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...

"I think they decided to use discontinued Mac hardware because more of that sold and is out there then any other PPC hardware I know if (except PS3 consoles if you consider that a desktop computer). If you have numbers showing other PPC hardware more available (in numbers and price), then by all means let me know. I think their goal was to hit the largest PPC hardware market MorphOS could run on, and that was discontinued Mac hardware. Yes I agree it is too bad they didn't support other PPC hardware also, maybe they felt resources were better used targeting a larger section of PPC hardware.

"[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 agree, "fully" compatible might have not been the best words. As you said they try to be as compatible as possible. I personally ran old Amiga software (Jabber client for example), and it worked fine. Usually I try to find a MorphOS version, and if not I fall back to an Amiga version. This approach has given me access to a lot of software to select from which is the point I was making when it came to amount of software available (where you hinted at there being very little).

As I said prior, on my Mac Mini PPC G4, it seems to run the leanest then either Linux or Mac OS X when I triple booted. So their mission seems to be valid in my use. Now would this be true if MorphOS ran on other CPU hardware, who knows.

" 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.

"Agreed if their goal is to run the current code on another CPU architecture.

"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.

"Huh!?!? As I stated several times before in my comments, in my personal opinion MorphOS ran faster and leaner then both Mac OS X and Linux on my Mac Mini PPC. Actually Linux was the worst by far and I tried different distributions and Window managers. So yes there is a point to running MorphOS on old Apple PPC hardware.

I think my argument is a good one. Basically I am saying in my tests on my old Mac PPC hardware, MorphOS ran the best. I wanted a retro type Amiga machine, that could at least run a web browser decently. It served my needs. If they ported the current MorphOS codebase to X86, I wouldn't dump Mac OS X, Linux, or Windows in favor of MorphOS. If you want MorphOS on X86 and would pay for the software, then good for you, I wouldn't. I will stick to Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows desktops on X86, and MorphOS on old PPC where it found a niche. If they make a MorphOS X86 that supports all the Linux/BSD software ports, has a clean and nice GUI that feels like MorphOS, and seamlessly has emulation (UAE using VMware Fusion integration), then I would consider using it, and even pay to support development of this.

If you think a cutting edge new X86 OS can make it (like a MorphOS X86 port), then I would use SkyOS as an example of a noble attempt that went nowhere.

"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.

"Yes I agree, I think MorphOS is a dead end road. As I said in my other post, a better option would be for them to make a MorphOS Linux (or BSD) distribution, with a emulation layer. That at least allows them to tap into all the existing Linux/BSD ports available.

"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.

[/q]I agree, they should have done this earlier for sure if they wanted a path forward. There is a end of life for MorphOS and AmigaOS as we now it, and it will always be a niche market for past Amiga users (like myself). MorphOS or AmigaOS will not be popular as a desktop OS unless it is based on something like Linux or BSD with a large software base. That is the only chance it has going forward.

If they want the approach of being fast and lean on the desktop (mobile area is dominated by Android in fast and lean), then they should do what Apple did, take a Linux/BSD core, and clean-up the GUI foundation. The lean, fast, and familiar interface can come by way of optimizing the GUI layer and make it looks like the familiar MorphOS (MUI) interface. I think they need to take the direction Apple took with Mac OS X.

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