So Apple WILL be using Intel x86 after all, despite my suspicion that Intel might just be cloning the PowerPC architecture.
Steve Jobs ensured his eager apple audience that OSX would not run on non-Apple hardware, explaining that “the software won’t let you”. Hmmm, so just a software hack (and Apple-compatible hardware in your Dell) is all that will be preventing OSX on a grey box. I can certainly see hackers trying to release their own patches to achieve this.
But what about the other side of the coin? Windows on Apple. This will certainly be possible, as everything now under the Apple hood is compatible with Windows, and has established windows drivers.
You might ask why someone would want to do this – buy an expensive Apple, rip out OSX and install windows. Well, Dell recently announced that it would be producing a “high end” line of attractive computers and laptops, and I certainly think there is a market of vain people who want to buy good looking computers. In fact I’ve known people who have bought an Apple purely because they felt it’s clean lines would fit better into their designer homes! The possibility of fusing attractive Apple hardware with arguably more ubiquitous Windows operating system could be a new market for Apple.
Dual-boot Windows/OSX or even Unix/OSX (although strictly speaking OSX is BSD so it’s a *nix-ish OS already) may also prove to be a useful feature in settings such graphic studios and web shops. In these environments, OSX is often the operating system of choice for the professional, but they are aware that their average customer/user may be consuming their work on a Windows computer. I know a couple of designer friends who’s setup consists of an Apple workstation for their work and a second-user Windows box somewhere on their network for testing and sign off.
Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of Apple or OSX (I like my computers cheap, with my choice of components) and I’ve never got on with the over-simplicity of OSX. But I write these articles about Apple because much of what they innovate and produce seems to end up in one form or another on our desks, on our laps and in our pockets – whether we use their products or not.