Yet another call for a ‘Pentium Mac’

“It’s time for me to explain, once again, why I think it’d be a good idea to put Mac OS X on Intel processors,” writes David Coursey, Special to CNETAsia. “I’m doing so because of an opinion column that appears in the current issue of Macworld magazine. The headline, ‘Mac OS X on Intel? That makes sense for PC makers and PC users–but not for Apple,’ pretty much tells the story. (I’d link to the column, but Macworld doesn’t offer the full text.)”

Coursey writes, “The author of the column, Matt Deatherage, is a seasoned and mostly well-reasoned Apple observer. He suggests that the only people who want to see OS X on Intel are the folks I call ‘Mac voyeurs'”–people who get all frothy thinking about what Apple does but who can be counted on never to buy a Mac. Worse, Deatherage says Apple would inevitably lose control of the operating system, Apple hardware sales would crater, and, because the company depends on hardware revenue to stay afloat, Apple would die.”

“Well, Matt, I’m a real Apple user and I’d like to see Apple build some Intel-based boxes, though I will add the caveat ‘only if the OS can be locked to the hardware.’ By which I mean, only if Apple can create a version of Mac OS X for Intel processors that it can limit for use on Apple manufactured hardware only. If that could be done, I’d think it’s a good idea,” Coursey writes.

Full article here.


  1. David Coursey obviously missed what the article was saying! It makes ZERO sense for Apple to move ti Intel. It would cannibalize Apple as a whole!

    In other words, it would be one of the most dummest business moves ever in Apple’s history, but they haven’t made that move so no reason to bring up the notion of dumb!

  2. What a cluebag. Matt Deatherage’s article was very well reasoned and very convincing. Courtney’s retort seems to have been written on the fly, having not considered any of the very relevant points made by Deatherage, and making one fatal (and naive) assumption – that Windows users would bother with dual-booting.

    If he believes that Windows users would want Mac software, then be a proponent for the software to be written for Windows. If he believes that OS X is superior to Windows, then why the dual-boot? – be a proponent for more software development on the Mac (something that I do NOT find to be an issue at all). [Side note: I switched to Mac several years ago specifically to run an acceptable version of Illustrator and PhotoShop. I switched FOR the software!]

    The question I had when I read the headline is the same one I was left with after I read the article: Why?

    Oh, and one more question: Where does CNET get these “writers”?

  3. Why? The G5 is far superior to anything any one can make with a “Intel Inside” sticker on it.

    Apple is a COMPUTER manufacturer. They strive to produce the fastest, most reliable, and easiest to use (both operator and developer) system. They do NOT use Intel for that reason, and they opted to use their own OS for the same reason, too.

    Why would I want my Porsche to handle like a Ford?

  4. What would be the point of an x86 OS X now that OS X runs on the 970? Today OS X runs on the most powerful desktop processor and Apple controls both the hardware and the software. A move to x86 systems would be a step down from the heights of the new G5 PowerMacs.

  5. I don’t see how Apple could sell their X86 box for almost 30% more than a comparably equipped X86 box from Dell.

    And how Apple would succeed with this idea when IBM failed with OS/2 and at a time when OS/2 was much more powerful than windows and microsoft wasn’t no where near as powerful and entrenched as they are today. (And don’t forget that OS/2 ran on X86 hardware and EVEN RAN WINDOWS APPS!

    – Mark

  6. While I take issue with the G5 being the fastest, I agree that putting OS X on a Intel/AMD platform would be suicide. and how would they so call “lock down” the software on to the hardware? Would they install some sort of security ROM? It just sounds like a lot of work for nothing. What’s the point of putting it on Intel processors when they can’t be run on anything but the Intel/Apple computer. Doesn’t make sense.

  7. Moving to an Intel processor does not necessarily mean making a windows compatible machine. Apple have always managed to make a superior “experience” for users by their control of both the hardware and the software. This could still be achieved if they moved to an Intel processor without having to make it windows compatible.

    Why does Apple stick with the Power PC? Its not to be different, its not because they want to protect their code, its pure economics versus performance. Bang for the Buck. That and of course backwards compatibility.

    If Apple could see a real economic and speed advantage in using Intel then they would do it.

    Its an interesting thought how well OSX would perform on an Intel processor if done correctly. Would it be faster in use than what we have today? How well would it perform common tasks compared to Windows on a similar spec processor.

    I guess we shall never know.

  8. You know people will never let this subject rest. However I must refresh everyone’s memory that Apple did have a project called “Marklar”. This was an OS X build on X86 processors back when relations with Motorola were strained. Here is what it said about that:

    “a switch to Intel or Advanced Micro Devices Inc. processors is probably not in the cards for tomorrow’s Macs, sources said. Such a move would require a massive revision of Apple’s closed hardware architecture and a fundamental rethinking of its business model, which is founded on tight integration between its proprietary system software and hardware. Apple would have to also coax most of its third-party developers to rewrite their applications from the ground up in the company’s Cocoa application environment. (Most major vendors have instead tuned their applications to Carbon, a set of Mac OS X-compatible APIs originally culled from the classic Mac OS and rooted in the PowerPC architecture.)”

    However it also said this: “Steve [Jobs] has said Mac OS X is the OS for the next 15 years,” another source said. “Marklar is a way of making sure that’s true.”

    Just type in “Project Marklar” in your favorite serch engine. eWeek was on top of it mostly.

  9. Hmmmm…Make a superior operating system available to the clueless masses?

    Why? The sheep are already satisfied with mediocrity so why would they feel the need for something better than what they already consider state-of-the art?

  10. I don’t think it would be bad though. OS X is so much better than Windows that millions of people would switch to the new OS. There are so many people out there that hate Windows but are afraid to go to Apple because Apple does some stupid things.

    Apple has some poor marketing strategies. I know a lot of people who would use a Mac if they could build it. If they could buy a box, buy a hard drive, buy a G5 motherboard, and whatever speed processors they want, buy the amount of RAM they want, etc., more people would go to Mac. More developers would begin developing software for Mac. Some of the great gaming companies would start supporting Mac.

    Yes, as of now, Apple is a company that depends on hardware revenues. Maybe that’s part of the problem.

    No, Apple would not fall if they put their OS on PC’s. People would buy the OS for the intel system. At first it would be slow. Soon, Dell, HP, Gateway, and the others will start having the MacOS option with the computer – that means Apple gets BIG ROYALTIES!

    They could easily get away with charging the Intel users more for the OS, which would be incentive to switch to Apple hardware.

    Another thing, if people get used to the MacOS, they would love the OS just as much as you and I do so, they would consider an Apple computer because Apple computers are better computers.

    This would bring more Apple customers, put more economic stimulation into Apple, and create many more sources of revenue. Apple’s stock would skyrocket because they would have at least 100x more customers. Although, they aren’t getting as much money from each customer, they would rake in the revenues because it’s more customers. Eventually, this would lead to more people buying Apple computers.

    I sure as hell wouldn’t buy an Intel system, even if it did run OS X. Apple computers are superior in all ways.

    I bet this supposed change would drive the costs of Apple computers down some too. This would cause many many changes and I’d really like to see what would happen. I’m sure though that it wouldn’t hurt Apple.

  11. There’s also a corporate gestalt issue to be considered. Apple has never been a “me too” company. I just can’t imagine Steve Jobs giving a keynote address and chatting up Intel. A Mac with an “Intel Inside” sticker would be sort of like BMW saying their cars are made “Ford Tough.” Macs will run on Intel processors, in essence, when BMWs start coming with Ford motors in them.

  12. Apple is a hardware company. The only situation I can see Apple release a version of MacOS X on Intel is when Apple need to convince the laggards to adopt MacOS X. Hmmm… will it happen?

  13. Exactly, that’s what I’m saying. It’s all about money when you boil it all down. If Apple could boost it’s earnings by several hundred percent, do you think they’d hesitate because “they’re a hardware company”?

    No, that’s not how Steve Jobs operates. NeXTSTEP started as a computer company but after their product was rejected, it became a software company. Then Apple bought them out and that’s how Mac OS X became. My point is, he has some good strategies and if a plan of attack was presented to him, I’m sure it would be considered.

    I think it could happen. Whether or not it will is the issue. Whether or not Apple would take that step is the question. It could go either way and a failure could be devastating but a success could be revolutionary. I’m sure Apple has considered it.

    That’s the cool part of technological evolution, you never know what will happen next. It’s exciting to watch the future unfold. Apple and NASA are the spearheads of innovation and technology.

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