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Well, the cat's out of the bag - Jobs has confirmed in his WWDC keynote speech that the first Intel-based Mac will be shipping next June, with the lineup transitioned by June 2007. The demos on stage have been on OS X running on a 3.6GHz P4.

And 10.5 will be known as "Leopard".
 
 
 
 
 
 

Awesome! I've always wanted to run OS-X on my Toshiba notebook. :))))
Yea, His Steveness shall wreak his wrath upon those who hold another manufacturer to Him. ^_^

Realistically, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see an analogue of XPostFacto emerge, permitting OS X Intel to run on some non-Apple systems. Probably with stacks of caveats and limitations, so it wouldn't be something the general public would be interested in (or even know about), but if Apple winds up using some stock Intel chipset, other systems with that specific chipset might be in luck.
Yea, His Steveness shall wreak his wrath upon those who hold another manufacturer to Him. ^_^

He'll try, I'm sure. :)

Realistically, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see an analogue of XPostFacto emerge, permitting OS X Intel to run on some non-Apple systems. Probably with stacks of caveats and limitations, so it wouldn't be something the general public would be interested in (or even know about),

I think that quite a large number of people would be interested. I know OS-X has gained a lot of respect among the hacker crowd who wouldn't otherwise be caught dead owning one of those fruity, overpriced computers. :)

but if Apple winds up using some stock Intel chipset, other systems with that specific chipset might be in luck.

Apple would have a hard time succeeding at this because the core of OS-X is open source. From what I've read, XPostFacto's developers rely on Darwin's source code to make specialized installations of OS-X for unsupported hardware. Anything Apple does at this core level can probably be easily thwarted. Maybe Apple can work toward getting ATI or nVidia to design Quartz-accelerated video chipsets to be only available for Apple hardware. That would lessen the incentive, but OS-X apps may still run under the less pretty but apparently feature complete GnuStep.
I'd imagine, based on the way OS X and the iTMS behave, the installation check'll be something fairly simple, along the lines of a system family ID check. The difference with XPostFacto and this scenario, of course, is that the drivers for the older, unsupported chips already exist, and can be dropped into place, or patched, rather than having to be written from scratch.

Overall, I'd imagine we'll soon see some of the /. crowd crowing of having OS X on a random x86 system, probably through some form of virtualisation, like PearPC without the PPC emulation. It won't bag Apple any extra sales of the OS, but the number of people who'll do that'll be maybe some matter of thousands - outweighed easily by folks copying it on actual Apple systems, where there's never been any form of "copy protection" or serial numbers, though ISTR the latter are used to tell an OS X Server installation whether it's a 10-client or unlimited version. (A daft limitation, really, as I believe that only applies to the number of AppleShare concurrent connections, not the number of simultaneous users, or any other metric. Still, I suppose there may be some non-trivial number of sites where loads of simultaneous AppleShare clients are required, so it's another few bucks for the coffers)

I'd still love to know what plans there might be for OS X on non-Apple systems. It's been openly discussed that some of the major PC manufacturers have been wanting access, and that would offer a means to Apple of limiting the number of chipsets they have to support - or indeed, let the vendors write drivers - and avoid going head-to-head with Windows, which'd be a long walk off a short pier. After all, when all is said and done, OS X will only be supplied under license to those vendors, if any, they make arrangements with, probably only Apple for the next 3-5 years - Billy-Bob's not likely to go furkling around with X86PostFacto, even if Little Billy gets it running on a spare partition for himself, any more than he'll care whether it's an MPC7441 or Yonah in his PowerBook. Geeks know the difference, and may have feelings about it, but we're very far from the norm.

*sigh* I admit, I'll miss the PowerPC - not just an overall quite elegant architecture, but Altivec in particular, which is an absolute joy to work on. It's so gratifying to see something like Cleaner's scaling receive a 4x boost on the very same chip, simply through being able to work on 128 bits at a time, rather than 32. Ahh, 32 32-bit GPRs, 32 64-bit FPRs, and 32 128-bit VRs, all within the exposed architecture.. a far cry from the 6502. ^_^

So, looks like 2006 will hold more than a few revelations for the platform - I'd imagine the PowerBooks will be at the earlier end of the transition, given the eternal delays of the e700, assuming Yonah doesn't slip badly (the Curse of Cupertino :). The Xserve will likely be towards the end, as there's plenty of customers enjoying the PPC970's particular abilities, offering very good throughput in a 1U case. iBooks could be amongst the first to shift, using a single core variant (Dothan? I'll have to get up to speed with all their range codenames), to save cost and help differentiate the iBook/PowerBook lines. (That's been a curious factor recently, with the two being oddly close to each other in spec, but quite differently priced. Certainly, the GPUs are dissimilar, and ISTR the bus speeds are too, but they're otherwise not very far apart)
Another nail in the coffin for IBM! I also read that mac OS was a variant of Linux? Or should that be is related to Linux somehow. (I only scanned the article, i should have been working when my boss walked in)
*nods* based on something called "NeXTStep" - aside from being really interested in this OS when I was at an IT expo in the middle east (back in 1996) I haven't heard much of it; maybe someone else can enlighten us further?
Hey, I know about NextStep. My roommate has two computers that run it, the NextCube and the NextSlab. Very cool systems. :)
It's a lovely OS. ^_^ Very low irritation factor indeed - it was company policy back at Trilobyte for everyone to have a NeXT on their desk, even if just for email and faxes, plus others as necessary for development. And FurToonia ran on a NeXTstation Turbo - red_panda.tbyte.com - from about June 1994 to December 1996. ^_^ (With, needless to say, a little red panda plushie sat atop the monitor)

OS X can be thought of as an updated NextStep (now forming the Cocoa API), plus an updated, de-crufted set of APIs from old Mac OS in the form of Carbon. At the heart, as with NextStep/OpenStep, is a Mach microkernel with a FreeBSD personality (though the way it's composed makes it more of a monolithic kernel, but without the need to compile extensions into it), with all of FreeBSD too. The display model's Quartz, with a lot owed to PDF internally, with a fairly transparent X11 interface available as an optional install. Full international support, including all fonts, are supplied, as are the (rather nice) developer tools, for Cocoa, Carbon, and Java work, with Python, Ruby, and Perl supplied as standard.

I'm sure Porsupah can since he used NeXTStep for years. I have his old NeXT cube right here, but sadly w/o keyboard or mouse at the moment! Probably the sexiest looking machine ever produced in the 90's.

IIRC, Mac OS X is based on the FreeBSD 4.x branch* (along with NeXTStep) with a lot of their own stuff thrown in.

*that was what they were using the last time I checked - perhaps they've moved to 5.x by now?
A quick peek at the developer docs indicates it's probably something of a soup, on 4.4 stock, with some 5.x inclusions, and a soupçon of NetBSD, plus their own creations, such as launchd, and most of the kernel development.

Reminds me - I should sign up for the Darwin-related mailing lists. I'd imagine there'll be some additional activity, in light of today's news..
Oh, I'd say IBM's chipmaking's not doing too badly - bear in mind they've landed all three of the next-gen consoles! Therein may well lie a good part of Apple's problem - IBM may have decided it's simpler to just develop new PPC variants and churn them out by the million, rather than spending time on high-performance desktop processors. Traditionally, the POWER family's not been at the leading edge of clock speed, being fabricated more for high reliability. Still, there must have been a pathetically weak commitment by IBM for Apple to've elected this route.

Not, I suppose, that it's all that surprising, inasmuch as it's been an open secret that OS X for Intel existed, but it was interesting to hear that the project's been maintained completely current, with all projects mandated to work on either platform. And Mach-O's long been fat binary capable, as the NextStep days showed, where binaries were routinely delivered for all four supported architectures (68k, x86, SPARC, PA-RISC. We actually had a couple boxen of the latter flavor in the office - two of HP's Gecko workstations. Very nice bits of kit indeed, but fearsomely expensive - something like $35k, ISTR), so we'll be seeing a return to those, in the form of "Universal Binaries". (Sounds very 007 :)

One aspect that caught my eye was the demonstration of "Rosetta", translating PPC to Intel on the fly, complete with demos of apps like Potatoshop running without modification on the new hardware. Perhaps this is the first public sighting of Transitive's technology?

As for OS X, there's some useful replies downthread. ^_^ Basically, Mach 3.0 microkernel with FreeBSD personality, with a blend of FreeBSD 4.4 and 5.x with a little NetBSD and some of their own work. Then the main APIs are Cocoa (from the NextStep side of the family) and Carbon (from old Mac OS), along with Java 1.4.2/1.5. There's more on Apple's developer site, needless to say.
Has there been any indication that Rosetta is Transitive-based? That would make things especially interesting...as between that and Universal Binaries, this need not be a one-way or one-time transition.
Still don’t know the answer, but reading Apple’s guide on Universal Binaries does bring up some educational tidbits: the emulation only goes as far as a G3. Applications that can optionally make use Altivec and the like on a G4 or G5 will still work, they’ll just fall back on the (emulated) G3 code. Applications requiring a G4 or G5 won’t work with Rosetta.
BTW, I notice the keynote's now available to view, with H.264 available for those able to take advantage of it. (Which now includes Windows users, with the QT7 preview now available)

Still churning through the Ars thread on the general topic, but it's mostly pure speculation, aside from a side note of some interest, explicitly stating that Intel Macs (still seems odd, writing those two words together) won't be using Open Firmware. I'd imagine this might signal a boost for Intel's EFI as a replacement for the supremely crusty BIOS of old.
Well, it is C|Net, but they're running a story confirming that it is indeed Transitive's work behind Rosetta.
Yay.

I'd seen some Xbench scores posted (PPC code being emulated on one of the Apple x86 development boxes), and the results were not disappointing. Somewhat retarded, certainly, but not horrible, and averaging out to about the same ballpark as my current PowerBook, which is fast enough to keep me employed.

The tidbit I found particularly interesting is that system calls and official API's will fall through to native code; these are not emulated. So those Xbench CPU scores, being fully self-contained, don't reflect what "real world" use will be like...it may actually be downright snappy. Encouraging stuff.

This is all pretty much moot for me, since about 95% of everything I do involves either the OS-bundled apps, or Adobe who've pledged OS X86 support. Bring it on.
It's not really very clear at the moment, but it sounds like the current Rosetta only translates PPC to Intel - certainly, it'd seem possible for Apple to offer the process in either direction, but they may choose to leave x86 compatibility to folks like the WINE project.

Appendix A in the Universal Binaries guide has some further information. Of particular note is that Rosetta only pretends to be offer a G3 - anything requiring Altivec appears not to be handled. But the basic architecture suggests that it does check what binaries are available, and what it's running on, automatically getting involved as necessary.

Just idle musing - what other viable architectures could Apple target? Would they be able to make use of, say, something from the UltraSparc or MIPS families? (After all, PA-RISC and Sparc were never exactly high on NeXT's priorities, but available nonetheless. And wasn't Canon interested at one point?)

Ah! Just seen you've spotted the same G3 limitation. Erf, time to snuffle around for SSE3 details and find out how many architected registers are available - presumably Altivec translation just wouldn't fit while providing any sane level of performance.
SPARC and MIPS are as dead as...well, PA-RISC. I was thinking perhaps if a few years down the road the whole x86 thing is tapped out just as a POWER8 or whatever were to come along and wow us all...Transitive would offer options there, since it sounds like they have pretty good emulation in every direction...or if they had occasion to use POWER and x86 on different product lines simultaneously later on, not just during the transition period. If it’s their own homebrew, don’t know if they’ll have that flexibility.

The only other possibly-reasonable architecture I could think of was XScale, if they were to do some sort of handheld or tablet device. And I don’t think that one’s listed among the current Transitive options (though presumably could be added if demand and performance allow).
Very nice indeed. Oh, how I'd love to try OS X on my IBM laptop. :)
Mac OS X Leotard? Oh! Leopard! Never mind.
That would make for some quite appealing commercials. ^_^

Damn, and here I was, rooting for "Ocelot".
That would make for some quite appealing commercials.

Considering the average computer user's physique...one would hope such commercials would not be in the style of the "Switcher" ads.
Could be worse.. fancy Mac OS X Belly-Dancer?
Yeah, all the rumour sites and forums have been going mad over all the different possibilities of what could happen and whether this change is for better or worse. I’ve been following the news for a little while now but just for the sake of knowing everything for sure I had been waiting until something like a transcript of Job’s keynote or a recording of it is put up on the net.

Hopefully this is a move for the better, IBM didn’t manage to keep their promises on the G5, the development being far too slow etc., and with all it’s thermal problems there was no way that we were going to see it in a PowerBook .

I am going to put off my Mac purchase for a little while. The PPC architecture is very good but I don’t want to be on the architecture that is on the way out, I can wait. I would also like to see something better than a P4 in the boxes that they eventually put out.
Intel is fine. That's a hardware thing, and mac has always been good with the design of thier hardware, but those Motorola chips wern't ever that great (to slow and hot).

Now if mac moves over to licensing Microsoft to write thier OS, then I'm going back to using just a pen and paper for everything.
Well, the recent stuff (the G5s, aka PPC970) was IBM's work, rather than Motorola (now Freescale, since their spinoff from said former parent company) - but yes, while the 970 performs well, they probably Steved themselves when they assured Jobs of 3GHz within a year, and only delivered 2.5GHz, now edging up to 2.7GHz. And there just didn't seem to be any way of getting a G5 into a PowerBook - and there's probably the largest bone of contention, given the rising importance of laptops in the general market (as with that announcement the other day that laptop sales had exceeded desktops for the first time). Apple's been seeing that for a while, so it'd make sense for the first Intel Macs to be PowerBooks, offering a healthy speed bump - or at least, clock speed.

No chance of OS X going, thankfully. And it sounds like Apple's in it for the long haul, with PPC and Intel support for some time to come, so my humble menagerie won't be left out of the new fun. (A 400MHz PBG4, a 300MHz original iBook, and a 266MHz PBG3)

I do wonder if either Apple, or some OSS project, might now bring WINE over, to enable simple running of some Windows apps.. and I dare say this'll be a mildly positive thing for games development, given folks like Valve tend to only know Intel assembly. But there's probably great reliance on DirectX rather than OpenGL. Still, it'll be interesting to hear the scuttlebutt in the coming weeks and months.
Hopefully they'll ship x86 macs using the Pentium M, which whips ass compared to the P4..
I'd imagine something like that - these P4 systems are strictly for developer use, so they've something to get going on before the first retail systems hit the market next year. Given Apple will apparently be shifting the high-end G5 systems last, I'd imagine one of the earlier candidates will be the PowerBooks and "I want to make this perfectly clear, even if someone says" Yonah, with a single core equivalent going into the iBooks, helping differentiate the families.
And 10.5 will be known as "Leopard".

Dang. I was hoping they would continue alphabetically ('though I can't think of which big cat comes after T...). Now I'll never remember it! :)
Hee! Well, "Ocelot" wouldn't have been too far before T. Or "Serval", for that matter. ^_^ (Nice photo they used for the demo illustration - seen it? The keynote's now available to view here; it's of one poking its head around a rock edge)

Leopard... And 10.5? I guess we're going to stick with moving in increments of .1s, huh... no more of that 7.0 to 7.5, to 7.51, then to 8.0... 9.21~ When do you think we'll hit 11.0?