Another call for OS X on Intel chips

“I’m not the only one who thinks that Apple Computer’s prime asset is its software. That gorgeous user interface the company has developed for its OS X operating system is more of a selling point than the hip design of its iMacs and PowerBooks. And if Apple would rework its software to run on Intel chips, I suspect quite a few PC users would consider OS X an alternative on their Windows-based PCs,” writes Paul Gilster for

Gilster continues, “Until this happens, getting Apple’s market share to rise means persuading Windows users to buy entirely new hardware. Steve Jobs surely hopes to do just that, announcing new Power Macs at the company’s annual developer conference in San Francisco. Intriguingly, the high-end Power Mac G5s are to be built around an IBM chip called the PowerPC 970. They’re fast , though whether they’re as fast as Jobs says is debatable.”

“…storm clouds unexpectedly gathered with recent projections that Linux would pass Apple in market share for desktop computers in 2004. Wal-Mart is now selling ready-to-use Linux-based computers for $248. Linux will run on Intel-based PCs (and Macs, for that matter). Apple would be smart to counter it with an Intel version of OS X, for all those who don’t want to buy a new computer just now but would welcome the chance to try a less demanding Windows alternative,” Gilster writes. Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We propose that Apple make Mac OS X run on Casio calculators. That way many more people wouldn’t have to buy a new Mac to run OS X. Make it work on Game Boys, too, Apple. We suspect that Gilster most likely thinks the “X” in Mac OS X is pronounced “ex.” Will these uninformed calls for OS X on Intel ever end?


  1. For some weird reason people assume that everyone in the world has a computer and/or is a Windows user and Apple needs to persuade them to switch. Not everyone in the world has a computer, and not everyone is a Windows user. Some Mac users I have successfully got to switch were Linux users (this is on top of some Windows users I got to switch)!

  2. I also propose that BMW make engines that will fit in the Ford Focus. Why shouldn’t I be able to get $40,000USD BMW performance in my $10,000 USD econo-box? So what if I’d have to upgrade the suspension and the brakes and the… I think you can see my point. Apple has built OS X to run on ONE platfrom and to take full advantage of that platform, which is completely standard. They’d have NO interest in going into the morass of incompatibilites that is PeeCee land. Ok, so let’s say they only run on a ‘standardized’ Intel box. Where are the cost savings then?

    People who suggest that Apple should run on Intel are not thinking clearly, and seem to be completely ignorant of the Apple platform and what makes it successful.

  3. Hmmm.

    Diverse hardware.


    Tight integration.

    Apple COULD make OS-X for PCs, but it would be 5hit. They’d have to limit it to a subset of motherboards, processors, graphics cards etc, which would then defeat the object because everyone would have to buy a new machine anyway.

    I think it’s true that to run stuff like AVID software you have to have a specific tailored machine. It only supports a very limited and well spec’ed supbset of the PC world. Why ? So they know it’ll run. People investing thousands in software don’t care about saving a few hundred bucks on hardware – they just want it to work.

  4. One thing that would ruin OSX and it’s reputation is to have it running on a wild variety of hardware, especially these “integrated graphics” PCs that sell at $300.

    Also 54% of all computer sales are now laptops. This trend is going to increase now that laptops have come down in price. What is the point of having a box and monitor that require extra furniture, when you can buy a powerful computer that folds away when you’ve finished using it? Everyone in the world with a laptop will have to buy completely new hardware to update their machine. Apple just need to keep with their current policy of pricing the Powerbooks and iBooks well and they will just keep picking up the customers.

  5. I propose that Mac OS X be installed in coffee cups, that way, we could all have X, at home, work, even in a restaurant……..
    Haven’t we heard this rubbish before? This idea seems to sprout it’s wings every few months, regardless of what Apple does in forging the future of personal computing……

  6. I would love to buy a Intel hardware based and Apple software based PC. I would also be happy to use any good Unix or Linux based environment. I’m not stupid enough to buy the latest trend, in this case a laptop when I need a extremely well priced desktop (10 times the computer for the price).

    Until then it is Intel and Linux for me and still looking forward to Apples demise. Like Microsoft they just don’t get it.

  7. Exaclty…the whole reason Macs are renowned for their reliability is because everything is produced in house…its like a games console, all the games are designed for ONE piece of hardware, which means (with the exception of a few lazy game houses) that you don’t get problems…and as there is such a limited amount of hardware the software can be coded more specifically…this fool should be shot, as he obviously has no clue what he is talking about (and I’m a PC user, and even i can appreciate that!)

  8. All this time I thought the speculation was that if Apple were to seriously consider an Intel version of Mac OS X, that it would only run on Apple hardware (ie: an Apple made motherboard design with Apple ROMs). This article and subsequent comments lean towards the idea that Apple would release X for generic PC boxes. Personally, I would rather see Apple continue on it’s PowerPC path.

  9. Looking at it from a different angle – wouldn’t it be better for Apple – or a third party – to develop a piece of software that would simply enable a Windows version of the MS Office suit directly into OSX? I mean a really trimmed back, fast, emulator dedicated to that programme suite only – NOT the whole package/environment of Virtual PC. My guess is that most PC users have invested in a Windows MS Office suite, spend most computer time using Word/Excel and are reluctant to venture into Mac territory. All their other (lesser used) programmes have (superior) real Mac equivalents and switching to these would be easy. If they know they could bring their own Windows MS Office with them, I bet a lot more would switch… then when they upgrade in a year or so’s time, they would simple get a real Mac version of Office. Is this possible?

  10. Don’t be surprised if you hear about an OS X Client for Intel boxes that will allow the user of such a box to connect to an XServe. This way, the Intel box becomes a thin client while the PPC applications reside and run off the XServe, just as you can now do with any Mac that can connect to an XServe.

    You read it here first.

  11. Carlton Lee, “analyists” and nay-sayers been predicting Apple’s demise, incorrectly obviously, for the last 10 years (at least). It ain’t gonna happen any time soon, so don’t hold your breath. You wanna run OS X, buy a Mac.

  12. Useless. Behind OS/X is hardware created to work with the operating system. I worked for the Byte Shop when the Mac was introduced and one of the key concepts behind it was that the hardware and software were designed for each other.

    Bring that forward until today and try to place in on wintel boxes, to me doesn’t take this into account. PC’s in their almost infinite variety would be a monumental task and in my opinion, would be useless. Do you really think Micro$oft/Intel wouldn’t alter the platform, in pursuit of security and DRM for example. Of course not in a monopolistic way, mind you, but the future of our computing experience is being defined now. Apple would be shooting for a moving target, so to speak.

    I personally believe the PC platform, still mired in that original design created by IBM/Micro$oft, should have been scrapped long ago. Imagine if Intel had designed a new chip architecture, hardware had been produced and Micro$oft had created an new OS.

    What you see his is the true effect of Micro$oft’s monopoly. It has hindered that 95 % market share they have.

    Our computing future if you don’t know it is not one where you use your computer, but one where you “use” your computer as you would a watch, perhaps use it from your watch. Sure I will have a keyboard and mouse, but I will interact with my computer in an entirely different manner than I do today. A tablet PC like device will be handy (mounted on the wall in the kitchen) and to start my iTunes I will use it’s touch screen and not through a menu. The dock should be context sensitive.

    The day of our liberation will only happen when the Apple Menu and the Micro$oft taskbar are gone. People don’t realize that.


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