Dvorak: Apple’s move to Intel could kill Linux

“Steve Jobs’ announcement Monday will be analyzed to death by the likes of me and every technology watcher and blogger out there. Most of the analysis will focus on the future of Apple and whether this Intel decision is a benefit or a disaster,” John C. Dvorak writes for MarketWatch. “I’m on the side of benefit as Apple can now champion its design and aesthetic strategies in the world of Intel and allow people who prefer the Windows OS to actually buy a Macintosh for its design and run Windows on it. Nobody in the Mac community would suspect this, of course, but it is one of many foreseeable but unintended consequences of this announcement.”

“The most important consequence, however, will not emerge immediately, but its impact may be formidable. It’s quite possible that this new Apple strategy while obviously harmful to the computer makers in general and to Microsoft somewhat could actually be most dangerous to the emerging Linux OS environment. In fact it could kill Linux and in some ways actually benefit Microsoft in the long term,” Dvorak writes.

MacDailyNews Note: Dvorak never actually explains how Microsoft would benefit in the long term and, in fact, contradicts himself as he concludes his article.

Dvorak concludes, “Microsoft will be affected because of this new competitor and the possibility that people will more readily switch to the Mac. But it seems that Linux has the most to lose. Linux was the only X86 alternative to Microsoft and now it has both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to contend with — two ‘last man standing” types. I think Red Hat and all the other Linux distributors have a problem.”

Full article here.

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29 Comments

  1. Let’s say Linux is crushed by Apple – and half the converts move to Apple. Where do the other half go? Back to M$. Microsoft has increased Marketshare, and one less competitor. However, I seriously doubt Apple will take a bite out of ONLY linux. Personally I think M$ has the most to lose.

    The Intel switch is clearly SJ’s way of trying to get a significantly larger market share.

  2. Linux can’t replace MS or Apple, but it will stay alive in its niche.

    Be glad we aren’t stuck with one {single} OS choice in the world the way we are soon stuck with one {single} CPU choice!

    {} = MW

  3. Dvorak is a tool. MS is the company with a stake to lose with Apple migrating to Intel, not Linux. Linux has its niche and very strong fanbase.

  4. Figures this squid would see the outcome the death of Linux. What of windblows XP3 (a.k.a. longhorn)? If one can run a particular SP3 app in a safer ‘virtual machine’, why run windblows?

    SP3 is D.O.A.

    Rock on Steve!

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool smile” style=”border:0;” />

  5. So long as Apple builds Macs (processor doesn’t matter) and doesn’t licence OSX to other hardware companies, I think we will see the following trends:

    Apple: People who want an eloquent computer solution that ‘Just Works’. Video/Image/Publishing professionals. The Mac faithful

    Windows: Businesses who have a lot invested in Windows/.Net apps. Companies who are scared to move to something else. (It’ll be interesting to see what apple does with .Net support, this is huge for many companies)

    Linux: Nerds. Servers. Companies/schools with existing x86 hardware who are fed up with Microsoft or don’t’ want to pay for another round of Windows licenses. People who want/need software that costs nothing.(Remember that Linux is designed to run on ALL x86 systems, not just some Apple implementation)

    Sidenote: It will be interesting to see what happens with Mac compatible video cards and DirectX support with Apple’s move to x86. Some cheaper/more powerful cards and the ability to play games might lure some people to the platform. (Though, the future of PC vs. console gaming is yet to be seen)

  6. Linux is the current flavor that draws the tinkerers and the ones that want whatever they can get for free.

    I always go back to the way Apple pursues a market. They look for 3 things – large potential market, few and ineffective solutions in place, and they can have the space to themselves for awhile.

    Rosetta, just like the stone, was the key yesterday. My gut tells me Leopard will ship two months before Longhorn and it will run apps written for Windows.

  7. absentminded

    Exactly. Linux and OSX don’t compete in the same space. They complement each other. Dvorak of course doesn’t understand the modern computing world, so won’t get this.

    I’ll be surprised if he can even program the VHS. Too modern and high-tech for him ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  8. dvorak seems to be forgetting that MacOS will only run on Apple Intel hardware. As if hardcore linux users are going to ditch their current hardware and buy mac x86 hardware.

  9. Don’t confuse operating systems with the processor that runs them. I doubt Windows will boot on an Intel Mac. Linux will after it supports Open Firmware, which it does at least on the PPC side. I’m of course assuming that Apple will continue to use Open Firmware and not the mess that BIOS is today. BIOS is getting better though.

    Apple will be a somewhat different platform, but you’ll be able to run Windows in it at near full-speed. That will be good enough for me. I’m excited to have a Mactel laptop with Centrino or Pentium M. It should be much faster than the poor-old G4.

    Macs will still be Macs though and I expect that Windows will not readily run on a Mac. Linux will love it though because Apple will undoubtedly keep compatibility as an important feature. Linux fan will also have the flexibility to build their own systems just as they do today. There will probably also be bootleg versions of OS X that will run on Wintel hardware eventually. Hopefully at the point Apple will be more of a software and device company than it is today and release OS X to the Wintel community.

    Besides all that, with the Fat Binary, I mean “Universal Binary” approach, even if the PPC G5/6/7 outpaces x86 again, we’ll just have the PowerMac live on as we know it. There will be no compromise for using either (if you have XCode2.1).

    Let’s just hope Apple keeps all this going.

  10. “I’m on the side of benefit as Apple can now champion its design and aesthetic strategies in the world of Intel and allow people who prefer the Windows OS to actually buy a Macintosh for its design and run Windows on it. Nobody in the Mac community would suspect this, of course.”

    What a dick. Yeah, that never dawned on any of us. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”oh oh” style=”border:0;” /> They were asked that very question yesterday and Phil Schiller said it would work. He had too much class to brag about it with a Microsoft exec in the same room, but the implication was obvious to everyone.

  11. Naraa Haras,
    It was announced that Apple/Intel computers will have the ability to boot Windows but wintel computers will not boot OS X. This is brilliant because people who are seeking choice in operating systems will hopefully choose the Apple hardware for it’s ability to run just about any OS in existence. It’s going to become increasingly difficult to gauge market-share after the switch.

    What I’m wondering is if the new Macs will be able to run OS X, Windows and Linux concurrently or one at a time.

  12. Linux can’t be “killed”. It is supported by 1000’s of people all over the world (& some big businesses) who will not just throw up their hands and buy into a comparatively closed source Apple Mac. This article is ridiculous.

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