a disproportionate impact on the market as a whole than a leading manufacturer of a commodity.
  • Re:Freedom (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @05:41PM (#21176969) Journal
    Why is the only Mac model that ever gets brought up when comparing hardware prices the Mac Pro? How about we compare the hardware in a MacBook with a similar Dell laptop, or an iMac with a similar desktop?

    I can build a dual socket quad-core w/ 1GB ram and a 250GB hd for a lot less than "$3747". Oh wait, I already have.

    I also have a Dual docket quad core Xeon Mac Pro (I use Logic Pro). It is NOT "basically silent". I had to buy/build a special cabinet for both machines to isolate my studio from the noise.

    a Mac Pro can be directly compared to a number of different Dell or HP servers; the CPU, motherboard, memory, etc. are nearly identical.
    So, why shouldn't I be able to run OSX on either machine?
  • Re:Freedom (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PRMan ( 959735 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @06:30PM (#21177501)

    they are one of the few companies on the planet that dont assume their customers are crooks...

    See "Apple no longer accepts cash for iPhone"

  • by sentientbrendan ( 316150 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @12:47AM (#21179997)
    is support for OSX on vmware. I understand why apple doesn't want third party hardware to run OSX, but the lack of licensing for vmware support mystifies me.

    I'm interested in developing OSX software, and I already own vmware (every developer should), but I don't want to shell out for apple hardware. I've paid for apple hardware in the past, and it tends to be over priced, and there isn't much selection (their current line up of laptops in particular kind of suck compared to my thinkpad x61).

    Currently I run linux through vmware on top of vista, which I've found to be superior to dual booting in terms of usability. It lets me avoid linux driver and configuration issues (vmware tends to be better supported than native hardware), play windows games natively, waste less harddrive space on a statically sized partition, manage various linux distros more easily, manage complicated development environments and software configurations more easily (since I can easily make copies of the OS images at any point in development and return to the old version later), etc.

    If I could run OSX on vmware (in a supported manner) I could develop OSX guis for the various unix software I write (I've used the cocoa libraries and the interface builder in the past, and they are better than anything in the linux world). This would allow me to give support to the mac platform as a developer in a convenient way. However, at the same time virtualization is off the beaten path, and so it avoids taking a chunk out of apple's bottom line in mac sales.

Variables don't; constants aren't.