Apple Dumps OS X

28 replies [Last post]
MaxTek's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 701

Have you guys read this? What are your opinions? It kinda blows my mind.

-start article

[Will Apple Adopt Windows?
02.15.06

By John C. Dvorak
This would be the most phenomenal turnabout in the history of desktop computing. There's just one fly in the ointment.

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.]

-end article

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
BDub's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 706
It's Dvorak. Ignore him. He

It's Dvorak. Ignore him. He's an idiot.

OS X is the thing that Apple has going for them. They'd be moronic to throw it away.

__________________

"There is going to be a future: let's chase it until it kills us." - Spider Robinson

astro_rob's picture
Offline
Joined: Mar 19 2005
Posts: 320
...However...

That's not to say that they might not build a layer of Windows compatibility into it. With the switch to Intel, it would be far easier than running a Classic layer. Those of us here who've used OS/2 might remember that it also had Windows compatibility built in. Might not be that difficult.

__________________

Tinker Ergo Sum!
iBook G4 "Snowy", iBook Clamshell "Tang", Tandy Model 102 "Tandy", Tandy Model 200 "Deuce", Palm IIIxe "Xerxes", HP Jornada "Jordana"

Dr. Webster's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1687
Re: It's Dvorak. Ignore him. He

BDub wrote:

It's Dvorak. Ignore him. He's an idiot.

Exactly. Dvorak is the reason I quit subscribing to MacUser and switched to Macworld many moons ago. He hates the Mac; I have no idea why people publish what he has to say about the platform.

I highly doubt that Apple would embrace a Windows layer; it would be like Coca-Cola including a can of Pepsi with every 12-pack. Apple, however, has stated that it won't impede efforts to get Windows running natively on the Intel hardware, but they also won't make any efforts to help, either.

__________________

Applefritter Admin

macintoshme's picture
Offline
Joined: Sep 20 2004
Posts: 150
FireWire - No More!

I didn't know that iPods no longer came with FireWire connections. That was one of the major incentives to buy Apple.

I think that all the effoft from the Switch campaign has been turned to drawing board to make new advertisements for the new x86 line. The first ones were horrible. I beleive that Apple realizes it needs a product to market before reengaging the switch campaign. Happly smiling people just don't look as convincing hugging their MacBook Pro as they did with an iBook. If anyone has noticed, there is no laptop out for the average consumer.

__________________

MacBook 1.83 GHz, 2GB, 60GB Mac OS X 10.6; PowerMacintosh G4 (Quicksilver) 733Mhz, 1.5GB, 160GB, Mac OS X Server 10.5, Mac OS 9.2.2

Reverend Darkness's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 502
Re: Apple Dumps OS X

Dvorak wrote:

Linux on the desktop never caught on because too many devices don't run on that OS.

That is true for most distributions of Linux.

Apple's Mac OS X, however, doesn't have that problem. Apple designs the OS around a particular hardware architecture. As long as they don't stray from that targeted architecture, there won't be any of the compatibility issues associated with most Linix distributions.

How many times have you heard a SuSE or Fedora user complain about their sound card? Now, how many times have you heard a Mac user complain about theirs?

This guy obviously has a grudge against Mac...

__________________

When I see lightning, you know it always brings me down... because it's free, and it's me who's lost and never found.

Eudimorphodon's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1203
Re: Apple Dumps OS X

Reverend Darkness wrote:

Apple's Mac OS X, however, doesn't have that problem. Apple designs the OS around a particular hardware architecture. As long as they don't stray from that targeted architecture, there won't be any of the compatibility issues associated with most Linix distributions.

How many times have you heard a SuSE or Fedora user complain about their sound card? Now, how many times have you heard a Mac user complain about theirs?

I think Mr. Dvorak is referring to third-party hardware. There are quite a few cool, nifty little USB devices that just plug in and work on Windows machines that don't have Mac drivers. So to some degree it is a valid point.

--Peace

aladds's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 26 2003
Posts: 297
Re: ...However...

astro_rob wrote:

That's not to say that they might not build a layer of Windows compatibility into it. With the switch to Intel, it would be far easier than running a Classic layer. Those of us here who've used OS/2 might remember that it also had Windows compatibility built in. Might not be that difficult.

I don't think that would be a good idea (remember what happened to OS/2?), Apple should release a program to run OSX programs on windows, but with some restrictions, then more people will develop for the Mac because it'll run on both platforms, then people will buy macs because the programs run better, windows users die out and the world rejoices as apple releases osx for generic pcs!

Just my 2¢...

__________________

Next Task - Where every day there's something new (usually)
http://next-task.blogspot.com

astro_rob's picture
Offline
Joined: Mar 19 2005
Posts: 320
Re: ...However...

aladds wrote:

...windows users die out and the world rejoices as apple releases osx for generic pcs!

Just my 2¢...

Were that it so. Sigh.

__________________

Tinker Ergo Sum!
iBook G4 "Snowy", iBook Clamshell "Tang", Tandy Model 102 "Tandy", Tandy Model 200 "Deuce", Palm IIIxe "Xerxes", HP Jornada "Jordana"

mmphosis's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 18 2005
Posts: 314
nifty little USB devices

What kinds of nifty little USB devices are you referring to? A WinModem? A wIntel webcam? Who is manufacturing the device (and the consent?) Who benefits from making the particular proprietary device you are referring to? Follow the money. Dvorak makes his money promoting products from the major advertisers in the magazines he writes for -- good for him. The publisher Fawcette-Hall (Microsoft) doesn't make a practice of writing stories about programming for Mac and linux/bsd. I too have stopped buying and even bothering reading these magazines. Even magazine racks themselves are usually entirely filled with the same rags pushed by the same advertisers trying to sell the same old nifty stuff.

My experience has also been the opposite:

I plug in a USB (and/or non-USB) device into a Mac and it just works, usually (and hopefully) without requiring installing some 3rd party's idea of a working driver. Smile

Over on linux/bsd, the community hacks together a driver for that odd nifty device and it works too. Smile

And on Windows -- you get nothing, no driver, the USB device is not recognized by Windows and the vendor won't or will no longer provide a driver for Windows. Sad but, it works on Mac and linux/bsd.

Even if apple does ditch OSX, it doesn't mean that we adopt Windows. Linux/bsd is filling the desktop OS gap as it has done for server software. There is talk of Microsoft building Windows like darwin/MacOS by putting something *nix-like at it's core. Microsoft is fighting linux/bsd, but at some point, Microsoft will probably dump Windows because desktops and notebook computers are no longer selling like they once were. Handheld computers (cell phones, MP3, and DVD players) and game consoles are where it's at today and they mostly either run device-maker's-proprietary-OS or linux, a few run PalmOS, or WindowsCE.

Just my toonies worth. I'm switching to the Replica.

BDub's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 706
Re: nifty little USB devices

mmphosis wrote:

And on Windows -- you get nothing, no driver, the USB device is not recognized by Windows and the vendor won't or will no longer provide a driver for Windows. Sad but, it works on Mac and linux/bsd.

Can you give an example of that? And what version of Windows are you running that you're getting these results? It almost sounds like you're running something without USB support completely.

I find it highly suspect if your regular experience is finding companies who are unable to supply Windows drivers.

__________________

"There is going to be a future: let's chase it until it kills us." - Spider Robinson

aladds's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 26 2003
Posts: 297
Re: nifty little USB devices

mmphosis wrote:

My experience has also been the opposite:

I plug in a USB (and/or non-USB) device into a Mac and it just works, usually (and hopefully) without requiring installing some 3rd party's idea of a working driver. Smile

Over on linux/bsd, the community hacks together a driver for that odd nifty device and it works too. Smile

I gotta agree with you there, plug something into a windows machine and 9 times out of 10 it shouts at you with loads of errors then gives you a message saying the device wont work.

I find that if you get decent devices (from brands which support Macs and windows systems) they occasionally work with windows, but stick them in a Mac or machine with Linux/BSD and they work fine.
For example I got my sister a Belkin PCI 802.11g wireless card, it took ages to get working, then the signal would drop out all the time on the pc (Running Windows XP) but in my Beige G3 Mac running 10.2.8 not only did it show up perfectly, I got a constant signal with no dropping out in the same place as the PC.

__________________

Next Task - Where every day there's something new (usually)
http://next-task.blogspot.com

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
Offline
Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
OS 11--not!

Just from the simplest marketing point of view, unless they're going to Lion--which may be the last, but unlikely, possiblility, 10.4 will necessarily be the last version of X since there are no cats bigger than a Tiger. Duh, right? And also from a strict visually marketing sense, OS 11.1 is not an attractive new direction to move to from X, so the time seems right, and even designed for, a major OS transformation. I would expect Apple is going to cease with the counting up of OS now and go somewhere else, and with the switch to Intel, the switch can be major.

Reverend Darkness's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 502
Re: OS 11--not!

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

Just from the simplest marketing point of view, unless they're going to Lion--which may be the last, but unlikely, possiblility, 10.4 will necessarily be the last version of X since there are no cats bigger than a Tiger.

Uh... Mac OS X, v10.5, Leopard, is currently being developed.

You are correct, though that OS 11 isn't very "marketing friendly"... but niether would have been Windows 4.0. Instead you had Windows 95... it was cool, hip, modern... I think that the Mac OS will take similar turn and will begin with a naming convention that is nothing to do with the current "numbers and cats" system.

Unless it will be Mac OS v11, Greyhound...

__________________

When I see lightning, you know it always brings me down... because it's free, and it's me who's lost and never found.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
Offline
Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
What's in your tank?

Oh, I didn't know. From a Tiger to a Leopard--sounds diminishing to me.

Eudimorphodon's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1203
Kitties

Eh, there's no reason to abandon cats as their naming convention. They'll just need to start going with fictional ones.

D2X's picture
D2X
Offline
Joined: Aug 29 2005
Posts: 79
RE:Kitties

Yes, they'll have to go with fictional cats from now on...

__________________

"It's better to be a Pirate than to join the Navy"- Steve Jobs

Intel iMac (2GHz Core Duo)
Powerbook G4 (12" 1.5GHz SuperDrive)
300MHz Clamshell iBook (rebuilt) 544MB/40GB/10.3/AirPort

cwsmith's picture
Offline
Joined: Oct 13 2005
Posts: 699
Lots of cats left ...

I don't think they're necessarily going from smaller cats to larger ones.

From http://home.globalcrossing.net/~brendel/felidae.html
"Felinae, with 26 species, includes the puma (F. concolor), largest of the genus ..."

Just cooler sounding cat names as they go along.

Cheetah (10.0). Puma (10.1). Jaguar (10.2). Panther (10.3). Tiger (10.4). Leopard (10.5).

Lots of cat names left. Some will work better than others, obviously. But I can list almost a dozen off the top of my head:

Cougar. Oscelot. Lynx. Lion. Bobcat. Serval. Caracal. Margay. Wildcat. Oncilla.

But my favorite suggestion for the next OS (after Leopard of course):

Mac OS X 10.6 (Kittycat).

__________________

Dozens of Macs; a handful of PCs; Apple ][e, ][c and ][gs; a few iPods; lots of parts
17 guitars, 2 baritone guitars, alto guitar, 6 bass guitars, bajo sexto, 3 ukuleles, mandolin, banjo, sitar
3/4 scale upright bass, 4pc drum kit, congas, travel congas, bongos, cajon, cabasa, 12 harmonicas
http://www.cwsmith.fmhttp://www.facebook.com/cwsmith2620

cwsmith's picture
Offline
Joined: Oct 13 2005
Posts: 699
Lots of holes in the arguments:

Quote:
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.

Nobody switched? Nobody moved to the Mac? What about the million (or was it 2 million?) that switched in 2005?

Of course the "switch" campaign is over. So is the "future" campaign. So is the "1984" campaign. Microsoft has switched ad campaigns a few times since 2002 as well. You keep switching campaigns so you keep the market's attention. Marketing 101.

Of course the PC is a target audience. A target audience. One. Why settle for pitching to 5% of the market (or 7% or 10%) when you can pitch to 93%? Apple has offered QuickTime Pro for Windows since 1997. Wouldn't say Mac OS has withered away because of QuickTime for Windows. iPod for Windows is only going to help Apple's market presence.

The switch to Intel was motivated by the availability of processors. IBM promised a mobile G5 and a 3 GHz G5 within the first year. They couldn't (or wouldn't) deliver. If I ran a restaurant, and my supplier couldn't keep me supplied with napkins, I'd find a new supplier. If I were Steve Jobs, I'd have dumped IBM too.

People have been predicting the demise of Apple since 1977. Reality: Apple is sitting on a pile of billions of dollars in cash, with no corporate debt. They're not going away anytime soon.

__________________

Dozens of Macs; a handful of PCs; Apple ][e, ][c and ][gs; a few iPods; lots of parts
17 guitars, 2 baritone guitars, alto guitar, 6 bass guitars, bajo sexto, 3 ukuleles, mandolin, banjo, sitar
3/4 scale upright bass, 4pc drum kit, congas, travel congas, bongos, cajon, cabasa, 12 harmonicas
http://www.cwsmith.fmhttp://www.facebook.com/cwsmith2620

Offline
Joined: Dec 21 2004
Posts: 82
I can give a prime example

---Original Challenge-----
Can you give an example of that? And what version of Windows are you running that you're getting these results? It almost sounds like you're running something without USB support completely.

I find it highly suspect if your regular experience is finding companies who are unable to supply Windows drivers.
--------------------------

I plugged in a SanDisk 512MB USB Jump Drive on a desktop running XP Service Pack 2, fully patched...and the freakin' desktop couldn't load the drive. It had "Trouble loading the device".... Never had that problem with a Mac.

doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355
Re: Lots of holes in the arguments:

cwsmith wrote:

...
People have been predicting the demise of Apple since 1977. Reality: Apple is sitting on a pile of billions of dollars in cash, with no corporate debt. They're not going away anytime soon.

Plus, as was pointed out in a previous thread, Jobs = Apple + Pixar + Disney + ABC. I cannot even imagine the size of that pile of money. I find it highly unlikley that Apple would step away from its own OS when they now can benefit from these wonderful and dedicated marketing avenues.

__________________

--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

astro_rob's picture
Offline
Joined: Mar 19 2005
Posts: 320
In Similar News...

HOLLYWOOD - (AP)
This morning, Hugh Hefner announced that he is joining a Trappist monastery in Carmel...

__________________

Tinker Ergo Sum!
iBook G4 "Snowy", iBook Clamshell "Tang", Tandy Model 102 "Tandy", Tandy Model 200 "Deuce", Palm IIIxe "Xerxes", HP Jornada "Jordana"

mmphosis's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 18 2005
Posts: 314
Re: nifty little USB devices

BDub wrote:
mmphosis wrote:

And on Windows -- you get nothing, no driver, the USB device is not recognized by Windows and the vendor won't or will no longer provide a driver for Windows. Sad but, it works on Mac and linux/bsd.

Can you give an example of that? And what version of Windows are you running that you're getting these results? It almost sounds like you're running something without USB support completely.

I find it highly suspect if your regular experience is finding companies who are unable to supply Windows drivers.

http://www.keyspan.com/products/usb/USA28x/

Eudimorphodon's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1203
Re: nifty little USB devices

mmphosis wrote:
BDub wrote:
mmphosis wrote:

And on Windows -- you get nothing, no driver, the USB device is not recognized by Windows and the vendor won't or will no longer provide a driver for Windows. Sad but, it works on Mac and linux/bsd.

Can you give an example of that? And what version of Windows are you running that you're getting these results? It almost sounds like you're running something without USB support completely.

I find it highly suspect if your regular experience is finding companies who are unable to supply Windows drivers.

http://www.keyspan.com/products/usb/USA28x/

So... your example is a company not offering a Windows driver for a device that specifically says in big letters "Serial Adapter For Macintosh!", and supplies Macintosh-type DIN8 serial ports that no one would *ever* need on a Windows computer. That's sort of pushing it.

The sort of "Nifty Little USB" devices I was thinking of when I made the comment were things like MP3 players (not *everyone* wants an iPod), webcams, scanners, PDAS, phones, video capture devices, gamepads, etc. Items of general interest often bought by computer ignorant people, who *will* be irritated when it doesn't "Just Work" on their machine. Not obscure *intentionally* platform-specific serial devices.

--Peace

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
Offline
Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
Re: "Jobs = Apple + Pixar + D

Re: "Jobs = Apple + Pixar + Disney + ABC."

My question is, with such a large complex behemoth, wouldn't it be likely for the management to start wondering if it's time to start hacking off the weaker limbs, like Macintosh?

Reverend Darkness's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 502
Re: "Jobs = Apple + Pixar + D

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

My question is, with such a large complex behemoth, wouldn't it be likely for the management to start wondering if it's time to start hacking off the weaker limbs, like Macintosh?

OK, now I know your joking... and it's Apple, not Macintosh...

Out of that list of four, Apple is probably the second most profitable. Just the fact that ABCDisney had to sell about half their radio investments in order to make any money is an indication of how they are wasting resources.

Besides, they are not one company... they just have Steve-O in common.

__________________

When I see lightning, you know it always brings me down... because it's free, and it's me who's lost and never found.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
Offline
Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
By Macintosh, I mean the comp

By Macintosh, I mean the computer side of Apple as opposed the mega-successful iPod.

Reverend Darkness's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 502
Re: By Macintosh, I mean the comp

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

By Macintosh, I mean the computer side of Apple as opposed the mega-successful iPod.

So your suggestion is that they dissolve the profitable computer end of Apple and only continue with the product line that is less profitable? Sure, more iPods sell than MacBook Pro's, but they probably make more money off the MacBook. If I remeber correctly, there was one of the iPod generations that was actually sold at a loss during the Switch campaign. This may be wildly successful, but not profitable.

Here's my "death-knell" prediction:

If they ever switch to a Windows OS, it will be the death-knell Apple.

__________________

When I see lightning, you know it always brings me down... because it's free, and it's me who's lost and never found.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
Offline
Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
"Sure, more iPods sell than M

"Sure, more iPods sell than MacBook Pro's, but they probably make more money off the MacBook."

Is that true? Does anyone know? Overall, are the Macs more profitable than the iPods, even factoring in the costs of R&D?