Apple’s ‘Mac OS X for Intel’ developer build reportedly running on Tablet PC

“So, Apple has released their dev kits for OS X on Intel hardware and I was lucky enough to be the recepient of one. I took a disk image off of this badboy and loaded it onto my tablet. It booted but unfortunately the tablet’s screen didn’t work. I tried booting with an external monitor and… it actually worked. Having configured linux in the past to recognize the wacom digitizer I set to work on getting it up in OS X. This proved none too difficult as the tablet essentially just has a serial port to which the digitizer is connected. The standard wacom drivers for OSX worked fine once I configured it for this port,” Charles Alexander writes in a posting over at Tablet PC Buzz.

“Still the screen of the tablet itself didn’t work. After much reading on OS X’s monitor configuration I set about building a config file for the tablet screen. It turned out to be easy enough, I just had to bypass the plug-n-play and hardcode the settings,” Alexander writes. “Screen rotation, the network card, wireless, the modem, USB, the touchpad, and I’m sure plenty of other stuff isn’t working. But with apple’s inkwell ( this thing is really showing potential. After messing around with this thing for a few days I can’t believe apple themselves never released a tablet.”

The forum posting is here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, there’s no verifiable proof, but as Jeff Harrell recently wrote for The Shape of Days, “There is nothing at all that prevents the version of Mac OS X that runs on the developer transition machines from running on any PC with compatible components… Given Apple’s experiences with software piracy, particularly the rampant software piracy that spread developer builds of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger all over the Internet this past spring, Apple’s management from the top down knows full well that this developer preview will be in the hands of every kid with a cable modem within days of its release. Most of them will be able to install it on their own computers and run it and the full suite of iLife ’05 applications at full speed, and run most existing Mac software in translation. As a result, Apple will give thousands, possibly millions, of people a taste of Mac OS X running full speed on their own PCs. Apple’s giving their potential future customers a free taste, that’s what they’re doing. It’s a try-before-you-buy deal.”

John Dvorak recently predicted, “Once [Mac OS X for Intel] stabilizes in the wild, Apple announces that it cannot do anything about the piracy situation and that it’s apparent that everyone wants this OS rather than Windows. It’s ‘the will of the public.’ Apple then makes the stupendous announcement that it will sell a generic boxed OS, ‘for the rest of you!’ One claim is that it is a solution to spyware.”

Could we be starting to see Harrell’s and/or Dvorak’s ideas taking root? Will Apple use Intel’s Trusted Platform Module chip to keep Mac OS X off non-Macs in the future?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple could use Trusted Platform Module chip to keep Mac OS X off non-Macs – June 14, 2005
Dvorak predicts Mac OS X for generic x86, Apple ‘Office’ suite, dawn of Mac viruses and spyware – June 13, 2005
Report: Apple Mac OS X 10.4.1 for Intel hits piracy sites – June 11, 2005


  1. Have Apple turned into boneheads all of a sudden? OS X costs money to make and unless they expect every PC pirate to buy a Mac tomorrow I do not understand why they would make x86 OS X so easy to copy. As a paying customer I feel ripped off.

  2. The guy has only posted 4 times, so I guess this can be deemed reliable. The newswires will pick it up in the morning and MDN gets massive hit traffic for making something appear to be true.

    Congrats MDN 😀

  3. Sol, it costs money to create and almost nothing to produce. I don’t know if it is a wise idea to let the genie out, but it is starting to sound inevitable.

    The problem with osx hacks will be drivers, drivers, drivers, a problem wintels had nearly solved, and macs never had. (Unless you hung on to one too long).

  4. jjr I realize that piracy exists in Mac circles too but if the x86 version can be installed in any PC then there could be more people with pirate copies than actual paying customers. You would think that Apple would prevent this from happening by using a USB device or something like that. Of course it could all be more lies, like the Dell laptop video from two days ago.

  5. “The standard wacom drivers for OSX worked fine”

    On intel? Since they were the drivers _for_ OSX I don’t think they’d have been released as source that could be built for intel?

  6. This is a good idea, since the pirated Mac OS X is Tiger, not the upcoming Leopard. Thus, if people want the next version (Leopard) they will have to buy it.

    In addition, the current version is unoptimized/unsupported for most third party systems: it will run, but not as well as the Intel Mac it was intended for.

  7. Sol, if you would spend two damn minutes reading the linked articles, you’d know why Apple would make OS X for Intel so easy to copy.

    Sheesh. We’ve only been talking about this since Saturday. Get with the program!

  8. and its a developer release, probably has a time limit on it, and wont receive any updates or so forth. Personally I think its a great thing because literally every PC kiddie who has always hates OSX will finally get a chance to use it. Then, when the next version or the time limit expires or they actually want to buy new software, they will be forced to purchase a full blown mac, and a retail version of OSX.

  9. Yes and No…

    Apple may well use TPM or some other means to keep Mac OS X running on machines that it considers suitable, but not all of these will be made by Apple.

    We know that Apple has trouble forecasting market demand and even more trouble at times keeping sufficient stock to move 1-1.5 million units in a given quarter. Moving to Intel won’t change this, especially if Apple retains control of mobo design (although I think this will only be the case at the high-end).

    There is no way that there is not some “licensing by stealth” strategy at work going on here…

    Today’s position:

    “Bill, there’s no need to worry – we’re not going to let OS X run on anything but Apple hardware”.

    The position in 2006:

    “Apple is committed to making OS X available to as much of the marketplace as possible, whilst retaining the integrated hardware/software experience…”.

    “Bill, quit worrying – we’re not in any position to hurt you, we’ll probably get another 500,000 sales a year from HP or Dell customers who’ll also put Windows on…”

    The position in 2007:

    “After much deliberation and in response to public pressure and concern over the increasing problem of computer security, in conjunction with market demand and intense manufacturer interest, we have decided to allow manufacturers who have the ability to build new markets for the Mac OS whilst maintaining our commitment to a high-quality user experience to license Mac OS X…we have chosen our partners in this new venture carefully, and some of them will be taking the Macintosh environment into niche areas that Apple Computer, for various reasons, does not consider to be strategically important”.

    “Bill, you’ve obviously mistaken us for people who care…well, if you want to cancel Office for the Mac, that’s your choice, but why don’t you pop down to Cupertino and we’ll show our new iWork Pro and if you’re lucky we may even show you this thing we’ve got called Red Box…”

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