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Dvorak Says Apple Move to Intel Will Harm Linux

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the speculative-fortunetelling dept.

Editorial 1098

Deep Fried Geekboy writes "John C. Dvorak is pretty quick off the blocks with a response to the news that Apple intend to switch to Intel processors. Thankfully, he doesn't gloat about having called this one correctly, but says that the move is likely to hurt Linux, as OSS developers increasingly target the Mac. Since it now turns out that Dvorak was apparently not smoking crack when he predicted the Apple move, could he be right on this one too?"

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More good than harm. (5, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747149)

could he be right on this one too?

Harm? yes.
Kill? no.

This is redundant, but you can't kill something that isn't tied to the ownership of a company. Just like HAM radio, Linux will be used by enthusiasts who still like using it for a long long time to come. Sure, some perhaps many people will switch to OS X86, many will not.

In the long run I think the Apple move to Intel will help non-windows people in
general by creating a more dominant force of alternative operating systems on th
e Intel platform. We all win out by having more choice and interoperability between operating systems. You have to admit, its all getting better.

Intergalactic Rap Battle! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747215)

It's machine versus man, man versus woman, and woman vs. your mother!

Re:More good than harm. (2, Insightful)

JPriest (547211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747262)

Sure people will be liss likely to use Linux on an x86 desktop but that has not taken off despite experts claiming it would every year since 1999. With OSX being a (partial) UNIX core it gives OSS devs a new more user-friendly platform to write open source software on.
Also, Mac owners will now be able to install standard x86 Linux distros along side OSX too.

Re:More good than harm. (5, Insightful)

Lando Griffin (698606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747264)

It is even simpler than that. Hacking aside, Apple is committed to locking down OSX for x86 to Apple-branded hardware. So even after this move, switching from whichever OS you are running now to OSX will entail purchasing Apple hardware. Linux and the BSDs will remain free, and will happily install and run on whatever hardware you have installed in your machine.

Re:More good than harm. (4, Insightful)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747330)

Why is everyone so quick to pit this as an OS battle? I think the more likely scenerio is that Apple will end up taking market share away from HP and Dell. I know a lot of PC users that have salivated over Powerbooks (please note that laptops are now outselling desktops) but very few who would risk an OS change. If Apple makes a product you can load WinXP on, even if it comes with OSX out of the box, expect to see significant sales of Macs to Windows users.


Re:More good than harm. (3, Insightful)

dsplat (73054) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747344)

I agree to an extent. Most open source software is designed to be portable across a wide variety of *nix platforms. Yes, this may mean that more open source developers will use OSX as their native platform. It has the potential to seriously change the landscape for desktop *nix use, which will have an effect on some commercial Linux distros. But it is not going to kill open source development and it isn't going to eliminate Linux as a target platform for open source apps.

Dvorak again? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747150)

Why does anyone listen to this guy?

Even a stopped clock... (0)

daniil (775990) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747166)

could he be right on this one too?

Just as likely as one of Roland Piquepaille's "[t]echnology [t]rends" actually becoming one.

Re:Even a stopped clock... (1)

silva42 (877618) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747237)

Dvorak was apparently not smoking crack when he predicted the Apple move, could he be right on this one too? who says he isn't smoking crack?

Re:Dvorak again? (5, Insightful)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747200)

Because he talks, and people listen... and he talks...ppl listen...talk...listen...

One day you figure out he's been an idiot the whole time, and its too late to shut him up!

Re:Dvorak again? (1)

sphealey (2855) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747288)

Usually I defend Dvorak here, because despite his annoying style and habit of shit-stirring I think he is very knowledgable and as insighful as any industry commentator out there.

So honesty compels me to point out: Dvorak has been predicting an Apple switch to Intel processors since at least 1984. Given the rate of change in the microprocessor industry since 1980, it was inevitable that if he kept at it long enough he would be right eventually.

I imagine he will now start predicting that Apple will buy all rights to the Alpha from HP and start a secret program to move to that!


Because he is correct! (2, Funny)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747257)

People listen to him because he has an amazing grasp and understanding of the computer industry. He was able to call this one years ago. Indeed, he was correct.

Re:Dvorak again? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747331)

Why does anyone listen to this guy?
Because they're ID-10-Ts?

This isn't going to harm Linux at all - it's going to give ALL alternatives to the Bitch from the Redmond tar pits more credibility.

Dvoraks' 15 minutes of fame are over, have been for more than a decade. So are Roland PiquePailles, as time will tell. Two guys, both spending more time self-promoting than actually DOING anything constructuve.

In the case of Apple to Intel, Dvorak being right is like Microsoft marketing - throw enough shit against the wall ... some is going to stick. I'm underwhelmed by his prognosticative abilities.

Marginal effect on Linux (5, Insightful)

dave-tx (684169) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747152)

Seems to me that as long as you can build/buy a cheap x86 box (that OS X will not run on), Linux will have almost as large, if not as large, as it has right now. I don't see this hurting Linux substantially, as Mac/OS X will always be more expensive than the homebrew computer on which Linux thrives - at least for the home user/hobbyist. There may be an impact in the workstation sector.

Re:Marginal effect on Linux (1)

thryllkill (52874) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747201)

Well... there is always that big assed server market that Linux seems to do so well in, and the XServe...well...

FROBAG (0, Offtopic)

Eusebio Kidjo (889048) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747155)

This move also hurt to my race in orientation.

Why they do this to me and us? Why they try cause pain to us? Why these kalbies only want to be kalbies alive?

I know not, but I wish find out [imcommunity.net] .

The first posting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747159)


hmmm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747161)

In soviet russia, first posts you?

Doubt it. (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747163)

If anything, Apple moving closer toward commodity hardware may be the undoing of the Mac, but it's the attraction of Linux I believe is there regardless of Apple's existence.

Huh? (4, Insightful)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747270)

Has USB/USB 2.0 led to the undoing of the mac? Has the move from SCSI to ATA led to the undoing of the mac?

Then how can anyone predict this will hurt the platform?

Dvorak (0, Flamebait)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747165)

This guy is about as useful as RMS. Which is not at all. Your time is past. Apple still sucks, I just don't want to hear this asshat talk about it.

Intel != x86 (1)

rickthewizkid (536429) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747168)

Just because it's Intel does not mean it's gonna be x86, does it?

Oh and BTW - First Post. I think...

Re:Intel != x86 (2, Informative)

wvitXpert (769356) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747199)

Wow, your behind. Yes, its x86. The developer system is running a 3.6Ghz P4.

Re:Intel != x86 (1)

wankledot (712148) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747217)

Have you not read ANY of the news about this announcement? It's x86. They did the demo yesterday on a P4.

Re:Intel != x86 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747220)

Yes, in this case Intel == x86 (the machines they are giving out as dev boxes are Pentium 4's).

Re:Intel != x86 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747223)

The demo machine had an x86 chipsest, as does the soon-to-be-avilable devlopment kit. So, I think, it may do.

Re:Intel != x86 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747232)

Well apple are offering developers a build for the Pentium 4 so it's probably safe to assume it will be for x86.

Re:Intel != x86 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747276)

Depends on which processor they use.

Pentiums are all x86 only...

I don't know what all intel offers in othe areas though.

Re:Intel != x86 (1)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747299)

According to the Intel roadmap that steve Jobs kept refering to in the keynote, Apple is likely to move to the 65nm, 64bit, multicore (EM64T) processors that Intel plans to release in summer 2006. Expect Gilo processors in PowerBooks by 2007.

Re:Intel != x86 (1)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747351)

Get over it. Apple has said time and again in their documentation of the move that they are going to IA-32; not x86-64, not Itanium, not Intel's own version of PPC, IA-32.

While it remains to be argued whether or not this is a good thing, at least the Mac OS will now run on commodity hardware, meaning it should be more available to people. This will drive down the costs of manufacturing a Mac, increasing the ROI of the Mac hardware (assuming they keep the same price; why not when the selling point is so great?)

Their one platform that shows the most promise, the Mini Mac, will enjoy huge benifits from this move. Celeron-M laptop boards should drive the cost of this gem down into the Dell-cheap-as-dirt range, meaning more Macs on the market. Hell, if I were Dell I'd be doing all I could to get in with Apple and get the Mac OS X because the Mac Mini IA-32 edition will be such a great seller for the company.

While this isn't the end of Microsoft, I think they're about to see large cuts in their marketshare. If everyone out there who's even *looked* at an iPod starts looking at Apple computers as a viable, non-hobbiest machine, then they could sell millions.

The forecast is cloudy, but the sun's behind all of those clouds.

can't be wrong all the time (5, Funny)

Thanatopsis (29786) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747170)

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. :-)

Re:can't be wrong all the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747204)

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Unless the hands are broken off.

Re:can't be wrong all the time (5, Insightful)

numark (577503) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747213)

Exactly what I've been saying recently. Dvorak didn't necessarily guess anything spectacular. There were pretty good odds something like this would eventually happen. Apple went to IBM because Motorola couldn't turn out G5s fast enough. Then IBM ran into trouble with G5 production. Who else was there to turn to? No one else has a viable chance of making PowerPC chips right now. Just because Dvorak happened to put pieces together, along with some wild speculation, doesn't necessarily qualify him to continue to make wild predictions. It just means he got lucky one time.

Re:can't be wrong all the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747230)

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Not if it's digital.

Re:can't be wrong all the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747310)

Not if it's digital.

Surely *12:00* *12:00* *12:00* *12:00* ... exists in your day!

Not in my house (0, Offtopic)

rickthewizkid (536429) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747286)

You know, I just looked at the clock on the wall, and it's one of those LCD radio-controlled clocks. Between my computers, PDAs, clock radios, cable box, oven, microwave, etc, I don't have a single analog clock in the house! If any of these clocks break, I would imagine that they would just go blank - not stop on a particular time... In my case, a broken clock is completely useless to me, at least as a clock. It might be very good however, as a source for spare parts. :) Just my blinking 12:00's worth -RickTheWizKid

Linux covers a lot more hardware (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747171)

MacOS on intel doesn't mean it will work on beige boxes.

Re:Linux covers a lot more hardware (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747355)

But what's to say that the open source community won't provide a similar level of support for non-Apple devices? Nothing! The nature of Apple's IOKit framework allows for device drivers to be written extremely easily. I foresee much portage in the next decade as many of the devices that are currently supported only by Windows or Linux are supported by Mac OS X.

Credibility (1)

parasonic (699907) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747173)

And why does anyone even bother paying attention to him? Just about everything that I have read him saying is wrong. You think that he would lose his credibility after a while.

Irrelevant (1, Insightful)

dfn5 (524972) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747175)

OSX is unix. Linux is unix. Therefore Unix wins and Windows loses. In the end that is all that matters.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

Pinefresh (866806) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747245)

But Linux is FOSS, OSX isn't (well, darwin is, but that's not the point). Unix is great, and I much prefer a Unix like OS over windows, but I also would much rather it be free and open.

BUT! (1)

koi88 (640490) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747255)

OSX is unix. Linux is unix. Therefore Unix wins and Windows loses. In the end that is all that matters.

But GNU's Not Unix.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

silva42 (877618) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747301)

OSX != open source, Linux = open source. Open source winning is all that matters.

Re:Irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747305)

Linux Is Not UniX.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

MuMart (537836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747354)

So the enemy of my enemy is my friend?

Irrelevant (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747176)

Since it now turns out that Dvorak was apparently not smoking crack when he predicted the Apple move, could he be right on this one too?

It's largely irrelevant whether Dvorak is right or wrong. I'd warrant that he doesn't even care himself if he hits the mark. Dvorak is a troll who keeps rehashing the same "Linux is in trouble!" article to enrage the FOSS crowd, woo the Microsoft crowd, and ultimately draw readers to his site.

It's not about whether Linux wins or loses, it's whether or not he gets his paycheque.

Overrated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747272)

Be a man, mod the parent "Troll" or "Offtopic" if you must. "Overrated" shows you're too scared of meta-moderation, as your moderating is unjustified.

Dvorak (5, Funny)

J-1000 (869558) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747177)

He also said the Internet would crash.

Inherent security (1)

silvergoose (807387) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747178)

Attacks on linux are created all the time. If maintained properly, it won't have the gaping holes Windows tends to have.


Re:Inherent security (1)

compass46 (259596) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747325)

Attacks on Windows are created all the time. If maintained properly, it won't have the gaping holes Linux tends to have...

The idea that *NIX = "Inherent Security" is completely retarded. Properly maintained systems are the only secure systems. The differences really worth comparing are in the amount of work it takes to maintain and patch the OS.

Linux is dead! Dvorak would love that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747184)

I am glad that more people are seeing the reality of the situation. Apple is NO FRIEND OF OPEN SOURCE. They are one of the primary backers of the push for software patents in europe. Remember SCO, people. Just because a company uses open source software for their own benefit does not mean they would be opposed to killing it off permanently and going back to the good old days where they and they alone were in charge.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747188)

Yes... Harm and eventually kill.

I spoke too soon! (1)

Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747189)

About the gloating, anyway.

Check out his PC World column [pcmag.com] , which is full of obnoxious gloating.

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747190)

It's interesting to me that Apple didn't go with AMD.

yes of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747191)

if you flip a coin 7 times and it comes up heads 7 times, its more likely to come up tails on the 8th time?

well, only if you never took a statistics class.

john dvorak has also predicted, twice, once in the early 1990s, that people would stop buying 40 dollar video games.

does that mean his prediction about apple will be wrong?

oh wait, maybe slashdot.org is just a troll site designed to get a lot of flamewars and page hits by posting ridiculous garbage to the front page.

Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

jasenko (97884) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747195)

Apple will grab a lot of Windows users with this move, but many more Linux users will switch. Linux users will get familiar environment on their platform of choice. Plus, if they don't like OSX as much they can always boot into linux, this time, they can but their favourite x86 distro.
I wonder can you install Xp on that machine...

Win users won't switch just because of a processor (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747334)

Windows users don't tend to be processor zealots. I'm not even sure that average PC users even care what processor is in their box (Intel, AMD, etc.). Win users won't switch because they'll have to learn a whole new OS and a Mac will still be more expensive.

Define "Harm" (5, Insightful)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747202)

A lot of it depends on what Apple does. Right now, Linux can run on a Mac, so that's not a barrier. Linux will (and I'll go on a limb here) certainly run on the new Intel Macs.

So by "hurt", there's no net change: Linux runs on Macs, and will in the future.

If Apple makes its Macs (say that three times fast) as closed as they are now, then Linux will have nothing to worry about. Linux succeeds, as one developer mentioned, because nothing runs faster than on commodity hardware running with LInux running with Apache. Linux succeeds because of its ability to work very well with open systems. Apple will be a niche player - maybe they'll grow if WINE should run well under OS X with an Intel processor (and I'm hoping so, if for no other reason than I can play Half Life on a Mac finally), but I don't think that Linux will be threatened by a locked hardware base.

If Apple, say 5 years from now, decides that it's going to let the machine hardware become the commodity item and focus on its "special" hardware (iPod, etc) and software (Final Cut Pro, iLife, etc), then Linux will still be unharmed. Even if Apple says "OK, we're still going to sell premium desktop machines at +$300 compared to the competition for quality - but you could always just buy a Dell and pay us $150 for OS 10.7 and we'll be happy, since that still means you'll buy our other software too and you're likely to someday make an official Apple machine your next purchase", Linux will not be "harmed", since Apple can't stop Linux from being made. Linux will proceed along its way.

If by "harmed" you mean market share, then he may have a point. If Apple lets OS X run on standard PC's, then I can see Linux desktop share either becoming stagnent or shifting about.

My personal bet is that if the latter happens (OS X on standard machines), within 10 years we'll see a 50% Windows, 30% OS X, and 15% Linux, 5% other varients in the desktop market - in the server market it may be much as it is now, maybe with OS X and Linux overtaking the bulk of the traditional Unix route.

So, "harm" to Linux? The truth, as you may learn, depends entirely upon a certain point of view. What I've described is just mine. I could be wrong.

I ain't no Linux zealot or fanboy (4, Funny)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747205)

But even I know that Dvorak is an idiot. Like the cliche says, "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day."

It's just a repeat of NeXT. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747207)

This whole situation has basically been a repeat of NeXT. Does anyone remember when they released NeXTSTEP 3.0 for the i486? Well, they also changed their name from NeXT Computers, Inc., to NeXT Software, Inc. That was done to signify their move away from hardware back to being solely a software provider. That is what is happening with Apple today. They are becoming a software-only provider, while moving towards the commoditization of their hardware. Now the question we should be asking is who will purchase Apple Software, Inc., in five or six years and provide a full-packaged hardware solution again. At this point it would seem to be Sun, since they are amongst the only remaining vendors with their own CPU architecture. But perhaps we may even see a company such as IBM purchasing Apple in half a decade or so to provide the software for a series of high-performance cell-based workstations.

The difference is still strong hardware (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747347)

The difference though, and why I think you can't compare the situation (while I did not own a NeXT cube I did work on them) is that Apple going forward is still very much going to be doing custom hardware - it's not like they are going to sell OS X for Dell, it's more like they have just switched one component on the motherboard.

I would love to see OS X for Cell, perhaps we will see that down the line. Now that everyone's going to have to carefully manage endianess for Mac programming they could put whatever the hell processor they like in new boxes and the binaries can just become a little fatter still.

This Dvorak dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747210)

should stick to designing peripherals...

why doesnt he come up with a Dvorak mouse for the Apple's or something?

on Dvorak being right (2, Interesting)

maw (25860) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747218)

This seems more like a case of the exception proving the rule than anything else.

As for the move hurting Linux, maybe. But OSX has been hurting Linux on the desktop for a while as it is. Lots of hackers are switching; they get the power of the CLI when they want it, with no need to fuck around when they want to view video, plug in hardware and have it reliably work, etc.

his prediction was not quite correct (4, Informative)

LunaticLeo (3949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747219)

He said in 12-18 months and that was almost 27 months ago. This is something of a nit, but you can't say "Windows will be less than %50 of market share in the next 5 years" then 20 years later say "I told you so" when it actually happens.

didn't Dvorak... (5, Funny)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747224)

...predict that Apple was going to move to Itanium?

Ummm... what? (3, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747229)

Umm... just because it'll run on x86 doesn't mean it'll run on average PC hardware. Tell me Dvorak isn't this stupid? I really don't think apple is just going to give up their proprietary lock, I believe this move is just to get in on more profit/cheaper hardware. I'm sure they'll still have their own proprietary system in place of the bios, which means all of us on regular x86, not mac x86, still won't be able to use it. And I *REALLY* dont' think you're going to see hundreds of thousands of people running out and buying a mac just because it's "Intel inside".

Re:Ummm... what? (1)

wvitXpert (769356) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747328)

I don't know about proprietary, but they have said that x86 Macs will not use Openfirmware.

it doesn't work that way (3, Insightful)

spif (4749) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747231)

It's one thing for Dvorak to predict the Apple move to Intel; that's a meat and potatoes hardware business prediction that lots of other (non zealotous) people made as well.

But he doesn't have a freakin' clue about open source development. It's not an either/or proposition. People will continue to write software that can be targeted to OS X and Linux and [insert favorite *NIX OS here].

Yes, it may hurt Linux on the desktop somewhat, if Apple's Intel-based hardware is cheap and/or running OS X on generic hardware isn't a big PITA. But that's no real skin off my potatos as long as it helps hurt M$.

Linux has a future with regards to openness (2, Interesting)

DARKFORCE123 (525408) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747243)

Linux going forward may be the only OS that will continue to run on non-DRM and open hardware. Expect the Apple Intel boxes to be locked down tight, and MS is definitely going in that direction.

Longhorn and Mac OS X ( Tiger, Leopard) may still have many more appealing features, but from a freedom and open use perspective, you better start looking at that Linux box.

X86 or X64 OS Wars Version 2.0 (1)

sir lox elroy (735636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747246)

In this corner The winner from the last match Microsoft who beat out OS/2, and UNIX, amongst others, for desktop X86 Supremacy, versus up and coming superstars Apple OSX X86, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and Solaris amongst others.

In other news (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747247)

John C Dvorak opens his mouth before his brain works and non-tech people believe it to be fact.

News at 11.

Servers and embedded (1)

PlanetX 00 (623339) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747251)

Because the largest volume of Linux is on servers and embedded this is a non-issue. It may hamper Linux on the desktop, but this is a very small part of the Linux community.

OSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747254)

How many OSS developers will switch over and code for a non OSS API, Cocoa? Don't know but I'm sure their will be alot of us left on Open Source API:s.

Looks like Xmas in Hell (1)

MythoBeast (54294) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747256)

It always amazes me how the Slashdot readers tend to think that Dvorak is the great anti-sage - the guy with all the wrong answers. I can understand not taking what he says as gospel, but his only real sin is the willingness to make guesses.

I appreciate reading his stuff, but I take his predictions with a grain of salt. He's very well informed and quite willing to disseminate his information. He's also usually pretty insightful, even if he isn't generally dead-on.

Looking forward, strategic consequences (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747258)

Personally I do not think this will hurt Linux at all. In fact, I think it could help Linux to have some really well designed Intel boxes to run on - Linux can benefit as much from Apple's design constraints as much as Apple, you could be more sure a Linux distro would work on an Apple box because there was less hardware to test. Also Linux will still run on all sorts of Intel hardware that OS X will not.

I think a really interesting aspect of this Intel move is that now Apple has REALLY positioning itself square against Longhorn. The next release of the OS is due around the Longhorn release, and all the lower end macs like the Mini and iMac should be switched by then as well. So come time for Longhorn release will people buy Longhorn boxes or Apple boxes with a sort of "Longhorn" that's had almost two years of refinement, not to mention what's new in Leopard!

At first I didn't think the Intel switch was a good idea, now I'm kind of neutral. One thing I still find odd though - why Intel of all people? Why not AMD?

Apple's Licensing (1)

judmarc (649183) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747265)

From TFA:

And then there are the numerous developers who simply do not subscribe to the notions of the Open Source Foundation and its rigid licensing requirements. They will quickly see profit opportunities for OS-X/86 development without having to worry about what has to be shared and what can be sold for profit.

Right, 'cause Apple's always been so liberal in its licensing policies. There is Darwin, but it doesn't include precisely the fancy UI stuff that Dvorak says is the main reason OS-X will be more successful than Linux.

I doubt it .... (1)

jlrobins_uncc (136569) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747269)

Our webshop develops on OSX (save one die-hard linux laptop uber-coder), then deploys production on SuSE/x86.

Best of both worlds. Now, this could slow down KDE / Gnome development (why bother 'suffering' under X11 anymore?), but at the same time it might well _aid_ the GNUStep project as folks want to get their newfound Cocoa apps running under Linux. Even with Webcore.

I don't agree. (4, Interesting)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747273)

Sorry, I simply don't agree. While people may be more inclined to develop for the mac platform when it's using the x86 architecture, let's not forget why people will be more inclined to develop for the mac; because it's easier to do.

People will be able to develop truly cross platform libraries more reliably, on which people will write applications which will work on all platforms. I find it exceedingly unlikely that a developer would choose to develop solely for apple, when for a little extra work they can cover Linux too.

I disagree with his slurs against open-office too. The bi-monthly preview versions of open-office 2.0 are very impressive, not only in terms of functionality but also in the quality of its interface. I'm sure there are arm-fulls of features present in Microsoft Office that are not there in open-office but do I really give a flying fuck?

It's not the total number of features that matters; it's whether the features I want to use are there that really counts. I'd bet that almost all of the Slashdot community have not used any of the new features in Microsoft Word since the release of Office 97. After Office 97 no real value was added to the office suite, so why should I have to upgrade every couple of years?

Microsoft force upgrades because you can't buy Office 97 licenses any more. When your company expands you have to get the brand-spanking-new licenses of office and then because of possibility of incompatibility between the two versions it becomes sensible to harmonize the licenses across your business and this invariably means buying loads of new licenses.

In contrast, Open-office has all the features I want to use and they're organized in an accessible way. I can always get an older copy of open office so the same expansion issues do not apply. I think if most companies could start over with their office suite, most would adopt open-office. What's stopping market penetration by open-office is the hidden cost of converting all the documents to the new format.


Dvorak is just predictably authoritarian (1)

ianscot (591483) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747277)

Even when Dvorak's right about something, it's just the proverbial broken clock that's right twice a day.

My main criterion for reading a columnist is, the person has to be capable of surprising me. That rules out a lot of the political dreck; I know basically what Cal Thomas is going to say about X issue, because Mr. Thomas is a completely predictable social conservative.

Dvorak is a weird case in which a business columnist has a lot of the same authoritarian leanings that right-wing columnists show on the Op Ed pages. The guy will always "side" with the bully on the block, and show disdain toward anything that doesn't fit the world view of guys with power ties. And he's predictable; for all that his opinion on any given subject is a troll, it's a predictable one.

Wrong. No effect on Linux but bad for Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747280)

There will be no effect on Linux because Linux doesn't compete against Apple. People are on Linux because they want to be on Linux, not because either Linux worked on Intel or because Apple was on Power PC.

This is going to be a disaster for Apple because of the emulation required for the existing PowerPC chips. I will eat my hat if I'm wrong.

I understand why they did it, because they were falling further behind technologically, and frankly their backs were to the wall. I personally subscribe to the RISC philosophy, and think it is elegant and makes more sense, but Intel was simply better at executing, and this is a key example of where technology was the determining factor, not marketing.

But when they moved from Motorola to PowerPC, the PowerPC was fast enough so that existing software could be emulated with no loss of speed.

Intel will *not* be able to emulate PowerPC with the same speed, and users will no doubt suffer a performance hit, and incredible dissatisfaction, crashing because the emulation layer is buggy, etc.

We need Apple in this industry to keep innovation alive, but IBM messed up and unfortunately there's nothing Apple could do. Now, they'll be in the same death spiral as SGI because there won't be any market differentiator.

You know someone is going to hack OSX so that it will run on a Dell, come on, who do they think they are? There are legions of incredibly smart hackers out there that will defeat any mechanism they put on their OS to stop it from running on anything except an Apple. I will eat my hat if there isn't OSX running on a clone in 3 months after the release of the X86 version.

Short term, the opposite. Long term? Depends. (2, Insightful)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747281)

Anything that increases the Mac marketshare over windows has the opportunity to boost Linux in the short term. Any time you add people to developing on *NIX or BSD, you end up with code that can be ported back and forth easier then, say, some DirectX or MFC app made for Windows.

So in the short term, you end up with more projects that can be released under Mac & Linux.

In the long term... the key to success probably hinges on adaptation. If Linux distros continue on their own path with mixed up UIs, uneven standards, and so on, then the core audience won't grow as fast as if there's a consensus to make it appealing for newcomers.

I'm not saying 'Just make everything look like Mac', just that a succesful long term strategy probably involves watching and, when appropriate, adopting best practices from the similar OS that has a bigger marketshare.

Why listen to him.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747284)

He's just a jumped up keyboard salesman. No, wait..

Random chance... (1)

deacon (40533) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747290)

Since it now turns out that Dvorak was apparently not smoking crack when he predicted the Apple move, could he be right on this one too?


See post subject.



Even a blind pig will find a truffle once in a while.

Even a page-view troll like Dvorak will occasionally hit the correct mark.

Unforunately, yes it will (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747294)

But only on the desktop, the server world will still improve. There are too many problems with linux desktop, ranging from bugs in 1394 that freeze the system, lack of professional applications and off the shelf software, limited hardware support thanks to uncooperative manufacturers. No this isn't FUD, I've been using various distros for about seven years now, and if it's not one thing, it's another. My main box is still, and will remain Debian Sid, plus two laptop too, but recently I had enough of it all and bought an apple. Yes, OS X has PITA issues too, but regarding non-development productiving, stuff just works. *sigh*

On the contrary, I think this may help (1)

Calyth (168525) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747302)

Although Mac developers may be not as numerous as Microsoft or Linux developers, I don't think having them working on a x86 platform could be a harmful thing. BSD and Linux is close enough that I rarely see drivers being supported in one not being supported in other. Perhaps as support for hardware grows for OSX, it would make those driver writers consider making that driver workable in Linux - but most likely someone would simply hack the driver in one to work with the other.

Proably not. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747304)

Frankly I am still betting that this will kill the Mac. It is very sad but that is my prediction. Emulation will not be fast enough for PPC. Fat binaries will be a huge pain in the ass. Sales of current machines will all but stop.
OS/X has some really performance issues in the server market. Threading is slow because of the mutant BSD on Mach system they use. Most of the MONEY in in Linux is still the server side.
I do not see a lot of OSS people moving to OS/X . Right now they just treat it as another Unix and I am sure that will continue. I wonder if Darwin will have an option to run Linux binaries now?

You still need Apple hardware (1)

techwolf (26278) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747312)

to run the OS:

http://news.com.com/Apple+throws+the+switch,+align s+with+Intel/2100-7341_3-5733756.html?tag=macintou ch [com.com]

However, [Apple Senior VP Phil] Schiller said the company does not plan to let people run Mac OS X on other computer makers' hardware. "We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac," he said.

So Macs are just going to be "less different" than other computers by using the majority processor. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Interesting that Apple's own page on the G5 towers touts how great it is over Intel with all sorts of benchmarks.

Dvorak uses sperm theory to make his predictions.. (1)

cowmix (10566) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747313)

If you throw out enough stupid predictions.. one will eventually be 'fertile'.

Seriously, he doesn't seem to have a clue as to why people use Linux.. that being for servers. He doesn't seem to realize that OS X will ONLY (legally) run on Apple blessed X86 machines.

Ugh.. he is a moron.

Oh no!! It will harm linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747314)

Thats because all the linux users will suddenly say "omgwtf intel on teh apple lol" and stop using linux. Isn't it obvious?

Seriosuly, what difference does it make?

The demise of Apple? (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747318)

I personally think this is a very bold move. If Apple start chunking out computers with the same price/performance as Microsoft they will be in direct competition. The difference between a Apple Mac and a Windows PC will be the OS. Thats pretty close to start selling MacOS X to any PC manufacturer who meets certain hardware specs.

I dont think this will affect linux that much but it will really put Microsoft at battle stations if it flies.

Will probably help Redhat and SuSE (1)

VirtualUK (121855) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747319)

Apple running on x86 architectures will more than likely aid the big Linux distributions, by providing another viable more well known alternative to Windows. When people start experimenting with OSX because they feel more comfortable with it being more recognizable and come to see that alternatives to Windows can be productive, I think it could tip the scales for a lot of people to try Linux too.

What's up his pipe exactly? (1)

jlrobins_uncc (136569) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747324)

But now that Apple is using the same processor as everyone else, targeting the Macs will now be an easy decision to make. This will be at the expense of Linux.

Yeah, all of that inline assembler code will now 'just work'. X11 versus Cocoa has absolutely _nothing_ to do with porting efforts, does it?

yes he was (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12747327)

Oh no, Dvorak certainly was smoking some powerful crack when he predicted this. It just turns out that Jobs was smoking the same crack.

Question on Itanic (1)

sphealey (2855) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747333)

Everyone is assuming that Jobs is speaking of only the x86 architecture, whether 32 or 64 bit. What if part of the deal is for Apple to test and if possible deploy Itanium for their high-end desktops and servers? 2-3 million Itanium units per year might be enough to get a positive feedback loop working for Intel on that product line.


It'll harm OSX more (1, Insightful)

acb (2797) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747335)

If Apple move to machines which can also run Windows, then OSX is doomed.

Consider this reasoning: most software runs on Windows. The average Mac user who's not a paid-up Penguin Jedi doesn't care about OSX being technically better than Windows; they'd care even less than about the PowerPC being better than x86.

The average person who wants to use a video/music/graphics package on x86 hardware will not want to reboot to OSX every time they wish to use the package. (This has been tried before; the DJing software Final Scratch was first launched for Linux, and proved unpopular for this reason.) And with most things still running on Windows first, only a few users would move permanently to OSX.

One part of Apple's business is selling professional software, such as Shake, FCP and Logic. With their own PPC hardware, this software was incentive to sell Macs; if OSX runs on generic hardware, the software becomes its own concern. And if it runs only on Apple's weird (but advanced) OS, it'll be at a convenience disadvantage to rivals which run on ordinary, everyday Windows.

I predict that, within five years, OSX will be "reinvented" as a compatibility layer on top of Windows. This layer will come "out of the box" with copies of Apple's software (be it iTunes or Final Cut Pro), and users won't even need to know it's there. UNIX purists and techies will cringe, but that's not where the money is.

Relevance (1)

crumbz (41803) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747339)

I have been reading Dvorak's work since the mid-80's. Every once in a while he is dead on and eloquently states his case. The vast majority of the time, however, he is not. His columns in the mid 90s were so out of touch with the corporate IT world that I wondered if he even knew how computer use was changing at that time, let alone had the insight to offer a reasoned commentay. Thus, I do no rely upon his assessments of anything in the sphere of computers anymore.

My two cents....

He's wrong (4, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747346)

First off, there's a difference between being right about something that you heard leaks about. Dvorak never came up with unique arguments for an Apple to Intel switch. All he gave were the same list of pros and cons that the Apple community has been arguing about for years. Congrats to him on hearing the rumors and the leaks before a lot of other people, but that doesn't make him a great visionary or insightful interpreter of the industry. His track record isn't very impressive in my opinion.

Second, Apple's switch to Intel really doesn't change all that much unless you're a current Apple developer. Apple's hardware is not going to get significantly cheaper, their OS is not going to run on non-apple machines. There's still going to be just as much proprietary-ness in both their hardware and software as ever. They've been making general strides towards open source with OSX, but I don't think that's going to function any differently now that they're on x86.

A mac will still be a mac, and a PC will still be a PC, they'll just happen to have the same processor inside. Like they have the same hard drives and ram and lots of other stuff now. If Apple was opening up OSX to any old dell or emachines box, then maybe there'd be significant migration from Linux. If Apple was entirely open sourcing the whole of OSX, then maybe there'd be significant migration. But not because they're changing processors in their otherwise the same computers.

Dvorak is Right (1, Troll)

webzombie (262030) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747348)

As soon as the Linux community gets its collective head out of its ass and realizes that Apple IS the standard of nix's be it Linux or Unix.

Linux has had a few years to really get things going and for a while there IBM and Novell had a real head of steam but NO ONE - ang I mean NO ONE in the Linux community seems to be able to continue the momentum.

Listen if Jobs can come up with some sort of super-frickin'-duper translation layer from PowerPC to INTEL why the hell can't Linux to the same with Windows to Linux translation. But translation only as a means for transition. Not as a yeah I run Linux and I'm cool but I have all my comfy Widows apps running with CoderWeavers or VMware... that NOT a reasonable long term strategy... of course who in the Linux community has any sort of long term strategy? Anyone... well... yeah I thought so.

You see the Linux community is still fighting over Gnome vs whatever and the latest kernel mutations instead of practical implementations that would actually cause a regular Windows user to switch. Get it!?

Do you think for a second the public at large really knows about the power of UNIX that Jobs spouts off about at every opportunity. Of course not.

But they do recall the inx thingy, ah whats it called, you know the penquin thingy... oh yeah Linus the Peanuts OS!

If Apple every unleashes OS X to the masses for the X86 Linux will feel the pain as much as Windows will... if not more.

And you know I'm right!

Rude supprise (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747357)

The technology that wins in the market place is never the most elloquent, best designed, or the prettiest, or even the most standards compliant. Those are only secondary to the technology being the least proprietary.

Now Linux is not only the least proprietarty hands down, but it's very well designed and implemented, and very quickly coming up to speed on the GIU front. At that point Apple won't have anything to offer other than a pretty case, and more expensive hardware at which time they will be in for a very rude supprise.

Only if we choose to let it die (1)

lurch84 (889236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12747358)

Now to me, just because someone predicts that is going to die because of , even if they were right about , doesn't mean that ipso facto it's going to happen. Now I don't want to sound like I'm standing on the burning ship saying everything's fine, but as I developer I don't have any plans on moving from Linux to MacOS quite yet. I admit the move does change my perspective of apple, but I still think the Linux OS has enough advantages of it's own to warrant my sticking around. And unless I'm the only OSS developer out there that thinks this, a "flood", at least in the near future, seems a little unlikely.
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