[rescue] Powermac G5 V.s. MacBook

nate at portents.com nate at portents.com
Wed Dec 10 09:40:43 CST 2008

> On Tue, Dec 09, 2008 at 09:27:43PM -0500, Christopher Purdy wrote:
> [...]
>> Now I'll really throw gas on the fire - What if apple releases 10.6 and
>> opens it up to run on non -apple hardware?
> Why would they do that?

Yeah I agree that Apple has no reason to do something like that.  It
really wouldn't help them, and it would potentially create huge problems.

> The last time they allowed MacOS to run on non-Apple hardware, it nearly
> bankrupted the company.

The PowerPC clone years are not a sensible historical comparison.  That
was PowerPC hardware, not off-the-shelf x86 hardware, so you still had to
go to a small number of Mac PowerPC system builders who still bundled the
OS with their hardware.  And clone makers like PowerComputing were able to
steal Apple's thunder by getting their hands on smaller batches of
higher-speed PowerPC CPUs before Apple could get them in significant
quantity, which just ended up hurting Apple's image in the end (remember
the PowerComputing swan song ad with the tag line that they got caught for

As poorly executed as the clone ecosystem was, Apple was also hurting
itself with a lack of innovation in the Mac line and poorly-selling
innovative products like the Newton.  During that time the Star Trek
project was killed, Copland was late and effectively killed (little bits
of borrowed tech made it into OS 8), and in general things weren't looking
good for the future of the OS.

While in theory a wider OS release now would grow the Mac ecosystem, I'm
not sure how that would help unless it was something incredibly limited
like a company like Dell selling their own EFI-based PCs that come bundled
with a version of OS X.  It doesn't look like Dell is going to go away
anytime soon, and as boring as they are as a company, plenty of other
boring companies seem to like that about them and like buying one type of
PC to deploy across their company once every three years (upgrading 1/3 of
their PCs every year).  Those same companies like 24/7 onsite hardware
support contracts, and that's something Dell does... but in the end, I
just don't think any of this (or Apple releasing an OS X that runs on any
old x86 hardware) really benefits Apple or it's shareholders, and runs a
serious risk of brand dilution.

- Nate

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