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Apple VP: Mac OS X will not boot on regular PCs

updated 02:35 pm EDT, Wed June 8, 2005

Schiller on OS X on PCs

Mac OS X for Intel will not boot on machines sold by other PC manufactures, according to Apple vice president Phil Schiller. "We will not allow running Mac OS X on ," he said. Schiller calmed concerns that Apple might lose sales to manufacturers of cheaper PCs if Mac OS X could run on such machines. It is unclear how Apple will restrict OS X to Macs. Intel-based Macs might feature a motherboard chip that Mac OS X must detect on startup. Although hackers might find ways to run Mac OS X on regular PCs, Apple's restriction measures should keep average consumers from ever running OS X on a competitor's PC.

As for Mac users running Windows on Intel Macs, Schiller said Apple won't intentionally stop users from doing this. However, Apple will not provide any support, let alone a method, for running Windows.

"That doesn't preclude someone from running [Windows] on a Mac. They probably will," he said.

by MacNN Staff





  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i think

    that it would be good if they made it easily to let Windows be installed on their hardware and just didn't support it. That way they could sell more hardware to more people. Not everyone likes the Mac OS, get over it.

  1. GORDYmac

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The chip may not be a run_of_the_mill x86 processor. With the lenghthy discussions involved in this decision [apparently], it's possbile that a different chip is being designed.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sure there'll be a Hack

    But your not gonna buy from Dell, HP or any other vendor. Hacked machines will remain small operations, anyone making a biz out of it will have to face legal ramifications, just like others who have tried to produce traditional Mac HD.

  1. ebeyer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Even if there is no real hack, would Apple really want to keep somebody like Microsoft from taking advantage of the Intel processor to make a really kick-a** version of Virtual PC?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but one of the major reasons for the performance hit in VPC is the fact that Intel and PPC crunch numbers differently?

    So if Apple doesn't support wondows on their MacTels, wanna bet that Microsoft will?

  1. eggegg

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Other possibilities.

    The phrase "We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac," isn't enough to go on. Apple doesn't allow the same Mac OS X license to run on two machines simultaneously, but that doesn't stop a whole lot of people from doing it anyway. Don't confuse permission to do something with the practicality of doing something.

    With just the one statement from Schiller on the topic, there is no indication that hardware will be the limiting factor. That said, there are a variety of ways to marry the OS to the hardware -- if IBM wasn't willing to spend the time and money to do something custom for Apple, it isn't likely that Intel will either.

  1. eggegg

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: VirtualPC

    Apple has already said you can dual-boot.

    VirtualPC may be a very different product in the future than it is today -- actually usable for graphics and computationally intensive work -- but there are enough challenges in reconciling the Windows API to the OS X API that the speed will probably only be 60-75% of the host's native speed -- similar to Rosetta in an ideal situation. The endian issue (byte order) is a miniscule part of the problem -- the G4 had the operation in hardware, but it didn't do much for VirtualPC. No reason to expect it to be any different with the Intel-based Macs.

  1. jes

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So this was obvious from the get go, and it has now been officially stated... but how long will it be until it actually sinks in and people realize PC's will not be shipping with OS X, nor will it be an easy instal, nor will Mac mobo's and hardware become indistinguishable from that of a Dell. Its a CPU, thats it.... and its likely that intel will be supplying Mac-specific CPU's.

  1. adrian_milliner

    Joined: Dec 1969



    VPC on Windows runs very well, so well, that I tend to run Windows only in VPC, as it's easy to discard a PC that's been riddled with viruses and spyware and start-afresh.

    I don't see any reason why VPC on an x86-based Mac will be much different.

    Windows is, currently, such a simple piece of kit that it's moderately easy to emulate.... Now Longhorn with it's hardware-intensive GUI (much like OSX) will be a bit tricker, but already, VPC7 + XP + Office 2003 on a G5 Mac is completely usable.

    I can see a lot more people buying Macs, comfortable in the knowledge that they can run Windows _well enough_ without a dual-boot situation.

    Microsoft won't care, because a Windows license is a Windows license... why should they care that you pay to run Windows on a Mac+VPC rather than pre-installed on a Dell?

    All this has got to be good for Apple/Microsoft and the consumer. Just might be a bit tricky for Dell.

    Just a thought - Apple already license iPod to HP.... maybe HP will make OSX-PCs ?

  1. medelegant

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ROM in RAM... ROM in ROM

    Apple has some experiance with putting significant portions of their OS in silicon. As I recall, Outbound made portable "clones" of the Mac way back in the 68000 days that could only work if you ripped the ROM out of a real Mac and installed the salvaged part in the Outbound. The first generation Classic 9" Mac would boot into an all-in-ROM Mac System 6 without any drive at all (on start up hold down Command-X-O). There is no reason why Apple can't go back a little ways and bring back ROMs that hold crucial ports of the OS to protect their intellectual property - and market for hardware. If in the future a lot of "old Intel-Mac motherboards" are being recycled for salvaged ROMs, and Apple sees appropriate potential revenue gains, they may decide to sell a drop in board "hardware license extension" Apple is a hardware company today but after the 6520->680x0->PowerPC transitions and Apple DOS -> Mac System -> Mac OS 7 -> Mac OS X transitions, they are planning for their rebirth as a System Software vendor. Five generations of Mac OS X compiled to run on Intel in their skunk works shops amply demonstrate and proves Apple is capable of very long term planning. Apple's people have vision.. and imagination... always have, and probably, with the inspiration of their leadership, always will.

  1. gudin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: vpc

    Actually, MS might like the idea of VPC better because VPC buyers are buying Windows AND VPC.

    Then again if this leads to a massive increase in the Mac marcketshare, maybe they'd get annoyed and intentionally start breaking their software opn Macs.

    you never know.

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