Possible OS X futures – two things we learned this week

“Folks are clearly wondering about the Mac and its future given Apple’s professed belief that the iPad represents, at the moment, the best expression of what computing looks like in the future,” Anthony Frausto-Robledo writes for Architosh. “Those are very nearly Tim Cook’s words.”

“Apple appears to be aiming for more end-to-end control of the silicon chips in devices that power its iOS based platform; Apple’s ability to architect its proprietary microprocessors and graphics units would further enable the company to innovate ahead of its rivals,” Frausto-Robledo writes. “But this is in stark contrast to its Mac OS X platform.”

“A skeptic might say that Apple is keeping OS X around only until iOS can fully replace it outright. And this may indeed be the longer term vision,” Frausto-Robledo writes. “The second question centers around Apple’s ambitions to develop, build and fully control its own iCloud infrastructure, including right down to building its own servers… We believe that the ‘Pro’ as in Mac Pro may in fact be headed towards the cloud itself.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Today is Good Friday. As such, the U.S. financial markets are closed for the day and posting will be less frequent today.


  1. It’s sounding like the future of general purpose computing may well end up being Linux.

    I have no desire for a stripped down dumb box that requires a connection to Apple or anyone else just to function. No thanks.

    1. Now where did I leave my box of punch cards?

      Nope, ain’t likely in the next decade, because a 6Gbps pipe with no latency simply isn’t going to cost pennies per day.


    2. agreed. I’ve probably bought my last Mac computer. Where I might have purchased a mac-mini, I bought a ZaReason Linux box in a package smaller than mac-mini. better specs and easier to work with being more standards compliant.

  2. With apps moving to the cloud, the hardware and software requirements for local processing will be minimum. Search for Onshap and Fusion 360, and you’ll see what I mean. I know there is the issue of having reliable connection and bandwidth, but this is the future, maybe 5, 10 or even 15 years. So this will be the software as a services for the end user (see Adobe), similar what we already have in some enterprise applications. On the other topic, I believe Facebook and Google build their on servers using ARM architecture processor and Apple is an expert on ARM and easily can design A series variation to optimize for servers.
    Is this too stretch?

    1. I don’t think that you quite get the concept of iPad. The whole point of printing things in the past was to make them portable and easy to access. The iPad was created to replace paper and make it easy to not only carry around your documents but to view them and find them and change them and never print anything again.

      1. There is less printing today but we are not at the point of no printing, and may never be.

        In my case:

        I want to print flyers on my Xerox colour laser. I use an old version of Adobe Indesign on my Mac and print across the network.

        I want to print a letter to send to a US broker which insists on a signed paper document.

        I want to print a draft of a chapter in a book I am writing, double-spaced, to give to an editor.

        I want to print bank statements for record retention purposes where a hard copy is required by law, to be retained for 5 years.

        I don’t replicate every document in OneDrive because I don’t have space on all my devices for the whole library. They are all on my Mac and get backed up to LTO6 tape for offsite storage. So I need to print docs from time to time to show to, or give to, clients or business associates.

        Last week I wanted to show a confidential email to a client, but not to leave them with a copy. I printed it, showed them, and kept the printed copy.

        I take my MacBook to see clients. Safari works better. I can play movies more easily. I never take my iPad Air. In fact I never use the iPad to create anything at all.

        If Apple abandons OS/X I’m abandoning Apple.

        1. There is only one point that you made as a case for printing: there is an idiotic law that requires it. Every other reason you state is based on an existing paradigm that is clinging to life as a new paradigm of information distribution takes over. Many people cling to the old ways because they know them and are reluctant to learn new ways. If you think about it a little, you will easily come up with ways to use the modern tools to do the things you want. Think Different.

          By the way, abandon Apple now and move to a kludgey system like Windows and Android. You deserve it.

          1. Reality Check,
            Please share what business you are in that you can tell clients that their demand for a hard copy is “idiotic.” Personally, I find that editors dictate to writers and financial institutions to their correspondents, not the other way around, and that it is hard to nail an iPad to a tree when I need to distribute flyers. Many people “cling to the old ways” because they need to keep their jobs and feed their families. That’s why I’m interested in how you managed to find a business where printing is already irrelevant. I want some of the action in a profession where I don’t have to accommodate anybody else.

  3. This “future” will NOT happen any time soon. iPads (and even iPhones) are great for some tasks, but certainly NOT all tasks. iOS software would not even exist, without using Macs as the development platform. Note that IBM has recently expanded its alliance with Apple to include Macs, not just iOS devices.

    The Mac platform will continue to evolve along with the iOS platform. Apple is not Microsoft, alienating long-time loyal customers by forcing a touch-based interface on them, “just because…” Apple is not stupid. 🙂

  4. … when they can provide a solid Multi-User system. I need to have an Admin account AND a User account – or maybe two of them. A guest account, in addition, would be nice.
    I’m not saying this is the entirety of my requirements, but this is THE deal-breaker. It lacks this? It’s a toy or a single-purpose tool. Not a “computer”. I’ve worked on such systems, single-user and they filled a room. Not what I want. Not again.

      1. Again, please share what profession we can all go into where we get to define acceptable system behavior and our clients, coworkers, and bosses get no say at all. Maybe he wants a multi-user system because he doesn’t want to log all the iPads he is nailing to trees (because flyers are so old fashioned) into the same iCloud account where he keeps his sensitive business data.

  5. Macs are here to stay for a long time. Sales of Macs keep rising and the full computer is still needed in many areas for the home and business. I know I’m not ready to give up my Mac anytime soon unless the tablet can do everything my Mac can do and more. Right now they are not even close.

  6. “Reality Check” hmmmmm, an ironic name considering the subject.

    Today I am finishing up a 6 page responsive website with around 25 HTML5 animations totaling over 150 timelines producing several thousand separate HTML events in the 6 pages. There are 250+ separate resource files that were produced using 8 different Mac applications, none of them available in iOS. I have over 40 hours in it.

    People like me produce the stuff that you look at and play with in iOS. Wonderful for you, but so many of you iOS consumers seem to believe they can produce the same thing in YouTube. With a touch interface? Really!???

    So tell me again how iOS is going to replace the Mac? If, theoretically, you could produce something similar to the site I am talking about using iOS touch interface (excuse me while I get off the floor laughing) but what I and hundreds of others produce in 40 hours? Maybe 40 weeks!

    During the week I work in a high school chock full of various iOS and Android devices. The students, being Gods gift to the world according to themselves, have NO clue as to how the content on their devices is produced. Yes, a few are aware of Apple’s iOS development package, and have even dabbled in it. Well, they have during their max 10 minute attention span. “But, but, but..I am an expert hacker!” Yeah right, you think you are because someone gave you their Facebook password, you went in and “hacked” their Facebook page! . Uh Huh.

    Have a nice Saturday afternoon, though.

  7. Now THIS article is interesting!

    Stupid: “Apple is going to dump Intel and run Macs on A-Series RISC chips!!!” – – No they’re not. Old and failed rubbish idea.

    Smart: “Apple is keeping OS X around only until iOS can fully replace it outright.” – – Entirely possible!

    Now, we Mac users know damned well that iOS is a LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR operating system that NO developer could use to develop iOS apps, even if they wanted to. It’s strictly for simplified work on a CONSUMER level. Even the iPad ‘Pro’ is only ‘pro’ for a few nifty tasks. Any actual professional is on a Mac (with of course some well considered exceptions).

    As for doing everything in ‘the cloud’, that’s got some growing up to do. “The cloud” remains significantly infantile, having growing pains, especially regarding SECURITY(!). If you like handing out all your goodies to any old hacker, rival or world government surveillance maniac, have a great time in the cloud!

    Example: Oops, iMessage has a hole in it with only a flimsy bandage hiding it from public exploitation.

    Johns Hopkins researchers poke a hole in Apple’s encryption

    More like DISCOVERS a hole in Apple’s encryption. Peruse the list of Apple security patches this past week for more examples of how cloud security is doing.

  8. It’s obvious that OS X will be phased out for IOS. Apple wants full control of their devices that is only possible on IOS. I am already exploring Linux solutions in a VM to see what is possible and what is not. It’s clear that currently Linux does NOT offer the solutions that OS X offers without a lot of work. Hopefully that will change in the future. The other option would be to run OS X on old hardware after Apple discontinues it. It’s viability would depend on what cloud services are available at that time. No way to crystal ball this one. Just have to wait and see.

  9. Macintosh computers may indeed become niche products as the masses migrate to iPads and such; but trucks didn’t disappear when the masses migrated to passenger cars, and the Mac won’t disappear either. Long live OS X.

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