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AMD hammer switch

post #1 of 29
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<a href="http://www.amdzone.com/articleview.cfm?ArticleID=1212" target="_blank">http://www.amdzone.com/articleview.cfm?ArticleID=1212</a>

Maybe this has already been posted in another thread but it seems like Apple is going to have ample choice ...
post #2 of 29
Interesting read.
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post #3 of 29
It is somewhat interesting to hear the opinions of an outsider but the guy really doesn't have any information. He draws a conclusion about the future of Apple because Apple hasn't commented on something. As we all know, Apple never comments on future products. The report he refers to was a joke. I'm not sure what the PowerPC 64 he refers to is. Apple will have CPUs from Motorola and IBM to choose from. These should be at least on a par with those available from AMD or Intel. The disruption in Apple's business if it switched to x86 CPUs would be so large it would take a catastrophe to push them to make that choice. Intel would have to come out with a processor with 10x better throughput consuming 0.5W and selling for $10. Or Motorola and IBM would have to stop making PPC chips.
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post #4 of 29
I'd assume that the PowerPC 64 is the 970. The reporter doesn't realise the magnitude of this point: what happens to all the old OS9 apps and third party OSX apps?.
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post #5 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by Stoo:
<strong>I'd assume that the PowerPC 64 is the 970. The reporter doesn't realise the magnitude of this point: what happens to all the old OS9 apps and third party OSX apps?.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Old OS 9 applications of course would not run on any x86 implementation of OS X. Third party OS X applications would be recompiled after any endian issues were identified and resolved (which for most programs is quite simple to do).
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post #6 of 29
So Mr. Moki,

I think your life has been good enough untill now. Let's see some NDA busting postage in here: ever seen a working OSX on AMD (main CPU) prototype?
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post #7 of 29
You know, one thing that scares me is that I've never seen Moki criticize, or even have any problem with, the notion of Apple moving to AMD.

That can't just be coincidence. (sigh)
post #8 of 29
Look, we can get all hot and bothered but we ain't going to AMD. At least...

...not for a while. Certainly not while the X migration is still fragile, and certainly not while THE 80% OF MAC USERS are still in 9. They need an upgrade path, which is Classic.

Moki is great, but let's not start reading his mind and divining from bird entrails and sh!t like that.

And yes--the author of that article knows very little about Macs.
post #9 of 29
KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid.

Apple COULD move to Hammer, but it would be easier to go with the (PowerPC 970) flow.

If Moki breaks his NDA, he won't ever recieve another one to sign. And then he will not be able to "intelligently speculate" ever again. Is that what you want, is it? I know, the answer is yes.

"Apple hasn't announced anything so that means they are still considering" (paraphrase). HUH? Since when did (the Steve J.) Apple ever pre-announce future CPU plans???

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post #10 of 29
Well...it's the old x86 chicken and egg thing.

I wouldn't rule it out. An x86 transition might be tricky now after developers have 'just' got round to 'X'ing everything...well 'almost' everything. However...what about in two years time? Nothing in the computer industry is cast in stone.

Who'd a thought of a digital appliance for x86?

Now, come on, who'd a funk of iPod on Dell's webstore? Think the impossible (Apple's next ad' slogan?)

There are x86 whispers now. There may be a grain of truth in these chinese whispers.

However, Apple themselves are saying PPC is what they're doing right now.

Recent interview has a quasi-quavering conviction about the PPC. An almost 'temporary' tone.

Apple seem to be making it perfectly clear that once the transition to 'X' is complete then OS is quite portable. And when Apple themselves start talking like that then people should take note!

What does that mean? It may mean that if Moto or IBM start dickin' them around in the future...they'll move to someone who wants their business!

It may mean Apple will offer the 'X' on more than one processor.

'X' on x86 Hammer? A gut part of me still can't rule it out. Especially if, somehow, it's part of 'diversifying' strategy that is concurrent with PPC.

There's a large Linux crowd on x86. Maybe Apple wants a slice of the cake with 'X' on Hammer x86? They only have to sell alot of boxes with a 'temporary' solution to get their foot in the door. Things change in I.T very quickly.

Take Apple's Xserve. From 0% to right behind Sun M S. Apple now has a slice of the server market. Who'da ever funk it..?

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post #11 of 29
You know, Apple could migrate the xServe to an AMD chip--that's kind of crazy, but since they don't have to worry so much about legacy apps, it isn't totally nutso.
post #12 of 29
Hey, long time lurker, first time poster.

Question: wouldn't Apple have to scrap the Carbon API's for a x86 change over? Not everyone is getting on the Cocoa bandwagon it seems in the developer arena. Wouldn't that make a switch even more painful?
post #13 of 29
I'd rather have a PowerPC Mac running at 75% the of the equivalent (did I spell that right?) x86 computer and _know_ it works than an AMD-x86 Mac that for some reason doesn't like my graphics card of choice.

Anyhow, for all I know the PowerPC architecture is really nice and shouldn't have problems keeping up with x86 once that elusive 970 is out. Having said that, I run a 700mhz Athlon at home because I couldn't afford a Mac back when I was shopping for a home computer. And it runs fine so unless something breaks for good I'm going to keep using it. After that, I'll get a Mac.
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post #14 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by Sifl:
<strong>Hey, long time lurker, first time poster.

Question: wouldn't Apple have to scrap the Carbon API's for a x86 change over? Not everyone is getting on the Cocoa bandwagon it seems in the developer arena. Wouldn't that make a switch even more painful?</strong><hr></blockquote>

The Carbon API would survive more or less unscathed. In fact, abstracting the libraries away from one CPU architecture would be a great reason to dump some of the cruftier bits of Carbon included for legacy compatibility, and streamline it into its emerging role as the low-level system API.

OS 9 would fail to run, and Classic apps would have to run under emulation to run at all. But Apple's done CPU emulators before.

I still don't really see the point of doing this, except perhaps to allow Apple to release a big, hot 3D powerhouse to tide them over until the 970 shows up (and maybe beyond - a lineup that went from G4 and Athlon to 970 and Opteron probably wouldn't piss too many people off. But there is no possibility that the whole line will go x86. The G4 is a much better choice for notebooks and iMacs (and soon iBooks).

Video card compatibility and the like should not be a problem: There are a lot of reasons why PC hardware can be so finicky, and the CPU is rarely one of them.
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post #15 of 29
You all know Apple will never go AMD or Intel. The future belongs to the 970 alone and maybe some G4s for the iMac,PowerBook,etc. Really all Apple is doing is replacing Moto with Big Blue and hopping they don't run into the same scaling problems Moto had with the G4. I think the 970 will do better though.
post #16 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by CommonSense:
<strong>You know, one thing that scares me is that I've never seen Moki criticize, or even have any problem with, the notion of Apple moving to AMD.

That can't just be coincidence. (sigh)</strong><hr></blockquote>

i think this is because moki hasn't to be afraid about something which could hurt him or ambrosia-sw -&gt; he's a very good programmer and therefore wouldn't have a problem with coding for os x on x86... BUT i don't think that apple will make this step. just if they can't sell any machines themselves and i don't see this happen anytime soon (or late)
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post #17 of 29
Apple wouldn't be any happier being at the whim of IBM's fickle management, than they are Motorola's. Six of one, half dozen of another. Big Blue and Apple have had their share of bad blood.

The PPC 970 is very definitely a prime candidate for the next generation of Macs, but the one variable that no one seems to be able to hammer down (no pun intended) is the price range. If this chip ends up costing $1000 or more, that's going to put Apple in a real bind. They need to either keep the prices in check and boost performance in a big way, or even lower them a little more and boost performance.

Increasing the price of all Power Macs by $500 or more isn't going to help their bottom line - no matter how well the machines perform. Especially in a lousy economy (if we're still in one a year from now - who knows with all this war on terror crap going on).

This much is certain: if Apple ever DOES go to an AMD solution, they will still be designing the accompanying hardware - and they'll still be the sole producer of the machines themselves. One thing Apple MUST have in order to pull off an OS X to x86 switch, is control over the hardware environment. There has to be standardization in terms of the video and audio, in terms of the bus topology and other critical factors. Otherwise, the famed reliability and crash-proofness of OS X is going to take a big hit.

They will *need* every conceivable selling point for getting x86 hardware types (not to mention... US) to move to OS X, and one of the very biggest is the stability / crash-proof thing. No Windows OS comes close to matching OS X's uptime. If they lose that to any meaningful degree, they lose their leverage IMO. Early on, there is no way that software and peripheral choices will be a selling point because Windows platforms will clearly have more choices for the first year or so.

It likely won't be price either. I still think Apple's machines - AMD or not - will be pricier than typical Dell PCs. That's not to say the prices won't go down - they will. Significantly. But they'll likely still be higher than what Dell can afford to sell their stuff at today, for example. [Apple must build the hardware, but they must also recoup their R&D expenditures to some degree.]

Bear in mind also: Apple giving the appearance of going to AMD serves [right now] to do only one thing - light a fire under the ass of Motorola and IBM. If they leave PPC, those companies lose some big business. Even if they butt heads with Apple, they still want Apple's money. Until now they had Steve by the nuts, but it appears that role might be reversed in the next 12 months depending on new developments from Apple and the % of users who have moved to X by next summer.

I've always thought OS X on x86 was one of the dumbest ideas I'd ever heard. Mostly because developers like Adobe would be forced to port their applications [to a new platform] *again* - even after all the migraines of moving to OS X at the behest of Steve. Do they really want to spend on the [human resources and money] required to do this, all for a market that technically doesn't exist yet - [or go through another "We STILL don't have Photoshop for (OS X on Hammer)" from Steve??]

It all hinges on the developers. If Adobe says "no, we're not going to build apps for OS X on Hammer until you have so many million users in the design market running this hardware" - Apple can't do it. Period. It's [would be a] catch-22. Developers would't do it until there are a critical mass of users on the new platform - users wouldn't go to the new platform until developers were on board.

If someone can explain how Apple could manage to solve that problem without forcing developers to take a financial hit, I'm all ears. Even so, it seems Apple now might be forced into this, depending on the price of the 970. Things they are a changin'.

(edited for additional thoughts / grammar)

[ 11-01-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #18 of 29
I really like the Opteron, or rather the idea of it (since they haven't really shown anything of substance yet). If the actual chip turns out as expected it's going to be a monster. Nevertheless, I would feel much more comfortable with Apple moving to IBM for now.

I put off building my new PC for 6 months because I wanted to put an Opteron in it. Then, AMD announced that the chip would be delayed. Then, at the Microprocessor Forum they stated that the Opteron was initially being "de-emphasized" for the desktop in favor of server applications. I'm not really certain what's going on with the chip, but it's not really encouraging that there continue to be delays. All other issues (recompilation, etc.) aside, I think that Apple would be better off with IBM for now.

Maybe AMD shouldn't have cozied up to Motorola. You sleep with dogs and you get fleas, you know!
post #19 of 29
I've been thinking about this for a long time. x86 chips are cheap, fast, and plentiful. Apple already uses standard PC components throughout its architecture. DDR 2700, PC-100/133, PCI, AGP, USB, Ethernet, IDE, etc. The only main core NON PC component is the CPU. If the Marklar rumors are true, Apple even has an x86-capable OS.

Now software... Adobe, Microsoft, Macromedia, Quark, Intuit... You name it. Nearly ALL Mac software developers also develop for Wintel. Imagine if these companies could maintain a single code-base to support all platforms. Theoretically, the hardware is the same. I know there's much more to software development than targeting the hardware, but that's just one less thing to worry about.

Suppose it's possible to compile apps from the OSX dev tools to Windows and all other *NIXes. To some degree that functionality already exists, does it not? Perhaps Apple takes the 'digital hub' concept to software development. What if OSX was the best dev environment for creating Windows apps?

Now... Add the oft-rumored Windows compatibility layer to OSX. So we get 'Classic' through emulation, OSX native, and Windows much like we now get Classic. Suddenly you have your choice of OS on your box WITHOUT partitioning. Now your Mac CAN run the latest and greatest games - on time and at speed. That alone would open the Mac platform to all of my friends who haven't yet switched.

Sure, Apple would probably have to license from Microsoft - but Apple sells Boxes, Microsoft sells software. Nothing changes, except they both gain new markets. MS has more access to Apple's 5%, while Apple gains admittance to Window's 95%. Good trade. Does MS care? Not if they get their cut.

Moving away from the Desktop, we enter into Workstations and Servers. With this Apple uses Power4/5s and PowerPC 97x.

Take these multi-core chips, stick a bunch in a box with lots of fans, and utterly dominate high-end graphics/science/CAD/editing/etc. Get high-end graphics card makers to supply video cards, ensure Maya, Photoshop, FCP, Shake, AVID, Lightwave, et al run amazingly fast and reliable in these boxes, and you own the graphics market. (Just make sure Apple kills cheap Linux boxes on the performance front. - Unless they buy Apple Workstations, then load Linux on them. That's fine, too.)

With servers, continue to produce fast, reliable servers/render-farms/clusters for the Workstation & Desktop customers AND license OSX Server to Big Blue to run in their Low to Mid-Range servers. Or, better yet, BUILD servers for IBM. They seem more interested in services anyway. Same chips, same tech, same market. Why not?

One last thing... I know hobbyists like to built their own kit. I do. Only ship iApps with systems, and sell the OS alone. Sales of iApps might make up the difference in lost hardware margin. Perhaps they also opt to sell there own Motherboards, or better yet an assortment of first-rate computer enclosures. No? Just a thought.

None of this is likely to happen, given. Some of it isn't even possible. It does, however, illustrate that Apple COULD use Intel/AMD chips without going out of business or losing its identity. IBM successfully sells multiple OSes on multiple hardware platforms. Why couldn't Apple?
post #20 of 29
I don't like the idea of the Hammer.

A 64-bit update to the Athlon core with onboard memory and hypertransport.

Same idea as the near-mythical G4.5, take a bandwidth starved core and give it more bandwidth.

Except the G4.5 doesn't need to be 64-bit as the PowerPC/VMX ISA doesn't suck.

AMD took the easy way out, and they may regret it.

The Pentium4 may only dispatch 1 instruction/cycle, but its effeciency (sustained processing closer to peak) and very high clock speeds beat the Athlon.

Increasing bandwidth may help AMD, but without better manufacturing and an new core, the Hammer might be a financial black hole.

Barto

[ 11-02-2002: Message edited by: Barto ]</p>
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post #21 of 29
"I've been thinking about this for a long time. x86 chips are cheap, fast, and plentiful."

Fast, yes. As fast as the PowerPC 970 will be, no. x86 is more expensive than the G4.

"Apple already uses standard PC components throughout its architecture. DDR 2700, PC-100/133, PCI, AGP, USB, Ethernet, IDE, etc. The only main core NON PC component is the CPU."

Standard ≠ PC. Apple has every reason to use standards to make upgrades and devices work on both Macs and PCs, but if they are going to use an radical OS, they may as well use the best CPU. Which Apple believes is the PowerPC (in a long-term vision).

"If the Marklar rumors are true, Apple even has an x86-capable OS."

They are true. Replace the PPC Mach kernel with a x86 Mach kernel in the OS X CD, and boot in a PC system. It boots until "your CPU is not supported". Apple DVD Player.app has a line of code; "Disable Debug PIII PIV ATHLON". There is big rumors inside Apple of the implications of Marklar.

"Now software... Adobe, Microsoft, Macromedia, Quark, Intuit... You name it. Nearly ALL Mac software developers also develop for Wintel. Imagine if these companies could maintain a single code-base to support all platforms. Theoretically, the hardware is the same. I know there's much more to software development than targeting the hardware, but that's just one less thing to worry about."

I want applications with a Mac OS X interface. If I want Windows apps, I'll run Windows. If I have taste and want good interfaces in applications, I'll buy Mac OS X. What your proposing eliminates the key advantage Macs have over Wintel. ITS ABOUT THE SOFTWARE, AND MAC SOFTWARE IS BETTER.

"Suppose it's possible to compile apps from the OSX dev tools to Windows and all other *NIXes. To some degree that functionality already exists, does it not? Perhaps Apple takes the 'digital hub' concept to software development. What if OSX was the best dev environment for creating Windows apps?"

I've thought of that myself... It would be a possible direction for Apple. Instead of DevTools being necessary for Mac OS X, DevTools 2 would be THE development environment for Wintel, Linux and Mac OS X. Maybe an Apple HIDE (Hardware Integrated Development Environment) which accepts x86 and PowerPC CPU cards, but moving the entire Mac platform across to x86 has been discussed to death. It ain't happening anytime soon.

"Sure, Apple would probably have to license from Microsoft - but Apple sells Boxes, Microsoft sells software. Nothing changes, except they both gain new markets. MS has more access to Apple's 5%, while Apple gains admittance to Window's 95%. Good trade. Does MS care? Not if they get their cut."

Apple does what IBM tried to to. Sell boxes with a Windows compatible OS. That failed. People buy Windows because they are sheep. Sheep won't buy Mac OS X if it runs Wintel apps, because it is still different. The only way Apple will, without becoming a PC-clone maker, ever get marketshare over 10% is if Microsoft collapses.

"Take these multi-core chips, stick a bunch in a box with lots of fans, and utterly dominate high-end graphics/science/CAD/editing/etc. Get high-end graphics card makers to supply video cards, ensure Maya, Photoshop, FCP, Shake, AVID, Lightwave, et al run amazingly fast and reliable in these boxes, and you own the graphics market. (Just make sure Apple kills cheap Linux boxes on the performance front. - Unless they buy Apple Workstations, then load Linux on them. That's fine, too.)

With servers, continue to produce fast, reliable servers/render-farms/clusters for the Workstation & Desktop customers AND license OSX Server to Big Blue to run in their Low to Mid-Range servers. Or, better yet, BUILD servers for IBM. They seem more interested in services anyway. Same chips, same tech, same market. Why not?"

A more practical approach would be to license Mac OS X to the entire IBM range of workstations. IBM does that kind of hardware better than Apple probably could.

"One last thing... I know hobbyists like to built their own kit. I do. Only ship iApps with systems, and sell the OS alone. Sales of iApps might make up the difference in lost hardware margin. Perhaps they also opt to sell there own Motherboards, or better yet an assortment of first-rate computer enclosures. No? Just a thought."

Suppose Apple introduced a low-key (only known about in the enthusiast world) motherboard and OEMs are prevented from using them. It would have to be totally unsupported motherboard, but even then a large chunk of mac-dom would probably start to use them.

Maybe an expensive developer motherboard could be sold, costing $500 or so. Only the true enthusiast would shell out that much. It would take standard PowerPC CPU cards.

"None of this is likely to happen, given. Some of it isn't even possible. It does, however, illustrate that Apple COULD use Intel/AMD chips without going out of business or losing its identity. IBM successfully sells multiple OSes on multiple hardware platforms. Why couldn't Apple?"

Because IBM sells crap Wintel PCs, decent Wintel laptops, Linux/i386 entry-level servers and workstations and PowerPC high-end servers and workstations.

They are all in totally different markets. The only market Apple isn't in is the very-high end. Why not just sell IBM a Mac OS X Server license and have that base covered.

Barto
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post #22 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by Barto:
<strong>....

A more practical approach would be to license Mac OS X to the entire IBM range of workstations. IBM does that kind of hardware better than Apple probably could.

....</strong><hr></blockquote>How many people remember that Steve Jobs licensed NeXTSTEP to IBM back in the late '80s or early '90s? I wonder if that agreement is still in effect.
post #23 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by Sifl:
<strong>Hey, long time lurker, first time poster.

Question: wouldn't Apple have to scrap the Carbon API's for a x86 change over? Not everyone is getting on the Cocoa bandwagon it seems in the developer arena. Wouldn't that make a switch even more painful?</strong><hr></blockquote>

No -- Carbon is an API just like Cocoa is -- there is no reason both of them cannot be endian-safe, and "just work" on any processor architecture -- the hard stuff is handled by the kernel.

The largest obstacle to having code work properly on x86 vs. PPC is handling the fact that the processors handle their register internal differently. Let's say you have this text (read in as a 32 bit integer) in a register on the PPC:

ABCD

That's four bytes of ASCII, sitting in a 32 bit PPC register. On an x86 machine, it would be in the register as:

DCBA

The thing is, this only comes into play when reading something from an external source -- either a file or a from a network packet. So you just need code to make sure that you swap the endianess of what you're reading in -- from then on, everything else "just works"

Since many file formats are already platform-neutral, many of these issues have already been solved for major applications. Any Mac software that reads files in that also work on the PC are handling the endian issues in one manner or another already -- the same with any Mac games that can play networked PC games.

I don't mean to trivialize the problem -- certainly application authors who are not xplat minded will have some work to do in order for their applications to behave properly, but it isn't rocket science.

Carbon is just an API like any other API -- some are cross platform, some aren't -- if they designed it in a processor neutral way, then there's no reason it can't work on any computer architecture. That's one of the reasons you use an API -- let the OS vendor take care of the nasty details for you.

People who have been tracking Apple's move from "The Toolbox" to Carbon will note, no doubt, the inclusions of accessors for low memory globals, and also accessor function for getting at system data structure information (such as a window record).

This allows the API to be more portable, because the details of how the data is stored is hidden from the calling application -- system calls return the information to you in a known format that you can just use.

The work that application developers would have to do would be mostly just ensuring they didn't make endian assumptions when reading in their own file formats or network packets.
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post #24 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by moki:
<strong>I don't mean to trivialize the problem -- certainly application authors who are not xplat minded will have some work to do in order for their applications to behave properly, but it isn't rocket science.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I think a nice example of how "hard" it is to port software would be the Blender 3D package - they have a 3D realtime animation package that is less than a 2mb download (by now opensource, GPL, so you you all can have a look at the <a href="http://www.blender.org" target="_blank">www.blender.org</a> website). It runs on anything from x86 PCs (Windows/Linux) to Sparc, PowerPC and MIPS architectures. When they started out in 1998 their motto was "You want a port - send us a free hardware kit and we port it for you in a few days max."

When the first PowerPC Linux port was made the developer (Daniel Dunbar, extremely talented, imho) simply moved the source to the machine and asked "So, is it big or small endian?" and had it compile shortly after that. Oh and there even was an iPaq port around.

Btw, Apple is one of the main sponsors of the Blender Foundation - they recieved a nice dual ghz XServe to host the site on.
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post #25 of 29
Whether Carbon can be made to work on the other platform or not, asking developers like Adobe or Macromedia to build OS X apps for x86 means more work for them, not less. Their Win32 code bases will remain separate from any future Mac OS code base, just like they are now. The APIs will remain different, the interfaces will remain different, etc.

Again, until someone can give a logical reason why 3rd party developers like Adobe or Aspyr or Filemaker will want to spend the time and money to port their apps *again*, for an OS that will have a significantly smaller user base than even OS X right now ... I can't see how this will possibly materialize. It's just not practical - especially in slow economies.

And the idea of Win32 apps running on OS X makes me ill. I don't want to run apps with crappy Windows interfaces; I paid for and use OS X for a reason. As someone else pointed out earlier - if I want to use Windows programs I'll buy a Windows box.
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post #26 of 29
[quote]""Now software... Adobe, Microsoft, Macromedia, Quark, Intuit... You name it. Nearly ALL Mac software developers also develop for Wintel. Imagine if these companies could maintain a single code-base to support all platforms. Theoretically, the hardware is the same. I know there's much more to software development than targeting the hardware, but that's just one less thing to worry about."

I want applications with a Mac OS X interface. If I want Windows apps, I'll run Windows. If I have taste and want good interfaces in applications, I'll buy Mac OS X. What your proposing eliminates the key advantage Macs have over Wintel. ITS ABOUT THE SOFTWARE, AND MAC SOFTWARE IS BETTER." <hr></blockquote>

I agree. Mac versions of the software is better. That's why I use a Mac. The implication is that devs retain the Mac base to use for targeting the Windows platform. A Mac base could be used for Mac, Windows, or other *NIX. The Windows base would only work for Windows. If you had both bases, which would you scrap?

[quote]Apple does what IBM tried to to. Sell boxes with a Windows compatible OS. That failed. People buy Windows because they are sheep. Sheep won't buy Mac OS X if it runs Wintel apps, because it is still different. The only way Apple will, without becoming a PC-clone maker, ever get marketshare over 10% is if Microsoft collapses.<hr></blockquote>

I don't believe it is impossible. Most of the people I know who haven't yet switched to the Mac are holding out because of some very specific software titles. (Much like why many haven't yet upgraded from OS9) Few want to re-purchase their entire software library (assuming they even could) to move to the Mac platform. Imagine what would happen if they didn't have to. Just think of the Ad: "Windows crashed? Good thing you're on OSX!"
post #27 of 29
Remember, I'm just throwing out possibilities, not holding out any expectations that any of this would actually happen.
post #28 of 29
[quote]""Now software... Adobe, Microsoft, Macromedia, Quark, Intuit... You name it. Nearly ALL Mac software developers also develop for Wintel. Imagine if these companies could maintain a single code-base to support all platforms. Theoretically, the hardware is the same. I know there's much more to software development than targeting the hardware, but that's just one less thing to worry about."

I want applications with a Mac OS X interface. If I want Windows apps, I'll run Windows. If I have taste and want good interfaces in applications, I'll buy Mac OS X. What your proposing eliminates the key advantage Macs have over Wintel. ITS ABOUT THE SOFTWARE, AND MAC SOFTWARE IS BETTER." <hr></blockquote>

I agree. Mac versions of the software is better. That's why I use a Mac. The implication is that devs retain the Mac base to use for targeting the Windows platform. A Mac base could be used for Mac, Windows, or other *NIX. The Windows base would only work for Windows. If you had both bases, which would you scrap?

[quote]Apple does what IBM tried to to. Sell boxes with a Windows compatible OS. That failed. People buy Windows because they are sheep. Sheep won't buy Mac OS X if it runs Wintel apps, because it is still different. The only way Apple will, without becoming a PC-clone maker, ever get marketshare over 10% is if Microsoft collapses.<hr></blockquote>

I don't believe it is impossible. Most of the people I know who haven't yet switched to the Mac are holding out because of some very specific software titles. (Much like why many haven't yet upgraded from OS9) Few want to re-purchase their entire software library (assuming they even could) to move to the Mac platform. Imagine what would happen if they didn't have to. Just think of the Ad: "Windows crashed? Good thing you're on OSX!"
post #29 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by mrmister:
<strong>You know, Apple could migrate the xServe to an AMD chip--that's kind of crazy, but since they don't have to worry so much about legacy apps, it isn't totally nutso.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I like this plan the best. This gets Macs around some of the purchasing rules in some anti-mac shops. The bulk of OS X server's 'power' tools are OSS anyway. The third party tools people would want on the server aren't GUI kings and generally have an XWindows version.

And the best part is it ties in with the steep price differential due to not paying for Doze-clients. (Mac OS X Server has unlimited clients allowed).

The 'normal' plan: sell $500 x86 (or AMD) boxen with an Apple logo. Suck the R&D out of somewhere else, because the $500 box is a loss leader. Pray you don't sell too many.

The 'XServe-AMD' plan: sell $4000 AMD boxes with an Apple logo. We're already in the well-padded area -&gt; probably profitable at a very low number of boxes sold.

Compared to the 'normal' plan, the 'XServe-AMD' seems like low-hanging fruit.
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