iSpeculation

Just a quick update on the Mac-Intel story. First, Jeff Harrell crawfishes (okay, just a little) regarding OS X running on stock Intel hardware. Second, Bob Cringley (real name Mark Stephens, once one of Apple’s original employees and now a tech writer/reporter) thinks this is all part of a grand plan for Intel to shove Microsoft aside in favor of Apple. Here’s the kicker section:

Intel is fed up with Microsoft. Microsoft has no innovation that drives what Intel must have, which is a use for more processing power. And when they did have one with the Xbox, they went elsewhere.

So Intel buys Apple and works with their OEMs to get products out in the market. The OEMs would love to be able to offer a higher margin product with better reliability than Microsoft. Intel/Apple enters the market just as Microsoft announces yet another delay in their next generation OS. By the way, the new Apple OS for the Intel Architecture has a compatibility mode with Windows (I’m just guessing on this one).

This scenario works well for everyone except Microsoft. If Intel was able to own the Mac OS and make it available to all the OEMs, it could break the back of Microsoft.

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37 Responses to “iSpeculation”

  1. Jeff Harrell Says:

    Can I be a dumbass for a second? What does “crawfishes” mean? Have you insulted my honor, sir? Shall I demand satisfaction?

  2. Will Collier Says:

    Heh.

    craw-fish (v.) To reverse oneself from a previous statement or position in the manner of a crawfish backing away from danger. (Southernism)

  3. Jeff Harrell Says:

    Ah. Yeah, I guess I kind of did. I still hold the position that Apple will use LaGrande to prevent Mac OS X piracy. But LaGrande isn’t available yet. Its omission might have been made to serve a purpose.

  4. Brett Says:

    Cringley’s bizarre hypothesis is certainly compelling evidence that long-term consumption of Steve Jobs’ Kool-Aid can cause serious brain damage.

  5. Anachronda Says:

    Even more bizarre than Cringely’s notion that Intel wants to merge with Apple is his idea that Apple is really interested in Itanium.

  6. Frank Martin Says:

    Bizarre? Hell yes it is but I can actually see this working. I work in the IT world and the consensus in our end of the world is that We hate and dispise Windows and wish that we had a real alternative, particularly for the desktop. A real alternative,not for the propellerheads like myself think nothing of rebuilding a kernel or creating new drivers, but for the casual dekstop users who are often befuddled by small nuance-like changes in GUI presentation from release to release. The cost of changing systems often has little to do with the “coolness” issues than it does the “Soft” issues, like how much it will cost to re-train the front office staff on a piece of software like MS Word.

    Now it turns out that OS X also runs, Microsoft Word and a whole host of other MS software which the front office staff has used forever on Windows. ( how convienent, why its almost as it was part of the big plan…)

    We are big fans of Linux, but desipte how far its come in such a short time, there are there are still things that Linux is still lacking, such as a good solid desktop platform. Yes, there are linux distros that are good on the desktop( im using one now…), but were fighting market momentum here, not logic.

    But heres where it gets really fun. OS X is, thats right – Unix/linux based, this is a significant advantage to me. Now, without too much work I can now get a superior Desktop OS, and a Server OS that is based on the same core technology. Would shop wide driver support be easier or worse in a linux/OS X world? my guess is easier by a mile.

    Our shop is now mostly Linux after a multi year initiative to remove not just windows but proprietary Unix systems, due to their excessive cost, not just in licensing but support.

    Even if I never convert my desktops to OS X, the competition will start to cause MS to re-examine its asinine and restrictive licensing approach, which costs my organization thousands of man-hours each year just to try to remain in compliance.

    Now let’s assess the situation from the eyes of Microsoft, Microsoft is having a hell of a time getting people to adapt to its newer OS’es. Yes, they are the still the preeminent desktop OS but the core of their usage is on the older windows NT and Windows 2000 systems, not XP.
    #1- Its now 2005, a full 6 years since Windows 2000 was released and a large percentage of corporate users are still on it and a shockingly high number of home users are still on Windows 98!

    #2, XP has never taken off the way microsoft needed it to, and thats a bad sign for Microsoft. Microsoft needs more users to jump to XP, but they wont, so long as the upgrade path is a difficult as Microsoft has made it in terms of cost and support of legacy systems.

    #3 Just how soft is the market on Microsoft products? Just look at how fast Firefox was leaped on by the market. What does that tell you? It was once tough to find anyone with a broswer other than IE, now I dont know anyone who willingly uses it. If ‘Video killed the radio star’ then Popups and viruses surely killed William Gates III. Firefox and its ascendancy tells you if you put an real competitive alternatve on the market, people will ditch Microsoft platforms like left over stack of Kerry/Edwards bumpers stickers.

    Microsoft has huge burden each time it has tried to upgrade its technology because the current user base demands continued support of platforms that have long since died out. OS X, has a burden, but not to the same scale as MS, not by a long shot.

    Apple has also figured out that the computer hardware business is not where the money is and it will now concentrate on the one part of their business that can make money, Software, specifically the OS. I epxect more products like the margin generating ipod, and possibly an Apple based DVR. Their future is in the place they have always done well, multi-media. So in many ways Apple is going back to doing what it does best and ditching the non-profit generating lines of proprietary hardware.

    The bill has come due for Microsoft, and Steve Jobs is about to deliver it personally to the door of Bill Gates.

  7. Bruce Says:

    “XP has never taken off the way microsoft needed it to”

    Yeah. Its only on 65% of all PC’s connected to the internet.

  8. Jeff Harrell Says:

    Where’d you get that figure from, Bruce?

  9. rosignol Says:

    Even more bizarre than Cringely’s notion that Intel wants to merge with Apple is his idea that Apple is really interested in Itanium.

    From what I recall, Cringley’s track record as a prognosticator is even worse than Dvorak’s.

  10. Brett Says:

    Um, you have quite an imagination, there, Frank. May all your dreams come true.

    However, I would recommend researching your assumptions, particularly about the “ascendancy” of Firefox. Firefox has made some gains at Microsoft’s expense, but it’s hardly re-igniting the browser wars, what with just a 10% market share.

    Firefox is probably a good object lesson for Apple partisans salivating over the prospect of toppling Microsoft, but not in the way they’d like.

  11. Jeff Harrell Says:

    So long as we’re in a speculating mood, I’m gonna throw out my prediction for this Firefox thing that Frank brought up.

    It seems like a lot of software products have been following the same pattern lately: Explode with a ton of PR and energy, evolve to the point where it’s good enough for the hardest of the hardcore, lapse into stagnation, fade into obscurity. It’s easy to see why. The people who work on a lot of these products don’t do it for a living. They do it because they feel like it. When their interest wanes, the products grind to a halt.

    It happened to Linux. Remember when Linux was cool? There hasn’t been a major release of Linux in four years. There are folks out there who still, to this day, claim that Linux is the hot new thing. It’s kinda sad, really.

    It happened to a little-remembered Microsoft Office clone called Open Office. There was much fanfare; you couldn’t go a week without seeing a bylined article in a major publication proclaiming that Open Office would, as soon as it hit version 2, be the end of Microsoft. Sun was involved. It seemed like a sure thing. Except the product never hit version 2. I read just a few weeks ago that the Mac version was cancelled outright. Open Office is now nothing more than a memory.

    Hell, it even happened with the Apache Web server. A 2.0 version of Apache was actually released, some years ago, but nobody uses it. Apache 1 owns something like 70% of the web server market, but it’s not growing. It’s stagnant. It persists simply because it’s entrenched, and because it’s good enough right now. The first product that comes along that’s better will knock it off the top spot. Maybe Apache will get lucky. Maybe there won’t be any big developments in Web serving any time soon. Maybe CGI scripts and Java will continue to be the cutting-edge technologies in Web page distribution. But if something new comes along, Apache will take a header. It’s a dead tree: hollow on the inside, need only a strong breeze to knock it over.

    And it happened to Mozilla. Remember 1998? The bad old days of the dot-com boom, when everybody got all excited about this hot new thing called Mozilla? They released countless developer previews over a period of years. They finally released a 1.0 version

  12. Robin Roberts Says:

    Jeff writes: “There hasn’t been a major release of Linux in four years.”

    Bzzzzt. The Linux 2.6 kernel came out in 18 months ago.

    Jeff, OpenOffice 2.0 is in beta right now and its file format has been adopted as an OpenDocument standard.

    Neat rant, Jeff but really, lets be a little more up to date?

  13. Brett Says:

    Obviously YMMV, Robin, but in the parts of the IT universe I work in, an incremental/point update to an OS kernel isn’t a “major release” by any stretch of the imagination, no matter the fanfare with which it’s greeted by the propellerheads. I like Linux as much as the next guy, but come on.

  14. Kalroy Says:

    “#1- Its now 2005, a full 6 years since Windows 2000 was released and a large percentage of corporate users are still on it and a shockingly high number of home users are still on Windows 98!”

    I think you just disproved your own point with your own example Frank. Only the cool kids are going to buy an Ap-Tel computer just to own an Apple with an Intel chip in it at first. People planning on trashing their old machine might also. Thing is, they may also decide to stay with what’s familiar to them, and the people who still have their win98 machines primary will probably keep it primary.

    I don’t even see me picking up another computer for a long long long time. The consoles will be the best thing for gaming by the end of the year, and beyond gaming I don’t need a new computer. Perhaps a new machine just for rendering, file storage, or as a media PC.

    As to the Media PC, if they do become a standard than MS has already beaten Apple to the punch by releasing a Media OS, and by releasing a media extender at the end of this year called XBox 360.

    Kalroy

  15. slim999 Says:

    Jeff makes an interesting point (Firefox fades, Mozilla fades, Linux fades), but he forgets to say WHY it is so.

    It is so precisely because it is open source.

    I cannot go to my boss with a straight face and tell him that I want to place the fate of my company on some software I downloaded free off the internet (think about it).

    The reason people align their future with Microsoft is that Microsoft is one of the largest companies on the planet, and their software is expensive. (This sounds like an oxymoron, but it is not.)

    Microsoft has a financial interesting in BEING AROUND tomorrow. This aligns them nicely with me, because I too have a financial interest in being around (at my company) tomorrow.

    I will gladly BUY Firefox and install it on the thousands of desktops I control, when it is available to PURCHASE from a PUBLIC COMPANY that has a fiduciary duty to its stockholders. This provides me nicely with COVER that I cannot get any other way.

    It would be irresponsible of me to install Firefox on a single corporate computer until that time.

  16. DC Says:

    Hmmm. I think this line of thinking makes an incorrect assumption. That assumption is that Apple wants or plans to displace Microsoft. I

  17. Bruce Says:

    Xp on 65% of desktops:

    http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

    Google had XP at 51% 1 year ago, but unfortunately they stoppped publishing those numbers:

    http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist/zeitgeist-jun04.html

    And 2 years ago, Google had XP at 33%, so I have no problem with the 65% figure from w3cSchools

    http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist/zeitgeist-jun03.html

    And notice that Google in 2004 and 2003 correlate exactly with W3schools numbers for the same month.

  18. Frank Martin Says:

    References:
    PC World:
    Analysts: Users Slow to Upgrade Windows

    http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,77804,tfg,tfg,00.asp

    http://www.itworld.com/nl/win_this_wk/01092002/

    Until recently, Microsoft has had virtually no market competition for the desktop. Now with the release of the 2.6 Kernel there are several Linux Distros that are very very good. This has no retroactive effect on those who installed Windows 2000 in 1999, hence the high number of people who are using it. I understand what you are saying but I dont think the high use of windows refutes my argument, because I think as weve all been saying, I dont think people have had any choice.

    My point is – now they do. OS X just enhance the chances that there will be more choice in the market, not less. That seems to me to be a very good thing.

    On firefox. Full disclosure, I dont use firefox but opera. I can say that in my sample, 2 years ago I didnt know anyone who didnt use IE, I dont want to go all Pauline Kael here but now I dont know anyone who does use IE. I dont think that is a good sign for microsoft, people should not want to throw out a major component of the OS( as microsoft sess it). reference:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47146-2004Nov13.html

    http://www.newsfactor.com/story.xhtml?story_id=30800

    Money quote:
    “It seems that global usage of Firefox is increasing and global usage of IE is decreasing. It looks like users of IE 5 are switching to Firefox instead of upgrading to IE 6.0,” said Niels Brinkman, co-founder of OneStat.com.

    Again, its not bigger than IE, but the trend is not good for Microsoft.

    As far as Firefox to Netscape comparisons, they dont. Firefox is a vastly better product. Firefox has leared well the lessons of Netscape in how to compete against IE.

    As far as corporate use of Open source I understand why some are hesitant. But consider that there has to be a reason why Open Source is working as well as it is. Its not all hackers using it. I think youd be surprised at the places in the corporate world where open source is serving side by side with traditional software. THere are things I would never ever consider for Open Source, but there are a vast bumber of thigns that open source not only works but it is not only price competitive but frankly better than license software.

    One other thing, Open source is not free. Its generally cheaper than a traditional license system, but Open Source has its own cost structure as well. Its a common misconception that its “free”, and therfore worthless. Full disclosure- most of what I do all day is recommend various Open Source solutions to my corporate overlord. We often use Open Source in our environment. One small example of excellence isa a tool called “Nagios”. Its open source, and its excellent. The two are not mutally exclusive.

  19. DC Says:

    FWIW, IBM is now supporting Firefox internally. IE is too insecure, and employees have been switching to Firefox and clamoring for the company to make it a supported platform. They did.

    To be fair about it, IBM is more inclined to use open source than many companies would be, since IBM is a big supporter of the open source world. Still, I’d call this a big deal for Firefox.

  20. Jeff Harrell Says:

    DC, to me crawfish are little red delicious things that come wrapped in a paper towel with an ear of corn and that are complicated to eat. I’ve never seen a National Geographic special on them, for cryin’ out loud.

    Bruce, has nobody ever excoriated you for quoting bad statistics? I find that hard to believe. Let me give you the short version: Anybody who thinks that Web server logs are indicative in any way of the actual percentage of computer users employing a particular piece of software is an idiot, plain and simple. You’re a smart boy; I’m sure you can suss out the details for yourself.

    (And Brett said what I would have said. Minor releases are not, by definition, major releases.)

  21. Jay Reding Says:

    Sorry, butJeff just earned himself a mini-Fisking:

    It happened to Linux. Remember when Linux was cool? There hasn’t been a major release of Linux in four years. There are folks out there who still, to this day, claim that Linux is the hot new thing. It’s kinda sad, really.

    Linux is an OS kernel. It had a very consequential upgrade in the last 18 months. Linux *distributions* are updated all the time. The new hot distro, Ubuntu,(founded by Thawte Group founder Mark Shuttleworth) came out last year and has been taking off steadily since then.

    It happened to a little-remembered Microsoft Office clone called Open Office. There was much fanfare; you couldn’t go a week without seeing a bylined article in a major publication proclaiming that Open Office would, as soon as it hit version 2, be the end of Microsoft. Sun was involved. It seemed like a sure thing. Except the product never hit version 2. I read just a few weeks ago that the Mac version was cancelled outright. Open Office is now nothing more than a memory.

    Again, totally wrong. OpenOffice is still alive and kicking, and is still being actively development. 2.0 is nearing release and has only been in development for a few months.

    Hell, it even happened with the Apache Web server. A 2.0 version of Apache was actually released, some years ago, but nobody uses it. Apache 1 owns something like 70% of the web server market, but it’s not growing. It’s stagnant. It persists simply because it’s entrenched, and because it’s good enough right now. The first product that comes along that’s better will knock it off the top spot. Maybe Apache will get lucky. Maybe there won’t be any big developments in Web serving any time soon. Maybe CGI scripts and Java will continue to be the cutting-edge technologies in Web page distribution. But if something new comes along, Apache will take a header. It’s a dead tree: hollow on the inside, need only a strong breeze to knock it over.

    Give me a break. Again, Apache is still in active development, and new modules are coming out for it all the time. It has 70% of the market because it works and replacing a production webserver is a major PITA. 2.0 will slowly creep up over time as more new servers hit the net.

    Apache owns the server market because it works and doesn’t need constant upgrades like IIS. That isn’t a bug, that’s a feature.

    And it happened to Mozilla. Remember 1998? The bad old days of the dot-com boom, when everybody got all excited about this hot new thing called Mozilla? They released countless developer previews over a period of years. They finally released a 1.0 version

  22. Robin Roberts Says:

    Jeff, playing semantic games isn’t very impressive. The 2.6 kernel is a major release to those who focus on its features rather than which part of its version number is incremented.

    Because of the way the various components of Linux distributions are divided up, the complete list of packages are undergoing continuous improvement and upgrade without any one snazzy release point that has a cool marketing code name. This allows those who wish to traffic in FUD to pretend that it is stagnant.

  23. Brett Says:

    Oh, come off it, Robin. I love Linux as much as anybody — I support six Debian boxes at work, and run Fedora on two of my five machines at home — but this is just silly.

    The 2.6 kernel is a major release to those who focus on its features rather than which part of its version number is incremented.

    The 2.6 kernel added support for embedded systems, non-uniform memory access, and hyperthreading (to take full advantage of Intel processors). It overhauled the old screwy device driver/module subsystem. It added support for USB and wireless. It updated the IDE subsystem. It cleaned up its support for ext2, ext3, and NFS filesystems. And it further modularized the I/O subsystem.

    In other words, most of the “features” included in 2.6 are either refactoring of existing subsystems or incremental improvements from 2.4. Everything else is just support for hardware that other OSen were already supporting. My corner of the IT industry calls releases like this “patches” or “service packs”, not “major releases”. Even Linus Torvalds is on record saying that there’s “no new architectures or other really fundamental stuff”. He also said that he thought “[i]n many ways the jump from 2.2 -> 2.4 was bigger”.

    So who’s the one playing semantic games, here?

  24. Jeff Harrell Says:

    I’m sure Open Office is still “in active development,” as you so euphemistically put it, Jay. “In active development” is an optimistic way of saying “years behind schedule and all but forgotten.” Like I pointed out, the Mac version was out-and-out cancelled. It’s dead. And the Windows version, from what I understand, has been so far behind Microsoft Office for so long that nobody takes it seriously any more. I was told, though don’t know for sure, that Sun even pulled out, deciding wisely not to throw good money away after bad.

    And you demonstrated my point about Apache perfectly. It’s stagnant. “It doesn’t need any new features,” say the owners. Well, you know what? Jaguar didn’t need any new features, either. Neither did Windows 2000. Oracle hasn’t needed any new features since the mid-1990s. But they got them anyway, and suddenly those new features that nobody had ever asked for became necessities nobody can live without. Because that’s how you compete. You keep developing a product, adding new capabilities, making it better. Like I said, if somebody were to bother creating a next-generation Internet server, it’d knock Apache out of the top spot in a second because Apache is stagnant.

    And as for the “Mozilla evolved into Firefox” thing, I’m sorry, but that’s just not an accurate way of describing the situation. It’s more correct to say that Mozilla ground to a halt, was melted down for scrap, and pieces of it got recycled into Firefox. Which kinda proves my point with non-commercial software. When the developers get bored and lose interest, the product dies off. The very-best-case scenario would be for bits and pieces of the product to get recycled into something new. Which is fine if you’re in the software-writing business, but kinda sucks for consumers. That business model leaves a whole lot of orphaned customers out there.

    And Brett said everything I would want to say about Linux, with one exception. As I understand it, the vast majority of the new features in 2.6 were added not by the Linux people themselves but rather by SGI who needed to make massive changes to the operating system to get it to work on their servers. So that’s kind of the exception that proves the rule. Most of the developments in Linux in the past four years have been incremental, and most of those have actually come from a third-party vendor who was driven by the demands of an actual business model, as opposed to the whim of some grad student from Indonesia.

  25. Joe Woodbury Says:

    There is an interesting implication in all this that is being ignored.

    1) Apple will likely lock the x86 OS-X to their hardware and their hardware isn’t going to be a PC Clone.

    2) The new Apple hardware will have heavy patent protection to prevent cloners from simply copying it.

    3) Nothing prevents Microsoft from porting Windows to that platform and they will do so before the new hardware even hits the shelves.

    4) Apple not only knows this, but is depending on it.

    I believe this is Apple’s real plan; Apple is a hardware company and wants to stay that way. They can now concentrate on making their cool, though expensive, hardware and can stop worrying about all that pesky software nonsense. Yeah, they’ll keep OSX around if only to poke Microsoft in the eye.

    Wait, here’s the best part. Say Jobs gets really bored with OSX; he then turns it into open software. Wala, he kills off Linux and since it still runs “better” on his hardware, he’s suddenly in a no-lose situation. Whether a company buys XP or downloads OSX, Apple still sells its overpriced systems!

  26. DC Says:

    Well Joe, that’s very interesting – but I think very unlikely. Without OS X, there is no Mac. It’s all about the user experience, and that means Mac OS, not Windows.

    We can check back in three years or so and see who’s right.

  27. DC Says:

    Wait – this is a joke, right? I’ve clearly been had. I’ve rebutted something nobody could actually be serious about.

  28. Kevin Cullis Says:

    Ok, for those that want to buy Open Office and Firefox, take a look here:

    http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=319027&pfp=BROWSE

    Not a bad price for a MS alternative.

  29. Kevin Cullis Says:

    Jeff, take a look at http://www.openoffice.org web site and see if you can download OO for Mac. Yes, is X11, but it still works.

  30. Robin Roberts Says:

    Jeff, you are just repeating already debunked statements about OpenOffice.

    Brett, comparing the Linux kernel functionality alone to entire integrated functionality of competing OS’ is beyond apples and oranges, its dishonest. But more amusingly, you’ve gone from the argument that Linux hasn’t had an upgrade to making semantic arguments about what was in it. And then trying to blame me for making semantic distinctions? Poor quality argument to say the least.

    Joe, I don’t think that OS X, even if open sourced, would kill Linux. Quite the opposite actually. I can envision the Mac desktop being ported to Linux.

  31. Brett Says:

    Actually, Robin, I didn’t compare the entire integrated functionality of competing OSen to the functionality of the Linux kernel. Before you start accusing me of “dishonest” and “poor quality” argument, maybe you ought to quit openly lying about what’s been said, or at least enroll in some remedial reading comprehension courses.

    Your claim was that the 2.6 Linux kernel constituted a “major release”. I’ve argued that it did not, and that it was closer in nature to a patch or a service pack, by pointing out both the thoroughly incremental nature of the feature list and some salient remarks from Linux’s creator.

    A grown-up would either respond to the point or concede the point. But instead you’re throwing around lightweight accusations of bad faith. If you want to keep embarassing yourself, feel free, but I’m not wasting anymore time on you.

  32. Jim Rockford Says:

    Everyone has different interests. Consumers with perfectly good computers running Win 98 and browsers, office suites (Office 97), and old games don’t need to buy an expensive new hardware and software system, with major new purchase for applications. Their stuff works fine so they won’t switch unless there’s a “gotta have” of new functionality that makes it worth it, like Apple’s hardware/software integration of the iPod and Macs.

    [Apple is neither a software nor hardware company. They are a multimedia consumer systems integrator. Their stuff just works]

    Cringely is dead right, Intel needs to generate sales of new chips. People putting on various operating systems but not buying new PCs does nothing for them. MS is not interested in this point in partnering with Intel to drive sales of new computers with MS Whatever and Intel inside; and even if they did they have little in the pipeline to act as a compelling switch. They are mostly corporate desktops and servers, and face almost no growth in their office and OS sales. MS NEEDS growth, they can only innovate as a company with growth. Their internal development model is to work to exhaustion thousands of programmers with the reward of options or discounted purchase of stock. This only works when the market values growth opportunities to drive the stock up. This isn’t happening. MS has monopoly rents but that’s it (hence the big gamble on X Box which so far has been a sea of red ink). Intel is smart to see the failure of the old MS partnership (it was significant that MS went with IBM for the new chips on the X Box 2).

    Apple at least has the potential to drive new chip sales with a multimedia machine to handle the TV/DVD equivalent of your iPod. Key being ease of use with systems integration already done by Apple. If it’s compelling enough people will buy. It depends on execution which Apple has mostly been good at.

    Apple has their own reasons to want to dump IBM. IBM has not been able to meet Apple’s needs for laptop friendly chips. Too hot and too much power. There’s a huge cost to switch from IBM/Freescale, but if you can’t offer compelling laptops which is Apple’s main hardware business they have no future.

    MS’s goal is to go after growth in gaming; Intel’s to drive sales of new computers requiring their chips; and Apple’s to drive sales of their integration by offering new functions to consumers. That’s driving these decisions.

    Regarding OpenOffice on the Mac. You can run the latest OpenOffice right now on OS X, but it requires the development tools X-server and does not run under the Aqua interface (Cocoa native app). But it does indeed run. Work on OpenOffice 1.x ports to Cocoa/OS X was halted in favor of working on porting OpenOffice 2.x; Open Office 2.x is currently in development. Right now Neoffice/J which is a fork of the OpenOffice 1.x branch is a native Cocoa app, with the usual Aqua widgets and full font support. It’s probably only political issues with MS that keep Apple from making a full Open Office port on OS X the equal of Linux/Solaris/Windows releases.

    As far as the release schedule of Linux vs. MS; Linux has had regular releases that address real issues at no cost to users other than downloads. MS requires an expensive upgrade path and no real innovation has taken place from NT 4 to Win 2K to XP. Merely massive amounts of security holes fixed in each marketing brand release and the subsequent torrent of Service Packs and hotfixes which need careful testing as they break critical apps all the time. Apache 1.x is still in development and unlike IIS does not require the sort of constant patching to keep intact. Switching from Windows to whatever is as expensive as switching from Apache to some other webserver. There’s a built in network cost. Likely there will be incremental growth in whatever OS and webserver can work well with existing installations and provide value. MS no longer sells older OS’s and many folks will end up using Open Source just out of license restrictions.

  33. MtViewGuy Says:

    Folks,

    I have this feeling that Cringley’s suggestion isn’t going to work. For one reason: it could run afoul of antitrust laws here in the USA and the European Union.

  34. Jeff Harrell Says:

    Kevin, I guess I should have made myself more clear. I was referring to the Mac version of Open Office. That’s been cancelled. It will never ship.

    What you refer to is a sort of half-assed, mostly-runs-on-a-Mac-in-a-Unix-environment port. It’s basically the Unix equivalent of an application that only runs in Classic.

    Sorry, but I don’t know anybody who would call a program that doesn’t support cutting-edge features like cut and paste to be a Mac version of anything.

    And as for “Jim’s” (cute pen name, by the way) remarks about “political issues with Microsoft” preventing Apple from shipping a version of Open Office, I’m fairly confident that it’s got more to do with the fact that Apple staunchly refuses to ship shit products than anything else.

  35. Jason Says:

    It looks as though, as I would expect, more people are interested in running Windows on macs than doing the reverse.
    http://www.danaquarium.com/article.php?story=2005022810275733

  36. Jeff Harrell Says:

    Jason, I think the word you were looking for there is “some.” As in, “Some people are interested in running Windows on Macs.” Which is something we knew all along.

    Meanwhile, Since midnight on Saturday some 40,000 people have come to my Web site to read a story I wrote about a leaked copy of Mac OS X for Intel.

    Is that a lot? There’s no way to know for sure. The most we can say is that some people want to run Windows on their Macs and some other people want to run Mac OS X on their PCs.

  37. Hucbald Says:

    Wow! What a cool coment thread. As an admitted computer luddite, it scares me that I actally understood more than half of that.

    I consider myself to be just an “end user”, so I want my computer to do what I want my computer to do with the minimum amount of hassles possible. All I know is that I swiched from Windows to Mac OS back in the Mac OS 9/Pre OS X days and am much happier.

    Believe it or not, I’m still using the old G4 Cube I bought at that time, but I’ve upgraded the graphics card to run my 23″ Cinema HD display and also the optical drive to a Superdrive so I can burn CD’s and DVD’s. I’m at OS X.iii now and have actually removed OS 9 from all three of my Macs (I have an iBook and a 15″ PowerBook as well).

    I was literally right on the cusp of replacing the Cube with a fully loaded Mini when this Intel news came out. Now I’ll keep the Cube around until this all shakes out (Which is no skin off my teeth: Why anybody would need anything faster than 450MHz just escapes me ;^))

    Oh yeah: Safari rocks.

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