Saturday, April 15, 2006

Cringely - Easy DOS It

"Where Dvorak is wrong is he believes Microsoft's version of the story -- that Apple will abandon OS X, at least for business, replacing it with Windows Vista. After all, isn't that what this Boot Camp stuff is all about, enabling the choice of OSX or Windows?

Not really.

The version of Boot Camp that will ship with OS X 10.5 will likely be very different from the version people are playing with today. The actual shipping version, I predict, will have full OS virtualization so that both operating systems can run side-by-side and a user can cut and paste data from one to the other. "

My money is on Dvorak. Everyone keeps insisting that Apple had a PLAN when they switched to Intel, I maintain that there was no plan. They (Apple) don't make PCs any more (they pay other companies to make them), and by having an oddball processor and an oddball motherboard to run it on they felt they were at a price disadvantage (and this is certainly true, even thought the PowerPC chips may have been less expensive all by themselves).

SO: they decided to be just another generic PC clone, except with a fancy designer exterior (after all, thats all most Apple fans pay any attention to anyway).

Now the analysts can argue for the next six months about whether Apple KNEW that people would be able to run Windows on the thing or not. They can also argue about whether they plan to allow running Windows programs in some virtual mode.

BUT: in any of the cases that fall out of the above arguments, the fact remains that long-time Apple supporters like Adobe (to name the most important one) are very likely to get lazy about continued support of OS X. Adobe is already being very vague about how late they are going to be with Intel/OS X binaries, and in the past, when Adobe is vague about something, or only half heartedly promising it (Adobe Atmosphere for one example, promise to release all future software for Windows and OS X simultaneously for another) the project/concept ultimately gets canned. I think once there is even a single major defection such as this the rest will follow in a stampede. We are not on new ground here, this is exactly what happened with OS/2 and OS/2 had a lot more in common with Windows than OS X does. OS/2 ran Windows programs from day one, and ran them (as their slogan went) "better than Windows." All the more reason not to write programs for OS/2, or so the thinking apparently went among ISVs, driver makers, etc.

This is what is going to happen. If this is also what Apple has planned, then I wonder what they are smoking. The switch to Intel was either a stupid plan, or the plan was simply incorrect about what the outcomes would be (which I guess is the same as saying that it is a stupid plan).

Now, unless someone wants to put another PowerPC into a laptop the hardware wars (in consumer space anyway) is between Intel, and Intel2 (AMD) and innovation stands a good chance of grinding to a halt again, which is where big established companies like it to be.

Hopefully innovation will continue in software, with Linux running a tortoise style race against Microsoft's three ton lead weight. OS X which was beginning to share too many closed source properties with Windows may be an ultimate casualty, but at this point, who cares?

No comments:

Post a Comment