Apple interest in Intel switch led to purchase of NeXT, return of Steve Jobs

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  • Reply 41 of 68
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by c-ray View Post


    I doubt that. But an ARM/iOS based desktop (similar to the iMac) is more likely. That way, the switchers who are buying iOS devices at a fast clip can run the same app on a home based desktop. The gestures would have to be done via the Magic Trackpad tho.



    The people who think iOS and OS X are "completely different" need to go take a look at the SDK's. They aren't. No they aren't sticking the entire OS X on to an iPhone, but they certainly could. When you run a debug version of an iOS app, it runs on the native OS X, there are no "iOS ROMS" nor are there any ARM emulators involved. The iPhone emulator simply emulates a the UI. Whenever I see "Apple is going to put iOS on iMacs" and "Apple is going to put ARM in iMacs" rumors I roll my eyes. It's like saying you're going to replace a Lexus ES with a Toyota Camry, they're the same thing with a different price point and "user interface."



    Everyone knew Apple was going to switch to Intel because the Darwin Kernel worked on Pentium-II, BX chipset era equipment. This was the intel hardware configuration of average Intel PC's in 1998. Just nobody knew when, otherwise why bother with the Intel kernel at all?
  • Reply 42 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Misa View Post


    ... Everyone knew Apple was going to switch to Intel because the Darwin Kernel worked on Pentium-II, BX chipset era equipment. This was the intel hardware configuration of average Intel PC's in 1998. Just nobody knew when, otherwise why bother with the Intel kernel at all?



    NeXTSTEP was running natively on Intel when Apple acquired NeXT. That's why Darwin ran on Intel and there was little effort required to keep it running on Intel.
  • Reply 43 of 68
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


    Case in point, Blizzard, which had spent money for years maintaining its PowerPC for their customers. They are the _only_ game company to behave which such care for their customers, and everyone knows how much Apple cares for its older software/customers/machines.



    You are aware that while they did maintain their software for PPC, you can't play Diablo 2 on Lion right? They would have had to recode the entire game. Disappointing since a Lion Mac was my first Mac, but Torchlight filled that gap for me
  • Reply 44 of 68
    noirdesirnoirdesir Posts: 1,027member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


    Case in point, Blizzard, which had spent money for years maintaining its PowerPC for their customers. They are the _only_ game company to behave which such care for their customers, and everyone knows how much Apple cares for its older software/customers/machines. Addendum, do you have the slightest idea of the cost of reprogramming a game (or any piece of software) for a new architecture? Unless you can get people to pay again...



    Conclusion: it's a matter of business, not of "deserving".



    And how is Blizzard's business doing now, selling PPC games to people buying new Macs?
  • Reply 45 of 68
    You kids and your Intel and PPC chips.....



    I have a 68060 powered Amiga at home.
  • Reply 46 of 68
    I think the desire to switch to intel back then had more to do with cost than performance.
  • Reply 47 of 68
    gordygordy Posts: 1,004member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    Apple - Steve = The Unknown



    Apple - Steve = The Clone Wars
  • Reply 48 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gordy View Post


    Apple - Steve = The Clone Wars



    I will assume this is a reference to the lawsuits against tablet and phone makers rather than a prediction that Apple will license OS X out. They made that mistake in the past and I believe have firmly learned that lesson.
  • Reply 49 of 68
    As the person that kicked off the Intel project at Apple (I have the piece of email from myself to my manager asking to start it and why we should) I can tell you that the Jobs/NeXT Apple marriage had nothing to do with an interest in moving to Intel. The Jobs/NeXT return occurred in 1996, I didn''t propose Marklar until June 20,2000.



    The move to Intel, the Marklar project, was started for two reasons - (1) get us on a backup path in case IBM/Moto could not deliver on the price/performance/power slopes they were pitching us and Intel could and (2) help us get the entire OS X code base portable. We were very locked into Big Endian with the PPC version of OS X and getting it up and running on Intel would help us find and modify all the places we'd need to.



    -JK, Apple, 1987-2008
  • Reply 50 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


    Your statements are often bold and wrong.



    Case in point, Blizzard, which had spent money for years maintaining its PowerPC for their customers. They are the _only_ game company to behave which such care for their customers, and everyone knows how much Apple cares for its older software/customers/machines. Addendum, do you have the slightest idea of the cost of reprogramming a game (or any piece of software) for a new architecture? Unless you can get people to pay again...



    Hint: Apple had to buy next because it was so hard to translate Mac OS to a new architecture!



    Wrong. Apple had a Intel bootable MacOS 7 in their labs. Go read about project Star Trek.



    Also, games are a bit different. People play a game when it's new, get tired of it, and move on. Non-game software is used for years. Developers have a responsibility to make sure their software works with the latest OS, or else discontinue it. And yes, I do have the slightest idea of the cost of reprogramming a piece of software for a new architecture because I've done it. A few times.
  • Reply 51 of 68
    BTW, Tesler's bit about '"tried to port to Intel before" was probably a reference to the Star Trek project which I was also on and heading up when it was moved from a skunkworks to a real project. At that time it was System 7 or 8 not OS X and there was A LOT more assembly code in the OS than we had in OS X.
  • Reply 52 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    From Wikipedia's Copland (operating system) article,

    which coincides with what I recall actually going on at the time.



    The early '90s was the period when preemptive multitasking and a number of other features we now take for granted were introduced to personal computer operating systems. Copland's stillbirth was a major problem for Apple, and, at least in retrospect, symptomatic of much bigger problems at the company.



    Copland was a huge kludge. It wasn't fully pre-emptive and protected. App developers had to break their apps into two processes if they wanted any protection. A UI part, and an behind-the-scenes part. The behind-the-scenes part was to be fully protected and pre-emptive. The UI part was shared and cooperative with all of the apps running on the system.



    Gershwin was supposed to be the fully modern OS. If they just did Gershwin in the first place, who knows if Apple would ever have purchased NeXT.



    The other things NeXT brought, was a multi-user system and a development environment far ahead of what was on the MacOS at the time.
  • Reply 53 of 68
    Thank Jean Louis Gasse for Steve Jobs's return to Apple.



    Apple was looking at both NeXT and BeOS. Gil Amelio and the Apple board thought that they could pick up BeOS on the cheap, and made them an offer. In their negotiations with Be, Gasse pushed the price higher. Gasse wanted $200 million, and Apple believed that BeOS was only worth $125 million. So an exasperated Apple punted Be and made an offer of $429 million to NeXT, instead, which they believed to be the more mature OS.
  • Reply 54 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jdkullmann View Post


    As the person that kicked off the Intel project at Apple (I have the piece of email from myself to my manager asking to start it and why we should) I can tell you that the Jobs/NeXT Apple marriage had nothing to do with an interest in moving to Intel. The Jobs/NeXT return occurred in 1996, I didn''t propose Marklar until June 20,2000.



    The move to Intel, the Marklar project, was started for two reasons - (1) get us on a backup path in case IBM/Moto could not deliver on the price/performance/power slopes they were pitching us and Intel could and (2) help us get the entire OS X code base portable. We were very locked into Big Endian with the PPC version of OS X and getting it up and running on Intel would help us find and modify all the places we'd need to.



    -JK, Apple, 1987-2008



    So, you're saying that Apple didn't keep NeXTSTEP/OS X up to date on Intel the entire time, despite the fact that it was on Intel when Apple acquired NeXT? Interesting.
  • Reply 55 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Rosetta only worked on i86 because PPC was such a terrible professor. I said so in the forums years ago and people ignored me. The fact I'd PPC processors had terrible integer performance while intel was many times better. This additional integer capacity allowed for impressive emulation of PPC code.



    Indeed. Where the PPC would shine though was parallel processing via AltiVec. For some applications, AltiVec would make the Mac a screamer. But, most user applications do not do anything that requires parallel processing of this nature.
  • Reply 56 of 68
    JK. Thanks for clarifying some key points and pushing Apple to get MacOS X running on Intel. This was a HUGE reason the Macintosh is still relevant...



    Even though NeXTSTEP ran on Intel, when Apple acquired it, don't presume that NeXTSTEP and MacOS X are the same thing. They are not. While MacOS is based on much of the same underlying technology, such as a Mach kernel and Objective-C, it was not a straightforward matter of porting NS to PPC and bolting on a Mac UI. JK can obviously provide a more detailed (and accurate) answer.
  • Reply 57 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pondosinatra View Post


    You kids and your Intel and PPC chips.....



    I have a 68060 powered Amiga at home.



    Me, too, and other Amigas. Some can run 680x0 Mac (OS 7.5 and before) s/w, which

    is more than my Mac Mini and Macbook Pro can
  • Reply 58 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    So, you're saying that Apple didn't keep NeXTSTEP/OS X up to date on Intel the entire time, despite the fact that it was on Intel when Apple acquired NeXT? Interesting.



    Yes. In fact, the moment NeXT was official Apple sent engineers to work in Redwood City - I was the 2nd one (EV was the first). We started designing and building "Rhapsody" which was supposed to be Apple's big new OS but was shortly morphed into Mac OS X Kodiac or Puma or whatever 10.0 was finally called.



    Obviously large pieces of NeXT user level SW went into and are still in OS X, hence all the NSString etc class and object names in OS X/iOS but we did the new kernel from scratch (well BSD + Mach + what we wrote).
  • Reply 59 of 68
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    Probably because it didn't happen that way. These guys are talking about events that happened in the 1996 timeframe. In 1996, the PowerPC had a bright future. Apple had transitioned to PowerPC just a couple of years prior. The G3 was still two years off. Intel was still looking for a graceful way to dump IA-32 in favor of a more modern processor architecture.



    Intel processors of that era were HOT! Apple did not switch to Intel until a decade later. One major reason was the Intel processors of the mid-2000s were a lot cooler than the PowerPCs of the era. The other major reason was that IBM refused to design cooler versions of the PowerPC. Among other things, this meant that a PowerBook G4 was hot and that the PowerBook G5 was impossible to build.



    I have no doubt that Apple had many serious discussions and studies of many contingencies. The fact that Apple switched to Intel ten years after Steve Jobs returned to the company is strong evidence that switching processors was not a high priority for most of that time.



    Excellent post. The time frames as described in the article really don't work.



    I also seem to recall an anecdote (possibly reported here?) that Jobs hadn't decided whether or not to go with the Intel announcement till moments before the keynote-- that he had two complete scripts ready to go. Not that that's any more plausible than this latest rumor, but it's always fun when random speculation cancels itself out.
  • Reply 60 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Rosetta only worked on i86 because PPC was such a terrible professor. I said so in the forums years ago and people ignored me.



    Um, that's because it isn't true. The PowerPC is a very powerful and capable processor. When the G3 was released, there was nothing on the market at affordable prices that could beat it on integer performance. The G4 repeated that trick, but on floating point.
    Quote:

    The fact I'd PPC processors had terrible integer performance while intel was many times better. This additional integer capacity allowed for impressive emulation of PPC code.



    By the time Apple switched to Intel, the PPC had lagged considerably, although the G5 beat the Intels on PPC code for some time (just like the fasted 68040 Macs beat the earliest PowerMacs on 68K code).
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by c-ray View Post


    BTW, this article finally adds color to where/when Apple soured on PPC. Up until now, most people thought it happened after the NeXT acquisition. Now that we see it goes back much farther, then it appears to be a matter of timing. The promised G5 at 3 Ghz, which IBM missed the deadline on, was probably the tipping point that pushed the decision over the edge.



    Don't be too quick to assume it was all down to Apple deciding to leave the PPC platform all by themselves. The PowerPC was once destined for a great future in the workstation market, the Mac being only a piece of the pie. By the time the G5 came around, Apple was the only workstation client left for the PPC suppliers (IBM and Motorola). Add to that that Apple has been named by IBM as a particularly erratic customer, due to their trademark secretive manner of doing business: letting no-one in on their plans, then suddenly demanding huge shipments of processors for new machines that need to be brought to market in extremely short time frames. As a supplier, such a customer is a nightmare, especially if it is pretty much the only customer for a product. IBM simply got tired of that game and started to concentrate more on other markets and customers. Apple had little choice but to look elsewhere for their processor options.



    .tsooJ
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