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Desktop Linux on x86 - Adapt or Die

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the shift-the-paradigm dept.

OS X 924

An anonymous reader writes "The recent announcement of Apple's upcoming x86 systems has gotten a lot of people thinking. Among the conjecture, there has been much thought given to how Linux will be affected by this move. The author of this article does not believe that Linux as a whole is threatened harmed by the 'Mactel' alliance, but does point out that his could mean major trouble for distros like Xandros and Linspire which are reliant on the desktop audience. These distros are clearly not ready to take on OS X, which will soon be the primary x86 alternative to Windows XP not only because of OS X's dedicated and outspoken user base but because of its slick looks and ease of use."

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But you know what they say. (-1, Flamebait)

Lord Graga (696091) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857687)

OS X - A simple OS for simple minds.

Re:But you know what they say. (1)

brilinux (255400) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857696)

Ah, but for complex minds ... it is also a very complex OS!

Re:But you know what they say. (1)

NorthwestWolf28 (893357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857741)

Yeah beacuse BSD is for simple minds!

Re:But you know what they say. (4, Insightful)

Decameron81 (628548) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857765)

"OS X - A simple OS for simple minds."


Seems to me like you missed the point of technology...

I win!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857691)

Eat it.

Post Numba 0ne! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857693)

POWNED

But OTOH (5, Insightful)

Decameron81 (628548) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857695)

But OTOH this may turn out to be a good thing by actually making Linux distributions concentrate more on making easy to use OSes.

Re:But OTOH (2)

SA Stevens (862201) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857748)

I guess that depends on wether it is a good thing to dumb down things.

If this factor leads to new 'easier to use' distros that is fine. If it means a good current distro goes Fischer-Price, it's a bad thing.

Re:But OTOH (4, Insightful)

FosterKanig (645454) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857870)

Why not make it so the distro is easy to use on the surface, but has complexity and more choices for those who want that? A distro doesn't have to be easy to use OR comples/powerful. It could be both if they wanted to do it that way.

Re:But OTOH (2, Insightful)

ibbey (27873) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857929)

The hidden parent that I'm replying to (I'm assuming the author is usually a troll) says pretty much exactly what I wanted to say-- ease of use & power are not mutually exclusive. MacOS is a perfect example of this. Granted that it's a difficult feat to do right, but it's definitely possible to have the power of Unix in a truly easy to use system.

Re:But OTOH (1)

BobWeiner (83404) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857779)

I agree with parent poster. Survival of the fittest. The weaker of the distros would obviously have to evolve radically or die. Linux faces some big challenges:

1) to have solid easy-to-use bundled apps that work out of the box (ala Apple's iLife suite)

2) to have consistency throughout the OS (actually, this is something that Apple's been having problems with in its own GUI with OS X)

3) Linux needs a much better GUI (and, no - the Windows-like interface doesn't cut it)

WHY OS X IS NOT THE OS FOR ME (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857781)

What you are saying is true. And for all the Mac zealots out there - sorry to say it, but OS-X sucks! Read my story.

I' ve now been using OS X for my Manila server for a month or so and the amount of frustration that I've experienced in that short period of time is more than in the 14 years I've been using Macintosh computers. The promise of OS X - a stable OS with a state of the art GUI - is not kept. I have two major grudges - the lack of integration between the UNIX-derived file system + tools with the Mac OS heritage and secondly the confusing and counterintuitive GUI.

First the UNIX / Mac OS non-integration. I've been wanting to script a backup routine for Frontier requiring it to save fresh copies of all its databases and then quitting, while I manipulated the database files (moving, renaming, compressing). Trying to use a shell script I found out that "gzip" (file compression) and "cp" (copy) along with the other UNIX commands trashed my databases as they didn't understand the Mac OS file system. Somebody then mentions gnutar, an archiving utility, could do the trick, but what is the difference between gnutar and tar, which reportedly doesn't work? I try to find these tools, but Sherlock doesn't search through the UNIX directory hierarchy, as these are hidden in the GUI. So I have to resort to "find" (which I can't comprehend) and end up trying to digest the man-page for "find" until I conclude that this is greek to me. At this point I wish for KDE, an X-windows based GUI that is ugly but at least gives you a decent file system browser. So, my experience is so far that most of the UNIX tools are useless for a Mac person like me unless I really want to grok man pages. Hey - is this "the computer for the rest of us?"

Which brings me around to the GUI. OK, I'm impressed with graphics that scale and blend. It looks fantastic, but when none of the essential applications support this (hello Adobe, have you pulled the plug on the Mac??), this really is nothing but eye candy. And unfortunately the transparent look makes it difficult to sometimes see which window is the active. Furthermore, the striped scrollbars looks like progress bars when viewed at angle often causing me to do a second take as it registers in my mind as a progress indicator due to this optical illusion. The Finders file hierarchy is strange to say the least and the lack of "memory" regarding the settings for a window really throws me for a loop. Furthermore the dock with it's complete disregard for context in the objects it accepts is a most disturbing concept. I can have aliases to applications sitting next to ditto for running applications, applications windows, or even some sub-dialog box from an application. The miniauture windows doesn't tell me which application a window belongs to so if I've minimized a couple of windows I'll have to move my mouse over them in order to obtain some identification.

I could go on - but I guess you know the tune by now. So in the end I must say that there is very few things that in my view make OS X an attractive alternative to other OS'es.

* I can't get my most importat apps (the MS and Adobe bunch) to run under this OS. Classic is not an option.
* The clever UNIX utils are not useful in a Mac OS context, so who cares.
* There is no decent GUI for the UNIX part of this hybrid OS, no GUI file browser. Maybe one can cheat "Finder" into doing this but I don't want to fight my OS.* The graphics are stunning - but this aspect is abused to make the GUI incomprehensible

So it's a sad feeling sitting down in front of my Cube and feeling like an alien. I only use OS X now because Frontier is so much more stable than under OS 9, so in retrospect I had been better of with a Wintel box running Frontier.

Re:But OTOH (5, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857901)

That's an initial conclusion you might come to, but it's not really all that helpful, and here's why:

Everyone already knows that Linux needs a lot of work to become a viable mass market desktop. We've known it for quite a while. We even know a lot of the specific was in which it could be improved to bring it closer to this goal. So why isn't it getting done?

Some developers completely don't care about that. They use linux for what they use it for, and a polished gui desktop is not important to them. The success of Linux as a desktop OS means nothing to them.

Some think it's good enough, and that users should become more competent. A lot of Linux's woes are blamed on these sorts of developers, but I don't think there's as many of them as all the complaining would leave you to believe.

I'm guessing most Linux developers would love to have a more polished interface, but they don't want to do it, because it's boring work. The fact of the matter is, proofreading dialog boxes and checking for consistent menu options and whatnot is not all that fun. Linux development happens mostly through hobbyists, and they're going to spend their free time doing what they enjoy.

No, to really get the crappy work done, you've got to get paid. And right now, at least, it's hard to convince someone that there's money to be made paying for linux desktop development. The mere fact that the GPL requires you to give away the source code to anyone you sell it to makes the financial future of any investments questionable. You can't push service contracts on people the same way that you can with businesses, because people don't want to pay for that. I

I think the only way that it could work is something closer to Apple's model, where you're selling an entire system, and the integration between the hardware and the software is what you're really paying for. The complete experience. Otherwise, you're going up against the MS juggernaut completely head on, and you also have to compete against free versions of yourself. I have a hard time believing that that will work.

I guess there's more of a "workstation" market that could be targeted, and you might even be able to sell service contracts with those, but the workstation market is sort of fragmented, and there are lots of specialty needs, and I'd think it would be hard for your company to meet enough of those needs quickly enough to make money.

Just Copy the GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857904)

"But OTOH this may turn out to be a good thing by actually making Linux distributions concentrate more on making easy to use OSes"

I do not understand, if MacOSX really has so much better of a GUI why not just copy it? It seems that would be fairly easy to do in Linux.

Re:But OTOH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857942)

I don't think it's want of effort that's holding them back; rather, it's the fact that adding as nebulous and complex a quality as "usability" on a shoestring budget is hard. Add to that lack of manufacturer support, being late to the game anyway (even though GNOME and KDE have existed for years, I personally don't think Linux really started being seriously groomed for the desktop until a year or two ago) and things get even harder. Honestly, the devs are working flat-out already, and seeing OS X come along to steal their thunder simply won't make them get things done any quicker, alas.

One thing I would like to see, and which would help everyone, is less re-invention of the wheel between distros. For example, Mandrake has a really first-rate (in my opinion) partitioning tool written in perl-gtk which is, obviously, GPL. Why are other distros not taking this and re-branding it rather than writing their own, from scratch? This continual refusal to work on other people's code (and you see it quite often in OSS software - someone will try someone else's app, decide it doesn't quite work the way they want it to, and then go away and write their own version from scratch) is about the only practical thing I can think of that would actually speed things up a little.

There has been SOME discussion.... (2, Insightful)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857702)

First off, there was discussion about how OsX on x86 might affect Linux - here [slashdot.org]

Linux should be less worried. MS should be quaking in its' proverbial boots. Linux will remain because of its' use as a sever OS and the geek's premier OS. There might be a few people who make the switch from Linux to
OSX, but I don't believe there will be a large shift. There will be a lot more people leaving Windows for the stability and look of OSX. The price point will be on par with any other Intel machine, and Apple could see a large increase in marketshare.

And finally, a bit of a rant - WTF was the point of having the article spread across two pages? Keep it all on one - I don't want to have to click next for a 5+ paragraph article.
The author makes this huge deal about the rumored Apple shift to Linux, and then at the end decides to say that it won't make any real affect anyway. Make up your mind!

Re:There has been SOME discussion.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857718)

what was the point of having the article.

Re:There has been SOME discussion.... (1)

Decameron81 (628548) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857728)

"Linux should be less worried. MS should be quaking in its' proverbial boots. Linux will remain because of its' use as a sever OS and the geek's premier OS. There might be a few people who make the switch from Linux to
OSX, but I don't believe there will be a large shift. There will be a lot more people leaving Windows for the stability and look of OSX. The price point will be on par with any other Intel machine, and Apple could see a large increase in marketshare."


Not to mention that there are developers out there that actually work on Linux because they enjoy doing so. That is something that you can't easily replace, and that will ensure that Linux keeps evolving. Sometimes slower, sometimes faster... but it will not stop.

Re:There has been SOME discussion.... (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857799)

"And finally, a bit of a rant - WTF was the point of having the article spread across two pages? Keep it all on one - I don't want to have to click next for a 5+ paragraph article."

It's all about advertising, baby. Spread your article over two pages, you get 2x the hits. If it makes you feel better, I've offset your extra page hit by not reading the article :D

"The author makes this huge deal about the rumored Apple shift to Linux, and then at the end decides to say that it won't make any real affect anyway. Make up your mind!"

This is also for the advertisers. If you make someone mad, they're less likely to visit your site again, and your advertisers will leave you. So, write articles with no meat in them to keep people from leaving your site in anger. You have to have some content though, lest they leave in disgust. It's quite a trick balancing the two out.

Re:There has been SOME discussion.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857805)

And finally, a bit of a rant - WTF was the point of having the article spread across two pages? Keep it all on one - I don't want to have to click next for a 5+ paragraph article.

With two pages, they get to show you twice as many advertisements.

I still don't get it.. (5, Insightful)

suresk (816773) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857703)

Maybe I'm just really stupid, but I still don't get why 'Mactel' is a threat to Linux in any way. Why is it even a threat to Linspire or Xandros? Why does your average desktop user care if they are using the x86 platform, or even know that they are using it? I think it is silly to say that two operating systems are 'competing' on a certain platform, because your average user doesn't care. What they do care about is how fast it is, what it can do, and how much it costs.

Switching to the Intel platform only seems to do one thing: Lower the price somewhat. It won't make it so you can run OS X on commodity hardware, it won't make it so your Windows apps magically run on OS X, and it won't do anything else. So, if we are just talking price, there is no way Apple will lower the price to compete with Linspire systems. IMHO, the Mac Mini did more damage to desktop Linux than the move to x86 will, because it is cheap and simple.

What is it that I am missing?

Re:I still don't get it.. (-1, Troll)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857735)

If apple sell the OS separately, it could kill the paid-for friendly linucies like xandros, because you can buy something friendlier for the same system. Of course, we don't know whether apple will do that or not.

Re:I still don't get it.. (1)

suresk (816773) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857752)

Apple has said that they will not allow OS X to run on anything but their own hardware. If that changes in the future, then there are implications for Xandros and others, but I don't think that is likely in the near future.

Re:I still don't get it.. (4, Insightful)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857821)

For the millionth time: Apple will not sell OS X separately, and OS X will not run on non-Apple hardware! How hard is this for people to understand?!?!?!?!?

Re:I still don't get it.. (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857875)

Who's buying Xandros in the first place?

Re:I still don't get it.. (5, Informative)

Squareball (523165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857739)

Ahmen brother! People are acting like OS X has been announced for generic X86 boxes and it hasn't. In the end you'll still have to buy a mac to use OS X so I don't see how this changes anything. The only difference is that it'll have Intel x86 inside instead of PPC. Other than that it will be the same damn thing.

Re:I still don't get it.. (1)

caino59 (313096) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857763)

Not too mention...I'm pretty much hooked on Ubuntu.

It does everything I need. And it WORKS.

All while looking quite snappy too!

Re:I still don't get it.. (4, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857784)

I still don't get why 'Mactel' is a threat to Linux in any way. Why is it even a threat to Linspire or Xandros?

It isn't.

What is it that I am missing?

Not too many brain cells, for whatever comfort that may offer.

KFG

Re:I still don't get it.. (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857786)

While its true that OS X will have little effect in general, it would be more competition for Linspire and Xandros that they are not really used to. Both of those target switchers from Windows who do not want to know what their computer is doing, and now OS X comes along targeting the same people with a well known name and with a system that is known for being easy to use.

If the Mac Mini did more damage to desktop Linux, imagine a cheaper version, with higher clock rates that can do everything a Linux desktop can, but has more software available to purchase for it, and of course has Office on it. Now if your average user only cares about 'how fast it is, what it can do, and how much it costs' and you see the Mac Mini doing damage, then what will one that hits all of the points that the average user cares about do to desktop Linux.

Thats why its a threat to Linux distros that target users.

Re:I still don't get it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857806)

"Switching to the Intel platform only seems to do one thing: Lower the price somewhat."

Huh???

PPC chips are cheaper than what Apple is going to be using from Intel next year?

Re:I still don't get it.. (1)

aldeng (804728) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857823)

it won't make it so your Windows apps magically run on OS X No, the switch itself won't make Windows apps run on OSX, but for your average user WINE might seem kinda magical. If they can get and OSX version on WINE running where all you have to do is double click on an installer and *BOOM* all the software you already bought for Windows all of a sudden works, that might entice some more people to get Macs. I intend to get an Intel Mac once the switch has trickled up the product line to the PowerMacs, but I'm not looking forward to re-buying Photoshop, Illustrator and all the other expensive apps I run daily. A working version of WINE will just make me buy faster.

Re:I still don't get it.. (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857899)

If they can get and OSX version on WINE running where all you have to do is double click on an installer and *BOOM* all the software you already bought for Windows all of a sudden works, that might entice some more people to get Macs.

Of course, WINE is LGPL, so it'll entice more people to get Linux, too.

Intel switch to generate new hardware sales... (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857835)

As I see it Apple had a problem, there just wasn't a real reason for owners of current G4+ systems to upgrade. They were adequate for their needs. Same with the notebook users.

With a switch to the Intel platform Apple has provided a major reason to switch. Platform support. Either buy into the new hardware or face the possibility of being left behind - a possibility I suspect will be very much in force within a few years.

As a threat to Linux on the desktop? How could it be? Linux itself doesn't have a big enough share of the desktop to worry about. Windows already has all the ease of use that it needs and corporate pentration to keep its dominance. Where does Apple threaten anyone but current Power-Mac users?

Re:Intel switch to generate new hardware sales... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857947)

> there just wasn't a real reason for owners of current G4+ systems to upgrade

Or, Apple could never deliver a product with adequate price/performance to make them want to upgrade. If the PowerPC wasn't so retarded, the G4 would have been gone years ago. Instead, Apple's mobile/lowend looks nearly identical now to as 4 years ago.

Macintel will spur mega-upgrades, you're right about that. Assuming it's priced right.

Re:I still don't get it.. (1)

blonde rser (253047) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857863)

Here is one reason why it could harm the linux desktop (though I don't see why it should harm it that much). There are those who will buy a linux desktop as a microsoft alternative but they don't want a mac because down the road they can still put windows on. They're hedging their bets. I very much doubt we will ever see OSX running on your run of the mill x86 I think even apple has admitted that it will probably be very easy to run windows on a Mactel.

I know several linux/Windows users who play the fence all the time and probably would buy a mac if they knew they could put windows on it down the road.

Re:I still don't get it.. (1)

Medgur (172679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857868)

Because people like myself are switching.

I've been using Linux since 1994 as a staunch Slackware and Debian user. I purchased my first laptop in 2002 or so, based solely on it's compatability with Linux. Due to rather odd circumstances it managed to sail out my front door and onto the pavement. At the time, however, my peers had been snatching up Powerbooks. I wrenched over the idea for a significant amount of time and finally settled on buying one and installing Linux if OS X proved too unwieldy, broadcom be damned.

I haven't looked back, and as a result I'm getting increasingly frustrated with my desktop PCs. Having a slick unix desktop has brought into stark relief just how horrid the Debian/Ubuntu/Slackware desktop experience is. I'm reluctant to slap down the cash for a Mac Mini, but each day that reluctance is whittled down. I'm currently trying to delay the switch by trying out Fedora Core 4, and things seem to be slightly better, save that kernel 2.6 still burns coasters instead of DVDs - hurray for progress.

So, perhaps the Mac OSXi announcement hasn't changed the problem much, but even the slightest drop in price is bringing me one step closer to dropping desktop Linux entirely.

I hear OSX makes a nice server too.

Re:I still don't get it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857888)

Don't worry, I'll make up for your switch.

Having used OSX I can tell you I will never, ever buy a mac again. It's not that OSX is terrible, it's quite nice in many ways, but it's so terribly annoying in others that I really don't see any reason why I should use it if I can use a modern Linux distribution.

Re:I still don't get it.. (1)

Medgur (172679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857930)

I hear you.
I didn't mean to sing unending praise of OS X, just that I find it a far more tolerable experience than foo Linux desktop.

The aforemention dvd problem, the horrors of configuring Jack properly, unending NFS difficulties, reems of config files that would be better served with a dialog box populated with checkboxes, and user interface inconsistency are just a few of the problems I can avoid by using OS X over linux.

Of course, I tried updating to OS X 10.4 and encountered far too many immediate compatability problems with existing software to warrant the upgrade, so it's not as though I haven't another long list of grievances for Apple.

I'm just tired of having to /work/ to get my system to behave properly. This is something I shouldn't have to be wasting my time on.

Re:I still don't get it.. (0, Offtopic)

caluml (551744) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857879)

Maybe I'm just really stupid

No, you're not that stupid - you got the +5 Insightful you were after :)

Re:I still don't get it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857938)

What is this talk about lower prices for Mactels?

Have you seen the prices for Intel CPUs? And don't forget that Apple needs to use fairly decent Intels (especially at first) so the Mactels are faster than the current PowerPC Macs, even when emulating PPC code, and/or compared to vector-heavy code which makes the G4 much more competitive for real-world CPU hog apps such as video than it would seem looking MHz or non-vector benchmarks.

I don't think desktop Linux and Mactel really compete, as they address opposite ends of the price spectrum.

However, it should be possible to run Linux binaries on x86 Macs the same way FreeBSD does today, so a Mac should be able to do everything a Linux box can, while the opposite certainly isn't true.

Re:I still don't get it.. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857941)

Alas, what you are missing is that this is a cult. Two percent market share and delusions of grandeur. Everything you say is right, but it will not change the hysteria. Apple is no threat to anyone, because its business model of bundled closed hardware/software is a proven loser. But the faithful can't bear to see this, and so they look around for someone, anyone, that this new move could threaten. Does anyone think that if Amiga changed to Intel, it would threaten Linux? Well, why do you think that if Apple does, it will? Apple is just irrelevant. Now, if they were to license OSX at reasonable prices, that might be different. Don't worry though, they won't.

Summary (1)

823723423 (826403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857704)

[page 1]
though they can do little to stop Microsoft from adapting Windows to x86 Macs they recognize the fact that OS X has a very dedicated following and Apple's computers will only be a better product now that they will have the ability to dual boot with Windows
[page 2]
Linux will no longer be the sole x86 alternative to Windows, it will have to compete with OS X for this spot, though this will never be an apples

Only, Minor things are missing (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857705)

Look, for all the naysaying going on, Linux keeps growing. There are several things missing, but these could be handled by the distros iff they would work together on these.

Admin is the big one. Also, some nice apps that work together would be cool.

Re:Only, Minor things are missing (1)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857831)

Look, for all the naysaying going on...

ObSimCityQuote: "Naysayers Say Nay"

Sorry. Every time I see that word, I think of Sim City.

Don't get it (4, Insightful)

moranar (632206) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857710)

Everyone in the press seems to be thinking that now, magically, Apple computers will be price-competitive with wintel computers, or that OSX will be compatible with most computers out there. I see the need to spin and "create" news, but there's no indication whatsoever that this will be the case.

Furthermore, some Apple honchos have stated that Mac OSX will _not_ be available for common computers.

Re:Don't get it (2, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857803)

Apple computers are already price competitive; $999 for an iBook, $1299 for an iMac...

You would be right to assume that Apple doesn't compete for the bottom dollars, but for a classy, capable, usable system (plus charging for ease of use as a feature), Apple does fine. Not the greatest deal but also not the worst deal.

Switching to Intel now makes Macs performance competitive. Before it was already price and feature competitive, offering reasonable prices, reasonable features, and reasonable usability, but now it brings performance on the table.

So the issue isn't that OS X will be available for 'common' computers as much as Macs WILL be 'common' computers.

Re:Don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857865)

Uh, no.

The dual 2.7 PowerMac kills anything Intel has to offer for desktop machines and is on par with AMD.

And forget about floating point performance. Intel and AMD aren't in the same leauge. IBM dumping Apple will have a devastating impact on high end workstation performance of PowerMacs.

Re:Don't get it (1)

R.D.Olivaw (826349) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857872)

I don't understand why switching the CPU would make Macs more commong as you say. People who buy the Macs now will continue to buy them for the same reasons they do now and people who don't buy them will continue to avoid them for the same reasons they do now.

Changing the CPU will not change the target market of the macs. They will still be 'special hardware' (read you can't just build your own) running a nifty but not the main stream OS.

Re:Don't get it (1, Troll)

TokyoJimu (21045) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857876)

Cheap bastards will continue to buy Linux (and waste hours upon hours trying to get it to work decently) while those willing to pay extra for quality will continue to buy from Apple.

For all the talk of free/open/speech/beer/gratis/libre, most people I know who run Linux would really like to have an Apple but are just too darn cheap to cough up the money.

Re:Don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857916)

Apart from a comparatively few bits of common hardware (Some Lexmark printers and centrino wireless) the average user choosing an established distro with good desktop support (e.g. Suse 9.3) should find it works out-of-the-box. I certainly have.

More of the same. (4, Insightful)

SA Stevens (862201) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857715)

Why do some people think advocacy has to mean 'become more like the other'?

I'm not convinced that everybody wants to pay a $150-300 license fee per CPU to run on all their 'desktop' systems.

I'm not even conviced that Apple is going to allow their OS software to run on non-Apple hardware (but haven't we argued that point to death?).

I am fairly certain that this 'issue' is just a new angle to bash linux and freenixes in general with. More of the same from the usual folks.

Re:More of the same. (2, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857770)

I'm not convinced that everybody wants to pay a $150-300 license fee per CPU to run on all their 'desktop' systems.

Point taken, but how many people in muliple computer homes paid Bill for seperate licenses on all the computers?

Re:More of the same. (1)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857917)

Try everyone who bought those computers with the operating systems pre-installed. Which is most people.

x86 != PC (2, Insightful)

Hungus (585181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857716)

Until Apple releases commercially OS X for running on standard PCs this is not even a factor. Since I seriously doubt that Apple is going to do that any time soon why are people still even going down tis path. There are to many issues with supporting clone PCs for Apple to even want to get into the game at the time being. It is all about user experience and a crashing system because of a driver conflict or something similar leads to a bad user experience.

Pure FUD (3, Insightful)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857720)

OSX isn't free and the intel Mac probably won't be anywhere cheap either. (it will be good, but not low-cost)

OSX also has it's probelms it's not classic OS, and still has some old tim mac users grumbling about some of the loss of eas of use.

What will hurt Linux is what has been hurting Linux, a steep learning curve, all-too-common installation issues, and lack of some key software to replace favoriate apps on other platforms. All of those can be solved via open source development but they just aren't as sexy to code or work on.

Re:Pure FUD (1)

TCM (130219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857795)

OSX isn't free

That's not what matters. If it runs on off-the-shelf Intel hardware (which I heard it probably won't) and is pirateable, then that's all that matters.

Re:Pure FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857811)

OSX not being free is not an issue. OSX being a mainstream, Intel based UNIX with a good UI is the real issue.

If anything, OSX not being free is just going to hurt Linux more. It will filter out all the people who are willing to pay for Unix and Unix software, leaving the freeloaders for Linux.

Anyone who's considering releasing commercial desktop software for Linux has to be looking at this with the same eyes I am. It's going to drain all the money out of desktop Linux.

Re:Pure FUD (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857822)

Spin it this way, I can kinda see the point they're trying to make, "Why buy a Dell for 499 that runs that unsecure Windows OS when I can buy a Mac Mini using (nearly) the same hardware running the slick as shit OSX?"

Joe Consumer likes to comparison shop and if they can get that idea in their head, Apple could start to see more Macs flying off shelves.

OS X will NOT be the primary alternative... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857721)

Not until it can be purchased and installed on any x86 system, and it never will.

OS X is only an option if you own a Mac, as always has been and always will be.

Linux is and will be the primary alternative on PCs that shipped with Windows.

Alternative to windows? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857725)

The Mac OS has always been an alternative to windows, just because Macs will now have an x86 CPU in place of the PowerPC doesn't make it a more popular alternative. You'll still have to buy a Mac.

Re:Alternative to windows? (1)

SteveM (11242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857830)

You'll still have to buy a Mac.

True. But in the past, buying a Mac meant not being able to run Windows (at native speed, emulaters were and are available).

But with Apple/Intel boxen, you can buy a Mac and very likely be able to run Windows. Either natively or at almost native speeds via Virtual PC or VMware of similar.

Vhus when it comes time to buy or replace a Windows/Linux Intel PC, many people who would not have chosen a PPC Mac will choose a x86 Mac, as their Windows and-or Linux software will still run.

And that's the threat to both Windows and Linux. These users will see how OS Xi compares to Windows XP/Longhorn and Linux, and choose OS Xi.

At least that's one possible scenario.

SteveM

I dont think it will make much difference (3, Insightful)

dyfet (154716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857726)

So long as OS/X is bound exclusivily to some "Apple specific" hardware, I do not think it makes much difference in terms of x86 GNU/Linux desktop adoption whether that hardware is PPC or X86.

Re:I dont think it will make much difference (1)

TCM (130219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857820)

I might be wrong, but since now at least the basic instruction set of the processor will be the same as on common hardware, there could be a hacked OS X at some time in the future.

What I am sure about is that at least someone will try.

MS should still be more worried than linux (3, Interesting)

doormat (63648) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857732)

See, you can buy cheap hardware and run linux. OSX wont replace linux for those who are conscious about what money they have and what the hardware will cost.

MS should be worried shitless that, one day, Apple will release OSX for all x86 desktops and put a big dent in MS's marketshare. Unless Apple signed some no-OS-compete agreement forever with MS, they have a lot more to worry about in the long run (think 10+ years).

Well, (5, Insightful)

neurokaotix (892464) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857733)

Linux has had a decent head start on x86 to make its penetration into the desktop market, if the best thing going for it is Linspire AND they are worried about losing the desktop market then it's clear that they should have poured more time into that particular aspect of computing.

Personally, I don't see why you might want OSX on PC hardware as Apple is more of a platform company than anything else. The software and the hardware go hand-in-hand.

I don't think OSX will have any more penetration into the desktop market than Linux has had for one simple reason -- the desktop market is the noob market. Plain and simple. Noobs are too preconditioned to Windows right now.

Not all of us are outspoken. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857755)

Many of us just quietly enjoy using these great apple products, & don't shout it from the mountain tops.

Microsoft:Sauron::Apple:Saruman (0)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857760)

And I don't even mean from a purely "companies are evil" perspective. Apple keeps you in just as much a jail as does Microsoft. Ignorant users are still ignorant users.

Linux/Unix people are going to use the shell features of OSX. Non-Linux people aren't.

I personally use fluxbox, but I have all the eyecandy I care too -- when I want it. I'd rather have the screen repaint faster.

Re:Microsoft:Sauron::Apple:Saruman (3, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857808)

Linux/Unix people are going to use the shell features of OSX. Non-Linux people aren't.

Technical people are going to use the shell features of OSX. Non-technical people aren't. But not all technical people using Macs are old UNIX types. Apple's long had an active community of amateur hackers doing their scripting with Applescript, and these people are hooking Applescripts into shell scripts, and taking advantage of the way Apple's extending the hooks Applescript's using into other languages. The platform is at least as scriptable as UNIX.

Mac OS X currently ships with Perl, Python, Tcl, bash and tcsh, Applescript, PHP, and now Javascript scripting in Dashboard.

If that's a jail, freedom is slavery.

Re:Microsoft:Sauron::Apple:Saruman (1)

jonored (862908) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857833)

Amen to that. I personally go crazy when I have to wait on a new machine for repaints of all the random crap that I don't want on the screen - which is why I have Gentoo installed here, with fluxbox, links and firefox for a browser, and gaim :)

It's not a threat due to hardware cost (1)

Chiisu (462604) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857764)

OS X on x86 is no different than OS X on PPC in that you HAVE to buy certain hardware to run OS X. It will NOT run on your current XP box, but Linux will. Therefore there isn't any threat of OS X running on special x86 hardware

Cuz, y'know (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857780)

The fact that you're buying an Apple box with an Intel chip inside instead of an Apple box with an IBM chip inside is going to mean that all of a sudden OS X will be competing with Linux where it wasn't before. People use processors, not computers or operating systems.

Frankly, I see OS X and linux as more complimentary than anything. Almost all of the OS X "switchers" I've personally encountered in the last few years have been not desktop users, but UNIX-centered power users who found themselves suddenly very interested by the idea of being a machine that can be simple and effortless for day to day desktop activities yet mostly-seamlessly also run anything and everything that they have been doing on their UNIX boxes. Granted most of the people I talk to are computer-saavy, so I don't really have much of a handle on what the proverbial "end user" is doing, but the point is it's possible for things to turn out well for both OS X and Linux. They can mix very well.

If by "dedicated and outspoken" you mean... (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857782)

Fanatical and shrill, maybe. Mac OS is only going to run on Apple PCs, whereas Linspire and others sell their OSs cheaply for low-cost computers.

MacTel is a threat (2, Interesting)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857792)

I write this as a former Windows user, occasional Linux desktop user and new Mac user:

The reason I switched from Windows is that the features I wanted (better shell, nicer GUI, easier to use programs, better workspace, more scriptability and easier to organize folders) was already on the Mac.

Sure, Linux has some of these features. The problem, I've found is also an 'apparent' strength of other 'Nix systems: X, KDE, Gnome and a whole slew of Window Managers and DEs. I say apparent, because, frankly, with all the work that has gone into each DE and WM, Linux could have one (maybe) two really kick-ass desktop environments. Insead everything would work well together. And something has to be done with the library compatibility problems.

I only want some OSS programs. I don't really care about having an OSS (GLD' whatever) Operating System. I'll pay for the OS. Heck, I just bought a Mac and am really happy. I just like to have 'options'! Doesn't everyone?

Hackers, not Apple, will kill Linux on Desktop. (2, Insightful)

reporter (666905) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857793)

The future of Linux in the server market is secure simply because IBM has invested in Linux on the server. IBM never abandons rich customers who have purchased legacy (which, in this case, is Linux servers) from IBM.

However, the desktop is where Linux will die before it is even established. Apple will not drive a stake into the heart of Linux, but rather, the hordes of hackers and Taiwanese-run peripheral factories in China will kill Linux on the desktop. There are 3 scenarios. First, the hackers write a patch that will enable Mac OS X to run on conventional x86-based IBM PC clones. Second, the Taiwanese engineers will violate scores of American patents and build a cheap (possibly, $10.00) hardware plug-in card that will enable OS X to run on conventional IBM PC clones. The 3rd possibility is a combination of the first two.

An interesting side effect of these efforts will be taking marketshare from Windows XP and successors. In the server market, Linux has taken market share from UNIX instead of Windows. However, on the x86 desktop market, there is no 3rd OS to compete against MAC OS X. There are only 2 OSes: Windows and OS X on x86. They will compete head-on, against each other.

Although I would rather that Apple have picked another processor (e.g. ARM), I would be pleased to see Apple crush Windows on x86. Apple has a good chance of winning this matchup since the goodwill of open-source developers is on the side of Apple.

Apple's team: million-person army of open-source developers + freeBSD + most-consumer-friendly (i.e. idiot proof) OS called OS X
Microsoft's team: couple thousand paid but possibly disgruntled slaves (including) H-1Bs + consumer-unfriendly OS[1]. "It" is no contest. Apple wins by 70% marketshare.

side note
---------
1. Windows 98 requires daily reboots in order to be stable. Windows XP requires weekly reboots in order to be stable.

Is it just me...? (3, Insightful)

Cross-Threaded (893172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857798)

Or, is it that nothing is really going to change, save that Intel gets Apple's money instead of IBM???

Why do people run windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857800)

The games and the desktop apps! I run 2003 and find it reliable and usable. I recommend and support Linux for lots of backend stuff and production stuff. I think OS X may be pretty, but if it doesn't run all my apps and games, why would windows users switch? I think the x86 and ipod leading to an Apple desktop takeover is the same dream that apple enthusiasts have had in different forms forever. It won't happen until Apple decides to go the humble commodity route and compete in the low cost markets that Jobs has always looked down on.

Adapt or Die. (1)

kc32 (879357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857809)

We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.

Bah! (4, Insightful)

standards (461431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857814)

[T]his could mean major trouble for distros like Xandros and Linspire which are reliant on the desktop audience

But more likely, Mac-on-Intel will have no impact on Xandros or Linspire. After all, the Mac platform exists today - and you don't see the Linspire folks all panicky about it.

Let's face it - those who use Linspire or Xandros do so because it is either (1) packaged with a bottom-tier PC, or (2) it's fun.

This is does not describe the Mac user. The Mac user wants a smooth, much-better-than-Windows experience... and is willing to pay for a quality PC to do so. The Mac user doesn't care about the chipset, as long as there is a significantly better user experience than that offered by Windows.

In the future, I doubt you're going to see any name-brand quality PCs with proprietary OSs at Walmart. These very low cost products fit the dirt-cheap niche. If they improve, they could compete with the Mac. If not, they can compete with Windows on price and experience, and they can compete with the Mac on price alone.

In a nutshell, the chipset is less important than the price and the user experience.

And the server market is threatened by Solaris (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12857815)

Linux, as we know it, is dead in the water.

For the Umpteenth Bloody Time (2, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857827)

There isn't going to be any bloody difference whether Apple uses Intels, AMDs, PPCs, SPARCS or Cyrix processors. The same restrictions still apply. No OEM can ever legally contemplate putting OS X on a normal white-box, desktop x86 machine, which is why Linux (and Windows) have gained the popularity they have in the desktop (and server) arena for many pruposes. You can take a copy of them and install them on pretty much anything. Every single one of these silly articles assumes that you'll be able to do the same thing with Mac OS X, because that's what is required to threaten Linux or Windows, x86 or no x86, certainly desktop-wise.

Here's the cluestick - you won't. Mac OS X is still playing to exactly the same audience as with their PPC hardware, because it depends on how easy it is for customers to get a computer running it. You still need a Mac computer. Apple are still going to end up with the same piss-poor supply and economies of scale to customers they've always had. They may get more Intel chips than PowerPC ones now, but they seem to have no clue that that's not where the bottleneck is.

Over the long term is seems, though, that marketshare controlled by Apple will grow with the move to x86 because now the usability of Apple's will increase greatly.

What the f**k does that mean? Supply and economies of scale - read about it. That's been Apple's problem throughout their history.

Can we have enough of this bollocks now please, because these people obviously haven't got the first clue about the dynamics or business models involved in this? I know this article was trying to defend Linux, but it told us absolutely nothing.

Could Boost Desktop Linux (5, Interesting)

Michael_Burton (608237) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857832)

As a long-time Macintosh user, Apple's move to Intel chips has actually sparked my interest in Linux.

It's not yet entirely clear why Apple chose Intel. There is some reason to suspect Intel hardware will ease implementation of system-wide DRM capabilities. Time will tell.

The microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and '80s was about individuals controlling machines that had once been the exclusive domain of governments and big corporations. Now DRM, product activation, live updates and other technologies are being used to take back that control. Well, I'm not going back.

I don't doubt that the Linux desktop might seem crude in comparison to Mac OS X. But if Apple chose Intel to help put DRM everywhere, then I, for one, will be more than willing to go "rough it" with the free souls of the Linux world.

Prices, prices! (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857838)

Somehow I doubt OS X will be cheaper than MS Windows, and that many inexpensive PCs will come with it bundled. Linspire competes with Microsoft by price, not quality. No way OS X could replace it. It's on the opposite end of the price scale!

Finally (3, Insightful)

aCapitalist (552761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857839)

After all of the "Is This the Death of Linux" articles after the OSX-x86 announcement someone actually puts "the Desktop" qualifier in the title. geez.

bs (1)

sardonic2 (576701) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857843)

What is that? Desktop Linux for a cheap PC being that OS X will run on Expensive Mac Hardware. Theres no threat... the x86 means nothing cheap hardware is what makes the difference.

Desktop Linux will not die, but grow instead (5, Insightful)

Morganth (137341) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857845)

To think that most users who run Linux on their desktop are doing so only because they don't like Windows is to misunderstand desktop linux entirely.

I'll try to summarize the benefits desktop Linux has over other OSes, and why this is nonsense:

(1) Desktop Linux distros come with hundreds of quality desktop applications, installed and license-free, at no cost. Productivity applications, web browsers, FTP clients, e-mail/PIM programs, messengers, not to mention the rich GNU heritage of command-line tools, a variety of programming environments, etc. This is all installed and ready-to-use after the installation completes on your PC. Thousands more software packages are available in a few clicks via Synaptic/Red Carpet/Yast or whatever. Mac OS X and Windows simply _do not compare_ in this respect.

(Disclosure: It's true that Mac OS has some access to these apps via Apple's X11 and Fink/Darwinports, but you have to admit it's not the same as having these be a "real" part of your desktop.)

(2) Linux will run on a TON of hardware, including old hardware, which means you can use to "revitalize" existing machines and save money.

(3) Linux is always uttered in the same sentence with "open source" and more particularly "open source innovation." For people who want to be a part of the open source movement, Linux (or BSDs) is the natural choice. For people who want to be free of proprietary software, to even the slightest degree, will stick with Linux.

(4) Linux, as a kernel, is hyper-configurable. You can strip it down or compile everything in. Tweakers and power users like this idea.

(5) The "slick GUI" advantage of OS X will rapidly disappear over the next few years, as desktop linux developers make more progress with XOrg, composite, direct rendering, etc.

(6) Linux being used very often as a server, it's just as simple to install major server apps (Apache, Tomcat, mysql, vsftpd etc.) as other apps.

(7) The typical Linux environment is highly, highly scriptable.

Don't think desktop linux is dead. I actually believe that all these pundits are completely wrong. Open source desktop Linux developers will now unite to innovate more so than ever before. This move, if anything, will galvanize developers. Hell, it's already gotten me to get off my ass and start working on something new. I look forward to the future, and you should too.

Re:Desktop Linux will not die, but grow instead (1, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857921)

Desktop Linux distros come with hundreds of quality desktop applications, installed and license-free, at no cost.

Hardly any of those apps are high quality, and they may be using any of half a dozen different user interface toolkits... so none of them can be said to really be part of your desktop the way Mac and Windows apps are. True, this is due to the way X11 developed as a test platform for user interface design, but it means that the advantage of X11 being native on Linux is a lot less than you're arguing.

Linux being used very often as a server, it's just as simple to install major server apps (Apache, Tomcat, mysql, vsftpd etc.) as other apps.

Mac OS X ships with apache and mysql, and is just as compatible with other server apps. And, well, my only experience with Tomcat is that it'll be a cold day in hell before I consider it as anything but a liability.

The "slick GUI" advantage of OS X [...]

The slickness of the OS X GUI is overrated. The most important feature of the Mac GUI is its internal consistency.

For people who want to be a part of the open source movement, Linux (or BSDs) is the natural choice.

That's why I switched to Mac OS X for my desktop. It's built on open-source UNIX and deeply compatible with FreeBSD... my open-source UNIX of choice.

Linux will run on a TON of hardware, including old hardware, which means you can use to "revitalize" existing machines and save money.

That's true, you may have to pay fifty dollars or more for an old Powermac G3 to run Mac OS X.

The typical Linux environment is highly, highly scriptable.

Not as scriptable as Mac OS X, by a long shot. Not only does it come with bash, tcsh, perl, python, and tcl, it's also got GUI scripting through Applescript, and now Javascript in Dashboard.

Desktop Linux isn't dead because of OS X, it's dead because it was never alive. I tried hard, for decades, to find a desktop UNIX that didn't suck, and desktop Linux is nowhere near the top of the short list. But a couple of years ago, when I put OS X on an old Beige Powermac, I even trashed my shortlist... OS X is it, it's the only hope for desktop UNIX.

, and none of them are scriptable the way Mac OS applications are.

What are you smoking? (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857846)

could mean major trouble for distros like Xandros and Linspire which are reliant on the desktop audience. These distros are clearly not ready to take on OS X, which will soon be the primary x86 alternative to Windows XP not only because of OS X's dedicated and outspoken user base but because of its slick looks and ease of use.

People don't switch from Windows XP to Linux because of its slick looks and ease of use. People switch to Linux because it's Free.

Anyway, I agree that these distros are clearly not ready to take on OS X, but these distros are clearly not ready to take on Windows XP, either. Anyone who cares about slick looks and ease of use isn't going to switch to Linux in the first place.

Adapt or die? More like adapt or don't come to life in the first place.

Hype, Missunderstanding, and FUD... (1)

Ninwa (583633) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857856)

People don't seem to understand that Apple has no intentions on selling their software standalone, or atleast they havn't announced this yet. This means that Macs will be virtually unchanged to the end user. Although it has other implications (such as the ability to run x86 Linux and Windows on Macs) this change is as insignificant to the Mac business model as would be changing the type of RAM or the video card. When you look at it from that perspective you suddenly realize that all of these claims about Linux dieing because of OS X are derived from misunderstanding and pure speculation.

On my PC? (1)

RickPartin (892479) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857862)

I thought MacOS was still only going to run on Macs, not generic PCs. Am I missing something? Will I be able to run it on my PC now? If so I am very happy.

OS X on x86, why should Linux care? (1)

taylortbb (759869) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857873)

Right now everyone is worrying what this will do to Linux but I can put it in one word: Nothing. The reason? Apple is locking OS X into their computers.

Apple has said it themselves, OS X will not run on generic PC hardware. If someone is looking to switch OSes their choices will be the same as before. Linux and Windows will be the only two OSes that people will be able to run without buying a new computer. And if you're looking to buy a new computer, well, you already could buy a Mac.

I know some people will say "But now you can run Windows on Mac computers!" But that really wont make a difference. The general population will have no idea how to go about doing this, and the geeks that do wont cause a serious disruption. If the geeks want to install windows they either are going to do a triple boot with Linux or wouldn't be using Linux anyways (and if that wasn't enough, geeks really aren't that serious of a market force).

If Apple was to release OS X for generic hardware then Linux should definetly worry. But until that happens there is still going to be this division between Mac and non-Macs.

One Posible Scenario ... (1)

SteveM (11242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857881)

In the past, buying a Mac meant not being able to run Windows (at native speed, emulaters were and are available). Thus Macs made no dent in the Windows market.

But with Apple/Intel boxen, you can buy a Mac and very likely be able to run Windows. Either natively or at almost native speeds via Virtual PC or VMware or similar.

Thus when it comes time to buy or replace a Windows/Linux Intel PC, many people who would not have chosen a PPC Mac will choose a x86 Mac, as their Windows and-or Linux software will still run. And they will be curious about OS X or tired of Windows malware.

And that's the possible threat to both Windows and Linux. These users will see how OS Xi compares to Windows XP/Longhorn and Linux, and choose OS Xi.

At least that's one possible scenario.

SteveM

Can one run Mac OS X on common hardware? (2, Interesting)

mikolas (223480) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857895)

As long as Mac OS X is locked to Apple hardware, it is not a true alternative to Windows and Linux (or *BSD for that matter) that happen to run on commodity hardware. Unless Apple will sell their X86 hardware at Dell prices, there will not be competition. Also, the crowd using free (as in speech) operating systems on their computers are not likely to use closed operating system, let alone closed hardware... Just a thought.

Apple != PC (1)

guacamole (24270) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857897)

Can someone explain me once again what makes MacOS X running on Intel-based Apple hardware any more of a threat to Linux compared to MacOS X running on PPC-based Apple hardware?

The primary reason people use desktop Linux is... (1)

stankulp (69949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857898)

...because it is FREE.

I hadn't heard that OSX x86 was going to be free.

What did I miss?

will the editors please get over this - we have (1)

capicu (880524) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857902)

By now, we've all pretty much accepted that linux still has the huge advantage of being free. If the /. editors could remove themselves from their rich country mindset for a second to understand this, they would stop posting these damn mactel stories because nobody cares any more. Or, to put it another way, hypothetically, the mexican govt is considering replacing some IT infrastructure. Here are their options: 1. $300 hardware/$300 software - windows 2. $400 hardware/$200 software - mac 3. $300 hardware/$0 software - linux *numbers fairly general Or let's look at Brazil - they won't hardly talk to Microsoft because they won't pay for something that can be free. Are they going to turn their back on getting something for free and go back to shipping billions of dollars abroad??

"Enthusiasts" don't like to hear it (1)

aCapitalist (552761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857910)

But having two dominant desktops has hurt linux on the desktop - all because of random historical incidents. That's just fact. You can scream choice all you want, but there's not even a standard toolkit, even though the low-level windowing system X11 is standard.

So now we have KDE that many of the big players are avoiding (probably because of the reliance on Trolltech's Qt), but with superior tech, and Gnome who has big player backing, but has blundered along with failed technologies such as Bonobo and a less than stellar toolkit - Gtk+.

Of course Linus, LSB, or anybody else with influence doesn't want to touch this white hot issue with a ten foot pole, so who knows if things will ever change.

Sometimes being on a closed platform has advantages.

more trouble for Linux (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857922)

These distros are clearly not ready to take on OS X, which will soon be the primary x86 alternative to Windows XP not only because of OS X's dedicated and outspoken user base but because of its slick looks and ease of use.

I will hasten to add: "And the fact that for easy software installation, one is *always* tied to a particular vendor..." This makes matters worse.

Imagine this: You are told that the best video editing software for Linux is package ABC. You google it and find thousands of entries. You go for one and find that it will not even install because you're on an rpm based distro and the software is a .deb package!

You go for an rpm package you grab and realise that it's the wrong version. To make matters worse, it's for a different distro. What we need to do for Linux is to adopt autopackage http://autopackage.org/ [autopackage.org] .No one will be encouraged by flames or the so called rpm hell. To me, it looks simple but for many, the decision to adopt autopackage is a non-starter.

To make matters worse, many editors and pundits do not even see autopackage as a viable option and Debian which I use (but is not perfect though good), dismissed it all together!

Still the same old misunderstanding... (1)

Trollstoi (888703) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857925)

Mac OS X won't be an alternative os for pc. According to Apple it will run only on their hardware.

Well, (1)

labratuk (204918) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857937)

The author's a retard. So macintoshes are using intel processors. It won't make any difference. It'll just be a macintosh with an intel chip inside. Oh, and it'll have DRM down to the hardware. That's all.

I don't want Linux, I want MacOS X (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 9 years ago | (#12857940)

All I can say I don't want Linux anyway, all I want is MacOS X. Itunes in Windows was fast on this machine, amarok in Linux, well ;), also it uses 130MB+.

They just made me think twice about getting a 20" iMac, if it wasn't for this x86 shit I was more or less convinced, now I might wait and run this more or less Linux crap until then.
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