“We live in a three OS, two hardware platform world, but that’s going to start changing in 2006. Apple will begin migrating Macs to Intel CPUs, and the new ‘Macintel’ computers will be able to run Windows, Linux x86, and Mac OS X,” Dan Knight writes for Low End Mac. “Windows does a lot of things right, but the underlying operating system is so full of holes it makes Swiss cheese look solid. Linux does a lot of things right, but there are still those geeky things that require you to use the terminal.”

“Mac OS X does almost everything right. It’s so secure that not a single virus has survived in the wild. Every program written for OS X (as opposed to ported from Linux or Unix) installs easily. The underlying kernel [Mach] is a bit of a hack, ported from NeXT’s x86-based OS to the PowerPC, and moving the Mac to Intel CPUs will improve things,” Knight writes. “The question is how the future will play out. Linux is already broken into many camps – KDE aficionados vs. Gnome users, Debian vs. Slackware vs. Gentoo plus dozens of other distributions. But the core of Linux is solid, powerful, efficient, and doesn’t get as bogged down with multithreading as the Mac OS. In many ways, OS X is what Linux would be with a great GUI. Likewise, Linux is in some ways what OS X could be. For all its strengths, OS X does allow tasks to so dominate the OS that everything else stops while the beach ball spins.”

Knight writes, “NeXT already learned how to put their interface on both Mach and Solaris kernels. Linux has grown into the most popular non-Microsoft operating system on x86 hardware, but it’s held back by dozens of distributions and two different GUIs. What if Apple were to build the equivalent of OpenStep for Linux? That is, take the whole of OS X and build it around a Linux kernel instead of Mach… We can dream, can’t we? Dreams of the best kernel and the best GUI working together. An OS and installers that are truly ready for the masses. No more beach balls of death. Real competition for Microsoft Windows present and future. The transition to Intel would be the perfect time to make the switch.”

Full article, an excellent read, here.

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