Macs with Intel inside, what are the possibilities

In the UK, Intel have been running ads (voiced by Kiefer Sutherland) telling us that there are all sorts of possibilities now Macs have Intel inside.

So, what are these possibilities? I wondered when I read this article.

Very interesting, as far as dual-boot and certain mass-market applications & software goes. But your average Mac user would ask why on earth would you want to buy a Mac and then install Windows on it. I also can’t see either Apple or Microsoft being keen to support such a set-up.

So, the possiblities; For some people it will mean they only have to buy one computer, rather than two. For the vast majority of people it’ll mean nothing. It’s just advertising hype and blah.

The true path to integration between the two operating systems will not come about through dual boot.

Things will run FOUR TIMES AS FAST! And since the old macs ran TWICE AS FAST! as the old intels, that means the new intel macs will run EIGHT TIMES AS FAST! than the intel PCs*.

*This is a joke, don’t bother correcting me

The ad’s I saw with the tag line ‘imagine the possibilities’ was suppose to convey the idea that the intel chip, since it was linked to the windows OS, was limited by it as windows is just for things like spreasdsheets, email, word and other things. But now that is it in a MAC we can really get that chip doing thing it was meant to do, like video editing, gaming, reversing global warming and the like.

In reality, I see it as saving the MAC from slowly withering away, as their power PC chips were falling behind and it just wasn’t cost effective to just add multiple processors and locks their performance level to that of windows based systems.

Well, the Darwine folks are porting over WINE to the new OSX - WINE is a compatiblity translation layer that allows many Windows programs to run on Linux, some at near native or even faster speeds. Once they got the bugs worked out of that, that will reduce the transition cost for Windows users who are thinking about getting a Mac, since they would be able to run their old/Windows exclusive programs within OSX.

Or they could just Install XP. I think VirtualPC has also been ported over.

So does any of this mean Windows XP would run with any sort of enhanced reliability?

If anything, it would run Windows with LESS reliability. The biggest problem with Windows on Mac is lack of driver support. Microsoft does extensive testing on different hardware configurations and hardware manufacturers submit drivers to Microsoft for testing and certification.

With this hacked up version of getting Windows to run on a Mac, you can’t be guaranteed by either Microsoft or Apple that it will run. Well guarantee is a strong word, but you know what I mean.

Which company is going to support this? Apple has publicly stated they won’t stop users from installing Windows, but they also stated they won’t support it either. I haven’t heard anything from Microsoft, but I strongly doubt they would support it either, even if you did legitimately pay for your copy of Windows. I’m sure installing it on a Mac violates the EULA in some way.

I could see where somone may want to install some flavor of Linux on it (Since Mac OS X is already a highly refined Unix clone).

Being able to boot XP on an Intel Mac is cool :cool:

• If I had an Intel Mac, I’d do it for the nerdy heck of it. For the same reason I have FreeBSD installed under VirtualPC now — not because I need it, but because. Just because.

• There are laptop-computer users who would really really really rather have a Mac, but who have to content with a tiny handful of situations where Windows and only Windows will do, and where emulation won’t cut it. Example A: some college classroom administered a test that first required running a custom Windows app that would lock the user from being able to process-switch to any other program while the test was running. A Windows-only app of course. Example B: An inflexible clause in purchasing guidelines says sales dept personnel can select any computer but it must boot Windows (etc). Now such people can buy a Mac, install Windows on it and boot it natively. Even if you put Windows on an external FireWire drive and only connect it as need be, it beats heck out of lugging around two separate laptops!

• For the tiny handful of hardware-peripherals control & access for which native Mac drivers don’t exist and VirtualPC can’t get to through the extra layers of abstraction —writing to an NTFS-formatted drive, for example, or printing to a printer for which no OS X drivers exist — the Mac user who needs to do such things on occasion can boot into XP long enough to deal with that.

• I’m not a Kool-Aid drinking Steve-Jobs-worshiping fanatic, but I’m still happy to see the first hardware to switchboot between XP and OS X turn out to be a Mac that can boot XP and not a Dell that can boot OS X.

You haven’t been paying attention. The developer release of OS X was booted on generic Intel hardware long before the release of the Intel Macs.

Probably not a Dell, but you missed it anyway. Ever since the developer preview came out last year Mac OS X has been dual booting with XP on non-Apple computers. Just as XP has to be modified slightly to install of the Mac, Tiger has to be modified slightly to install on the PC.

Good point. Did/was the DR floating around available to the geeky Dell owner who wasn’t averse to hitting up bittorrent etc? Or was it mostly confined to obedient developers who didn’t let it circulate?

Installing OS X on hardware other than Apple’s is a violation of Apple’s License Agreement, so even if it wasn’t distributed, they weren’t exactly “obedient developers”. It’s not like Apple didn’t expect it, though.

Microsoft doesn’t have a “We hate Apple! Don’t install this on a MAC!” clause in the XP license agreement. To Microsoft it’s just hardware. One of the particular methods used may be a violation, but only if the hacked XP system files are redistributed (it seems you can modify them for your own purposes). Other methods have been proposed (probably working by now) that don’t involve changing XP itself.

Dual-booting on a Mac will probably be the only strictly legal method. From Apple’s point of view, it might help them sell more hardware (as long as it remains small enough that OS X software continues to be ported[sup]*[/sup]). For Microsoft, they sell more copies of XP (and bank on increased usage of Windows if this turns out to be more Apple users grudgingly using Windows than Windows users switching).

[sup]*[/sup] Getting back to the OP, Intel on a Mac should make it easy to get similar performance out of ported software, hopefully leading to more available software on the Mac.