Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Dec 2013 00:11 UTC

The MorphOS development team is proud to announce the public release of MorphOS 3.4, which introduces faster R300 graphics drivers, improved video playback on G5-based systems, support for non-native display resolutions on various PowerBooks, screen blanker password protection, and numerous bug fixes and other improvements. For an overview of the included changes, please read our release notes.

Some serious improvements in there. Their market is probably small, but they release new versions at a relatively stable pace. One of the very few alternative operating systems that has managed to survive over the years where so many others fell.

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Yes that is correct, it runs on discontinued Apple products because it needs a PPC CPU...They originally wanted to make it for old PPC boards for Amiga's and custom PPC products like Genesi.

I think you are missing my point. We can argue if PPC is an evolutionary dead end or not, but there is other PPC hardware out there. But MorphOS ONLY runs on on discontinued hardware.

This does not give me warm fuzzy feelings.

And it seems silly that they don't support the AmigaOne X1000. It may be niche and expensive. But it is still in production...

[it]needs a PPC CPU to run and be fully compatible with many old Amiga programs.

I don't think anyone says MorpOS is fully compatible, but let us say as compatible as possible and call it good.

But if you read the comments on just about every MorphOS post on OSNews, the bulk of the MorpOS website, and every MorphOS fan I have encountered; they aren't really running old Amiga Software.

They argue that is a fast and lean OS that gives new life to lower power hardware. That mission does not require PPC at all.

I think going into recent times they realized it is too much work to port to X86.

Which was a problem from the start. Portable OSs have been the vogue for decades, and the Amiga transition from 68K to PPC should have taught even them that platforms change.

They chose not to make a portable OS and are paying the price for it now.

Even if they did, would anyone really use it with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux being available?

Well Linux is available for PPC and all the Apple products MorphOS supports. By that logic there isn't much point in running MorphOS on Apple.

I am not trying to logically trap you, I just don't think the argument is a good one. Again the features I see people talking about are it being fast and lightweight.

I personally think it would be a waste of time for them to do a full port of the current MorphOS codebase to X86. Instead I think they decided to continue PPC support since the OS was engineered for PPC, and it continues to appease the current Amiga and PPC Mac fans.

So then the clock is running out for MorphOS then. It won't be that many years before it will start becoming hard to find Apple PPC hardware. It will have an increasingly hard time attracting new users which is the only thing that will fuel new development... unless they go open source.

If they wanted to develop an MorphOS X86 like experience with limited amount of time, they should just make a really good MorhpOS Linux distribution.

One could argue that is perhaps what they should have done in the first place, but with filesystems, and an API layer to support Amiga compatibility... but that approach would defeat the fast and lean thing.

But it really does come down to one thing: unless they support hardware that is still in production, the clock is going to run out on MorphOS sooner much rather than later. All the same arguments can be made about AmigaOS as well.

The world is (and will continue to be) dominated by a couple of major platforms. However there is most definitely a place for alternative operating systems, but they simply can't run on legacy hardware alone.

Edited 2013-12-21 02:04 UTC

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