Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 6th Jun 2005 22:01 UTC
Editorial Today's confirmation that Apple is going x86 makes today a historic day in the industry. It may mean that Microsoft might see a few percent decline of their market share the next few years, but what about Linux? If Linux were to lose an equal amount of share it would alter its spread to the desktop, a spread that has been very positive so far.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
It doesn't mean anything
by Will on Tue 7th Jun 2005 00:30 UTC

I didn't read the thread, all of the Apple threads are enormous today.


Intel Mac OS X will have the same impact on Linux as PPC Mac OS X has/had.

Given what we know: Apple will be shipping Intel based Macs. Apple is not selling Mac OS X for install on whitebox hardware. Apple will support the dual architecture systems for some time.

So, the goal is to basically force developers to support both platforms, to create tools, guidelines, and best practices to support that.

Apple is making the strategic decision to not just support Intel, but to support both. This means that developers need to be processor agnostic. Write to the higher level Apple platform, much like you would write to the higher level Java platform -- save that it's easier to cheat.

Then we add in that Apple isn't going to support white box hardware. If Apple doesn't have a video driver for their PPC port, they're not going to have one for the Intel port either. Certainly some enterprising individuals will hack and beat on OS X to try and lever it on to a PC motherboard, and will no doubt have some amount of succes. But this will undoubtedly be an underground project.

When looked at from this perspective, Intel Mac OS X will have as little impact on Linux. Will an OS X be "available" that runs on PCs? Yes, though it won't be a "slip Apple CD into slot and boot" kind of install, so it will have low penetration (if the bitching about Linux installers has any weight whatsoever).

So, for most Linux users, Intel Mac OS X will be as much of an option for them as PPC Mac OS X is for them now.

The one place that Intel Macs will affect Linux users, though, is with notebooks. I think it will be quite easy to get a Intel Mac Notebook with all of its hardware features (power, sleep, etc.) supported on Linux. With an OpenFirmware boot system.

I can easily see Intel Mac Notebooks becoming a notebook of choice for Linux users, but they'll just be running everday Linux on it.