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.Regardless of whether I think that the Apple processor switch will be beneficial to Apple, Linux-on-the-desktop does not look as favorable anymore. Please note that I am talking about Linux on the desktop, as I don’t see the Linux server business declining — Apple will have no effect on the server Linux. Here are a few thoughts:
Usually there are two players rather than three: the favorite and the underdog. The “third” person does not matter as much. With Apple moving to x86 it can quickly become the underdog of the platform and put Linux in third (outsider) place.
Apple mentioned that Mac OS X will require Apple PCs, but you will be able to run Linux/Windows on them just fine. This is a huge advantage for Apple rather than for Linux or Windows. It brings over these last few potential customers who also needed Windows but didn’t want two computers or commercial emulation. Apple can sell more Apple PCs when the customer knows that this is a normal x86 that can also run native Windows, because it allows the customer to think that “oh, well, if I don’t like OSX, I can always run Windows”. It gives customers a choice even if Apple won’t sell Windows bundled with its PCs, or “support” Windows on its hardware.
With Mac OS X’s great desktop experience, why would anyone use X11 and its DEs? They are known to be rather “disconnected” from the underpinnings of the underlying OS, making the desktop Linux experience worse that it should be. For example, OSX just “works with the hardware” rather than “Gnome/KDE working on TOP of a kernel”. There is a disconnection of all X11 DEs and how well they “wrap” the experience and the underlying hardware. There is no cohesion.
Someone could argue that “Linux will have no problems with Apple PCs because there is already Linux on Apple machines today.” While true, this is completely beside the point. PPC Linux is only a blip on the screen compared to the larger Linux movement, and making a commitment to PPC Linux means making a commitment to a niche hardware platform. x86 Macs will run the mainstream versions of Linux without modification, and once Linux users start making the switch to OSX, their favorite Linux apps will become increasingly more available on OSX, initially through Apple’s X11, but eventually in a more integrated fashion.
The percentage of Mac users using a Linux on PPC is way lower than the percentage of x86 users also using Linux. For example, 3% of all x86 users use Linux according to some recent stats, but less than 1% of the 3% of the Mac users use Linux (that’s 0.33%). With the release of the x86 Apple hardware, there will probably be a jump in Linux-on-Apple use a first, because more than a few Linux users are likely to buy Powerbooks, but it will be interesting to see how many of them stick with Linux once they have a side-by-side comparison with OSX, and all its user-friendly Unixy goodness.
There is the other thing too: I have spoken to a lot of Linux users in my time and most of them say “ah, yeah, the Macs are nice, but I can’t afford one”. With Apple able to provide well-priced x86 Macs AND giving the re-assurance to these users that can also run x86 Linux there, it makes them way more likely not only to buy an Apple PC as their next upgrade, but perhaps eventually to ditch Linux altogether! So, it’s not only that the Linux adoption might see a decline, but I expect many current Linux dekstop users will move full time to OSX.
Yesterday I mentioned that Microsoft will probably help Mac OS X on the x86. Quoting myself: “…Apple coming to x86 is not bad business for Microsoft initially in terms of “fighting together” Linux. Microsoft has failed to squash the Linux hype but users who go Mac OS X almost never look back. With Apple managing to squash Linux in the x86-64 market, Microsoft will have to fight Apple at a much later future date. And it will be easier for Microsoft to fight an ‘enemy’ that plays with the same rules as they are rather one that doesn’t (open source). My enemy’s enemy is my friend, kind of thing… This is a lot like you are getting beaten at both the club and the school, but you give your lunch money to the bully at the club guy to come and beat the school guy. At the end, you end up with ONE bully instead of two and that’s progress…”
On the other hand, Linux has two very strong cards to play:
1. Linux is strong overseas as it’s cheaper to acquire. Developing countries will take Linux on a cheapo PC anyitme over an Apple PC or even a Dell with XP on it.
2. Apple’s transition to x86 might spread a newfound desire for people to try out alternatives more openly and so Linux will also get an advantage.
3. There are many people in the industry who are idealists, and even though they might even buy an Apple Powerbook because of its industrial design, they will insist on Linux or FreeBSD for ideological reasons. Mac OS X, for all its open source underpinnings, is still a closed platform, and will remain so. It will never be Free-as-in-speech enough for the GNU crowd.
However, it all depends on how well Apple does on this new platform and how competitive its pricing is. If Apple does well, desktop Linux will have a hard time keeping the same growth curve it has now. No, Linux will never die; in fact, its server business will continue to grow immensely. It might even evolve into something else in the future, but Linux will never ‘die’. It’s open code and open code does not die. But it can be contained enough away from full scale desktop success, enough to let Microsoft sleep tight at night. And Apple can definitely help the ’cause’.
Ok, although I don’t want to use Linux anymore (I’m a OSX convert), I have to say that this is a great opportunity for Linux on the Desktop.
Soon we will have an x86 platform with _very_ defined hardware. Please, please, please just make a version of Linux (GNU/Linux, whatever) that runs perfectly on all Intel Mac platforms (no configuration needed, no tweaking, etc). You’ll soon have very defined hardware to support on the Linux Apple x86 boxes, so please try to get great support for those very specific machines.
Don’t worry, keep working on the “generic x86 boxes”, but their desktop support will never really get much better than it is right now due to the diversity.
You got only 2 things wrong, 11 should be “cha-ching!!”. oh, about the 2nd thing, well do you seriously think that an DRM loving company like Apple would not utilise DRM to make sure that OS/X only runs on their boxes? I can see now. Some poor soul hacks OS X and get it to run on beige box. People start using hacked OS X unaware that it is still calling home. Apple goon squad starts handing out pieces of paying paper (subpeonas for you warez dOOds) to Mac suxxors. LOL
isn’t apple switching to intel a death sentence for terrasoft/yellowdog?
Microsoft won’t do the work to port Windows Server to POWER. Why? Because AIX rules the POWER market and there’s nothing MS can do to catch up at this point. But… MS will support Cell, since there will be a huge gaming market attached to a Cell-based PC. Problem: MS will be very late in the Cell game, and Linux will be there first. Proprietary software would need to be recompiled at best, and most likely would require something closer to a complete rewrite. Open source compilers would have to be first, Intel never learned and keeps ICC closed to this day.
Intel and Apple are on a sinking ship, soon to be consumed by IBM and Microsoft. Linux will feast and get fat on the corpses left behind. How many years are really left for the rich client anyway? In a market where most of the new computing devices are ultraportable, hardware must be special-purpose and software must versatile. Linux was born on the rich client but was designed to thrive on anything. Sadly, my cellphone won’t ever have a 450W PSU, so I doubt the Pentium D is applicable.
They still don’t get it. Apple just doesn’t get it.
This is just one less reason to buy a Mac.
For more than a decade I’ve heard how MACS ARE THE BEST because of technology they use: NuBUS, SCSI, Power PC.
Then I see them abandon it.
It took Apple eight or ten years to fully update their operating system to run on Power PC.
How many dollars have you spent on upgrades from 7.5 to 8.0 to 9.2, X?
Each time the hyperbole about THE BEST operating system touted “MORE NATIVE CODE.”
Installing one upgrade after another, finding out along the way that many applications no longer work, there was still enough code emulation going on under the hood to slow things down.
Now they are going want me to believe that it is a trivial matter to switch to a different microprocessor. They are going to want me to believe that my world will be better if I fatten Steve Job’s wallet.
Their sales pitch will be designed to make me forget the fact that Windows has the market share Apple thinks they deserve is because IBM lost control of the proprietary hardware paradigm twenty some years ago.
Windows and Linux both run on almost any combination of hardware components that a 14 year-old can jam together and power up; that is the strength they have in the marketplace.
But Apple stubbornly clings to their belief that by claiming to be THE BEST, and repeating it like a mantra, there will be enough new converts to give their little religion some significance.
Very good point indeed.
“isn’t apple switching to intel a death sentence for terrasoft/yellowdog?”
It is linux, do you remember? It can be easily recompiled.
I don’t think that x86 is a bad choice given the circumstances. It’s not a good business idea to be dependent on one company’s (relatively niche-level) CPU _and_ your own niche-level OS for your workstations.
Given the circumstances, apart from the x86 camp, the only alternative would have been the UltraSPARC IV. SPARC is an open CPU blueprint, so different fabs could produce the chips for Apple, as they do for Sun. A good “underdog” candidate.
I don’t think that Intel was a wise choice though. Intel have a bad habit of changing their CPU form factors, a bit too often for my liking. I would have picked AMD instead – not only is their CPU architecture fairly stable, not only do they absolutely cane Intel chips, they also have “underdog” kudos.
If however, Apple do decide to switch to AMD afterwards, it wouldn’t actually be that bad. Unlike seasoned PC users, Apple bods don’t tend to open up their machines too often.
Apple remind me of a small version of SGI – hanging on for dear death as best they can…:-(
Right now I’m wondering what their management is thinking?
OSX Will come as binary compatible for x86.
Apple says it will be locked to run only on their machines.
Read that again.
Ok. 1month before it runs on any x86 machine. That’s it. People aren’t stupid. It’ll work on your AMD. All what’s needed are chipset drivers and this part is Darwin, that is, opensource, so easily codable.
The other part will be “Apple protection”.
Sure. No such protection *ever* resisted “us”. So what ?
It’ll be cracked. Everyone knows it.
Good luck Apple Computer.
1 ) Apple doesn’t have to release the source code.
2 ) Isn’t their source code released under someother license?
Bow down biatches!
Not too likely. MS hasn’t done it, Apple won’t do it either. They cater to very different user markets. Also keep in mind that server space will still have a foothold with Linux / BSD. Apple has been trying to get into the server market but they don’t have the credibility.
Suck it up junior, ya got a ways to go.
A very astute observation. I have only one correction: Linux runs on the Cell now. In fact, you can bet that Linux was closely involved with the development of the Cell. We know how Linux is important to IBM, but Sony is also a Linux-friendly company: they released a Linux PS2 kit, and have commercialized consumer and professional products based on embedded Linux as well.
Of course Cell-based workstations won’t be here until next year at the latest, but still it sounds very promising – especially for 3D and multimedia uses. This could be Linux’s best chance at the worksation market (and, by extension, the desktop).
I have been thinking how will this affect the Yellowdog business. They are an Apple “value added reseller”. A lot of their business centers around PPC.
Did jobs say they will stop selling PPC hardware, after the transition?
Will yellowdog just become another rebranded redhat x86 product for HPC?
Will they go out of business eventually?
I agree with you 100 percent except for the comment “Problem: MS will be very late in the Cell game, and Linux will be there first.”
The fact is that Linux is already there first. There are several articles about the cell technology, Linux and IBM, all of which state that the Linux operating system is already running on cell.
Apple is moving more and more toward a locked down proprietary consumer device for selling music/music player and now movies/movies player (with the help of built in DRM on Intel chips that will be in the next Apple hardware). The desktop PC market is history at Apple. The focus is on supplying the living room/portable consumer devices.
Well i for one won’t be “switching” away from Linux. I quoted that because i already have a Mac (with 10.3) and a PC. I like my iBook and I like OS X but I have a hard time believing people who claim that OS X is leaps and bounds above (for example) Ubuntu — it really isn’t. There’s some nice little touches in OS X, but nothing that can’t be done in Linux too.
The Apple cheerleaders like to assume that OS X will always be “ahead” of Linux, but i don’t think there’s a lot of room for improvement in OS X–it’s about as good as the current desktop metaphor is going to get.
I think in the future we will look back on this as the time when open source development really started to come into it’s own. We’ve got a wealth of tools, libraries and languages on which to build the next generation of open source apps. The pinnacle of desktop operating systems as they are right now is not very far away, and what will developers do once we reach this point? Well, then our minds are free to wander..
In summary, don’t count Linux out of the race now; we’re just getting warmed up.
Understand this: Apple NEEDS to have hardware DRM succeed for this transition to work, period. Apple is a hardware manufacturer that maintains an OS for its hardware–not anybody else’s. Steve is betting the company on DRM to force OS X on Intel to run only on Apple hardware. Apple can survive, but not solely on OS X sales.
Linux on the desktop is going nowhere different because of this announcement. Desktop adoption–still a race being run–may slow a bit as prospective users glance at the shiny new things bearing Apple logos. I expect that once the strings attached to these new things are discovered, the sort of brand loyalty that has steeled Apple through two decades will rapidly deteriorate.
Loyal people do NOT like being betrayed, and despite what can be argued as the inevitability of this platform transition, it will come off as betrayal. By staying free as in freedom, Linux will provide safe haven for these exiles.
If anything, Apple is dead. Who is going to move to a platform that has a history of breaking backwards compatibility every 7-10 years and is more expensive? Basically, you can’t trust Apple.
I wonder what the people who spent all that money over the years on Apple G4’s and G5’s are thinking now that their platform is heading fast towards being obsolete. In the near future, their choice will be to either run your current apps on Rosetta, the new Classic Environment of 2006-07, or ditch it for a more stable, cheaper, faster, more available Win or Lin platform–both of which probably have or will have more native software, and is still running a Pentium or equivalent anyway.
A smart person or organization would just buy/build AMD boxes and run whatever they want on it. I’m glad I never wasted money on a G5 or something of the like–should I need to take advantage of the next generation of computing power, all I have to do is swap out the motherboard/CPU on my desktop for a 64-bit combo. I guess a person with a G5 will have to store it away in the closet next to their Amiga 500.
1.- the moving of fedora to support PPC, mind something to apple!!, especialy in the market share, what is it, only the time say….
2.- this moving of apple was thinking long time ago, why take so long… and i think this move is strategy from apple to reduce the market of windows in one way that microsoft can’t stop them.
Why do I buy Intel Apple?
Look guys, Linux + MacOnLinux will do a job.
Why am I going to ditch Linux?
Linux is different player in the market.
SINCE “WE” OWNED IT
SO LONG APPLE
This is all Jobs preparing to take on Microsoft directly. x86 Macs will run Windows, removing the age-old obstacle to a larger user base. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the “but can I run my windows programs on it??” question from people who would otherwise use a mac. Why would you buy a normal PC when only Apple’s can run both OSes (yes and linux as well)? Apple will be making the big profits here, while MS tries to play catch-up. Then I suppose in the future, depending on the circumstances (how badly Microsoft is doing) Jobs will “unlock” OSX for all x86 PCs, thereby delivering a crushing blow to Gates and Co.
One more thing,
Apple can not survive without parasiting on GNU.
Please consider mutualism APPLE!
Then you will at least manage your market share.
None of which changes anything for linux, except using OSX will help linux go in a more innovative direction. It will live on.
Apple’s move into X86 architecture means absolutely nothing to current and future Linux users. I say that for a number of reasons:
1. Apple has a history of making these dramatic ‘architectural’ changes ever since the introduction of the Macintosh. As a former Apple user, I was caught TWICE (slow on the up-take) and had expensive near-new systems made obsolete and worthless overnight by such changes. This is one of the factors why people like me have been leaving the Apple community. Since moving to Windows/Linux, it has never happened.
2. Apple will probably install custom ROMs in their Intel hardware to stop people running OS-X on much cheaper hardware, so Apple will remain a more expensive option.
3. How many people purchase a MAC today because it runs on Power PC hardware? Not many I would guess. So the Intel hardware will not be a significant factor in the purchase decision.
4. There are generally good technical or financial reasons why one opts for MS Windows or Linux based systems. The decision to purchase an Apple MAC is generally made by the ‘heart’ – its a fashion accessory (like the iPod).
5. Look at OS-X, Windows XP and Linux (Ubuntu for example); where is the significant differences? They are all good GUI based operating systems. These days OS-X DOES NOT have an advantage over Windows or Linux.
6. Apple has continued to loose market share while Windows is stable or declining slightly and Linux is increasing. A change to Intel hardware WILL NOT alter this situation.
Apple still does not understand or know what it wants to be. Its best option is to get out of the PC systems business (unless it stays for home entertainment integration type systems) and concentrate on consumer products. It ought to concentrate on areas of smart design and innovation.
Linux will always be a good server OS
Apple remains a niche player (or gains a couple percentage points) with a new CPU platform.
Apple cannot compete with Dell or HP (and almost certainly not Lenovo once they get fully in the game) on price, inventory, and probably not on service (in terms of the number of customers they can handle compared to the larger companies.)
OSX is locked in to their hardware – even if it becomes cracked, that won’t help the average user that doesn’t run cracked software (unless Apple decides to OSS it.)
Linux will continue to innovate faster than Apple can, and OSX will run Linux stuff later than Linux, which means catch up.
While OSX has the best user interface, I have yet to see anyone PROVE that it is THE best operating system in ALL respects – especially in comparison to Linux.
Linux is not likely to be seriously affected by this – or at most have its rise delayed by a couple percentage points over the next five or ten years.
My prediction is just as valid as the article’s prediction. In other words, wait and see.
… and had expensive near-new systems made obsolete and worthless overnight by such changes.
I don’t get it. How did it become “worthless” overnight? Did it stop working? Did Apple sneak into your house one night and do something awful to it so you’d have to buy one of the newer machines?
>Buy a G5 now, and then replace it in two years if you feel >like it.
Yes, there is nothing like having the deep pockets of a Mac user. Hell, why wait two years if you can afford it? You could change it seasonally.
Why do I have the impression that Mac users have an Imelda-like shoe collection as well?
the open unixes will always be nice server box for the closet. Linux had a chance on the desktop about 3 years ago. too bad
Apple’s move to x86 is not a good one but it gives Linux an advantage. Many will be using Linux on their Macs and a fair share of former OS X users will switch. Linux might in fact become the standard OS on Macs.
Having recently (few months ago) purchased a Mac Mini to check out what all the excitement was about I must say I am now extremely conflicted (the FUD is beginning to sink in I guess).
To me this looks like the beginnings of a high tech version of the “Old Coke” versus “New Coke” debacle.
Apple’s move makes sense in that X86 is a more widely accepted (not necessarily better) and stable (consistent, I guess) platform. For the future this is a good thing maybe. But like “New Coke” the concept appears somewhat bland.
Some thoughts/fears/questions that are causing me angst (YMMV):
– Apple computers have had a certain unique design mystique that was easy to buy into (even if you were paying a premium). For me (and apparently for others) this is rapidly fading.
– It is harder to now commit time or more $$$ when I’m not sure where things are going. I can’t recommend Apple to my clients in the next 2 years – there is no guarantee of stability that I am willing to support (not that I am that experienced in OSX anyway).
– Down the road who’s to say that Apple won’t pull another big surprise. Apple always seems to be on the “revolutionary” side of change rather than “evolutionary”. This might be cool and trendy for Joe Sixpack and Stefan Artfart but somewhat alarming for businesses trying to maximize their computer investment. Apple does want to sell to businesses right? In fairness though the X86 move seems like a good move to a more longterm “stable” platform but at what short term cost?
– Given a level hardware playing field doesn’t the “Apple Premium” seem like a much harder sell? Margins are so much tighter in the X86 world. The competition is already established and very aggressive. It remains to be seen if Apple, as a hardware company can compete against vendors like Dell. Maybe licensing/branding is the way to go but ultimately then what’s the real incentive for a distributor?
– Longhorn may not be better than OSX but in 2 years it won’t be bad either. The question is will it really be worth the extra $$$ with less software relative to Windows for a proprietary platform? Apple’s R&D will be going into new stuff, legacy stuff and conversion stuff. The concern here is that innovation will slow down while Microsoft with more resources will keep improving.
– How are the smaller “bread and butter” developers going to react to this?
– What’s going to happen to the once loyal users who think that Apple has “sold out” or are peeved because they think (whatever the reality) their hw purchases have been rendered obsolete sooner than expected.
– What happens now? If things get bad can Apple survive the next few years on their other successes?
Sigh… I guess it’s time to wait and see what happens next maybe in the end it’s all sugar water anyway.
Now we have a nice server os (Linux) for the backroom and a rocking desktop Unix (OSX)
Is the delay until next year because it will require Intel VT on the processor to run? Requiring VT would probably lock out all existing machines. It would also be difficult to emulate on existing chips. VT specific shuts out AMD too.
The simple reason for requiring VT is to get MS Windows support. Windows would run in another VM. A virtual graphics card would then make it appear inside the Mac display.
Running an SMB server interally allows partitions to be shared.
Daemons in each OS could export the clipboard over a virtual network to make DND work. And do things like mouse handoff.
Any rumors of Apple working on a hypervisor?
How can you compare two commercial software products (MS Windows and Mac OSX) with a social movement (GNU/Linux)? A social movement cannot be measured with market share! GNU/Linux is free, it can peacefully co-exist on the same machine with a commercial OS, and an up-to-date version of GNU/Linux usually runs beatifully on a bit dated hardware while upgrading the commercial operating systems often requires upgrading hardware. GNU/Linux doesn’t compete with other operating systems — it is a non-exclusive alternative. Regardless of the commercial success and market share of other OS’s, GNU/Linux will keep providing a free alternative that is always easily available for anyone who likes to try it.
GNOME AND KDE BOTH SUCK.
Mac OX X, BeOS’ Desktop, Windows.. are all totally superior to kde and gnome.
If the OSS community produced something that was more lightweight and not bloated and stuff then it will be a serious competitor.
I use Linux desktops for basic stuff like internet access only computers or PCs that i want to restrict what users can put on it… basicly it’s really useful as a business PC or networking that uses like what? 1 or 5 apps at once???
They need something different or KDE and GNOME need to get their act together and stop worrying about the mono crap
You obviously have not compared the good x86 PCs and good PPC servers in terms of performance per price..
The principle of “you get what you pay for” is thrown out the door quickly…WHY DO YOU THINK APPLE SWITCHED? do you think they are retarded or something??! intel and apple go way back anyway
Say it outloud. MacOSX on x86 means nothing to any real linux user. We use linux because its part of our lives, what we beleive in. I could give a flip about macosx coming to x86; good for the Maccies.
It still doesn’t change that i can install a professional linux desktop or server for free. Come back to me when OSX is free and non-proprietary. Come back to me when OSX makes a good server platform and a good desktop at the same time, FOR FREE.
Once again, you cant compete with free. Linux has jack and squat to fear from this architecture change. Maybe linux can become the premier PPC OS now and actually show how powerful the arch is, god knows MacOSX couldn’t. (see the anandtech article from last week)
“Obviously it will be a negative for PPC Linux distros” The real application of linux on PPC wasn’t bi-curious mac users. Its what IBM is doing with their new blade technology. Not to mention that IBM could give a shit about PPC when they are throwing their weight behind their CELL processors in every possible application from the PS3 to getting a linux port for cluster farms.
As far as the decision to choose Mac OS, Windows or GNU/Linux is concerned nothing has changed at all.
I don’t care about Mac OS X. I will buy a PPC box before they go the dodo way, but I have to admit that this will only to try another kind of CPU than the x86 families. I prefer GNU/Linux for a host of reason. It sadden me though.
Everybody will end up running OpenSolaris on the desktop before Linux
An Apple on x86(_64) is easier to compare to other PC’s on equivalent Intel/AMD chipsets.GHZ myth is now permanently send to the land of fairytales.What matters now is how serious the OS deals with various security issues,how stable is it,and last but not least what does it look/feel like.This will most defenitely stimulate innovation,and who doesn’t want that?
Means more compitation!
1. Linux will struggle to match the UI of Mac and professional feel of Mac
2. Linux has come long way and still has not managed to really give a tough time to Windows desktop so fighting against the Mac desktop is atleast 3 years away.
3. If the Mac is available on x86 its time for MS people to worry and Linux can now more focus on Server side.
4. If at all Linux wants to fight against the Mac desktop then we have to adopt the X skills what Mac practics. Cause their is not compitation to UI of Mac as of now.
5. People who doesnt want to spend a penny can still stick to Linux and enjoy then have nothing to do with Mac switching to x86, for them it is just another choice on x86!
The most important reasons [for adopting Intel] are… as we look ahead we can envision some amazing products for you, and we can’t imagine how we will get there building them with the PowerPC chipset,” Jobs said.
He knows what he is on about, I look forward to further domination of the market with the Mac, it seems like a very good idea to me.
IS microsoft worrried? Don’t know, we’ll see over the next couple years how things go, sit tight people, strap yourselves in, this is gonna be one heck of a ride!
Having just got a 12″ iBook, just before tiger I am starting to get disapointed. As a student I have been unable to afford the upgrade and just as I am planning to get it (purely for XCode 2), they announce this. Now I am doubting OS upgrades near when I was planning the end of life for this laptop (07-08). As for now I am considering waiting for OS 10.5 and may upgrade then.
I have just been reading up on Objective-C and Cocca, but am starting to doubt the use in learning Mac specific APIs, because while they will be available on the x86 Mac I’m not sure that I will either be able to afford one or even want one.
As for how this will affect linux, well I expect that linux/ppc will get quite a boost as tons of people pick up old macs and turn them into linux boxen, so linux/ppc will surge for at least a short period.
For the longer term, I don’t see this directly affecting linux, some of the users of linux may switch to MacOS but I would have expected most of them to have switched already. I think linux/BSD/* will continue improving until one day when it is “good enough” that it isn’t really worth using anything else (probibly at least a decade away until it becomes a / the domenant platform). Considering the ammount of software that has already become standardized / Commoditized by Open Source one has to expect it to happen …. eventually.
I don’t expect apple to be around forever in the PC market, purely because it is too much work for too little profit. I expect that apple will build a platform then exit the market and licence vendors to produce the machines for that platform OR make MacOS a generic x86 OS and make there major money on professional tools (Final Cut Pro, etc) and Web Services (iTunes).
If like everyone is saying Apple will use openfirmware rather than the traditional BIOS, in order to allow Mac OS X only to run on Apple hardware, then Windows will not work. Windows currently requires drive information etc. from the BIOS.
I don’t see them using OpenBoot – it would require a total re-write for Intel. I would say the most likely senario will be the adoption of a customised EFI by Apple; this will allow them to source video cards from more suppliers rather than them needing to virtually re-write the video BIOS from scratch as to get it to work with OpenBoot.
Coupled with PCI-Express and numerous other advancements, it should be an interesting site to see, how they get everything working.
This is the day ive dreaded and yet now it is confirmed and here. This will destroy Apples hardware division. Even tho Apple will do its best to stop people from using Mac OS X on x86 machines I feel someone will crack that and it will spread. Its far easier to crack a bios check than rebuild all the libraries from PPC to x86. Being along side of Microsoft selling another operating system is going to spell doom for Apple. Alot of us have the skill to build an x86 Apple machine so why buy one? Just for Mac OS X? Well ill just crack it or load Linux on it, problem solved. This isnt a change in processer, this is now a platform change. Apple is now an IBM platform PC, running a Mac OS. No one sees what is going to happen? What is my drive to continue to stay with Apple? Its almost like Apple is conviencing the world to buy a IBM PC. Well thats it folks, Apple turned into a sellout. Looks like ill be loading Linux in 2007 after all.
I don’t see this news effecting Linux on desktops….
1) x86 folks who currently use Linux are happy to use it, mostly they complain, but they’d complain more if they had to purchase all the software, lol …no change.
2) x86 folks who currently don’t use Linux might still switch from grey-box XP to Linux desktop. …no change. (They do NOT have a third option of OSX on their grey box, not “officially”.)
3) PPC folks who currently use OSX/PPC have a choice too, they can switch to YD Linux or one of the other PPC distis.
For new hardware there’s also a choice :
1) Buy a Dell, run Linux, BeOS, BSD, XP etc
2) Buy a McIntel, run OSX
…and yes, of course the McIntel will be more expensive for essentially the same hardware, and yes it will be harder to justify the “difference”.
Apple will make it very difficult to go beyond these choices, they don’t want to compete with M$, and so they can’t afford to allow grey-box built installs.
A more expensive McIntel will use Intel DRM’d CPUs on a Apple DRM’d OS, not such a good choice when compared against Linux and it’s OpenSource goodness.
Speculation, However, my guess it that it will happen, but it’ll take time to perfect and Apple are quite happy to re-program the DRM tripwires, just look at the iPod and the carry on with Real Networks for evidence of this.
People will get pissed with this, and switch to Linux.
Oh, and don’t forget Linux will be WAY better by 2006!
Well, dual booting the Intel-Mac would be very expensive since you would have to pay retail price for Windows. So, first you have to pay a premium for the computer, and then you have to shell out for the OS.
It is of course a good feature, but I doubt that this would lure any customers that wants to try OS X but are uncertain that they would like it.
For the cost of dual booting (price premium + cost of Windows) you could probably buy a cheap Dell. Of course, then it’ll be just a cheap Dell, not a Mac. But I think most people won’t care as long as it’s cheap.
As a Linux user, all I have to say is:
– It runs on very cheap hardware
– It may be not as fancy as Mac OS X, but is good enough and better everyday
– KDE is awesome
– It’s Free Software, and so I trust the software I run
That’s why I will not switch to OS X
This is all good for linux. The more widespread Apple becomes, the more people will have the opportunity to pick up unix skills. They will eventually transition to linux, because linux offers more: the fact it’s open source from top to bottom gives you peace of mind that there’s nobody doing nasty things underneath you; I find gnome a nicer UI than aqua; you can easily run linux without having an interface running; and the hardware will always be cheaper for linux geeks because Apple will never try to compete against the cheap generic hardware that linux runs best on. That’s not to knock Apple – I have one sitting right here – but it’s not exactly the ultimate geek machine. However, it’s a really nice way to get to geekdom.
I would guess that this means that if PhotoShop, for example, gets ported to OS X intel, There is a real chance that Gnustep would run the PhotoShop as well. (ok, with a lot of library tweaking, but I suspect someone would be motivated to make the translation work)
I have a friend that converted to OS X about three years ago and he complained about the fact that a lot of Linux software just does not compile on OS X. I am guessing that this is less of an issue, but darwin ports lists 2,500 ports as compared to the 12,500 ports listed at freebsd.org and the 15,500 packages at debian
I don’t know that this won’t make it easier for Linux to claim even more UNIX marketshare, as more and more OS X apps are closer to running on Linux.
Gnome and KDE are slowly converging, GnuStep could enter the mix if it added applications that are in demand.
….no. Here we go. We’ve now got a lot of extremely stupid people who don’t know what is happening assuming that Mac OS X will run on any Intel box you can find.
What’s going to happen is that Apple is going to sell you a Mac PC for a far, far higher price than a white-box for no gain whatsoever, they’re going to lock Mac OS X to that hardware and they’re going to sue the arse off anyone that tries to run it on anything else. Doesn’t sound much of a competitor to me.
Apple is a very dead company unless they manage this well. All evidence and history says they won’t manage this well, nor even be aware of what it means.
What’s going to happen is that Apple is going to sell you a Mac PC for a far, far higher price than a white-box for no gain whatsoever, they’re going to lock Mac OS X to that hardware and they’re going to sue the arse off anyone that tries to run it on anything else. Doesn’t sound much of a competitor to me.
Yes, Apple won’t officially support generic PC hardware because they don’t have the drivers, because it would kill their hardware business, and because they need Microsoft’s Office. Therefore they’ll come down hard on anyone trying to sell PCs with MacOS pre-installed.
But they might quietly tolerate people hacking and installing OS X on their PCs, because that would be limited to a relatively small number of geeks who probably wouldn’t be buying Macs anyway. In fact, Apple might welcome the mindshare and the Darwin driver development they could gain from that.
No kidding? I think you’ll find they chase and shut down every website which even so much as hosts or links to a hacked driver or BIOS, yelling DMCA (whilst feverishly changing the DRM in the next “update” which kills all grey-boxed replicants – They do this with the iPod already).
This isn’t about Apple wanting you to run OSX on your greyboxen, no, this far far more curious, Apple side with Intel? I still can’t quite comprehend this one, but there are other things apprearing which make the whole thing even stranger….
OSX isn’t going to scare Linux, I think Linux already scared Apple, and maybe had something to do with the change….
1) Changes to the linux kernel for “The Broadband Processor Architecture (BPA)” [Read : Cell Processor]
2) Sony talking up the Cell and teasing with the prospect of a desktop – http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20050407/103542/
3) IBM’s support for Linux PPC
Apple’s PPC exclusivity suddenly looks wobbly, so they cut a deal with Intel and the rest is history.
Linux on Cell, no THAT’s REALLY interesting
“The percentage of Mac users using a Linux on PPC is way lower than the percentage of x86 users also using Linux. For example, 3% of all x86 users use Linux according to some recent stats, but less than 1% of the 3% of the Mac users use Linux (that’s 0.33%).”
Your logic is flawed. Apple was expensive, so to buy Apple in the sole pourpose to run linux was pretty ridiculous. Most of Apple users is not that computer savvy (the whole goal of Aple was to make OS easy). OS X is mostly for people who love Apple.
Again Intel or not, it will be proprietary hardware more expensive that white box so buying iMac (Intel-Mac) to run linux will make even less sense.
OS X on Intel will have exactly the same problems as on PowerPC: quite limited choice of the hardware, and slower that other OSes. So even it will be relatively faster that on PPC it will be still behind.
Most of the linuxers represent young generation, pretty much discovering/learning OS internals, people who like “tinkering”. For them linux cheaper and much more flexible is OS of choice.
In other words, The balance will stay for very long time.
You should not qoute yourself, I remember you bashing whiners who asked about iMac five years ago.
Also articularly if it is about MS because it was so obvious.
Redmond will support Apple as before because of the same reasons:
they need “competinion”.
Linux will be only in danger when MS stops to support Apple: this would mean that Apple is a menace for MS. So even more for linux.
In other words this was so predictable that “quoting yourself” is rather funny.
“For example, OSX just “works with the hardware” rather than “Gnome/KDE working on TOP of a kernel”. ”
That is because hardware for Apple is so limited, You can do that with linux too if buying hardware for linux. I never had compatibility problems because I knew what I need. Usually people are getting box with windows then eventually they try linux on the hardware that may not work.
“With Mac OS X’s great desktop experience, why would anyone use X11 and its DEs?”
This one is as subjective as possible.
I prefer Pisarro over Signac, so even Signac may be the best visual experience for you and that only means we prefer different estetics.
I don’t know if OS X will take over linux fans. I don’t care what other people are using.
Ther whole point is, that your argumentation is rather weak.
You’re forgetting the main lesson from Apple’s weaving in and out of traffic – if you’re tied to a single vendor they will yank your chain this way, yank your chain that way, waste your time and leave you screwed. That’s why FOSS will always be a great alternative.
I only wory about speed differences that I can notice without reading the specs. The Mini’s drive is fast enough. Is it slower than the drives in my Intel box? Of course. I do nothing that requires extensive disk use, so the speed of the drives in the Intel was wasted. I bought the Mini to do browsing and email at home, something I had been doing on the big, ugly, noisy and windy (6 fans) and hot Intel box (AMD, actually…).
I dual booted Mac OSX and Linux on a Powerbook for awhile. I removed Mac OS and haven’t looked back since.
OSXn will cost more than Linux and as such will only be competing with M$, not Linux. Additionally, it is not open source or free, as in beer or otherwise and will not stop the adoption of Linux, especially in developing countries and outside of North America.
OSX is a nice OS but a one button mouse just wont cut it
in 2006, will i be able to install a free linux distro and play mp3’s, movies, etc without configuring my package manager to look at the shady repository and download codecs, software, etc that might be illegal?
this is my biggest beef with linux right now. I know the multimedia issues, and inability to include browser plugins, etc is not “linux’s fault”. But the problem still exists. Like a friend of mine said: “linux is free if your time is worth nothing”
Microsoft releasing Windows 95 closed source
Microsoft releasing Windows 98 closed source
Microsoft releasing Windows 2k closed source
Microsoft releasing Windows XP closed source
Sun Microsystems releasing Solaris 10 their brand of “open source”
FreeBSD dying (not really) 🙂
OpenBSD having a remote exploit
The number of penguins per iceberg in Anartica
In other words, I don’t think _anyone_ will notice _anything_ except the people who write trade articles and host alarmist websites that like to claim any number of the above events will destroy Linux.
Of course, the best way for us Linuxers to deal with the competition is to come to the realization ….. There is no competition. (think Matrix)
in 2006, will i be able to install a free linux distro and play mp3’s, movies, etc without configuring my package manager to look at the shady repository and download codecs, software, etc that might be illegal?
You troll amaze me :
You are asking if in 2006, a problem which has nothing to do with Linux will be resolved, without using the solution available to you now ? Can’t you be at least subtle in your stupidity ?
this is my biggest beef with linux right now.
Obviously, as a good troll that can’t use his brain, you forgot to say that what you ask for is simply impossible in other OS (because other OS that include MP3, movie codecs are NOT free). But still Linux has to do it, of course. Amazing.
I know the multimedia issues, and inability to include browser plugins, etc is not “linux’s fault”. But the problem still exists. Like a friend of mine said: “linux is free if your time is worth nothing”
You are of course completely wrong. There ARE Linux distro that include these things in shrink-wrapped boxes (like Mandriva). You, as a pitiful freeloader, just don’t want to pay for them, you want it free, but don’t want to move a finger for it.
Fight for your right, instead of relying on others to do all the work for you.
Actually, what you and your friend should understand, is that “Linux is free if you have a brain”.
I find this way better than what I was experiencing with WinXP : “Windows is expensive if your time is worth nothing. If it’s worth sth, then it is even worse”.
Whether the switch to Intel is good or bad for Apple is totally up to Apple at this point. In the past they had the luxury of being the only player on PPC so they could get away with their BS overpricing. When you move onto x86 architecture, you now only have your OS as your sales motivation. If it is not vastly superior, another “as good as” OS for a cheaper price will outsell it.
With the way Apple is saying they are going to limit the supported hardware, that is a shot in the foot. NOONE survives on x86 without BROAD hardware support. There is plenty of history to support this claim.
The advantage I see for Apple to make a success, is they can get games ported much more easily now. This is the must have to survive. Games are the most overlooked aspect of home PC markets.
I have long been wanting to see OS X on x86, and now that it is possible, I will when the hack is out. I won’t buy expensive x86 crap to run an x86 OS. And I won’t buy and Intel proc, AMD BABY!!!!
The whole of this article collapses either if the Intel Macs aren’t significantly cheaper than the PowerPC Macs (or *much* faster than the PowerPC Macs for the same price) or if Windows can’t be run on the Intel Macs. I think at least one of these things will happen (most likely that Apple will keep the Intel price close to the PowerPC price).
It should be noted that people use Linux primarily because it’s cheap or free and runs on all sorts of hardware architectures – neither can be said of either Windows or Mac OS X. Hence, I don’t think Intel Mac OS X will change much in the market compared to PowerPC Mac OS X – to the average user out there, they care about the user interface and the range of apps available…and this will be roughly the same (in fact, initially, it’s probably going to be worse on the Intel Macs !). The fact that the CPU will have changed only matters w.r.t. the number of apps available for the new CPU (and with emulation and fat binaries, gaps will soon be filled).
Conclusion: This switch will keep Mac OS X at status quo w.r.t. market share and I don’t see mass defections in either direction.
Since OS X will only run on hardware blessed by Apple, the fact that Apple’s hardware now uses an x86 CPU really isn’t that important. There’s still a barrier to entry, namely the requirement to purchase Apple hardware.
I use Linux myself for a number of reasons:
* it’s a low cost solution.
* it runs on hardware I already own.
* specialized versions exist to solve my specific problems.
* it’s relatively free from corporate interests.
Apple’s operating system doesn’t address any of those things.
Apple has been using pc hardware for a long time now, so it was just a matter of time before they switched cpu-plattform as well. Companies such as Adobe will now rush their programmers to create OSX-x86 versions of their software (which now will be a much, much simpler task), making an x86 OSX a true alternative to Windows. I think the software giants just were waiting for Apple to make the switch, which is why they haven’t bothered to make Linux versions of their applications. If they really thought that Linux would kill Windows, we would have Photoshop, Freehand or even 3D Studio Max for Linux.
Future PC games will now be able to run on both Windows and OSX, without OSX users having to wait 18 months for the ported version.
As Anandtech noted on their latest OSX/Linux/Windows-test, OSX is no good on servers, due to the microkernel architecture – so I think this will be the domain of Linux (which will be the preferred server OS instead of Solaris).
I think Apple might be able to limit/cripple attempts of a hacked OSX ISO reaching the interweb, simply because only a small subset of “supported drivers” will probably be made available to run on Apple produced machines. Who would bother installing it on a Dell/HP/No-name box if their video/sound card won’t be detected? I could be wrong, but I doubt Windows drivers could be used by OSx86
I agree with you on most of your points there. I too would have picked AMD instead – not only is their CPU architecture fairly stable, they absolutely cane Intel chips.
I don’t think games will save Apple though. Windows is the dominant PC gaming platform, and already uses commodity hardware (ATI, nVidia). Apple can’t offer anything extra.
I think Apple’s workstation will be a failure, reminiscent of the Intel-based SGI Visual Workstations (remember them?). The only thing that might save Apple is application exclusivity, but that’s a fairly thin wedge these days, and may get even thinner.
Without an exclusivity agreement, it wouldn’t take much for Photoshop and Premier to find their way onto Linux, giving those application vendors a widening market. You could soon see the likes of BOXX Technologies selling Adobe-based DCC workstations, workstations that now run a stable OSS operating system.
Apple themselves remind me of a small version of SGI – hanging on for dear death as best they can…:-(
well apple’s hardware, now that its going x86. will be a full fledged pc. with nearly standard hardware. but probably a special bios. that enables osX. if the motherboard goes bad, you still can’t just buy a new motherboard. you will have to go to apple. this is what makes running a mac less desirable. And the switch to x86 processors has not fixed it.
“The advantage I see for Apple to make a success, is they can get games ported much more easily now. This is the must have to survive. Games are the most overlooked aspect of home PC markets. ”
since when did apple get directx? most games require that.
changing processors only means apple will have to recompile programs that are already written for mac to work with mac intel.
its not going to speed up writing games for mac. unless you count the compile time which is likely to be faster on the x86 hardware
Linuxites spend way too much time on Linux, and not enough on APPLICATIONS. Major players must come over to Linux or Linux reamins a cool hobby and not a major OS contender. This means applications for the arts, music and video mainly, because Linux is already okay for minor processing, browsing, writing, etc.
Apple? Eff Apple, and Jobs, and their “special hardware”. That company is every bit the monopoly Microsoft is, just smaller. Waiting, waiting, waiting for the “Mac version” of some piece of software to come out, often a yer after the Windows version. I won’t buy into it. I detest Bill Gates and MS, but will stick with the “devil I know”, until Linux gets its act together. There is no reason Linux/BSD can’t evolve into something amazing, in the same way Mac OS did using the same foundations.
I could argue with almost every statement in that article, but the important issue, and the one the article omits, is the reason people choose linux.
Linux is not just good software, its a community and a free (virtual) world. Apple can choose whatever chip they like, they cannot offer everything linux offers.
And to say there are usually two main players is nonsense. Are there only two car manufacturers making good profits?? Of course not. No offence to the author, but that article is badly thought through and full of holes.
3% marketshare. Linux has around 6%. You guys can post editorials that say that Apple will somehow hurt Linux all you want, but it won’t make it true.
It’s more likely that this will hurt Apple’s share than anyone else’s.
Everyone’s thinking Apple will be building near-PC clones after the switch. I suspect this assumption is incorrect. Instead, I anticipate an x86 architecture quite different from the standard Dell fare. Apple has always seen one of its advantages as being able to tightly integrate the OS with the hardware. This won’t be possible if they simply adapt OS X to the standard PC architecture.
While it is correct to say that the G5 is (in most respects) a superior chip to the P4, Jobs noted in his keynote address that there was some unspecified future development on the Intel roadmap that eclipsed IBM’s coming offerings. I suspect we’re talking multicore processors – IBM’s Cell chip would probably present many of the same challenges Apple would face moving to Intel so it was a good time for them to consider a switch.
As far as I am told this announcement does not mean that osx will be installable on whitebox/dell/hp/lenovo etc. So that kinda of blows your theory out of the water. All they are doing is changing a processor. nothing more.
Youve got Apple(the hardware and the OSX)
Youve got Lemon(Microsoft) and youve got the penguin. This event is not comparable.
The OSX and windows are the same thing with the exception on a pretty interface. Linux isnt about being pretty, or being able to make a pretty picture, its about the user. Anyone who sees Linux for what it is, wouldnt even question not using Linux.
before this switch, Mac was at least somwhat configurable, and user friendly, but this is just them jumping onto the commercialized boat. I believe this move will only make Linux on the desktop as people are going to stop paying thousands of dollars for pretty machines that dont let them “work with the computer”.
people complained about the monopoly microsoft was, and how rediculous it was to have one company distribute so much of its product as it was the only company that made / sold that product. Now x86 are going to have even more market share and will be able to do whatever they want with their own pricing.
There is nothing about this event that will hinder Linux’s growth on the Desktop, in fact, I believe it will expedite the whole process.
I really can’t see the two players in
Consumer Food Retail
Which are the 2 player markets
left and right hand side driving on the roads?
Most people in the world can not afford a computer today and the choice for new consumers in Asia, Africa, South America and Eastern Europe is linux computers.