Originally Posted by Mr. Me
Where to begin?
You should have stopped there.
Despite having transitioned the Macintosh to new processors about 20 years ago and again in 2006, your position appears to be that it is not possible to do so again. Suffice it to say, I disagree. I will repeat a statement made above: Power Mac G3s ran MC68040 code faster in emulation than Macintosh Quadras ran it natively.
Anything is possible, I don't think anybody would disagree with that. The problem is in the results.
As for Intel code, the emulator does not have to emulate every aspect of the Intel processor. It need only emulate every aspect of the processor required by Macs. Lest you forget--and it appears that you have forgotten--MacOS X does not require the special features of the Intel x86 or any other processor.
Actually you are totally wrong here, the emulator has to emulate the processor precisely for user apps. That is where the problem lies, i86 is not clean to emulate at all. Emulation of 68K and PPC was relatively easy but more importantly the processor doing the emulation in each case was significantly faster. Nothing ARM based at this point is significantly faster than Intels offering.
It is unclear why you bother to mention the fact that Rosetta does not run 68k code. This fact undercuts your argument--badly. Only Classic required 68k code emulation. When Apple made the decision to switch its computers to Intel x86, it finalized its decision to drop Classic. A small fraction of the customer base still required Classic, but Apple was willing to accept any lost sales from this group in favor of the potential upside. The upside drove Apple to the No. 1 position among the Planet's corporations.
Err there is no cause and effect here to justify your position above.
A point about DarWINE. DarWINE was the project to port WINE to PPC-based Macs prior to the Intel transition. The project planned to integrate the Qemu x86-emulator into DarWINE. This work was abandoned after Apple switched to x86.
Yes and what happened to that bit of software. When it comes right down to it software emulation is a waste of time. All those man hours would have been more productively used writing apps. Effectively DarWine was a big waste of time.
If Apple transitions the Mac line to a non-Intel processor, there will be no issue with with processor emulation for WINE. WINE will use the Mac's built-in x86 emulator. The issue with WINE the new non-Intel Macs will be what is on all supported platforms. WINE is a clone of a subset of Windows APIs and cannot run all Windows applications.
Wishful thinking. Wishful in the sense that such an emulator would produce any sort of respectable results. Currently the best emulator of i86 on ARM can only get 40% of the performance of a native ARM app and that is under ideal conditions. It is important to realize that that is relative to a native ARM app.
I have no doubt that Apple is looking at ARM as a possible evolutionary path for the computers it sells but I really don't see emulation as the path they will follow here. They will simply give software authors 60 days or so to get their apps to run native or pull them from the App Store. The alternative would be compiling to LLVM byte code with the final translation on the device. Emulation is really technology from the last century.
Can a Mac based on a non-Intel processor run Windows? Of course. Can it run Windows as well as an Intel-based Mac? Of course not. If Apple drops Intel, then it means that Apple has decided that Windows is just not that important anymore. Therein lies your objection. For Apple predicate its future on the assumption that Windows is passé is too much for some people to bear.
No it really has nothing to do with that. It has to do with people solving real problems with the Windows environment with legacy software that doesn't go away just because Apple wants it to. However there is another issue, running an emulator for user land Mac apps is one thing, it is far far more difficult to emulate an Intel chip in way that is suitable for an operating system and the wide range of software that is supported at the OS level.
I'm not saying it is impossible, I'm just saying the results would be so bad on ARM that nobody would want it thus it is a waste of time.