Reasons for OSX on Clawhammer

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Skip to end of rant for main point

[RANT:

Hey everyone, I'm a 16 year old mac user who just couldn't afford my mac habit anymore. The last mac we bought was a $2999 PMG3 266MHz tower, the day the G3 was announced.

The point I am trying to make is this: I used to be a die-hard mac fan, but the prohibitive costs prevented me from getting a new mac. So what did I do? I went out and built myself a athlon 1.2 ghz pc for around $700 about a year ago. It was only a matter of time before my mac roots led me to utter disgust with regard to Windows XP. So I researched linux distro's and found slackware. Installation went well, and I've had an absolute blast tweaking the innermost workings of my OS.

END RANT/]



My main point is this: There is not a single linux user I have talked to that wouldn't [I]love[/] to buy a copy of OSX and run it off his/her machine.

I can already hear the masses arguing, "But Apple makes most of its money off of hardware!!!! If Apple releases OSX for another platform they'll lose their profits!!"

Personally I think their business model is dated, however superior they might be, they simply can't compete in the current cheap PC market, middle range, or server markets. Price is a major concern, and when I can go out and start building my own personal Distributed Computing farm for $184 a pop(Duron 1ghz)Apple selling its bottom end machine for $1399.

Still people are chanting, "Business model, Business Model" Apple's hardware based business model will lead to its destruction, a business model shouldn't be the rationale for a bad decisions. A business model is supposed to be a good strategy, not a piece of rhetoric.

Ugh, don't know if that makes any sense, but I have to write a major paper right now Will be glad to clarify any points tommorrow after I get some sleep.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    nonsuchnonsuch Posts: 293member
    What the hell was the point of this?



    So you're a Linux geek who wants to build his own hardware and tinker around with it. You're part of a very small minority, one which Apple couldn't cater to without hurting the rest of its business.



    You acknowledge that Apple's business model precludes releasing OS X for PC hardware, yet have no inkling of what that actually means. It means that every spare R&D dollar would have to go toward keeping the OS compatible with PC hardware. It means the quality of the Mac experience would plummet as the OS turned into a spotty Windows wannabe. It means the primary reason most of us still use the Mac despite the price premium -- an elegant, integrated user experience -- would be out the window. All so a couple thousand Linux users could have the satisfaction of building their own Macs.



    Bottom line: for better or worse, if you want to use a Mac, you gotta pay. Apple's business model may not appeal to you, but it's kept them going strong in a market where other PC makers are laying off thousands and slashing what remains of their margins in an effort to stay afloat.
  • Reply 2 of 23
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member
    [quote]Personally I think their business model is dated, however superior they might be, they simply can't compete in the current cheap PC market, middle range, or server markets.<hr></blockquote>



    uh.. that's why they don't attempt to compete in 2 of those three. I think you're completely wrong with the competiting in the midrange though. The iMac LCD is perhaps the best midrange PC out there all around.



    The cheap PC market Apple doesn't give a flying shit about nor should they. there is no money there. everyone who goes to compete there either doesn't come out alive or retreats before being killed.



    Apple could potentially compete in the high end server market and wouldn't be too hard to do. it may actually be a very profitable endeavor for them. In that market price isn't the be all end all.



    Right now I think Apple is quite happy where they are in regards to everything but processor speed and the powermac line. I think once they finally get the G5 out or the revamped G4 or whatever its going to be out then Apple will be in fullstride. they are at that point where they just keep releasing hit after hit like in 1998.



    If LCD prices go back down and G4/G5 chips make some more progress I think by fall Apple could have one hell of a lineup.
  • Reply 3 of 23
    cowerdcowerd Posts: 579member
    [quote]Apple could potentially compete in the high end server market and wouldn't be too hard to do.<hr></blockquote>

    Would be very hard, as most Server vendors have 24/7 tech support, both remote and local, as well as pre-packaged enterprise and mid-level solutions.



    Its not just putting out server boxen, but its also building up a corporate infrastrucutture that deals with and believes in network solutions. Apple doesn't seem too interested in that, no matter what potential anyone here feels OSX has as a server os. If you don't think so, ask a Webobjects developer about Apple's level of support.
  • Reply 4 of 23
    majukimajuki Posts: 114member
    Apple caters to a select market. Most are longtime fans of the platform. While their hardware lineup needs a serious jolt, Apple will not go bankrupt. It has a loyal following of people who are willing to pay more for an excellent interface. You may very well be able to install linux and get it running, but the average consumer doesn't know how or doesn't want to work to get his/her computer running. The consumer needs to be able to put in a CD, have a GUI startup with a point and click installation. While there are some options like this with linux distributions, it's simply not the same. Also, the lack of supported hardware on any OS other than MacOS or Windows is a problem. While it may be a financial benefit for Apple in the long run, I don't ever see Apple moving to x86 based architecture as long as the company is around. Apple sells the complete package, not components. Also, the amount of work to get the full blown OS X Aqua interface and APIs running would be tremendous. Not to mention saying to all of those programmers who have worked so hard making OS X native versions of their sofware, "Oh yeah...you'll need to recompile your code to run on x86." If you're thinking about tinkering (and I mean really tinkering hardcore Unix style with OS X), OS X != linux. It isn't linux based at all. It is built on FreeBSD. Personally, I see linux as nothing more than a hack job of minix, with Torvalds trying to prove his programming superiority over Tannenbaum. You linux types think you're fighting the man running a renegade OS, but you're just fueling Torvalds. While this isn't your fault, I hope you take some OS design classes in college to learn why linux is bad.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    Since you are only 16, your memory may not reach as far back as mine. As an old OPENSTEP user (since 1993), I was more than delighted to hear of the Apple/NeXT merger back in 1996. Shortly after this, Apple announced that they would deploy "Rhapsody" for the intel platform as well, making me even more enthusiastic. This decision was later reverted for unpublished reasons. So, no more MacOSX on intel, mmmh.

    While not having publicly stated any reasons, I am pretty sure that Apple (in particular Steve Jobs) hasn't taken this decision lightly. It can only be speculated that the hardware gives a major part of Apple's revenues, and that they are anxious to cut into this (as you had already suspected).



    The cost for OPENSTEP was 995 USD at its time. As for a possible price for a MacOSX version on intel, the larger number of copies must be considered, as must be the more complex system, requiring more developmental effort. I would say that a price at around 600-800 USD might be OK for MacOSX/intel. Would you be willing to spend such an amount?



    I am pretty confident that Apple, which due to Steve Jobs has turned into a fast reacting company, would not bet a long term strategy on Motorola CPUs, if they hadn't good reason to believe in their technological merrits.



    Besides, even if for reasons of shere computing power, Apple would be forced to swith to another CPU platform, lets say AMD Clawhammer as an example, I would strongly assume that they would develop their own structure, not being compatible with what is called "intel compatible". So, you still would have to pay whatever Apple charges for their computers, in order to run MacOSX.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    nebrienebrie Posts: 483member
    [quote]Originally posted by watanabe:

    <strong>Skip to end of rant for main point

    [RANT:

    Hey everyone, I'm a 16 year old mac user who just couldn't afford my mac habit anymore. The last mac we bought was a $2999 PMG3 266MHz tower, the day the G3 was announced.

    The point I am trying to make is this: I used to be a die-hard mac fan, but the prohibitive costs prevented me from getting a new mac. So what did I do? I went out and built myself a athlon 1.2 ghz pc for around $700 about a year ago. It was only a matter of time before my mac roots led me to utter disgust with regard to Windows XP. So I researched linux distro's and found slackware. Installation went well, and I've had an absolute blast tweaking the innermost workings of my OS.

    END RANT/]



    My main point is this: There is not a single linux user I have talked to that wouldn't [I]love[/] to buy a copy of OSX and run it off his/her machine.

    I can already hear the masses arguing, "But Apple makes most of its money off of hardware!!!! If Apple releases OSX for another platform they'll lose their profits!!"

    Personally I think their business model is dated, however superior they might be, they simply can't compete in the current cheap PC market, middle range, or server markets. Price is a major concern, and when I can go out and start building my own personal Distributed Computing farm for $184 a pop(Duron 1ghz)Apple selling its bottom end machine for $1399.

    Still people are chanting, "Business model, Business Model" Apple's hardware based business model will lead to its destruction, a business model shouldn't be the rationale for a bad decisions. A business model is supposed to be a good strategy, not a piece of rhetoric.

    Ugh, don't know if that makes any sense, but I have to write a major paper right now Will be glad to clarify any points tommorrow after I get some sleep.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Oh great, Apple should throw away everything it has just because you took a poll of your two linux friends and they both said they would buy (warez) a copy of OS X if it came out for x86 then tinker with it for five minutes before becoming bored with it.



    Don't go into business kid, you'll get run over fast. You clearly have no idea what a business model is. You clearly didn't even bother to look any further than yourself.



    A lot of people including people using other platforms will proudly proclaim BeOS as the best OS ever built and that they would love to run it. Well why didn't they? Because no developers were willing to follow them. Because Microsoft didn't give them the blessing to go to x86. Because PC vendors then refused to have anything to do with them. Even after they gave it away, they were a failure.



    But then you say, "well geez, don't apple gots 4 bazillion in the bank? they can do better than be and can buy their way in". Sure, whatever. That's about what IBM spent on marketing and trying to gain support for OS/2, give or take a billion. There was no doubt that OS/2's technical superiority blew Windows95 to bits. Do you go into your local computer store and even see OS/2 on the shelf? Hell no.



    Part of why Apple is alive and with a nice bank account is because Microsoft isn't actively smashing it to bits with craploads of money. I guarantee that the minute Apple announces OS X for x86, Microsoft will drop support, paint a bullseye, and remind PC makers that if they support Apple, they will get their asses sued off.



    This is just scratching the surface. I didn't even go into the problem of developers yet.



    [ 04-09-2002: Message edited by: Nebrie ]</p>
  • Reply 7 of 23
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    [quote]The cost for OPENSTEP was 995 USD at its time. As for a possible price for a MacOSX version on intel,

    the larger number of copies must be considered, as must be the more complex system, requiring

    more developmental effort. I would say that a price at around 600-800 USD might be OK for

    MacOSX/intel. Would you be willing to spend such an amount?<hr></blockquote>



    What makes Linux so popular among young people?

    among others: the price (ie it's free).

    What makes Windows 2000 Pro so unpopular? certainly also the price.



    Have you ever seen a Linux user pay for a software product? Why did Loki or however that was called go belly-up trying to sell commercial games to the Linux crowd?



    Linux is currently, and probably will be forever, two things: a good server platform and a cheap (read: free) alternative OS for geeks and people who think they can't afford anything else.



    So what is Apple's interest in adopting these uses? OS X already is a good server platform, thus whoever would want to switch coudl do so now, and don't tell me the big companies can't afford a Mac's extra price.



    Or they could adot the alternatice Linux subculture, whose main point probably is to be rebellic and not succumb to the rules this industry demands (read pay for hard- and software).



    They don't want another 2 million users pirating their software and using third party hardware, because that actually only costs them money, and doesn't return anything but trouble.



    If Apple ever switches to another platfrom (read x86), they'll surely keep it as proprietary as possible to keep the hardware market to themselves.

    And if you ask me, despite the higher prices, this is and has proven to be a good thing.



    If you head over to Slashdot.org, you'll see dozens of Linux geeks who want OS X. But those who really want it and also want to pay for it already DID buy a Mac. I also bought a G3 Tower back in early '98 and was about the same age as the topic starter. If He an afford the same machine at the age of 12, that I was able to pay at 17, then he should also be able to cough up those 2000 or 3000$ for a new Mac now.



    Sounds all a little fishy to me.



    G-News
  • Reply 8 of 23
    smirclesmircle Posts: 1,035member
    Originally posted by watanabe:

    [quote]

    My main point is this: There is not a single linux user I have talked to that wouldn't [I]love[/] to buy a copy of OSX and run it off his/her machine.<hr></blockquote>

    Linux users don't buy software, the honest among them compile their stuff themselves, the others just copy commercial products.



    All in all, a market decidedly uninteresting to Apple (as well as Adobe btw.).
  • Reply 9 of 23
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Everybody wants to run OS X, but if everyone runs it and Apple makes no money because everyone buys ugly beige boxes with lame chip technology inside (please don't get me started), then they aren't making money or preserving their brand recognition.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    majukimajuki Posts: 114member
    [quote]Originally posted by Thyl Engelhardt:

    <strong>Besides, even if for reasons of shere computing power, Apple would be forced to swith to another CPU platform, lets say AMD Clawhammer as an example, I would strongly assume that they would develop their own structure, not being compatible with what is called "intel compatible". So, you still would have to pay whatever Apple charges for their computers, in order to run MacOSX.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    The only problem with this is Apple knows very well that it would only be a matter of time before someone would create a hack to install on non Apple-branded x86 systems.
  • Reply 11 of 23
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    Reasons "For" OS X on x86:



    1. Lot's of Mac people worried about their processor's clock speed could sleep easy at night, even though it likely wouldn't do them a damn bit of good otherwise.





    Reasons Against OS X on x86:



    1. The costs to Apple would be enormous:
    • Large R&D expenditures



      Monsterous captial spending to bring in thousands of new hires, put an office over their head, a chair under their ass and a computer in front of their face.



      Overhauling their manufacturing facilities (do you REALLY think Apple is going throw away their hardware business?)



      Diverting resources away from (and by extension, decreasing the quality of) all their other products which, unless they double their workforce, would be inevitable.

    2. There is no demand for such a product because:
    • XP is improved enough over old versions of Windows that few home users could justify spending the money and time on setting up a new system (just to have the Apple brand under the hood).



      They certainly wouldn't have any software titles available to them. What, you think all the existing Mac OS X wares would magically work on OS X for x86? Wrong. They wouldn't run anymore than XP applications would run on it. Think it was hard getting developers to jump on board with OS X? See how easy it is to get them to jump on board OS X for x86.



      People in corporate markets would never buy it. Like they're really going to switch everything over to OS X because Apple made it run on x86. Don' think so. That would cost THEM enormous amounts of money (for all sorts of reasons I won't get into because it's not worth my time).



      So who's left? Yep. Those same Mac weenies we keep coming back to who feel they must have parity with x86 hardware, even though we could stay 50% behind in clock speed indefinitely and still have a much better platform. I agree Apple and MOT need to produce some good stuff this year but it's not a logical reason to start all these assinine "OS X on x86!" threads.

    [ 04-09-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ? ]</p>
  • Reply 12 of 23
    sc_marktsc_markt Posts: 1,393member
    Watanabe,



    The BEOS was a very fast, state of the are OS that you could load on your hard-drive alongside windows. As you probably know, it didn't work out.

    I don't see how Apple could do what BEOS couldn't. And the BEOS was much farther along than Apple is in regards to native pc apps.



    Linux for the PC is also having a hard time and its FREE.



    Some things I think Apple needs to do to get more market share is to come out with the G5 along with a much improved (easier, faster, and more stable) OS X, more OS X apps (not Apple's job), and some damn good, aggressive, and frequent TV advertising. And if the G5 is really everything the rumors claim it to be and really does run virtual PC at almost 1GHz PC speeds, I think these will be enough for lots of borderline pc users to move to the mac platform. I think its possible many Linux users will also buy these new macs.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member
    [quote]Originally posted by sc_markt:

    <strong>Watanabe,



    The BEOS was a very fast, state of the are OS that you could load on your hard-drive alongside windows. As you probably know, it didn't work out.

    I don't see how Apple could do what BEOS couldn't. And the BEOS was much farther along than Apple is in regards to native pc apps.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    BeOS was amazing but its ridiculous to say OS X would follow a similar path on X86. Apple has tons of money and one of the best brand recognitions in the world. beOS was a nobody, didn't have marketing muscle, didn't have any previous developer support, and didn't have a "finished" os.. ever.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    The other MAJOR concern is that if Apple released OS X for PC hardware, it would be in direct competition with Microsoft, and MS has been known to mercilessly squish direct competition.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    NO DEMAND FOR IT GUYS...anyone care to cover the minor detail of how Apple would make money on this deal? By definition:
    • The ramp-up software and hardware costs to Apple would be huge.



      Most of the demand lies within Apple's existing customer-base.



      Most copies sold to existing Apple customers would mean decreased sales of the existing version of OS X. Very few people would actually run both platforms; there wouldn't be anything to be gained by this.



      Many of the above-noted people would *NOT* continue buying Apple hardware unless Apple slashes their (brand new) hardware prices to compete with the other guys. The ROI (for R&D costs, capital expenditures and the like) would be really bad for both existing hardwares and especially the new ones.



      Apple would NOT make big inroads into the corporate markets because where's the win for the companies? None of their partners would be using the OS to start with. They have to spend a huge amount of money on new software licenses. They lose a ton of money running everyone through training, and lose a ton more fixing compatibility with their various proprietary systems and link-ups to other businesses.

    THIS IDEA MAKES NO SENSE FROM A BUSINESS STANDPOINT; APPLE IS A BUSINESS.



    ALL THOSE CORPORATIONS (THE ONLY ONES WHO COULD MAKE THE IDEA VIABLE) ARE BUSINESSES TOO.



    THEY EXIST TO MAKE A PROFIT. THIS WOULD NOT INCREASE THEIR PROFITS, IT WOULD DECREASE THEM. BADLY....



    ok?

    <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" /> :cool:



    [ 04-10-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
  • Reply 16 of 23
    sc_marktsc_markt Posts: 1,393member
    Just the mere thought of Apple moving to X86 makes me question the purchase of another PowerPC mac. Why should I shell out over 2 grand if Apple is going to migrate to X86? In fact, if the G5 is really as powerful as rumors say and these X86 rumors continue and start appearing to have merit, I'm going to hold off buying a G5 until I see what happens. I'd hate to buy an expensive but powerful Mac if Apple is going to go move to X86 because I don't see software makers writing apps for PowerPC when Apple is going in a different direction (X86). I also don't see many software makers re-writing their software again for OS X on X86.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    stevessteves Posts: 108member
    [quote]Originally posted by applenut:

    <strong>



    BeOS was amazing but its ridiculous to say OS X would follow a similar path on X86. Apple has tons of money and one of the best brand recognitions in the world. beOS was a nobody, didn't have marketing muscle, didn't have any previous developer support, and didn't have a "finished" os.. ever.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    This has already been discussed. Moogs did a fine job of discussing the myriad of difficulties of moving to x86, and Nerbie already illustrated that 4 Billion $$ of marketing muscle didn't help IBM with OS/2, even though OS/2 was clearly superior to Windows at the time.



    The basic concept that people don't get is that most computer users fall into one of two categories.



    1) They are not computer enthusiasts. As such, they don't care which operating system they use. They use what comes on their machine and what "everyone else" appears to be doing. I can't tell you how many computer users I know (PC and Mac alike) that have never upgraded their OS from the original OS that came with their machine years ago.



    2) They are not in a position to make a change in platform. How many computers are purchased at the corporate level? Probably at least half of all purchases are to corporate customers. The platform of choice is dictated to employees. The decisions are typically not made by the lower level tech types, but the CIOs that are far removed from this nonsense. Other factors such as cost, trained workforce, etc. enter the picture. Change of platforms is not likely under this environment. Hell, do you realize how much effort goes into rolling out new version of an operating system from the same vendor (such as a newer version of Windows)? It's a logistical nightmare for large corporations.



    That said, outside of a few people on forums like this, OS X on x86 is doomed to failure, no matter how good it is. Everyone raved about Openstep on x86, but the masses could care less.



    Steve
  • Reply 18 of 23
    sc_marktsc_markt Posts: 1,393member
    [quote]Originally posted by SteveS:

    <strong>



    This has already been discussed. Moogs did a fine job of discussing the myriad of difficulties of moving to x86, and Nerbie already illustrated that 4 Billion $$ of marketing muscle didn't help IBM with OS/2, even though OS/2 was clearly superior to Windows at the time.



    Steve</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Wow, I never even considered OS/2! I remember when it was released, some people that I worked with raved non-stop about how much superior it was to windows.



    I think the failure of OS/2 on X86 says it all. And it was backed by a MUCH larger company than Apple.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    stevessteves Posts: 108member
    [quote]Originally posted by sc_markt:

    <strong>



    Wow, I never even considered OS/2! I remember when it was released, some people that I worked with raved non-stop about how much superior it was to windows.



    I think the failure of OS/2 on X86 says it all. And it was backed by a MUCH larger company than Apple.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Actually, IBM has been pushing Linux very hard in recent years. In terms of robustness, Linux doesn't hold a candle to IBM's own AIX. Still, all the market buzz has been around Linux in the server arena. In my opinion, IBM has probably been mostly responsible for making Linux legitimate in the Server arena. That's where the real battle is.



    Mostly everyone considers the desktop wars long over. Like the browser wars, there are viable alternatives, but most have just conceded victory to MS. As far as I can tell, I don't think the industry is interested in fighting that war again. Perhaps if Windows XP licensing terms get to ridiculous, others may look elsewhere, but MS could always change their licensing terms if they started losing significant marketshare.



    The server market is primarily a battle between IBM and Sun at the mid to high end, with HP following as a distant third. At the low end, NT was making big strides until the popularity of Linux came about. For the low end server market, we can thank Linux for stopping NT in it's tracks.



    For the workstation market, I see OS X (and Macs) doing a good job of holding and possibly reclaiming marketshare as Apple is taking Video Editing very seriously. Apple does need to be more competitive processor wise for the 3D market. However, bringing Maya to OS X is a big deal.



    Steve
  • Reply 20 of 23
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    I have occasionally felt that Apple should have a strategy for going to **86 chips, but in the final analysis, the chip isn't going to be the deciding factor. What do you think would the real cost savings be if Macs had AMD chips? For a $1200 machine you might get to $999, but for a $1700 machine, would $1500 make that big of a difference? There are a few multiplicative cost benefits, but the difference in price for the chipset would not instantly make Macs that much cheaper. To really save money, Apple would have to buy mobo's and everything else from contractors and then you can say goodbye to Firewire, Airport and all future technologies, because Apple would then have to tack these things on during assembly and all of your cost savings go out the window.



    Like it or not Apple is going to stay on the PowerPC. What it needs to do is get some competition in PPC production and better marketing.
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