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MacOS In A World w/ 2 Microsofts 385

Peter Lalor writes: "Here's a possible future scenario that I wrote after hearing of Judge Penfield Jackson's decision to break up Microsoft." It doesn't predict rosey things for Linux either, but it's probably not totally far fetched.
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MacOS in a World w/ 2 Microsofts

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  • Please, before deciding how poorly an OS is going to do, learn what it does.

    I'm not going to deny that OS X is a good OS. From what i've heard and read, it's going to be quite a good one at that. I have a friend who's huge into Macs..i get quite a bit of info from him. But to tell me to predict what's going to happen with the OS market based solely on what a bunch of CS guys (at one of the top CS schools in the country) think of the OS is slightly naieve.

    The general public doesn't give a shit about what goes into their OS. As i mentioned in my previous post, Joe User likes window because it's frighteningly easy to use. Joe Hacker likes windows because it's got quite a bit of depth. OS X may have these things, but unless it's ported to intel quickly, it's not going to do for the industry what some Mac zealots think it will.

    I know what OS X is. But i'm also a student of the way things *are* - and Apple isn't going to be the next Microsoft. Apple was the latest, greatest thing back in 1984. Things have changed. People have begun to think different ;-)

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • Why? First and foremost, you must understand that I'm a Mac user so the stereotypical knee-jerk reaction should be, "Kill Windows!". But it's not.

    Think: deploying MacOS X on Intel is going to add a helluva-lot-a bloat to the OS. If it's just run on Apple hardware, you have, maybe 10-20 different configurations to support on release with only a few more added each year for legacy support. With former Windows machines... you've got a cocktail of hardware that is accustomed to run under a kludged-up OS: Win-32.

    Now, I am not a programmer--graphic designer and web designer, instead--, but I know the majority of Slashdotters are. So, I ask you: Is this a legitimate problem? How much cleaner/faster/stabler would Linux be if it's machine support was purposely limited to a specific series of hardware from a single vendor?

  • Every time I've turned around, another embedded device manufacturer has moved to Linux. Why? No licensing fee, which lets them shave precious dollars off the cost of the device. Savings which will be pass on to the customer in one form (Less expensive device) or another (Beefier hardware.) Those manufacturers NOT using Linux are going to suffer for their choice.

    Likewise at the low-to-mid range of the PC market, which starts with companies basically giving PCs away, the cost of a Windows license could make the difference between making a sale and losing one. And they're starting to realize that. And on most of those PCs, trying to run Darwin with its processor intensive graphics would be painful.

    The biggest thing Linux has to worry about right now is MS/OS complaining that it enjoys an unfair advantage in the marketplace due to the no licensing fees bit. They're going to have it rough, as they've always come in second in terms of quality. I'm not entirely sure there's much a court could do about Linux if it was found to be interfereing with the MS/OS business. Possibly MS/OS would end up with their own distribution.

  • by Mondo54 ( 48155 )
    This is typical Mac zombie driveling. Macs aren't really affected by the ruling, because most Microsoft applications have been ported to there anyways (whereas Linux could benefit from an Office or Windows Media port, for example). And consider this lame quote: "With it's BSD/mach core and Aqua interface, Mac OS X starts to make serious inroads as a server operating system." laff.
  • The original IBM PC was designed to use cheap, 8-bit, Intel chips that were available in large volumes. The 8259A PIC supported 8 interrupts. 2 interrupts were used up by the keyboard and timer chip. The 6 remaining interrupts could have been mapped to ISA slots. This would have caused several problems. The interrupt priority of an ISA card would have slot dependent. The ROM BIOS was hard coded to associate certain interrupts with specific I/O devices. This would mean that, for example, the parallel port card could only be installed in the slot that was wired to IRQ 7. It would also have prevented a card from using more than one interrupt, such as a multi-io with 2 serial, 1 parallel and a floppy interface (4 interrupts).
  • This means not even "Microsoft Certified Software Engineers" know how to use scripts in windoze machines.

    Actually thats Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers, but it makes it no less appauling.

    -- iCEBaLM
  • by orpheus ( 14534 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @07:39AM (#1011896)
    The article did point out some issues that we should keep in mind, however, it entirely glossed over a few points, primarily by projecting an imagined future MacOS (assumed to be seamless on 'PC' hardware in v1.0, a goal no existing PC OS (Win or Unix) has ever attained) against a static Linux (MS-Word never ported, GUI never improved etc.)

    Based solely on the article's basic premise, I see things slightly differently (My personal premises differ from the article's, but...)

    • MS predominates in most sectors except large internet servers, sizable presence there. huge user base and slowly declining or roughly stable share depending on the sector. Users generally have little or no knowledge of other OSs and are not eager to switch
    • MacOS has a small but viable minority share on desktops (incl. small servers), but little usage elsewhere slowly declining or roughly stable share depending on the specific market sector. Users generally have modest to moderate knowledge of other OSs and are not eager to switch.
    • Linux/BSD very small share in most sectors (>1% primary OS), small-medium share in some sectors; expanding very rapidly across all market shares. Users generally have years of experience using one or more other OS as a primary OS at a higher than average skill level. Users not eager to switch, but likely to use many OSs as needed without changing their "allegiance".

    Next few years:

    1) MS splits. It does not disappear. Absent a totally egregious business policy, Windows will continue to predominate, but due to its huge market share, the 'leakage' causes a rebirth across all the minor OSs

    2) MacOS predominates in certain populations of defecting users: non-ideologically driven; non-tech; early familiarity with Mac; scared by the geek rep of Unix; etc. MacOS blooms.

    3) Linux/BSD continues explosive market growth, aided by porting of MS-Office, *and* its explosive feature and function growth. Linux changes more in a year than MacOs does in 3. From a User POV, the jump from original Mac to MacOs X (20 years) is comparable or *less* than Linux in '93-'00.

    4) Not only does Linux continue its proven growth pattern, but MacOS and Windows continue theirs. FUD is smeared liberally by both Win *and* Mac as MacOS finds that being BSD-like works both ways: they borrowed a large body of work, but cannot do anything BSD cannot rapidly learn to do, due to the similarity in underlying platform.

    5) Some Geeks get over themselves and create UIs that deliberately and slavishly mimick the Win and Mac UI, perhaps creating a hybrid that is not too similar to either (for legal reasons), but can be configured with a template to resemble either. They are shunned and mocked by all. They blow the doors off everyone else in the Linux market (The CLI is still available under the removable and configurable GUI) Mac and Windows are scared -- major lawsuits, but Open Source provides few targets. IP laws are critical.

    Finally, my personal invention: a speculative concept that could save the world - LISTEN UP!

    6) Fortunately, the "many eyes make all bugs shallow" principle is used to find prior art and legal arguments. A vaguely CVS-like 'legal argument tracking' system emerges, to permit community assistance to OpenSource legal teams. This is later expanded to create structured data and argument views of public issues in general.

    Bad data can be pruned, mutually contradictory arguments indicated, etc. (maintanance and 'approval is a problem, but multi-editors can work on the same tree with their notations and emendations visible together or individually [e.g. 'Stallman view', 'Perens view', View Diff (Gore/Bush; Katz/Roblimo) etc.]

    This tool is widely disparaged, except by geeks (but is used by the politically active is private) However, for all the mocking, it becomes very hard to debate these geeks. Whiny choolyard cries of "Hey, no fair using your PDA!" are heard on televised debates.

    Slashdot posts transcripts computer-computer debates using different trees or tree views. For the first time, the majority of contributions on Slashdot are "insightful" because trolling a script that can logically thrash you to your skivvies in microseconds is simply no fun
  • The trouble with Windows is that it's generally unreliable and somewhat outdated under the hood. Rebooting every few days, if you can last that long, is still a good rule of thumb. Windows NT is much better, but too clunky for home use.

    Linux is spot on technically, but crusty from most users' points of view. Even respected uber-programmers, like Jamie Zawinski and Rob Pike, don't see all being rosy with Linux.

    MacOS X looks pretty close to what people have come to expect from the Mac. But it's also BSD under the hood. So the wife and grandma can get along with it just fine, and geeks can just grab a shell and keep it open all the time. This is the best of both worlds. Perhaps the most exciting part of it, from a UNIX lovers point of view, is that UNIX is going to, for the first time ever, be a mainstream consumer operating system.
  • i've always said, that once i would buy a G4
    to run linux on it...
    now, i'm considering to buy a pc, and run MacosX on it ...
    Kris "dJOEK" Vandecruys
  • So, in essence, if I replace all the parts above the kernel (i.e. the windowing system) with X, I'll be able to customize it as easily as Linux? Explain how this is different from using, say Linux or FreeBSD. The ONLY thing that Mac OS X has to offer is applications, and once we replace the windowing system, what's the advantage of Mac OS X?
    Themes =! true customizability. Just because I can make the widgets look different doesn't change the interface paradigm I'm using.
    By the way, calling this FUD is the most knee-jerk reaction I've ever seen. If you disagree, fine, but don't write off something as FUD because you don't like it.
  • You gotta be kidding me. To call Linux a viable consumer OS is fooling no one but yourself. Its not in any sense of the word. I'm pretty technical, and understand quite a bit about computers and consider myself pretty intelligent when it comes to these things, and I still hate configuring X to work. Firstly, it should configure itself, and secondly it should just work. If I think this... any novice computer user is just gonna say 'fuck that I don't have time for this nonsense!!'.

    Face it...

  • by kevin805 ( 84623 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @10:43AM (#1011927) Homepage
    Yeah, with a PC, it can take a long time to figure out how to fix something.

    With a Mac, it's easy. Reinstall the OS, because it won't even boot.
  • I started on an ancient Apple IIc, and pootled about on there for a few years, this was back in ninety-two. In ninety-four, I was on a windows 3.1, and did the whole DOS/Windows thing...then I "graduated" **cough cough cough, hack, sic** to Windows 95. **shudders** I pootled about with that, basically doing ####. ---insert relatively obvious profanity-| And then I found Linux... I loaded it...got pissed off at LISA, but continued on, adversity...what doesn't kill me delays the inevitable, etc...I got Linux loaded, and argh! I hadn't installed the X-drivers...all I had was Xconfigurator, which wasn't working...so I rebooted, and installed the correct drivers, and voila...I had a working Linux box, replete with an ugly X gui...I wasn't interested in the looks, if I had been, I would have gotten a Mac...it took me a total of 13.8 hrs including the first install, because I had input one wrong option...(Stupid curiousity...etc...) Now the only problems I have with my Linux box, is that the hard drive is getting full, and the video card got fried so I had to get a new one.(Sibling, and paper clips...**grimaces**) This from a "windows" weened, user. I think that someone is filling everyone full of ####. What does it matter if most idiots couldn't compile X if their lives depended on it? Is it me or is everyone overlooking the fact that computers do come pre-installed, and configured? It would be no different than going to purchase a windows box...save it wouldn't crash...at least not as long as I've had it... -Sempiternity p.s. I'm running an old Caldera distro, so maybe I'm ####### up.
  • What about Linux? The vast majority of computer users--even professionals--want nothing to do with a command line.

    Says WHO? The command line offers more power than any GUI out there. For that reason, it's not something that can be given up. To say that the majority of computer people want nothing to do with the command line is idiotic. Many people PREFER the command line.

    Witness the earlier success of Windows NT.

    I'm assuming that the author is referring to Windows NT 4. Taking that into consideration, Windows NT 4 was successful because it was NT with a Windows 95 interface - that made migration to the 'new' NT easy, thus successful. However, everyone knows NT is a bloated bug-monster.

    Although Windows, Inc. makes Office available for Linux, the lack of a first-class unified graphical interface severely hobbles that platform for the majority of would-be users.

    I will agree with the basis of this argument. One thing Windows has going for it is continuity. For example, You can be in one application, highlight some text, and hit CTRL+C. Then you can click over to another application, place your cursor, and hit CTRL+V - and vice versa. Plus, all Windows applications look the same, and on their most basic level they function the same. That's one thing the GUIs on Linux and the like severely lack: A unified, CONSISTENT interface.

    However, we *are* fast forwarding to the future, so why not assume that such an interface will be available?

    People begin to realize that Linux has little to offer that Unix hasn't offered for years,

    Hmmm....How about Source Code? Low Price? Peer Review? I can think of LOTS of things that Linux has to offer.

    and with Mac OS X's BSD core and Aqua interface running on cheap hardware, the needs of even die-hard geeks are being met. For those in the Open Source movement, Darwin is all they need.

    I don't believe for one second that users of Linux or BSD, or other Unices will flock in droves to switch to MacOS just because it's been ported to Intel hardware. The author is WAY too quick to assume this, and bases the whole article around that argument. There are going to be people who use what WORKS for them....and in those cases, it will be Windows, or it will be OpenBSD, or Linux.

    There is no such thing as one OS for every application for every person. And I'm sorry, if there WERE, MacOS wouldn't be it.

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • The reason Apple makes very little from OS sales is that they have chosen Hardware as their prime revenue source. If they were to follow the recommendations of this article, they would shift their business model from a hardware company to a software company, so your critique falls apart.

    That said, I think there are other holes in the projections... Simple things like his optimism about hardware show his ignorance. Most hardware problems (such as IRQ conflicts) don't exist on the Mac because of superior hardware design, it has little to do with software. Simply installing MacOC X on PC hardware won't magically make the problems go away. And the lack of driver support will cripple MacOS on Intel for several years, just as it's currently a limiting factor for Linux.

    All that said, I do expect OS X to revolutionize the industry. If it's done right, it will put an unheard of amount of power in the hand of ordinairy users, while hiding the complexity that that power inherently creates. But don't expect it to kill either Windows or Linux. With such companies as Eazel & Helixcode as well as thousands of independent programmers, backing Linux, expect to see some real innovation in usability on the Linux front.

    As far as Windows is concerned, the next few years could be really interesting... All through the trial, MS has been throwing around the phrase "Freedom to Innovate", which everyone in the industry knows is a bit of a joke-- when was the last time that Microsoft created a REAL innovation. But, breaking up MS means that they are now forced to compete on their merits rather then their name. It's entirely conceivable that in a few years, Windows could actually turn into a force to be reckoned with (technically, not just marketing-wise).

    It could happen...
  • for the president of a mac user's group, he seems to know surprisingly little about how apple as a company has survived.

    its the hardware, stupid.

    all the (lack of) compatibility problems are the result of their control of the OS coupled with strict control of the hardware. and apple doesnt know how to make cheap commoditized computer hardware. they havent for years (if ever), and theres certainly no way they have the capacity, will, or sheer brute capital to try it now.

    there is no way x86 os x can get out in "early 2001". the simple fact is, lalor's time-frame is way off. apple's management would be complete morons to start an x86 development effort before os x was a proven success on the server market. programmers dont come cheap, my friend. does apple really have such an excess of developers that they can start porting even before the finished product comes out? does this guy know anything about software devel? you only do that nowadays if youre practically guaranteed a market, my friend...why else do you think everything but the most popular (ie photoshop) software packages come out for macs long after it hits pcs?

    gambling like that would be extraordinarily risky- what if os x doesnt do that well or (more likely) is slow-grwoth because its completely new? then apple is saddled with supporting TWO devel efforts- one to make os x better (its 1.0 after all), one to port to x86... no way. theyll wait and see. how long does it take for apple to get a real piece of the server market? i dont know how long- 6 months maybe? (again, a very optimistic minimum) and only then do they START work on a real x86 port.

    but, lets just say treating things **very** optimistically, maybe os x blows everyone away- like (ahem) win95 and everyone buys into it. so then apple realize theyve made the big time and start porting immediately. os x 1.0 according to apple's website is supposed to come out january 01. lalor suggests that os x on x86 debuts in "early 2001". even with apple allegedly keeping os x easy to port, can the entirety of os x, gui and all, be ported in less than six months?


    thats funny.

    and lalor, while accelerating the pace of devel for apple just conveniently puts every other os in stasis. yeah, linux is going to look EXACTLY the same a year from now. well obviously linux hasnt gotten ANY EASIER to use in the last year, right? i mean, theres certainly NO WAY to use linux without the command line.

    what? huh? kde? gnome? whats that?

    if os x wins big, the chances for an x86 version (which is already very slim) will take a minimum of two years to come out. and nobody knows what linux is going to look like by then. and what about bsd or beos? or, for that matter, solaris? are they going to wait for steve jobs and his vision of the future?

    i dont fucking think so.

    as a final comment i thought that the presumptuousness of the last line of his article is probably what pissed off me (and other people) the most.

    "For those in the Open Source movement, Darwin is all they need."

    um yeah. the fact is, neither you nor apple can tell me what i need. your arrogance and condescension is precisely why you will never understand what i need. ill get what i want myself, which means **all** the source, thank you very much.

  • No, the command line isn't dead. People who touch type and like to read... actually prefer the command line... not for everything... but for many, many things. I touch type (100ish wpm, using Dvorak). I love to read (I down somewhere between one and four books a week). I hate using command lines unless I have to. I mean, I know my way around, and I'm even used to them. I use Linux all the time at work, and even have it installed and running sometimes at home. But when I want to toss around massive numbers of files in all directions, give me my Finder.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    We have no reason to believe that the current "monopoly" status of the Windows operating systems would change at all with this breakup! Microsoft would still primarily write their applications for Windows, and "Windows, Inc." would still strive for compatibility with Microsoft products above everything else. Business will still buy Windows because they already have it installed and the cost of switching platforms and retraining personnel is cost-prohibitive.

    At work we have a standard integrated environment that gets installed on all the PC's. It is basically Windows98 with Microsoft Office 97 and a handful of other useful utilities (ws-ftp, Netscape etc.) This wouldn't change because the cost of switching OS's wouldn't be worth it! Why do you guys think someone is going to wake up one day and suddenly decide "Oh.. let's switch to Linux." It is NOT going to happen unless Windows, Inc. does something incredibly stupid to price themselves out of the market! Why do application vendors NOW continue to write almost exclusively for Microsoft Windows? Because 90% of the PC's out there run WindowS! Why would they start writing for other OS's unless something changed?? Windows, Inc. will still be dumping out Windows Millennium and Windows2000 and app vendors will STILL be writing for those platforms. NOTHING WILL CHANGE! Now, if Judge Jackson had made them open the source to Windows or put market restrictions on Windows then I could see the point (i.e. "you can sell X number of copies of Windows next year.")

  • What makes you think a Java app can't use Aqua? Methinks you ought to do some investigating. Of course, a Java app that does use Aqua won't run on anything but MacOS X, but it can be done. In fact, Apple's pushing it pretty hard.
  • You see the trend here

    That's a strange kind of voodoo statistics you learned there... predicting a trend with one datapoint. Windows was deeper and it beat MacOS, so since Linux is even deeper still it will beat windows?

    It's not so hard to write a useful application these days. We have HTML and Java and the web, and with these tools a good developer can create a cross-platform tool that does something useful and marketable.

    Why do you think AOL is investing in a hardware platform with no hard drive? Do you really thing the Gateway/TimeWarner/AOL/Transmeta/Linux webpad is going to have a command line? The problem with your argument is that you're assuming that the things that made an operating successful 10 years ago will make an OS successful today. -Erik

  • by cshotton ( 46965 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @08:48AM (#1011960) Homepage
    4) Not only does Linux continue its proven growth pattern, but MacOS and Windows continue theirs. FUD is smeared liberally by both Win *and* Mac as MacOS finds that being BSD-like works both ways: they borrowed a large body of work, but cannot do anything BSD cannot rapidly learn to do, due to the similarity in underlying platform.

    In a nutshell, what it sounds like you're saying is that there's no particularly high barrier to entry in what Apple has done with a core BSD system -- that the open source organization could duplicate it in a matter of months.

    Please explain to me then why it hasn't happened yet. The Mac has been around for 16 years. BSD has been around in various forms just as long (and 10 years longer in its antecedents). If it's so darned easy to do, then explain where the easy to use, user friendly, robust User Interface is for Linux/BSD/etc.

    The fact that there ISN'T one flies in the face of your contention that a loosely organized collection of open source hackers can outperform a highly motivated, focused, and well-organized team of commercial O/S developers. It's a nice dream, but the mythical man-month still prevails. 500 part-time Linux hackers will never outperform 50 dedicated commercial O/S engineers because they simply cannot organize and motivate themselves to the same degree.

    And the ultimate issue is this. Perhaps the Linux community CAN organize itself and produce just such a product (compressing 14 years of UI R&D into 24 months). But in a couple of years, how much market share is irretrievably gone? And now Linux (in 2002) is where mainstream operating systems were in 1995 in terms of usability. Do the lines ever cross again or is Linux doomed to be perpetually behind the innovation curve?

  • by TheInternet ( 35082 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @06:59AM (#1011976) Homepage Journal
    very real psychological hurdle of Technologists who simply do not take Macs seriously

    That's very elitist and all, but don't you think people should be given a choice? That is, if people don't really like Windows or Linux for their desktop, does it not seem reasonable that they should be able to choose a Mac, and everything that goes along with it? That is what open source is about in the end, right? Choice?

    After years of marketing itself as an OS just fine for idiots

    So people that don't spend most of their waking hours in front of a computer screen are idiots? Huh?

    My experience is that artists tend to prefer Macs because the technology does not get in the way of the creative process. Whereas with developers, getting involved with the technology is the objective.

    After years of retreating into niche markets populated by arrogant graphic artists

    Though network administrators are never seen as arrogant, right? :)

    - Scott
    Scott Stevenson
  • "...Next, you've got the OS that "replaced" it, or "defeated" it or what have you...Windows. Why? Because it was very easy to use, but there was also a lot of depth..."

    Windows replaced MacOS because the hardware was cheaper, so Joe User bought his PC with Windows preinstalled, not because there was a lot of depth in Win. Joe User isn't going to switch his OS until Dell switches it for him.
  • The difference (Microsoft vs Microsoft & Windows separate) is that in order to make their applications and OS tightly integrated and more compatible, they can only communicate through public APIs. They can't under the table negotiate secret hooks and calls nobody else knows about.

    Suddenly every office application developer is on a level playing field. Suddenly the apps company needs to differentiate in order to maintain their awesome marketshare.

    See, the gov't understands more than most people give them credit for.
  • The writer is incompetant? I think you've got it backwards. Have you ever seen an app for BeOS in a store? Or Linux for that matter. Neither Be or Linux is viable because they do not have commercial development 100% behind them as Mac and Windows do. I think you just wanted to post something to make yourself feel cool.
  • by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @04:42AM (#1011989) Homepage
    The Microsoft Applications Company drops all support for the Macintosh. They view it as a fringe platform that can't generate enough revenue to justify continued support of Internet Explorer, Outlook Express and Office. The programmers are redeployed to more profitable Windows projects. Microsoft executives later reveal that they only spent money on Macintosh development because of antitrust considerations. They needed to be able to point to the Macintosh as proof that Microsoft did not have a monopoly on desktop computer operating systems.
  • A sub-modern GUI and a not quite functional office suite? Yeah that's some competition.
  • As much as I love what I have seen so far about MacOS X, I can't see a serious vision of the future in this article, founded on too many prejudices and far enough from the reality, as well technically and in market terms. Here are three of the most evident prejudices :

    Apple is currently the only company other than Windows, Inc. with a viable consumer operating system.

    Err... Be ? RedHat, SuSE & other Linux distributors ?

    Mac OS X is not just available for purchase, it's available for purchase running on PC hardware.

    Since Apple makes money by selling hardware and has always done that, this scenario is less than probable. See what happened to Mac clones two years ago.

    The vast majority of computer users--even professionals--want nothing to do with a command line.

    Are you sure ? For some tasks, it's just the opposite : I don't want a GUI on my firewall, for instance.


    Have you checked out Badtech [badtech.com] The daily online cartoon?
    Have you checked out Badtech [badtech.com] The daily online cartoon?
  • does anyone know if apple has ported the quicktime player to os x?
    as far as the article goes, i don't feel that os x would steal any of linux's thunder, and don't really see how the microsoft breakup is terribly relevant to an intel port of os x. it's an interesting thought though.
  • If Apple ported Mac OS X to Intel, you can kiss their PPC machine sales goodbye. People would install the system on $500 PCs and say to heck with a $1000 iMac in spite of the nice color.

    Yes, this is obviously a signficant issue. But perhaps equally important is selling a complete package to the customer. Companies like IBM, Compaq and Dell are somewhat limited as to how much they can improve the user experience for their customers and differentiate themselves from their competitors because at the end of the day, they all still have to ship Windows on most of their machines.

    Apple is in a unique situation, as they can (and often do) simultaneously make changes to both the hardware and software to provide additionality functionality for the user. Jobs phrases this as "the complete widget." It's basically something that no other desktop computer company can offer right now.

    This position take a bit more dedication as well, because at the end of the day, you are responsible for both the hardware and the software.

    Understand that I am not discounting the fact that Apple's primary business is hardware sales, and they sell because of the software, but just saying there are reasons for this type of unification above and beyond the obvious.

    - Scott

    Scott Stevenson
  • If you hit command-? on the Mac version of Myst the program came back asking where was Hypercard Help? For the obviousness impaired, Myst was a Hypercard App that is arguably one of the most successful apps of all time in its category.

    Heck there are still people clamoring for updates to Hypercard today to update some of those old apps.

  • by smoon ( 16873 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @07:11AM (#1012005) Homepage
    Interesting viewpoint but based on too many bad assumptions. #1 is that 'everyone' hates the command line, and that's why NT got popular.

    NT became popular because getting a file/print server to work on a LAN with any other NOS was a pain. Novell and Microsoft were not exactly compatible, and as everyone switched from DOS to Windows, NT servers became popular.

    Things have changed. The LAN has in many respects become irrelavent. NT hangs on because of all of the developers out there -- developers that don't develop on Mac.

    I like Macs. I like Linux. I _Love_ the command line. If more people dislike the command line 'including computer experts', then it's because the 'experts' are really just warmed-over users who don't have the competence to use the command line.
  • by amjohns ( 29330 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @04:48AM (#1012006)
    Well, this was nicely biased by the President of "The San Francisco Bay Area's Macintosh Consultant and Internet Service Provider"
  • ! Microsoft would still primarily write their applications for Windows, and "Windows, Inc." would still strive for compatibility with Microsoft products above everything else

    I'm so glad to hear somebody else echo the voice of logic here. People seem to think that the applications group has been secretly waiting for the day that they could port Office to Unix.

    Now, if Judge Jackson had made them open the source to Windows

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought this was part of the DOJ's plan, and was approved in the ruling. I know I heard this at least once on TV, and somewhere online.

    - Scott

    Scott Stevenson
  • You're going to spread some sort of FUD that there are seven essential volumes, but you then subtly mention that you're talking about a Sybex (third-party publisher) guide?

    Sybex is a "Microsoft Independent Courseware Vendor". The books I mentioned are "Microsoft Certified Professional Approved Study Guides". Micro$oft is a software company, not a book publisher, so they subcontract their documentation writing to specialized companies.

    Seems to me there are more than seven volumes, if we're going to drag in any book at all on for admining Windows.

    To get the MSCE certificate for WindozeNT you have to pass a set of seven different examinations. The books I mentioned are the necessary material for passing these examinations and becoming a WNT4 expert, according to Micro$oft.

  • by Outlyer ( 1767 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @04:48AM (#1012017) Homepage
    I have to disagree with this quite vehemently. Not because I love Linux (which I do) or because I hate the MacOS X (which I don't). But the author seems to be assuming that OS'es are a one-size-fits-all-trust-us-we-know-what's-best-for -you deal.
    Number one, Mac OS X might look nice, it might even have some nice technology, but you're still stuck under the thumbs of people who think that an operating system should limit you to what they think you should do.
    You can run Apache, yes. Even bash, zsh, tcsh, I'm sure. But that's not what customization means. As a desktop OS, Linux shines because, given a little time, it can be customized to suit your environment better than any closed OS. At my workplace, my team of programmers uses exclusively FreeBSD and Linux. We're at least 5 times faster than the market at delivering products. Why? Because we know how to customize our systems for what we're doing.
    Finally, just because Apple released a portion of the kernel under an pseudo-open source licence, doesn't mean that it's free for us to do what we will. The windowing system is still locked down, and we're still expected to fit into the desktop paradigm, that Apple's UI people have come up with.
    With Linux, some people run Gnome, some KDE, some Enlightenment, etc. etc. This is freedom. This is thinking outside the box. MacOS X is a box.
    Would we honestly want to be stuck inside one?
  • I am an MCSE, you aren't, and are stating VERY insulting things to MCSEs. I use NT and Linux, at home I run Win2K w/ Office and Exceed for my RH6.2 machine, at work I currently only have a Linux box but I'm adding a Win2K box in a few weeks.

    Now, any NT Admin worth anything didn't learn from the study guides. When I did my certification, there weren't many study guides, and I was in high school (read poor). I grabbed the NT 4 Server Resource Kit from the school computer guy, and read it.

    If you want to learn NT as an administrator, you MUST read the Resource Kit. It is essentially the manual.

    When preparing for a test, the study guides are nice (I need to pick them up if I'm upgrading to the 2K cert), because they help you prepare for the test.

    HOWEVER to run an NT network, you must learn NT inside and out, and therefore, you must read the resource kit.

    To run a Linux system (not a single box, but a whole computer system), you need to read all the appropriate MAN pages to get everything togethere. The relevent books are great because they put you in the right direction, but you still need to hack around and read MAN pages for months to learn everything. Alternatively, you can read the source code.

    If you really think that Linux admins will be able to get by from the GUI alone, you're on crack. If you think that an NT Admin can get by on Resource Kits and the GUI, you are on crack.

    GUIs can never include everything to really administer a system, as there are always more options available as you learn the system. To run NT Networks, you need to become familiar with the Registry and the various NT Scripting Languages. KiXtart is nice for logon scripting, Perl (supported for NT from the Resource Kit or other sources) is nice, although being more of an NT than *nix guy, I don't know well enough, and the other languages are useful. Windows Scripting Host has potential, but it needs work.

    MCSE study guides are NOT the way to learn NT Administration. They are a way for NT Administrators to prepare for exams. The paper MCSEs learn from those books, and are not really good Administrators.

    You guys like to bash NT Admins because "the MCSEs we hired didn't know anything." Well, judging us NT Admins by the MCSEs without knowledge is about as fair as my judging the Linux Kernel hackers by the kids who post nonsense on slashdot that get mod'd to 5 despite 12 comments in response correcting them factually.

    Running an NT Network without the Resource Kit is foolish. You can complain about pricing schemes, but if you want to run you NT Network, but the Resource Kit and use the included software as needed.

    The MCSE study guides teach you enough to pass the tests, not enough to run a system. The Windows 2000 certification fiasco was a bloody mess that caused many NT/Unix people to drop the NT side, but they are trying to make the exams less studyable and require more learning.

    If you read the Resource Kit, there are sections on scripted installs. If your NT guy doesn't know what he is doing, replace him, not your network. If Linux can do something that NT can't, run Linux (I'm dropping a few Linux/FreeBSD servers in our new rack along with the 2 NT Servers that I'm using), but don't criticize NT or NT Admins by our weakest link.

    I've bitched out paper MCSEs, one at the consulting firm I was at was going to do a 2000 user migration by using User Manager instead of a script. I smacked him around until we wrote the script that gets used at all client sites.

    The GUI tools are useful. Sites without dedicated Admins can handle the trivial tasks (adding users, etc.) without an Admin, and bring in a consultant when they need real work done.

    However, no system can be done without a proper administrator.

    MCSE Study Books DO NOT TEACH YOU TO ADMINISTER A NETWORK. Resource Kits, Manuals, and Reference Guides combined with experience do.

  • by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @04:49AM (#1012019)
    The problem is that once again, people underestimate how much of Apple's income comes from their hardware. Apple makes nearly nothing off of OS sales. That's one reason new versions of the OS are relatively cheap compared to a full copy of NT or Win2K. Apple gets all its money from the hardware sales.

    It's been demonstrated many times in the past that your average consumer will go for low price over high performance. If Apple ported Mac OS X to Intel, you can kiss their PPC machine sales goodbye. People would install the system on $500 PCs and say to heck with a $1000 iMac in spite of the nice color.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm a Mac user and a major Apple supporter, but this article is nothing but seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses. I do think Mac OS X will eat into Linux sales somewhat, because it is a viable Unix platform all to itself, in the end it may boost Linux sales as people get interested in using the command line provided.

    I think Apple's best chance for domination is to reinstate the Yellow Box (now Cocoa) APIs for Windows. With no Office leverage to fear for making apps easier to port between Mac and Windows, it would be the best way to encourage software to be written for both platforms.
    • People seem to think that the applications group has been secretly waiting for the day that they could port Office to Unix.

    I've been thinking about this for some time too. Why isn't there (really?) a MS-Linux. Why not port MS-Office to Linux or *BSD? And why open-source programmers in general seem to try to stay away from Windows?

    One of the main concerns one has upon deciding on what OS to use is app availability. Porting Office to Linux would be a dumb move from MS, for it would plug one of Linux's holes. Now, in a splitted MS scenario, with Mac OS X being a strong contender, maybe it would be interesting for them to do whatever they can to prevent Mac OS X from taking a larger market share, and that may mean writing(or releasing?) a Linux port of Office. You know, divide and rule. Releasing a Linux distro would be an easy and very sinergic (sp?) action. And, yes, I tried StarOffice, its problems are well known, but the initiative points in the right direction. Now, is Sun making money with it? Do their business depend in any degree on fixing whatever may be wrong with SO? Wouldn't a stable port of MS-Office be good for a lot of us? Wouldn't MS make money out of it? I'm ok with paying for software.

    Now, why do we see so little Windows open source software (as compared to Linux/BSD)? Would that be because most Linux apps are poorly coded and consequently hard to port? I doubt so. Would it be lack of tools? Nope. Strategy? No either. I really think it's almost religious. More than once I saw a project website where the project leader says he/she just doesn't care to port to Windows because it's just lame or something. MacBeth [ii.uib.no] is one that springs to mind. I don't have a problem with that, but is that intelligent?

  • What I don't think people see with the Microsoft breakup is that Microsoft is not getting any less powerful, they're just being hacked at like a Hydra. Microsoft the application company will still be able to leverage everyone by threatening to not offer discounts to OEMs if the OEM doesn't go with an all M$ solution. Microsoft the OS company is also going to remain a huge player in the business. Do you think suddenly millions of people are going to go out and buy a copy of Redhat because Microsoft was found to be a monopoly? Fuck no. More people trust Microsoft than they trust the government. Windows was installed on many of the millions of computers sold in the last couple of years and will continue to be sold on the computers. Windows ME is going to be even more popular than 98 because it will further abstract the user from the hardware which is what people want. Businesses don't want people fiddling with their hardware, they want the system to turn on and work with little or not user intervention. Home users want to turn their computer on and get on the internet or edit videos or email their friends or play their games. The closest thing to a simplified setup on Linux is GNOME's Helixcode installer. Apple is going to benefit from the M$ breakup simply because they have a REALLY abstracted OS that has the eyecandy people love. Apple is probably the only Unix based solution that is ever really going to give MS a run for its money, especially if OS X is going to end up available on PC hardware. Linux and is the choice of a bunch of geeks who capitalize the phrase open source. Linux is a fractured OS with too many comflicting and incompatible distrobutions where OS X is a unified model that developers can get behind with some confidence. The author of the little scenario seems like he's thinking Microsoft will suddenly become a minor player in the market once they're broken up. This is definitely not going to happen. I remember a speech by Bill Gates saying how Microsoft wanted a PC in every living room, this is something thats definitely happening. I don't see Microsoft being any less of player in the future than they are now.
  • by alacrityfitzhugh ( 195044 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @04:51AM (#1012025)
    "This technology became the foundation for Windows" this guy has been watching too much TV and doesn't have a clue how we got here... All these people saying Microsoft copied Apple have extremely poor memories. Xerox Parc! Digital Researchs GEM OS! Hell I wrote my own GUI back in the mid eighties. I bet the author was not even born yet. Otherwise I expect he would remember better that Apple was far from the first GUI. They went to Xerox and copied that work! Apple stole the idea from Xerox. As did Microsoft... I wish people would quit trying to re-write history. Especially if they weren't there!
  • by Drone-X ( 148724 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @04:52AM (#1012029)

    This really sounds like an article for OSOpinion [osopinion.com].

    But besides that

    The major productivity applications such as the oft-cited Microsoft Office run on Mac OS, making it a useful computer for day-to-day tasks in a way that Linux can only dream of.

    Who says Microsoft is going to keep supporting the MacOS? Remember, there's no GPL. The decision is entirely up to MS.

    But now Apple need fear nothing from Windows, Inc., as the applications the Mac OS needs are made by Microsoft. And it is in Microsoft's best interest to sell as many copies of it's applications as possible, without concern for the operating system. This dynamic will benefit Linux, and possibly others, as well.

    I wish! There are many other company's that only sell products for Windows. And many of them are not affiliated with Microsoft. What makes you think the application division of Microsoft will act different?

    Steve announces that Mac OS X for Intel includes a Windows Migration Kit that simplifies the conversion of a PC from Windows to Mac OS X, while retaining all customer data. Included are coupons from major software manufacturers for low- or no-cost upgrades to the Mac OS X version of their applications.

    Would that migration kit be something like Wine? People wouldn't need coupons if they choose Linux.

    Millions of Windows users tired of IRQ conflicts, eternal consultant visits, convoluted interface design, and painful aesthetics can now install Mac OS X on their existing computer, keeping their data and their applications. Millions do.

    Linux is much more a hype (bad word choice, but I couldn't find a better description), why would people be foolish to choose MacOS X. Even their beloved Ziff-Davis magazine will warn them of the risk that Apple can stop supporting the Intel platform at any time.

    Apple's hardware sales decline as people take advantage of cheap PC hardware, then increase again as the platform gains momentum and former Intel users upgrade to Apple hardware. In any case, Apple can do without it's hardware entirely, as it makes more money as an operating system vendor than it ever did as a hardware manufacturer. Apple hadn't been concerned about that anyway, because a certain company in Redmond had already proven there was gold in operating systems.

    Why would people upgrade to the expensive Apple hardware if they can get Intel at lower cost, besides. Observing the obsession many company's have with Wintel most MacOS X producs *would* be Intel only anyway. Apple wouldn't even be able to sell its OS because people would (have) switch(ed) to Linux.

    With it's BSD/mach core and Aqua interface, Mac OS X starts to make serious inroads as a server operating system. Companies requiring high-end hardware redundancy can now use the Mac OS on suitable Intel-based server hardware. With the availability of single-rack-unit servers, Mac OS X finds a place in major hosting farms, as Mac OS users outsourcing their hosting needs begin to demand it.

    Why would they care what Unix it ran, it's not like they need Quartz.

    What about Linux? The vast majority of computer users--even professionals--want nothing to do with a command line. Witness the earlier success of Windows NT. Although Windows, Inc. makes Office available for Linux, the lack of a first-class unified graphical interface severely hobbles that platform for the majority of would-be users. People begin to realize that Linux has little to offer that Unix hasn't offered for years, and with Mac OS X's BSD core and Aqua interface running on cheap hardware, the needs of even die-hard geeks are being met. For those in the Open Source movement, Darwin is all they need.

    Have you not seen Gnome/KDE? Linux users may soon not need the CLI anymore. And I don't think people in the Open Source movement will be satisfied with an OS of which only the very core is opensource (see Debian-KDE story).

    Face it, Open Source/Free software is here to to make a difference.

    Donate Food for Free - http://www.thehungersite.com
  • Apple can do without it's hardware entirely, as it makes more money as an operating system vendor than it ever did as a hardware manufacturer. Apple hadn't been concerned about that
    anyway, because a certain company in Redmond had already proven there was gold in operating systems.

    Actually this makes little sense. MS makes most of it's money from the Office suite, not from sales of Windows. Of course Windows is the "gold" here because it locks people into other MS products(including Office), but that would not transfer to OSX. I also doubt that Apple will ever "not be concerned" about the revenue it generates from hardware. They do quite well selling hardware. Witness the evolution of Solaris as an example. You can get Solaris for a song and a dance these days because Sun really only cares about selling hardware.

    What about Linux? The vast majority of computer users--even professionals--want nothing to do with a command line

    You've either been living under a rock or you just haven't been paying attention to the evolution of GUI's for Linux. One can install Linux and be pretty much CLI free if one chooses. That's the great thing about *nix as a platform, you can use whatever interface works best for you, you're not locked into what "The Man" thinks works best for you.
  • Wouldn't Apple run into problems with third-party vendors porting their apps to OSX, especially if they have no prior experience with Mac software? While Apple might be making OSX portible to intel computers, how portible would its applications be?

    BeOS ran into a similar situation. When they migrated to a mostly-intel OS, they claimed that their apps are easily portable to and from the PowerPC versions of the same. Yet, the fact remains that a good majority of BeOS apps have never been ported to both platforms. Would an intel-based OSX run into the same problems, or does Jobs & Co. have the problem under control?

  • by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @04:55AM (#1012052)
    OK, Linux isn't 100% user friendly to people weened on Windows. But has anyone heard of X over at Infoasis? Evidently not.

    Sorry, but have you ever worked in some sort of customer support job where you had to deal with novice computer users? I have -- in a Mac lab, no less. It's really hard to get users to step out of thinking in terms of Windows and to attempt to figure out the logic of the system from a true beginner's approach. Can you imagine Windows users getting used to configuring and using X?

    Personally, I can, and I agree that Linux isn't viable for consumers. It's bad enough talking some of my fellow computer science and computer engineering students into doing their first kernel recompile when they need new hardware support. Can you imagine trying to talk someone completely uninformed through adding hardware support in Linux?

    Nope. Not viable.
  • well, a Linux desktop is basically the same as a windows desktop, if you use the right WM. So, Linux wouldn't be any harder to use then windows

    And if you can hold someone's hand, a command line is a lot easier to teach then a gui. What's easier to say "Type 'cp /bla/fu/par.txt /home/foo/bar.txt'" or "Ok, open up "Mac HD" look for the folder called "bla", open that. got it? open the folder called 'fu', ok? then find par.txt. Once you do that, leave that window open, but go back to the mac HD, and open up the folder called 'home' and then 'foo' inside that. Then drag the file called par.txt inside the other folder into the first one. yeh. Then like, kind of 'click' on the name of the icon, no, no the name... the little words underneath the icon. yeh. for like, a second or two, and then when you can edit it, change it to 'bar.txt' yeh. ok good.
  • This article was interesting from a pure fantasy perspective, and I'm sure more than 2 or 3 MacZealots out there have enjoyed reading the fictionalization of their own personal wet dreams, but even before this article I've decided to seriously consider moving from Windows to Mac OS X within the next 6 months anyway.

    The reason? My new G4.

    I'm the sort of computer user who doesn't have just one computer - I'm platform agnostic, and am quite happy putting money into different computers for different tasks.

    For email (server), file sharing, web development and web hosting, I use Linux. No better platform for the job, imho.

    For email (client) I use Windows (I'm hooked on Eudora, can't get off this addiction yet). I also use Windows for games, and for many of my clients I am expected to use it for development (Visual C++/cygnus, and Delphi). I also write music software for this platform, primarily because it's easier from the tools perspective (way more dev tools for Windows than Mac, for example), but also because the drivers for the gear I'm using are there, and only there. (Windows)

    For music, I've recently moved to using an Apple G4, because there are some simply astounding sequencing/audio products for the Mac that really do just work well, no matter what. The timing is rock solid (MOTU 2408MkII with DP2.7 can't be beat in the timing department), and there's also a bit of 'fun factor' to using the extremely simple user interface of the Mac. I *used* to be a dedicated hardware sequencer user, but those days are rapidly passing as I do more and more studio work and less and less live stuff. (For live work, dedicated hardware sequencers are *essential* - nothing worse than having Scandisk or Sherlock fire up in the middle of a set, heh heh! It's happened to me...)

    But now that I've gotten more and more into the G4 and the Apple Mac OS way of doing things, I'm really looking forward to Mac OS X being released to the general public later this year. Why?

    Because it has, at least on paper, the best of all of the above platforms:

    1. A good user interface. (Mac OS feature)
    2. A good set of development tools. (Windows feature)
    3. Access to the command line and the power of all that. (Linux feature)
    4. Unix-like architecture. (Linux feature)

    It *doesn't* have the driver support that Windows has, and to a lesser degree, Mac OS. *BUT* that doesn't matter - everything that I'm interested in, hardware-wise, in the very near future uses either USB or Firewire - and Mac OS X has one of the best Firewire and USB implementations around. So I'm not terribly concerned about that.

    Plus, it runs on the Apple G4, which is one of the smoothest, coolest, kick-ass-est computing platforms I've seen in a long time. I actually experience *pleasure* at the thought of upgrading my RAM in that machine, or at the idea of putting a new hard disk in it ... when was the last time I had that experience as a PC user? *Never*. Adding a hard disk or RAM, or doing some other sort of internal work to a PC has always, no matter what OS I use, been a dreary thing - and this is just a minor point, but in my view its one of the things the G4 got right, and which is making it a whole lot more attractive as a platform.

    I'll still be platform-agnostic in 6 months. I'll still have my machines doing the tasks I assign them. But I'm thinking I'll probably be selling my existing PC laptop and having a look at whatever Apple laptop hardware runs Mac OS X in the near future, because to me, that really is an exciting new frontier.

  • *g*

    Dude, the _only_ stuff on that page labelled 'experimental' is my collaborations with the rapper 'Gentle Jones' of Regular Sized Monster. Experimental represents the concept and the method- the vocal tracks are Gentle's _DJ_ vocal-only tracks, meant only to be used for overlaying onto a different beat by a DJ. It was never meant to be listened to or used by itself, there is no click track, no net, and in general Gentle's vocal rhythms are _so_ demanding that they are impossible to put music to, without a click.

    So I did. Call me a geek ;)

    Specifically, I thought "Wouldn't it be interesting to overdub music inspired by bebop jazz over these? To try and chase the vocals rather than hanging on the (unheard) click that was once there?". And so I did. If you don't like bebop and avant-garde jazz, you certainly won't like, hear, or understand those tracks. I'm not a bit sorry ;) if your brain can't follow Gentle's vocals that's _your_ problem. I'll concede that this is very difficult.

    _I_ think Gentle Jones is a fscking _genius_... and he likes these tracks. I think he was surprised anyone could put any sort of music behind just the bare vocal tracks. At any rate, I doubt either of us cares about your opinion- this is in the tradition of bebop, it's musician music and you as the listener aren't expected to be condescended to. Sorry, no 'thump thump thump thump' for you! ;)

    As for the Mac percentage- oh dear, did I underestimate them? *g* what was your opinion? 60%? 80%? I'm sorry, I don't think that's going to happen *g*

    ah, fun with trolls...

  • Lets face it, Linux distributions are not ready for the mass market desktop. Certainly geeks use linux quite effectively, but 90% of the market doesn't want to remember that the way to shutdown the computer is to start a terminal, type shutdown -h now, then enter the root password. they just want an off button, and linux distro's aren't at that level of use yet.

    How many times must this be repeated? It's easy to use! IT'S EASY TO USE!

    It's a bitch to configure, but it can be easy to use, depending on how well you've gotten it configured...

    It is entirely possible, via good system administration (or good initial setup from the distro manufacturer) to make icons in KDE or GNOME that say "Shutdown" or "Reboot" (or *gasp* both!) and have each of those run a script. Basically, either give the users permission via the group model to use init and/or shutdown, and then to link one of those buttons to "init 6" or "init 0". Or if you're paranoid about groups, you could set it up with a script which would call chat to supply the root password.

    It's not easy to configure, but it's not difficult to use once it's been set up correctly. Get it right, everybody.
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @04:58AM (#1012060)
    Millions of Windows users tired of IRQ conflicts, eternal consultant visits, convoluted interface design, and painful aesthetics can now install Mac OS X on their existing computer, keeping their data and their applications. Millions do.

    I'm mystified by the assertion that Mac OS X on Intel hardware can magically solve hardware problems that Windows can't. How does this work? I can't remember the last time I even *had* an IRQ problem on a PC that wasn't cause by me deliberately trying to run two ISA devices on the same IRQ. That newish machines with PCI devices running semi-current Windows have IRQ problems is just really far off base.

    I also think the other assertions are more the author's prejudicial opinion than any solid factual representation. We have several satellite offices where I work that have Macs and PCs -- the Mac people are *always* in need of some consultant to fix some INIT/CDEV snafu or some other MacOS lunacy. The PC machines have problems, but nothing that isn't simply solved or that can't wait for the semi-annual office tuneup visit.

    ...convoluted interface design, and painful aesthetics...

    You don't like the way it looks and you don't know how to operate it? I think now we're getting down to brass tacks. My benchmark for ease of use is my wife, a marketing executive, who can't figure out the microwave. She switched from a Mac to a PC with a job change about 3.5 years ago and her comment on it was "What's the big deal? The buttons look different, but basically do the same thing. It took me about 15 minutes to figure out the differences."

    I must say, though, that this was pretty neat fan fiction...

  • ...this article, and that was saying that with Mac OS X installed, you'd finally stop getting IRQ conflicts. WHAT? I haven't had an IRQ conflict in, nigh, five years. This isn't DOS.
    Mac OS will never replace something like Linux until somebody figures out how to offer ALL of the power of a CLI type interface in their GUI. Want to see a fun exercise? Use Finder or Win Explorer. Go into a directory, and erase everything over a certain size, with the string 'llama' somewhere in the title, that is more than three days old.
    And I'll say the same thing about OS X that I said about NT: My server DOES NOT NEED a GUI. My server DOES NOT NEED multimedia capability, be it Direct X or QuickTime. In other words, with OS X, can I strip out everything but the network stack, hard drive controllers, NIC driver, and maybe a character interface, and put Apache on it and call it a dedicated web server? Or does my web server ABSOLUTELY need to be able to do rotating vector effects on it's fonts?
    Also, Apple is throwing away what was traditionally it's greatest asset as a (web) server, which was the lack of services. That's why it's so hard to hack a Mac; there's nothing there to hack. Granted, you can DoS it by pulling down a menu and walking away, but any system is vulnerable if you leave somebody access to a console.
    There are some great ideas in Mac OS X, but it is NOT the Second Coming, and I know for a fact that there are Mac users (in the real world, I often see Mac graphic design artists who are put in charge of the web servers when the admins leave, because 'they know that web stuff') who are quite leery of OS X. Of course, the vast majority treat Jobs like some sort of Messiah (Come to me my child...*whump*...You see? FLESH is stronger than steel, Conan.)
  • Absolutely. The thing to wish for is that a large, bustling, confusing, bazaarlike MARKET opens up in which people must routinely make some allowances for each other's choices... rather than wishing that one monopoly would be supplanted by another.

    I don't think there _is_ one OS so wonderful that 'everybody' would like it, nor should there be. It should be a pie with a lot of pieces, because people's tastes and needs vary so substantially.

    I know that my whole 'kick' as a variously-creative person is coming up with something which just a small section of the population will just freak out and think it is absolutely wonderful. I think that's a good motivation. I've seen it happen with my music, repeatedly (see URL link). I've had fun ideas for, say, a Linux window manager which was ultra-minimal and geared to the sophisticated handling of basically snazzy Xterms... something which many people would find entirely annoying, but which would be great fun for CLI lovers- even something that could make GUI people comprehend and understand the CLI thing. It doesn't matter that it wouldn't 'win the market'. If markets were just a race, the only food any of us would eat would be rice, because it clearly 'wins the market' and soundly beats stuff like caviar, Mountain Dew and pizza in 'popularity'. Put down that Mountain Dew and drink trough-water- it's good enough for a billion pigs and horses! *g*

    By the same token, it's pretty ridiculous to wish that a single okay combination of software and hardware (OSX, on Mac hardware) will expand, ditch its 'unpopular' hardware and become the only serious choice. That's nonsense- it would lose half its point and become another Windows 95. MacOS is not _about_ being a market leader- it's a gourmet brand, a matter of taste, and should remain so.

    I would personally like to see a bunch of Linux and BSD-based OSes pop up to compete for the consumer 'mass market' dollar. But the best chances longterm go not to the most mass-markety, but to the ones that can identify a theme and constituency and stick to it...

  • Of course they've ported Quicktime. Quicktime is part of the core Mac OS APIs. Demos of early Quicktime work were shown as far back as when they were still calling the developmental OS Rhapsody (a far cooler name than Mac OS X, IMHO).
  • My point wasn't that the Mac lacks a slick admin GUI, but that when you want to do serious administration of server elements running in the BSD layer of Mac OS X, it becomes (surprise!) Unix.

    As an aside, Apple hardly has a monopoly on web-based server configuration. Have a gander at Liunuxconf, Solaris 8, any Cobalt product and so forth. And as far as Netinfo goes, multiplatform SNMP tools are quite a bit more widespread and have the added bonus of allowing you to manage a wide array of server applications on any number of operating systems, no longer just Unix.

    Netinfo's interesting and nifty, but it's an eccentric cousin to LDAP and SNMP.

    I never said Mac OS X wasn't pleasantly nifty. I do find it silly, however, to think it's going to storm the server world outside the same few hundred prepress shops running 100% MacOS networks.
  • Free Software (and to a lesser degree, Open Source) is all about choice. I get really sick of the endless predictions by Mac people (and every other advocacy group: Windows, Java, OOP, and even Linux) that someday soon, everyone will either be forced into their One True Way or that they will suddenly see the wisdom of the One True Way.

    Newsflash: there is no One True Way. People differ in their preferences and needs, and there is no reason to believe that, even in this arch-conformist age, human nature will suddenly metamorphose into vanilla.

    Why do so many people get off on the idea of forcing everyone to join their narrow little cliques? I'm perfectly happy for Mac people to use Macs, Windows people to use Windows, GUI people to use GUIs, and C++ people to write big, bloated, sloppy, hard-to-maintain code. (Okay, that was biased, but...) I just don't understand why they aren't content to play with their toys and leave the rest of us the fsck alone.
  • Why not just get a Crusoe, with a nice PPC flash upgrade. With IBM coming out with a Crusoe based Thinkpad it would just be the icing on the cake if they are also helping them write the PPC instruction set layer. At that point, they can provide the most flexible laptops on the planet with IT departments being able to reflash a programmer's W2k laptop to make a nice MacOS creative department machine and vice versa.

    Now *that* is value.

  • Actually, I thought that Amelio got booted because he was trying to shine a turd to put it up for sale. Jobs took the turd and turned it back into what it could have been all along, a good software company that gives good value and might even change the world every random Tuesday.

  • One of the ways that they could shift their model is to go into cloning. No, not a retread of Power Computing, something a bit different. What does AIX offer the 20k+ RS/6000 workstations that Mac OS X couldn't do? If they offer the OS to run on IBM's hardware, they could control it and keep it from cannibalizing Apple sales on their own hardware.

    I'm sure there are other fairly obvious vendors who might like an easier to use Unix in their product mix so their own hardware can sell better.

  • Currently, Mac OS X server is being sold without charging for CALs, which are actually the bulk of the cost when you buy NT Server. Web Objects also comes with OS X server right now, and certainly it is something that is much more competitive now that they dropped the price from ~$15k to $700. The current OS X is probably going to come shipping with an enhanced server pack out of the box. If it doesn't, there's certainly a quick opportunity to make an OS X 'distro' of the OS X consumer specially tuned and bundled with all the appropriate server goodies for a few bucks more. The stock OSX pack can be included like Connectix includes Win98 when it sells its Windows emulator.

  • Sad but true. Starting from 2 doesn't hurt either. I've been accumulating points much faster since I made it past the threshhold.

    For a while, I tried, as a moderator, to read all the way down to the end of older discussions. Later, I tried jumping a random distance down before starting to moderate. These days I usually read at a minimum of +3, and take advantage (somewhat guiltily) of other people's hard work.

    If it's any comfort, I don't think my comment deserved a five either.
  • 2001 - MS completes split into two companies. Newly formed MS Office Corp. continues with MS Office for Mac and Windows, and no Linux version. MS Windows Corp., OTOH, losing the marketshare battle with Linux.

    2002 - Apple and MS Office Corp. merge in surprise acquisition. Jobs appointed pCEO (permanent CEO) of the new company, Microsoft Apple. Gates continues role as chairman. "It's not the rebirth of the MS monopoly, just a strategic investment in one of MS Office Corp.'s core technology partners." - Bill Gates

    2003 - Original Mac OS happy face logo replaced by Microsoft Bob. Renamed "Microsoft Bill" in October.

    2004 - Newly formed MS Apple gaining marketshare due to handy tie ins between MS-OCXI (Microsoft Office Corp XI). Justice Department breakup in 2010.

  • The idea of a simple, working, windows migration tool shows how little the author understands of the windows world. Any kind of windows upgrade is an extreme challenge due to the sheer volume of conflicting dll's, driver combinations, and general chaos that is your average windows install. It's such a challenge that even Microsofts own installers and upgraders cannot successfully accomplish it. <br>Then there's the application base. Office isn't the start and end of business software. Out of the 70 applications my users have (and use, regularly - engineering), only 4 of them are the office suite. <br>And the laughable server migration concept, a server is not just an OS, it's part of protocols, WAN connections, and applications like backup, software distribution, homegrown tools. <br>The more I think of this article, the more absurd it becomes!
  • Yes, Jobs is in business to make money, lots of money, but you need to apportion the credit/blame where it belongs.

    It wasn't Jobs who killed MacOS on Intel, it was John Scully who pulled it at the last minute because MacOS ran faster on 486s than on 68040s. After Scully fired Jobs, he (Jobs) went on to run NeXT, one of the most open commercial unix companies ever. NEXTSTEP ran on NeXT's own Motorola hardware, as well as Intel, Sparc and HP PA-RISC. It's still common to find NeXT packages on stepwise.com in "quad fat" binary. Eventually, NeXT stopped selling hardware altogether and became an OS vendor supporting mostly commodity Intel hardware.

    Jobs *DID* kill the Mac clones, and in a pretty pissy way. He revoked Power Computing's license and refused to accept any Motorola StarMax machines for the mandatory compatibility testing. Like it or not, he had a reason for doing this. The clone makers (Power Computing in particular) were embarrassing Apple by selling faster machines at much lower prices. Apple had hoped that the clones would expand the market for the MacOS, instead the clone vendors were underselling Apple's own products and eroding Apple's existing customer base. I was very upset when he killed the clones (I had just bought a truckload of PowerWave 604e 250s), but I can see why he did it.

    I think just about everyone would agree that Jobs is a control freak. If you buy into the reality distortion field, you will wind up believing that he does it because of his relentless drive for the best user experience possible. If you don't buy into it, well, he's just a control freak.

    But when you look at his recent actions at Apple, he doesn't look too bad. He has more or less open sourced much of OS X and Darwin is resonably close to being a Mac system running on commodity hardware, Intel or PowerPC.

    I think OS X on Intel could be a good idea. There is more uncertainty about Microsoft now than there has been in years. Corporate IT departments will be more likely to fool around with testing an alternative OS if it runs on the hardware they have on hand. After all, it worked for Linux, which now has a 24% market share for servers.
  • So while the Microsoft appeals process drags on, Apple ports Mac OS X to Intel, leveraging the ease of porting it has so carefully maintained.

    This was already done once and Jobs canceled the project after it was mostly finished. This would cut into Apple hardware sales, and it appears unacceptable to Apple internal politics.

    Millions of Windows users tired of IRQ conflicts, eternal consultant visits, convoluted interface design, and painful aesthetics can now install Mac OS X on their existing computer, keeping their data and their applications. Millions do.

    IRQ conflicts are a problem with the PC hardware. In fact, some of the clunkiness of Windows is due to the hardware: the myriads of screen resolutions, keyboards, peripherals, and protocols Windows needs to support.

    With it's BSD/mach core and Aqua interface, Mac OS X starts to make serious inroads as a server operating system.

    Why would people care about the Aqua UI? For most experienced server administrators, any UI is a nuisance. Maybe you hang out with a different group of server administrators than I do.

    It could happen...

    It seems unlikely. I also don't think the outcome is desirable: in my judgement, Apple's technology has stagnated years ago and they are now concentrating on consumer features. Besides, Jobs is probably even less pleasant to deal with than Gates.

    A more likely outcome is that millions of people will end up using systems like the Playstation II for all their Internet access and most of their computing needs, and WebTV, PC, and Macintosh will be left in the dust. On the server side, more and more people will run BSD or Linux on the low end and Solaris on the high end, and server software will increasingly be written in Java.

  • by hatless ( 8275 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @05:02AM (#1012104)
    Yeah, a Microsoft breakup will likely help Apple gain a bit more market share on the desktop and will make OS X for Intel a viable product, especially given its "fat binary" support for "hybrid" executable files.

    But Mac OS X as a server OS has a key weakness: its nonstandard GUI. The easy, intuitive, and now stable GUI that Apple has put on top of OS X isn't built out of X Window.

    It's a single-user GUI tied to local hardware despite the Unix running underneath. So at this point in time, remote administration of a Mac OS X machine needs to be done either with a destablizing, single-user remote control program like Timbuktu, or with the Unix command line. And not incidentally, OS X's BSD dialect is a pretty odd one, with a directory structure only an old NeXT-head from ten years back could love.

    Furthermore, though Darwin, the non-graphical core of OS X, is open-source and free, OS X isn't. The most bug-prone, destablizing parts of OS X, which sysadmins raised on BSD and Linux would most want to be able to review and fix themselves, are closed and proprietary.

    In addition, the Mac's well-deserved reputation for low-fuss plug-and-play hardware support comes largely from the Mac's closed, circumscribed world and its strictly limited selection of hardware. Putting Mac OS, whether the old one or OS X, on standard Intel hardware throws this out the window. Mac OS X will do no better at handling 700 disk controllers, 800 graphics chipsets, thousands of Ethernet cards and so forth than Windows and Linux do. And anyone who's spent much time with Macs lately knows that Apple's USB support is cranky and idiosyncratic to say the least, with vast numbers of devices that won't work off USB hubs or chained off the keyboard, even with external power.

    About the only worthwhile insight in that silly little essay is that Mac OS X for Intel might be viable. Though unless Apple starts selling Intel hardware themselves, it's not likely to see the light of day, since Apple appears to be focused on making its money from hardware, not software: note the low price points for MacOS, AppleShare IP Server and now WebObjects. Netting $25 per copy for the sale of a boxed MacOS is a drop in the bucket once you factor in the cost of providing support.
  • Oh feh- look at _any_ realworld numbers and you'll see quite plainly that Apple hit bottom in '96-'97, as one would expect. If you think making buttloads of profit is equivalent to hemorhaging money for two years straight, you're crazy- look at _any_ figures and you'll see the real story. Apple royally sucked in '96-'97, and recovered in a big way.

    Also, your notion of 'one platform to rule them all and in the darkness bind them' is pretty childish- how soon we forget that in order for Windows to do this, they had to break lots of laws and screw everybody they could- and have been busted for just that! And even so, Apple survives, Linux survives, Amiga survives in its own way, etc etc.

    The fact is, Apple ought to grow until it's maybe 20% or 30% of the market. Maybe 40% max. That's its niche (big niche, but it's a consumer-oriented system). Different Linuxes, including ones designed specifically for consumer use on older PCs (soon the 'obsolete' PCs will include PIIs and the like) will probably end up somewhere between 15% and 35%- and Windows will end up atrophying to where it is somewhere probably over 50% but less than 75%- and that balance will keep shifting, but in a healthy market each of the vendors will have a solid enough base to support them.

    That's _my_ prediction. So if you want to talk 'dominate', if you go purely by numbers it's probably going to be Windows- but Windows will never again be able to totally ignore the other players in the field, and that is as it should be. In some ways that translates to _nobody_ 'dominating', if your definition of domination includes 'you never have to even think about interacting with computer users that don't use _your_ kind of computer'. In a very big world and marketplace, such an attitude is absolutely pathological...

  • Mac percentage? Actually, mac has had about %7 of the market for the longest time...personally, i don't see them going anywhere fast. %7 is MacOS's niche. it won't go up...it won't go down. It'll just sit there. (Did anyone forget to mention that Linux now has almost exactly the same market share on the desktop.)

    As for your musicians "music." I'm a musician as well. I play Guitar, Bass, and have been know to touch drums as well. While i also screw around with stuff made by Rolland or even software like Rebirth, don't *EVER* accuse me of being some techno, trip-hop "hey, i like NIN because they're so dark" school kiddie.

    I listen to Coltrane, Monk, Charlie Parker, and whatever else is good, up to and including some new stuff...Beck, Pavement, Radiohead...and yes, dear god, a little techno. Why, because it's good. Unlike others who got the Best of MTV Unplugged album to add to their awe inspiringly large Marylin Manson collection, when i say i listen to everything...I mean i listen to everything good. Not schlock that people put up on their fucking free "hey we'll give a web page to anyone" mp3.com site.

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • I'm talking about making a product. That involves creating lots of drivers, experience with lots of PC machines, putting into place support, and, most importantly, getting software developers to recompile their software for Intel. Merely porting the software is pretty easy.

    If you want MacOS on Intel hardware, don't hold your breath. Apple likely doesn't want to cut into their own hardware sales, and supporting the PC architecture and its messy collection of hardware would be a lot of work. Their policy in this area is likely to be haphazard for years to come.

  • They better not force Microsoft to open source Windows. That would be pretty much on par with the judge who wanted to force Intel to give up its designs to its competitors for free.

    There is a name for the kind of a society in which no one and no corporation can own anything and decide how it gets stored, used, etc. The name for that kind of society is communist.

    It may sound "greedy," but it really isn't. If you have a cow, the police shouldn't bust the lock on your barn, milk your cows, and give the milk away. YOU put down the money for the cow. YOU paid for its care and feeding. And now someone comes along and forces you to let a bunch of freeloaders get a drink? Institutionalized rape, I say.

    If MS WANTS to GPL or PD or whatever its windows source, then that's their perogative. But if they don't want to give it away, they shouldn't have to.

  • I am (God help me) the only Linux guy in a mac hosting service.

    If mac wants to get in on the server crowd in a serious way, they need to read the RFCs. None of the stuff we run complies. Our mailserver, for instance, doesn't comply with 821 or 822. Gives me fits when I have a perl script that emails. Had to go get another mail machine that does comply.

    And I agree with your admin. I don't know how many times I wanted to crack open a .conf and fix something instead of clicking through some retarded dialog.

    Plus there's the limits built in to the os (complete lack of anything like multi-tasking). I've long said the hardware at Apple gets better every time the os gets worse. Maybe Darwin will change that. But if I can run it on an Athlon, I won't buy a G4. Neither will most people.

    Too bad to kill off a good proc like that.

  • Like someone already posted "Bias? On slashdot?!"

    I would much prefer a 50% MacOS/50% Windows home market with an almost non-existant Linux, for the sake of competition compared to the 90%Windows/9%Mac/1%Linux (or whatever the real stats are) with the false hope that Linux is a Windows-killer. Well it isn't and it may never be.

    What the author does get right in this article, and it isn't much, is that the breakup of MS will probably allow a very popular OS to get a real footing in the Intel home PC market and the Mac looks like a real contender. He also makes the simple realization that Linux is not ready, if it ever will be, for entry-level home PC buyers. Maybe when, say, trying to change screen resolution can be done by an amatuer without hosing the entire system is possible I might jump on the Linux for everyone bandwagon.

    Maybe in a couple years the majority of posts will be about how much more evil Apple and Jobs are compared to not-such-a-bad-guy Gates.

  • by mangu ( 126918 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @05:07AM (#1012137)
    Your previous network system administrator should have read up on all of the scripted installation options of NT and 2000.

    One has to read very carefully those seven volumes, each 600+ pages, in the MCSE certification study guides to find anything at all on scripted installation.

    For instance, take the Sybex MCSE NT Server 4 Study Guide, Chapter 11 - Remote Access Service, page 410:

    "Using the scripting language is not difficult, but it is beyond the scope of this book to show you how to program in it."

    This means not even "Microsoft Certified Software Engineers" know how to use scripts in windoze machines.

  • Steve Jobs had a really nice chance of becoming the most powerful figure on the computer market. He visited Xerox Parc but he was blinded by the GUI and did not notice anything else. There was a lot of worthy stuff there such as concept of object oriented programming and computer networking. Of-course GUI stood out as the most visible achievement. On the other hand Xerox continued and still continues being a real pioneer in the world of computing. For example they have come up with the idea of electronic paper at about the same time as OOP, NIC and GUI and today we start hearing about first electronic paper emergin from other companies, and Xerox had it all alone...
  • I have been a long time MacOS supporter and user, but my roots are in x86 hardware.

    Why do cluessless MacOS adovcates (zealots?) always toss the words "IRQ Conflicts" around?

    I can honestly say that I haven't had to deal with an "IRQ Conflict" in years on x86 hardware. PCI man, PCI! It deals with the "IRQ Conflicts" for you.

    In the days of ISA this mattered. But now?

    Seesh people. Wake up and realize that the "dark side" has evolved.
  • I'll guess that CmdrTaco was bored this morning and looked for the most inflamatory story he could find to post. Perhaps he knew it would turn into a 400+ comment flamefest full of FUD, perhaps not. My take is that a lot of Windows and Linux faithful are threatened enough by MacOS X that they feel the need to insult everything Mac after one Mac zealot posted a fictional future that doesn't include Linux as a major player and has Mac fighting with Windows for the market. Come on. YHBT by TACO.
  • everybody switches to VMS

    And then we shall know that the end is near, for evil will have taken over the world.

  • Wrong! OS X is NOT a BSD clone. It is BSD-esque in some areas (mainly the microkernal, NOT the upper portions of the OS) and implements the BSD APIs, but it is fundamentally a different beastie

    I think what the author meant was that you can't do BSD things (CLI stuff, configuring samba, writing bourne shell scripts) any easier than you can in BSD. So ``the power of having all your BSD stuff'' is not a net benefit over BSD.

    Plus Aqua relies on proprietary technology that no open source initiative will ever license, and Adobe will never ever open source it. Never.

    One if the significant reasons Apple went with ``display PDF'' instead of Display Postscript is that PDF doesn't have a lot of the wierd licensing considerations that PostScript does... so it would actually be a lot more reasonable to implement something compatable...

    And, Display PostScript has been done and is somewhat understood... display PDF is just about the same thing.

    Just because they work on the fruity OS for grandmothers and they aren't working for an open source company, doesn't mean they aren't incredibly talented, smart people.

    No, but taking 20 years to come out with a computer with good dynamic memory allocation, virtual memory spaces, preemptive multitasking, and an architectural improvement in the display technology is proof enough that Apple didn't have talented, smart people until they bought NeXT. I mean, OS 9 is basically System 1 + Multifinder + TCP/IP + color, Really.

  • by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @05:11AM (#1012169)
    Yes this is accurate. MS Office didn't exist until much later. MS held off on several important pieces of software for the Mac OS in exchange for licensing of technology. This software includes MS Word (first for Mac), MS Excel (also first for Mac), MS File, and a entry-level visual programming language for beginners. You know, all the foundations for what would later become Office in the later days of Windows development, the early- to mid-90s.

    In fact, one of the things MS also held off on Word and Excel for was the rights to be the vendor of a visual BASIC development environment for the Mac. Apple had been developing their own, but MS howled for the rights to be the sole vendor or else. Apple dropped theirs, MS never came out with theirs until much later and then dropped it due to lack of interest, and a frustrated Apple developer name Bill Atkinson came up with Hypercard as a substitute in the mean time.

    The history of this and many other MS dirty dealings can be found at Mackido [mackido.com], under the history section. It's a fine site which has unfortunately been very infrequently updated since the author got a job writing for MacWEEK.

  • No, the command line isn't dead. People who touch type and like to read... actually prefer the command line... not for everything... but for many, many things.

    Apple is very much like Atari. Before Atari became a logo to stick on Hasbro remakes of aging Atari games it was often said that, "Atari couldn't market immortality." My point here is that while Steve Jobs might have helped save Apple from an earlier grave, he certainly is no magician.

    It is estimated (and I'm not going to quote the sources here because they are well known) that Linux holds a 4% share of the desktop market... barely trailing the Macintosh's 5%. Please note that the tiny 5% marketshare that the Mac has is ONLY AFTER a period of record sales figures. How the Macintosh can be seen as a potential force in the desktop world with 5% of the market, and Linux is seen by many (currently) as a desktop failure with only 1% difference is beyond me.

    Ok, ok... Apple has decided that they can't bandaid the MacOS like Microsoft has done with Windows 95/98... and they FINALLY decided to start with a new, Unix based, foundation. I'll give them credit for that BUT... Apple seems to take longer to make things mature... and until Apple makes some serious (as in measurable) inroads into the server market, I don't see it being a major contender in the desktop market... because people often times want to bring their work home with them and make their home systems mini versions of their business systems.

    Scott Dowdle
    Another Linux Advocate - http://linuxadvocate.b-squared.net [b-squared.net]
    Scott Dowdle
  • Ok, I am not going to defend the silly fantasy world that the author is living in, but come on!
    Sure, Apple did not invent the first GUI, but they took a bunch of proof-of-concept stuff, molded it together into a workable desktop paradigm, and for the love of Pete they actually implemented it. And successfully shipped it! PARC didn't do that. Furthermore, Apple did not *steal* the idea from Xerox, they *bought* the rights to use some of the concepts PARC came up with. Micros~1, on the other hand, shipped Windows with code that was directly ripped off from Apple. There's a huge difference.
  • Yeah, but if you ask most Windows users to configure the display adapater properly they don't know what to do either. I can't say how many times I've seen people who run with only 640x480 and 16 colors for months because they have no idea how to reload the display adapter under win9x. (sometimes they don't even realize it's misconfigured).

    I have to say that most people rely on the preinstallation of Windows. If linux is preinstalled, it has the potential to be just as easy (or hard) to use as Windows. The thing which we (linux/*nix/*BSD) users overlook is that if linux were a successful desktop OS it would come preinstalled. The average user would never have to do any configuration (just like with Windows now).We overlook this because we ALL have had to manually install and configure linux.

    In a related note, the majority of people seem to have that "computer friend" who helps them out with most things. Most people are only interested in a few simple tasks, and never stray beyond those. If they need to do anything other than the 5 or so things they normally do, they ask for help.

    The main reason linux is not currently a suitable desktop OS is that there are not enough people who even think they know linux well. There is no shortage of people who think they know windows well enough to fix help out.

  • Millions of Windows users tired of IRQ conflicts... can now install Mac OS X on their existing computer, keeping their data and their applications. Millions do.

    And millions experience the same IRQ conflicts all over again.

    IRQ conflicts are a hardware problem, not a software problem ("PnP" notwithstanding). Changing the OS does not automagically make hardware conflicts disappear. IRQ and hardware resource management is a very difficult and complicated job on the endlessly varied PC platform; throwing a brand new OS at a years-old problem is not very likely going to improve things at all.

  • by Syberghost ( 10557 ) <syberghost AT syberghost DOT com> on Saturday June 10, 2000 @05:14AM (#1012194) Homepage
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP): Today, June 10 2001, local Macintosh consultant Peter Lalor was eaten by penguins. He was seen clinging to a piece of blue fruit, screaming something that witnesses say sounded like "save me, Steve!"

    The NASDAQ went up by .0000001 point immediately thereafter.

  • While I think the article was rather far-fetched, I disagree with a couple of your points.

    Err... Be ? RedHat, SuSE & other Linux distributors ?

    I think when you say a viable consumer OS there are a lot of factors you have to look at.

    1.UI Be is has a nice UI. Linux has come a long way, but still can't touch the MacOS or even Windows.

    2.Compatibility Be has crappy hardware support, I would love this to change since I like how well multimedia runs under it, but there are no drivers for my video card or sound card. Not to mention software. To a lesser extent you can say the same about Linux. I know things are changing, I know more Hardware and Software vendors are supporting linux, but at this point you still don not have the wealth of apps and games that Windows and MacOS have. What's the biggest killer here? the office suite. Star Office is pretty good, Corel Office is so-so. But neither of these is convincing enough for a switch. New Users maybe, but Joe SixPack can be relatively stubborn.

    Are you sure ? For some tasks, it's just the opposite : I don't want a GUI on my firewall, for instance.

    The average user, 1. Doesn't know what a firewall is, 2. Shouldn't have to. (Warning...Outlandish Opinion Follows) As far as I'm concerned firewalls should be controlled by ISP's in most cases. Hopefully if a person wants to run a server of some kind they would know what a firewall is at that point. But the average user has no reason to have to configure a firewall anymore. Dumbing down aside, I feel we should be moving towards simplification. If that means there a class of Uber-Geeks who are hailed as Gods because we can take apart a computer, or it means that machines become so simple that is impossible to do things like fry motherboards, crash your OS etc., then so be it. Either way we will be in a better spot then we are now.

    Since Apple makes money by selling hardware and has always done that, this scenario is less than probable. See what happened to Mac clones two years ago.

    That I agree with 100% :).


  • Actually my setup is as follows:

    Personal box: Win2k. BeOS on a virtual drive. Linux and 98 on a VM
    Our server: FreeBSD 3.4 STABLE

    I don't like KDE or Gnome, they're too immature, I also can't stand Mac's they crash far to often. So I use Win2k IMHO it's the best GUI in terms of stability and usefulness.

  • About the only worthwhile insight in that silly little essay is that Mac OS X for Intel might be viable. Though unless Apple starts selling Intel hardware themselves, it's not likely to see the light of day, since Apple appears to be focused on making its money from hardware, not software: note the low price points for MacOS, AppleShare IP Server and now WebObjects. Netting $25 per copy for the sale of a boxed MacOS is a drop in the bucket once you factor in the cost of providing support.

    Yeah...there's no gold in OS sales. Microsoft didn't make anywhere close to a majority of their money directly from selling windows. The real OS profit comes from leverging the monopoly you've formed to push along your other software while simultaneously crushing your competition with unfair practices.

    Regardless of how the microsoft split works out, or how great OS X is, Apple won't ever have that kind of monopoly. Neither will linux. The only monopoly we have to look forwards to is Windows, and probably for quite a while too.

  • As a BASH user, I find it necessary to point out that doing "advanced software development" with BASH is simply out of the question. In order to do "advanced software development," you must use a real programming language like C, C++, Java, Modula, or some other fully featured language.
  • Most of these free apps you speak of are in beta for years and once they do hit a stable release hardly ever have the same capabilities as their commercial counterparts. Of course there are plenty of excellent open source projects but then there are alot of Asteroids and Tetris clones. Linux needs an enormous amont of work before it is ready for the real desktop market. The apps needs a unified config file structure and preferably a wizard-type setup program for said programs. Linux is still designed for geeks and developers, Windows and MacOS are designed for the average user.
  • It's entirely plausable that you can replace all mentions of the word "MacOS" with the word "BeOS" and get a similar argument, same defenses, but with less of a 'world domination' bent to it.

    Plus BeOS is POSIX compliant so the 'professionals' who do like command line (code me an OS with your mouse, I dare you) can still use it, in addition to a stable UI that won't go belly-up when you try doing more than one thing at the same time.

    And BeOS already runs on both PPC and Intel architechture. Right now. Not in 2001, right now.

    C'mon, optimisim is okay, but dogmatic optimisim is a bit over the top.

  • Microsoft makes a lot of profit from Office on the Mac. Their office suite market share is even more dominant on MacOS than on Windows - which is part of the reason that Access wasn't ported. Microsoft has no Mac office suite competition with a database.

    Interestingly, Excel and Word were both Mac programs _first_, before Windows even existed. There used to be a CLI version of Word for DOS, but it was scrapped. PowerPoint was originally developed by a company called Nashoba Systems as a Mac product (back in '87 or so), and then MS bought the company (a sidenote - the Nashoba guys also produced Nutshell and Filemaker). So Microsoft has a long history of producing Mac software and making a lot of money with it.

    Apple wouldn't have to go nutty to get OS X up on Intel hardware. The Darwin core already runs, OpenStep (which forms the guts of OS X) was Intel/PowerPC based all along, and Apple is almost certainly making an effort to keep the code readily portable. I'd guess that they could have everything but the Classic environment up on Intel hardware within a couple of months of the PowerPC version of the OS shipping.

    That said, I don't see Apple actively trying to play in offering Windows "compatibility", and OS X native apps will be scarce for a while - most "Native" apps will likely just be Carbonized Classic apps for a year or so. Carbonizing is a lot faster and cheaper than building a native app, and you get most of the benefits of OS X that way.

    The other wildcard is that Linux will have advanced substantially in the timeframe the article mentions. Though the OS X he mentions would likely trounce today's Linux, Linux is a moving target, as is Windows.

    I think the likelier scenario is that Apple, with an OS X like described in the article (that is, one that can host Windows apps) would gather a solid 10-20% of the OS marketplace since you're taking what was essentially an OS noted for it's bulletproofness (NeXTStep/OpenStep) and overall quality, and souping it up. If it can run Windows apps, too, there's a pent-up demand for an OS like that.

    The Mac hardware version of OS X would then likely do about the same business - giving Apple a total of from 20-40% of the market across platforms. Probably on the lower side of that, maybe about a combined (X86 and PPC) 20-25%.

    Linux continues to make inroads, and hits some enterprise desktops, but makes the biggest impact in the server room, taking about 40% of the server market over Windows 2000, NetWare,and other platforms. Linux remains a solid niche player on the desktop, with about a 10-15% market share, but penetrates a few Fortune 500-class companies thanks to increased applications support.

    The Microsoft Windows company's OS remains the default OS for most consumer systems, as market pressures from Apple and Linux force them to finally start improving the broken things (like security) in Windows today. Windows improves at a faster pace than usual, and retains about half the market.

    And then, everybody makes a lot of money. Microsoft Windows Co. makes a little less than they're used to, but Microsoft Office Co. makes money hand over fist, porting their dominant Office 2001 product to every operating system under the sun, and not coincidentally blowing Sun out of the water entirely with their StarOffice gambit.

    The only loser: Sun, who bought and invested in an Office alternative that nobody wants now that they can get Office on every platform.

    - -Josh Turiel
  • To all of you who insist that Apple would kill it's hardware sales by offering Mac OS X for Intel... ...Have you considered the possibility that Apple might actually sell Intel hardware itself?
    Jeff Croft
  • Hehe... trust me, i'm running a G3 (iBook) with Linux right now, and the G4/Linux combination is what you want. Imagine running Linux on one of these [slashdot.org] puppies... =^D

    Okie, seriously, tho, i have two points. First, after using Apple's hardware, and comparing it with Intel's (we run multiple iBooks/iMacs at my work, as well as a PIII 500, all running Linux), I must say that Apple puts out pretty impressive hardware for a reasonable price (my iBook laptop is worth only $2500 CDN, and yet runs quite impressively fast under Linux).

    Second, keep in mind that MacOS X is designed as a replacement for MacOS, not Linux. While it is based on a BSD kernel, OS X is built around the Aqua/Cocoa/Carbon layers. So, while it will run stablier and much better multitasking (*shudders at OS 9*), it's still designed as a MacOS, being easy to use and hiding the hard stuff from the user (although, yes, a shell is now finally possible - i've played with the OS X preview releases). So, pretty much, Linux (or another *nix) would still be the better choice if you are like me and want to control the inter workings of everything, and the apple hardware is the way to go (although get a mouse replacement... X with a single button mouse is no fun)

    That's how I see it, at least, from experience.

    i've looked at love from both sides now. from win and lose, and still somehow...

  • >The vast majority of computer users--even professionals--want nothing to do with a command line. Witness the earlier success of Windows NT

    His conclusion is WRONG.

    If 'the banishment of command lines' was what drove NT sales, then explain why at $12,995 for an unlimited user licence of NT 3.1 Micro$oft was having trouble selling copies. Then, at $250 for the unlimited version, copies sold, and started to replace Novell Fileservers.

    If 'the banishment of command lines' is because of some believe that arcane command sequences are evil, then explain why regedit.exe and resedit exist? Setting a flag to 0x15 or knowing the 4 char string for this file type is GVVM is archane.

    'The Market' has spoken....it accepts things like regedit.exe and resedit, *AND* command lines. If it didn't want 'nothing to do with a command line' then there would be no need for regedit or resedit
  • Err... Be ? RedHat, SuSE & other Linux distributors ?

    Lets face it, Linux distributions are not ready for the mass market desktop. Certainly geeks use linux quite effectively, but 90% of the market doesn't want to remember that the way to shutdown the computer is to start a terminal, type shutdown -h now, then enter the root password. they just want an off button, and linux distro's aren't at that level of use yet.

    Since Apple makes money by selling hardware and has always done that, this scenario is less than probable. See what happened to Mac clones two years ago.

    This is true. However why did Apple spend any time at all making any part of MacOS X portable? Apple has a great desktop workstation product, but they may be looking to the likes of Compaq to provide higher end server class hardware. This way they make money on the desktop hardware, and money on the OS sales on hardware they don't sell anyway. It's possible.

    For some tasks, it's just the opposite : I don't want a GUI on my firewall, for instance.

    I agree that a gui is a waste on certain kinds of machines. But most people DO want a gui on their firewall and everything else. Lots of administrators are "too busy" to learn the 10,000 command line switches to ipchains, so they would spend money on a product that lets them click and drool. Witness the success of Checkpoint firewalls.

    This guy is definitely in full speculation mode, but it's not totally unfounded.

  • And then, everybody makes a lot of money. Microsoft Windows Co. makes a little less than they're used to, but Microsoft Office Co. makes money hand over fist, porting their dominant Office 2001 product to every operating system under the sun, and not coincidentally blowing Sun out of the water entirely with their StarOffice gambit.

    The only loser: Sun, who bought and invested in an Office alternative that nobody wants now that they can get Office on every platform.

    Maybe, but I think we still need an alternative to M$-Office. Those menus are absurdly inconvenient and hard to use. How many hours are lost in workplaces when people stop what they are doing to ask somenone "how can I do this in Word? I know, last week you showed me, but I can't find that command".

    I emailed M$ about this, but they didn't answer. M$-Office needs "sticky" options, once you set an option, it should NEVER go back to the default, unless you reset that option.

  • by fluxrad ( 125130 ) on Saturday June 10, 2000 @05:24AM (#1012236) Homepage
    This article is a bit amusing, but nothing more. A scenario dreamt up by some guy who was thinking "hey, what if." - I'm sure if you check everything he's ever written, there's probably a "what if we killed hitler" essay in there somewhere.

    First off, MacOS is dying. Sorry guys, but that's the simple fact. I applaud the Mac user base for sticking with it. I used to be a mac guy myself, then a windows guy (shortly), and now a linux/bsd guy. But there are limits to how much one OS can take, and do. While we can sit and quibble about the specifics and the logistics of the OS, one can't deny that unless OS X is to operating systems what the original Voodoo was to graphics cards...there's not going to be much for Mac except the hardcore userbase, the graphics market, and...well...that's about it.

    As for Micros~1 Winders. First of all, even a fast track to the supreme court and everything going against MS probably wouldn't see them broken up untill 2002 or possibly even later. And that's *WITH* everything going wrong for them. A lot can happen in that amount of time. OS X will be out, and most likely *not* on the intel platform. (Remember one of the things that really hurt apple was their refusal to let clones be manufactured.) - They could have done that long ago...hindsight is always 20/20.

    Finally, your proposal of where linux is going is pretty off the wall. While most people don't like the command line (i'll certainly agree that joe user doesn't), Window managers such as GNOME and KDE can very easily replace that. Currently, if a user doesn't want to touch a command line using one of the WM's then they don't have to...in a year or two, i expect that Linux will be very easy to use...if you want it to be.

    Here's my scenario - see if you can follow. MacOS is older than Windows - the reason people jumped ship (eventually at least) is because of the depth of the OS. Sure MacOS is better for joe user because it's simple. There's one mouse button...but there really isn't a hell of a lot of hacking that can be done aside from maybe resedit :) - Next, you've got the OS that "replaced" it, or "defeated" it or what have you...Windows. Why? Because it was very easy to use, but there was also a lot of depth, at least a lot more than with MacOS. Joe User had no problem just clicking on stuff, while the developers and geeks out there could really sink their teeth into it (at least much more so than with MacOS). Now, we've got this crazy new OS..."well honey, i think it's called Linux." It's easy to use, with GNOME or KDE, the end user really doesn't have to figure out why or how it works, they just know they can double click on an icon to get online. But here's the part that's really cool - it's REALLY in depth, and it's YOURS!!! Geeks and hackers and developers, and even just the curious can really get under the hood to see what's going on. And that's the best part! You see the trend here. MacOS took computers and made them easy to use, and slightly technical. Windows made them even easier, and even more technical. Linux is taking both of those concepts one step further. Which OS is going to dominate in years to come???

    I suppose the years to come will let us know.

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • Despite its enormous success, the original IBM-PC hardware had some incredibly stupid shortcomings. Why didn't they assign one IRQ per slot in the ISA bus? And even when the 16 bit cards came out, almost all ISA modems still kept the "either IRQ-3 or IRQ-4" blunder. Just two IRQs for four serial ports, can't imagine why...

    However, would you pay twice as much for a Mac just to get rid of this inconvenience? Most people don't.

  • I have not read such a load of psychophantic drivel in weeks, and I write a fair load of Amiga-is-best drivel, so that's saying something.

    The IRQ comment? I mean, clearly the author doesn't even know what an interrupt request *is* if he thinks that all problems will magically go away with MacOS X - if anything it's merely USB that will help reduce indicence of problems.

    Secondly, the comment about how Darwin will keep open-source fans happy. Yeah, I'm sure it will. For the happy ZDNet-reading Microsoft-loving company kissing pop-computer users who think they know how to hack by using rootshell's scripts.

    Give me a break. A non-X GUI in this day and age is such an 80's paradigm. Even the Amiga SDK is taking advantage of the massive leaps Linux has made with regard to graphics (DRI and X 4.0, for example). I for one don't like bloaty environments like Gnome or KDE (preferring Blackbox), but why the heck would I get MacOS X for my x86 box if I am forever *stuck* with one?

    I am firm believer in two things about the future of computing: 1. Linux is essential 2. Amiga will be in it

    Linux has changed development of OS's worldwide. It has singlehandedly attacked Microsoft's dominance in such a short space of time the likes of which MacOS could not achieve in the extra 10 years or so it had.

    Nothing suits everyone - hence why I like being able to pick and choose Blackbox as my Wm, I will like to able to develop for AmigaNG on linux/X, but I sure as hell do not believe that closed source *traditional* OS development has a hope in hell of ever gaining to even comparitive levels of Microsoft ever again, and that's the bottom line, 'cos Stone Cold says so.

  • by Sebbo ( 28048 ) <sebbo AT sebbo DOT org> on Saturday June 10, 2000 @05:45AM (#1012247) Homepage Journal

    Good thing none of the Linux advocates have a vested interest in the success of Linux.
  • by proj_2501 ( 78149 ) <mkb@ele.uri.edu> on Saturday June 10, 2000 @07:25AM (#1012267) Journal
    There are some problems with wresting control away form the Mac ROM. So far, two solutions have been used.

    1.) Change your Open Firmware variables to boot from somehting other than the Mac ROM. (Open Firmware is like a BIOS on speed)

    2.) A bootstrapper that is launched either while MacOS is booting or while it's running that will warm boot the machine into LinuxPPC, NetBSD, BeOS, or whatever.

!07/11 PDP a ni deppart m'I !pleH