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Thread: Apple hardware, Windows OS?

  1. #1
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    Oct 2002

    Apple hardware, Windows OS?

    This is a scarey as hell thought....,1895,1925239,00.asp

    The idea that Apple would ditch its own OS for Microsoft Windows came to me from Yakov Epstein, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University, who wrote to me convinced that the process had already begun. I was amused, but after mulling over various coincidences, I'm convinced he may be right. This would be the most phenomenal turnabout in the history of desktop computing.
    Epstein made four observations. The first was that the Apple Switch ad campaign was over, and nobody switched. The second was that the iPod lost its FireWire connector because the PC world was the new target audience. Also, although the iPod was designed to get people to move to the Mac, this didn't happen. And, of course, that Apple had switched to the Intel microprocessor.

    Though these points aren't a slam-dunk for Epstein's thesis, other observations support it. The theory explains several odd occurrences, including Apple's freak-out and lawsuits over Macintosh gossip sites that ran stories about a musicians' breakout box that has yet to be shipped. Like, who cares?

    But if Apple's saber-rattling was done to scare the community into backing off so it wouldn't discover the Windows stratagem, then the incident makes more sense. As does Bill Gates's onscreen appearance during Apple's turnaround when Jobs was taking a pot of money from Microsoft. The Windows stratagem may have been a done deal by then. This may also explain the odd comment at the Macworld Expo by a Microsoft spokesperson that Microsoft Office will continue to be developed for the Mac for "five years." What happens after that?

    This switch to Windows may have originally been planned for this year and may partly explain why Adobe and other high-end apps were not ported to the Apple x86 platform when it was announced in January. At Macworld, most observers said that these new Macs could indeed run Windows now.
    Bigger companies than Apple have dropped their proprietary OSs in favor of Windows-think IBM and OS/2. IBM also jumped on the Linux bandwagon over its own AIX version of Unix. Business eventually trumps sentimentality in any large company.

    Another issue for Apple is that the Intel platform is wide open, unlike the closed proprietary system Apple once had full control over. With a proprietary architecture, Apple could tweak the OS for a controlled environment without worrying about the demands of a multitude of hardware add-ons and software subsystems. Windows, as crappy as many believe it to be, actually thrives in this mishmash architecture. Products, old and new, have drivers for Windows above all else. By maintaining its own OS, Apple would have to suffer endless complaints about peripherals that don't work.

    As someone who believed that the Apple OS x86 could gravitate toward the PC rather than Windows toward the Mac, I have to be realistic. It boils down to the add-ons. Linux on the desktop never caught on because too many devices don't run on that OS.

    It takes only one favorite gizmo or program to stop a user from changing. Chat rooms are filled with the likes of "How do I get my DVD burner to run on Linux?" This would get old fast at Apple.

    Apple has always said it was a hardware company, not a software company. Now with the cash cow iPod line, it can afford to drop expensive OS development and just make jazzy, high-margin Windows computers to finally get beyond that five-percent market share and compete directly with Dell, HP, and the stodgy Chinese makers.

    To preserve the Mac's slick cachet, there is no reason an executive software layer couldn't be fitted onto Windows to keep the Mac look and feel. Various tweaks could even improve the OS itself. From the Mac to the iPod, it's the GUI that makes Apple software distinctive. Apple popularized the modern GUI.

    Why not specialize in it and leave the grunt work to Microsoft? It would help the bottom line and put Apple on the fast track to real growth.

    The only fly in the ointment will be the strategic difficulty of breaking the news to the fanatical users. Most were not initially pleased by the switch to Intel's architecture, and this will make them crazy.

    Luckily, Apple has a master showman, Steve Jobs. He'll announce that now everything can run on a Mac. He'll say that the switch to Windows gives Apple the best of both worlds. He'll say this is not your daddy's Windows.

    He'll cajole and cajole, and still hear a few boos. But those will be the last boos he'll hear, for then the Mac will be mainstream.

    We will welcome the once-isolated Apple mavens, finally.
    Am I the only one who thinks this idea sucks? I mean I've never been a HUGE Mac boy... But it would be grat to own a Mac with OS X someday...

  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Hi gore I am sure I have mentioned this, but I can remember (back in the day) when you could get an Apple computer with two processors. One was a Pentium I/75 or maybe 100 and the other was an Apple (Motorola et al). It dual booted both OSes but there was obviously no communication between the two. Hey I am going back over 10 years now, and they were as rare as hen's teeth then................I must root around in the loft?.........that puppy must be quite a collector's item now

    What I am implying that this Apple/Windows interoperability has been a Holy Grail in some quarters since the last century....................

    EDIT: Sorry, mate, It was MAC 6 or 7 and Windows 3.x or 95

  3. #3
    Unless Microsoft is willing to provide Apple with free licenses for OS,
    Don't see that happening anytime soon.
    Bear in mind that, that their current OS is based off Linux,
    Which is basically free.

  4. #4
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    Mac OS X is based on BSD. BSD doesn't make you give away sources if you use it to make something like the GPLd Linux does. And they really probably wouldn't need a lisence. They could make the hardware work with Windows, and people who buy Windows would install it.

    Either way it's not like Microsoft would mind one of it's competitors joining it.

  5. #5
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Interesting article....

    Historically products that work and people use do take over a market to the point where the differences between competing products and the leader blur simply because the competitor is forced to move towards what the people buy in order to maintain market share. This is actually a very good example of that... The only thing I wonder about is whether people will pay the premium for the MAC hardware to run a windows OS when they can buy more traditional x86 computers for much less and still have the same OS and, for the most part, the same functionaility.

    Interesting though... very interesting.
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

  6. #6
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
    HAve I missed something?

    I know Apple have switched to Intel from Motorola..
    But When did Apple announce they were running with the X86 arch?

    And wasnt there a bit of MS money put into apple some years ago.. hence MS Office and some other MS s/ware being available for the Mac..
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me

  7. #7
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    MAC has been on the virge of death many times. Yes MS did invest in MAC. It was a move designed to actually breath some life into MAC. Even the latest OS is based on something else. MAC as a stand alone OS has failed a long time ago. Windows XP is a killer OS. I mean it's way out there compared to even the commercial version of SuSE. And Windows as a server system is so big I can't even keep up with the product line anymore.
    West of House
    You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
    There is a small mailbox here.

  8. #8
    I could see Apple finding a way of supporting windows apps natively in OSX. Thanks to CPU virtualization coming, it might not be as hard as it used to be. Apple getting rid of OSX would be tragic, as that's the biggest reason to buy a Mac, IMO.

  9. #9
    TBH, I really wouldn't be all that shocked if in a year or two Apple realeased a Mac running Vista (or a Mac version).

    I mean it would be crazy as hell, something that if you told someone a few years ago they would probably fall off their chair laughing at you.

  10. #10
    I find it very hard to believe that Apple will give up OSX. They've spent the last several years making it what it is, a really nice OS. Simply shelling over whatever MS produces would be total disappointment. It's not so much how OSX looks or behaves that makes it great, it's the intuitive nature of the UI while remaining a very powerful and functional OS. It becomes very easy to fall in love with OSX, yet windows OSes always take some time to get used to. For some reason, MS likes to take away or move features, and you have no idea why. I think the big difference is that OSX is developed by a small and focused group, while Windows is seemingly developed in a corporate board meeting--not much vision, but lots of mission statement.

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