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Whither Apple?
March 28, 2006 10:05 AM   Subscribe

Avie Tevanian to leave Apple. Long regarded as the brains behind OS X (and NeXT before it), Tevanian's unexpected departure is "too pursue other interests," and his last day is Friday, 1 day before Apple's 30th anniversary. Noted tech curmudgeon John C. Dvorak recently claimed, to much ridicule, that Apple was going to ditch OS X and move to Windows. Coincidence? Or has Steve's famous temper gotten the better of him again?
posted by mkultra (76 comments total)

 
I doubt apple would move to windows. How much do they spend maintaining OSX?
posted by delmoi at 10:09 AM on March 28, 2006


Apple would never move to Windows- what would then make their computers different than any (cheaper!) PC? It would completely shut down their computer business.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:18 AM on March 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


Anything Dvorak says should be ridiculed, he's a few decades past his best before date and I've never understood his animosity towards Apple. Did he try to get into their previous Advanced Technology Group but was turned away? Maybe Tevanian has realized he's done what he can at Apple and is ready for a new challenge. Not every high profile resignation is because of sour grapes or infighting.
posted by substrate at 10:18 AM on March 28, 2006


OSX is such a better operating system, it wouldn't make any sense for them to dump it to become just another Dell.

I would think the opposite is more likely to happen, with OSX, a far superior operating system, running on generic Intel boxes.
posted by MythMaker at 10:19 AM on March 28, 2006


I would write a longer reply but I'm on OSX today and can't get out more than a sentence before a freeze or crash.

Folks who claim it's stable must never do any real work, or are just slow as molasses.
posted by HTuttle at 10:23 AM on March 28, 2006


I thought we had already agreed that Dvorak was an idiot on a previous issue. Besides, why move to a company that can't even meet its distribution deadlines for two separate software releases?

I like my mac OSX...Dvorak can come and rip it from my cold dead hands if he wants, but he had best expect a fight for it.
posted by rand at 10:24 AM on March 28, 2006


Folks who claim it's stable must never do any real work, or are just slow as molasses.
Alternatively: Some people are too stupid to use a computer.
posted by substrate at 10:25 AM on March 28, 2006


Apple is not switching to Windows. Sheesh. They're switching to AmigaOS. The signs are all there if you know where to look for them. Think about it—it makes perfect sense!

Well, as much sense as anything Dvorak writes.
posted by adamrice at 10:27 AM on March 28, 2006


Unlikely. I use both and seem to have a lot of problems with OSX as well. I've never thought of Apple machines aas being a paragon of stability. Of course, neither is Windows. The most stable machine I have ever seen was an HP workstation running HPUX. It ran for over a year without a restart.
posted by bz at 10:28 AM on March 28, 2006


I would write a longer reply but I'm on OSX today and can't get out more than a sentence before a freeze or crash.

Uninstall the kitten that runs around chasing your cursor.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:29 AM on March 28, 2006


Dvorak is a tool. And how you draw a line from Tevanian's departure to Apple adopting Windows is beyond me. The persistent rumor is that 10.5 will be nearly ground-up — and if that's even partly true, then enough groundwork has been laid that Tevanian was no longer essential.
posted by cribcage at 10:34 AM on March 28, 2006


Dvorak is an idiot. This hasn't changed since the last time this came up.

OS X ROCKS!!?!
posted by chunking express at 10:34 AM on March 28, 2006


I think Dvorak is full of it as well, but I couldn't help seeing the timing of the announcement and remember his article.

Maybe Tevanian has realized he's done what he can at Apple and is ready for a new challenge.

I'm hoping this is the case. OS X is actually a fairly old OS, if you count its NeXT incarnations. It does seem more and more that the core OS is "done" and the improvements are increasingly "tweaks" and/or multimedia-related.

Still, it'll be very interesting to see where Apple goes after this. If there were anyone who is a "latter-day Woz" at Apple, it's Avi.
posted by mkultra at 10:37 AM on March 28, 2006


OT, but most of MacOS' stability problems have the same cure.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:38 AM on March 28, 2006


The persistent rumor is that 10.5 will be nearly ground-up

Where have you heard that? I follow Apple closely, and that's the first I've seen of that claim.
posted by mkultra at 10:39 AM on March 28, 2006


Folks who claim it's stable must never do any real work, or are just slow as molasses.

I guess you didn't get the memo that people who use macs are not only smarter, richer and more successful... our kids don't actually get tooth decay.

But macs only work for people who "get it." It's a thing, don't worry about it.
posted by illovich at 10:39 AM on March 28, 2006


Wow. The guy that was running Apple's iPod division is retiring this week. Maybe Dvorak thinks Apple will embrace Plays For Sure now.
posted by birdherder at 10:40 AM on March 28, 2006


...or maybe perhaps after almost ten years at Apple he felt it was time to move on or slow down and do something else?
posted by tgrundke at 10:40 AM on March 28, 2006


If OSX is crashing for you, maybe you just need to do some maintenance.

I use sterMachine, and it fixes most problems for me.
posted by MythMaker at 10:47 AM on March 28, 2006


It's all falling into place: Steve Jobs is going to invest that $295 million he just made flogging Apple shares in Microsoft stock, then announce that Macs will run Windows. Tevanian has advance warning, so he's moving to Redmond.
posted by jack_mo at 10:48 AM on March 28, 2006


Folks, it's deeper than that. Anyone who's seen the Vista screenshots has already suspected this: Vista and OS X are merging. The kicker is when you open a "command prompt" if you've been lucky to get a leaked beta and you poke around. They've done a decent job of trying to obscure things somewhat, but you've gotta be suspicious when you see plist files popping up everywhere and the name "mach" showing up in process listings.

It makes sense, really. Think about it. Remember the days when Copeland/Pink/Whatever were going to be the next Mac OS leap? They couldn't pull it together. Apple realized they had to advance anyway, and did what anybody does when they can't build it themselves: they shopped around, they bought Mac OS X. Microsoft has got to have realized by now the best they've been able to do is Win NT and they've been dumping freatures originally planned for Vista right and left so that eventually it's simply going to be Win NT 4.2000/XP SP3.5. They've realized that they can get where they want by licensing OS X, perhaps quietly, or perhaps outright. They've also learned the lesson of the browser and Java -- an application/deployment layer that sits on top of the OS -- and plan to compete by having the MFC/Win32/.NET APIs in their layer above Darwin, as well as their usual branding brainwash, and of course their OEM deals which allow them to put anything they want on newly minted PCs and collect a sum near GDP of France.

Trust me. It's time. Microsoft new it; perhaps Steve will announce it. Look for Bill to fly to Cupertino April 1st. And my future as a prescient pundit will be assured.
posted by weston at 10:50 AM on March 28, 2006


weston is that a joke?

mac people scare me.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:00 AM on March 28, 2006


But macs only work for people who "get it." It's a thing, don't worry about it.

Amen. I don't know WTF htuttle's bullshit troll was about. I have ridden my Macs hard with all types of video, audio and photo production software for over 6 years now and I have absolutely no complaints.

On the other hand, I use XP and Win2k for work for the simplest of tasks (MS Project, Word, Excel, Access), and it never ceases to aggravate me. Once you get past the spyware issues and old windows disease, I'll admit that MSFT has figured out some of the reliability issues, though I would never run something as resource intensive as Pro Tools on it, having been burned too often going that route in the past.

I guess I'm not seeing the elegance of the design of the MSFT OS. It's just too damn clunky. Bleh.
posted by psmealey at 11:03 AM on March 28, 2006


Slashdot links to Dvorak because it gets the hive all stirred up and ups traffic, there's no other reason to. Hell, that's why he still even has a job.

I think Avi has eared a spot in the secret cabal of tech enlightened, Bill Joy came to him personally to give him the news and his cusotm made ascention robe.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:03 AM on March 28, 2006


Anyone who's seen the Vista screenshots has already suspected this: Vista and OS X are merging.

That's so insane it's believable - rockin!
posted by jalexei at 11:06 AM on March 28, 2006


Neither are that stable so long as they have a huge overhead called the GUI running.

Run both in CLI and they'll go as long as any Linux server.

Of course, neither are really all that useful in CLI. :)
posted by linux at 11:12 AM on March 28, 2006


operating systems have opinions, now?
posted by pmbuko at 11:15 AM on March 28, 2006


April first.
posted by ColdChef at 11:16 AM on March 28, 2006


I don't know - I use hardcore video, audio and graphics software on my Mac, with multiple applications running simultaneously and have it running literally for weeks without a reboot.

I don't think that can be said for Windows.

But, you know, it's all just Pepsi Blue at some point.
posted by MythMaker at 11:17 AM on March 28, 2006


More interesting to me than Dvorak's insanity is how Tevanian was good and bad for Apple.
posted by catachresoid at 11:19 AM on March 28, 2006


I may be naive, but I think that self-linking would be applauded on the blue before OSX would be replaced by Vista or Mac hardware.
posted by visual mechanic at 11:26 AM on March 28, 2006


but I'm on OSX today and can't get out more than a sentence before a freeze or crash.

I'd give a dollar for a peek at Matt's server logs today. Specifically the User-Agent string for this post.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:28 AM on March 28, 2006


Hmmm - I was laughing at weston's take, but it is interesting to look at everything that's been going on:

Macs move to Intel processors.

Vista gets "delayed".

Steve cashes in a bunch of stock.

Avie leaves.

So Steve sees the iPod and iTunes (and more largely iLife) as the future of Apple, knowing that Microsoft is the biggest potential competitor. Steve cedes his OS to MS, in return allowing him to position Apple as the provider to MS of all the cool iLife-ian software and services (music store) that'll run on the new kick-assy OS that is VistaX. Apple folds the bulk of the hardware production to a third party, continues to print money with shipping crates full of iPods, and Bill gets even richer peddling the new uber-OS.

Hey, stranger things have happened...
posted by jalexei at 11:31 AM on March 28, 2006


catachresoid's link is one I'd forgotten and a great supplement to the FPP. Dvorak, on the other hand, is one of the worst pundits with the cloudiest crystal ball I've ever seen. A few years ago I was throwing out some PC Magazine issues from around 1990 and read some of his predictions for the CD-ROM. What a great mixture of completely obvious statements combined with the most ridiculous guesses that totally missed the mark.
posted by mikeh at 11:35 AM on March 28, 2006


That's a great article, catachresoid.

weston, that would be insane if it weren't so strangely plausible.

To his credit, Dvorak did nail Apple moving to Intel before anyone else (I think).

April first.

Should be an interesting day. I'd been just hoping for the widely-predicted full-screen video iPod, but Apple is known for pulling crazy shit.

Hopefully not this, though.
posted by mkultra at 11:46 AM on March 28, 2006


Baby_Balrog: weston is that a joke?

If you have to ask...

jalexi: To me, it seems nonsense because a large chunk of the Microsoft business model depends on not being a Unix and offering a complete MS-Centric pocket universe. Microsoft has a lot to loose from giving up horizontal control of their os, server and workstation products that communicate over customized protocols.

Likewise, many of the most rabid OS X switchers come from open-source-unix-land. And Apple doesn't have much to gain from switching from an OS architecture that scales from the mini to clustered big iron.

re HTuttle: "Do not taunt happy fun ball."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:07 PM on March 28, 2006


Avie's been there for close to a decade, but tech changes in staff, and movements are fairly common. I imagine being there for years might be a factor in deciding to move on. I'm a firm believer in individuals first, technology second, but I'd be surprised if Apple couldn't replace him with another great individual.

I don't know - I use hardcore video, audio and graphics software on my Mac, with multiple applications running simultaneously and have it running literally for weeks without a reboot.

I don't think that can be said for Windows.


I can and have and do. But then, mileage varies obviously. Preferences are preferences and it's nothing more or less than that. I've had about equal application crashes on Mac OS X and XP in a year and a half. About 6 each. Others have had much more, others much less.

But, you know, it's all just Pepsi Blue at some point.
posted by MythMaker at 2:17 PM EST on March 28 [!]


Precisely. I work in production with people who use different OS's and this silly smarter than you, you're stupid, my dick is bigger than yours nonsense never comes up. Maybe because computers aren't a lifestyle to some, but just a tool.
posted by juiceCake at 12:14 PM on March 28, 2006


Actually, Steve Jobs cashed in his stock to pay his taxes. Nothing sinister going on there.
posted by chundo at 12:21 PM on March 28, 2006


Unix is a paragon of stability. Why Apple would want to fsck OSX and tie themselves in a burlap sack full of Win32 is beyond me. Windows is essentially a tar pit of every demon driver from 1995, literally hundreds of thousands of device drivers, all ready to Plug and Play you.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 12:22 PM on March 28, 2006


Have you read about what MSFT employees think about Vista? It's pretty entertaining; make sure to read the comments.
posted by chunking express at 12:35 PM on March 28, 2006


Maybe because computers aren't a lifestyle to some, but just a tool.

Amen.
posted by brundlefly at 12:41 PM on March 28, 2006


HTuttle is drinking his bath water. My Mac has crashed once in the last 2 years, and it was a hardware problem (as it should be -- only a hardware problem can result in an OS crash; everything else is a bug).

linux: A Mac OSX cli machine is just BSD. Which is just about as useful as any Linux machine. Duh.

On Dvorak's prediction: stupidest tech punditry I've heard in years. The man is either playing a prank, or is too stupid to keep his job.
posted by teece at 12:52 PM on March 28, 2006


HTuttle is drinking his bath water.

He may not be. My last machine was wonky in some way and crashed very, very regularly.

My current TiBook used to crash regularly when using dialup, and if I use it for computationally intensive tasks, then it will crash every 2-3 days.

Every once in a while it will in fact type in the middle of typing a sentence into a browser text field.

If I were guessing, I'd say it's probably hardware issues, rather than the OS. But see, part of Apple's thing is that they're supposed to offer the whole platform, and that there's less trouble and they take care of you better.

By and large, I think they do. But I've seen my fair share of even new Apple machines acting funny, and as the hardware ages, obviously chances for failure go up.

And while I still believe in Apple, I'm not sure the products are as durable as they used to be. My SE/30 is still more reliable than my last two powerbooks.

But I dig OS X, so...
posted by weston at 1:07 PM on March 28, 2006


Sigh.

Every once in a while it will in fact type freeze in the middle of typing a sentence into a browser text field.
posted by weston at 1:08 PM on March 28, 2006


Maybe you should switch browsers. Safari and Camino both have stability problems, but I've had good luck with Firefox.
posted by hyperizer at 1:15 PM on March 28, 2006


Chunking's link is fascinating. A must read for anyone who wants to know more about MS and their employees. If I still had any MS stock, that message board would make me think about dumping it if I had planned to hold for a long time!
posted by cell divide at 1:44 PM on March 28, 2006


This is a good thing. The NeXT OS team, by porting over a bunch of NeXT desktop stuff largely unchanged but for cosmetics, imposed some pretty heinous UI problems on OSX that had already been fairly well solved back in the m68k days. Possibly this will do something to heal the internal rift between the ex-NeXT engineers and the Apple engineers -- a rift that's readily apparent when you look at some of the wildly divergent philosophies behind different pieces of OSX.

Maybe the Finder will improve. It sucks less than Windows Explorer or Nautilus, but it still sucks. NeXT's fifteen year old interface mistakes from Browser.app remain in place to this very day.

Hopefully Mail will evolve. It's made baby steps in the last few versions, but it's still obviously NeXT Mail.app from 15 years ago.

They really should have bought Be instead.
posted by majick at 1:48 PM on March 28, 2006


NeXT was awesome. Anyone know where they published the design specifications? I heard they were published publicly.

I used OSX and Windows. Personally, I actually like Windows better. At least it doesn't lock people out of using the command lines. Then again, I think the iPod UI is terrible. I've pretty much come to the conclusion the Apple products are all hype, with iPod being the worst offender. Why anyone would buy a product where the battery stops working in a year or so, and only works with proprietary software is unbelievable to me.
posted by xammerboy at 1:59 PM on March 28, 2006


xammerboy, I don't believe you when you say you use OS X.

(it's /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app for the command line. And you'll actually get a command line that works, unlike that brain-dead bastard child of DOS that you find in Win XP).
posted by teece at 2:10 PM on March 28, 2006


weston, you win Mac rumor of the decade award, in addition to this thread. I look forward to watching your acceptance speech on my fullscreen WinMC iPod.
posted by mwhybark at 2:24 PM on March 28, 2006


jalexei writes "Steve cedes his OS to MS, in return allowing him to position Apple as the provider to MS of all the cool iLife-ian software and services (music store) that'll run on the new kick-assy OS that is VistaX"

Microsoft needs Apple to keep the Trust doctor away.

xammerboy writes "Then again, I think the iPod UI is terrible."

I've never used OS X but if the interface is anything like QuickTime players then ya, it blows.
posted by Mitheral at 2:38 PM on March 28, 2006


>Neither are that stable so long as they have a huge overhead called the GUI running.
I'm really sick of this argument. The Windows GUI isn't some huge hog and if you want CLI, run it as CLI.

Or spend some money and replace that 486 you must be using.


>Of course, neither are really all that useful in CLI. :)

Monad, OS X terminal, etc. Is this how linux evangelists still think or is this a joke because they have nothing of substance to complain about. Right now, linux is the ugly red headed step-child of the OS world. Yeah, the 2.6.16.1 changelog has me all hot and bothered with its trivial fixes.

If there's a buggy and slow resource hog in the OS world its KDE and Gnome.

To me it looks like Apple and MS are no longer stuck in 1991 and are forcing the OSS loudmouths to eat some humble pie.

/OS wars are stupid. Use whats best for the problem at hand.
posted by skallas at 2:44 PM on March 28, 2006


All I want is a Tablet Mac. I really kind of need a tablet computer for my work (concept artist) and I've been holding off from buying one, hoping Apple will finally put one out.

It's killing me.

Re Avie... who knows why he's leaving? I'm sure we'll find out eventually. He leaves behind a large team of his own disciples, so I wouldn't worry too much about Apple changing dramatically.

C'mon, Steve, gimme a frickin' tablet already!

Oh, adding to the chorus - my Macs at home both run crash-free, I haven't rebooted either one except for the automatic updates in... hm, at least a year, and they both have been on (or sleeping) for that whole time. Only app that has managed to bring the whole system down is Illustrator 8.0, but I've since upgraded and not a peep since.

HTuttle, get thee to the Genius Bar!
posted by zoogleplex at 2:50 PM on March 28, 2006


NeXT was awesome. Anyone know where they published the design specifications? I heard they were published publicly.

I missed this, xammerboy. It was called OpenStep. Google it up, you should be able to find it. There are a few active developers (mostly on the GNUStep project), but it's probably effectively dead.

Well. Except for OS X, which you hate. Ever written an OpenStep or NeXT application? Simple ones will compile unchanged on OS X.

NeXT became OS X.
posted by teece at 2:52 PM on March 28, 2006


Bertrand took Avie's job almost three years ago. From a 2003 Apple press release:
CUPERTINO, California—July 8, 2003—Apple® today announced that Avadis “Avie” Tevanian Jr., Ph.D., will become the company’s chief software technology officer and Bertrand Serlet will be promoted to senior vice president of Software Engineering. In his new role, Tevanian will focus on setting company-wide software technology directions, and Serlet will now report directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and lead the company’s OS Software Engineering group.
WTF is a chief software technology officer? Bertrand has been running things since 2003.
posted by ryanrs at 3:36 PM on March 28, 2006


Two thoughts:

1: Tevanian has been with the same line of OS development for almost two decades now. Probably time to move to other things.

2: April 1 is the start of the Third Quarter, which makes it an obvious time for a transition.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:51 PM on March 28, 2006


From my BSD terminal:

[casavettes]$ uptime
15:50:04 up 26 days, 1:43, 3 users, load average: 0.49, 0.68, 0.81
[casavettes]$

Like a tank, this machine.
*lovingly pats G5*
posted by squirrel at 3:53 PM on March 28, 2006


561 ~$ uptime
15:57 up 33 days, 17:22, 16 users, load averages: 0.00 0.00 0.00
562 ~$
posted by ryanrs at 3:59 PM on March 28, 2006


Wow, chunking, that MSFT thread is boggling. They really are in big trouble over there.

Apple will not be using any MS OS, kids, forget it, not gonna happen.

Apple can actually deliver an OS when they say they're going to. If they sat around waiting for MS to deliver an OS, there would be no Apple.

Nice uptime numbers you guys! :)
posted by zoogleplex at 4:17 PM on March 28, 2006


I thought that thread was pretty bizarre. Anyone who thinks Apple is going to cede their OS development to MS is a dumbaclot. I'm sure Microsoft used to know how to write operating systems, they just seem to have lost their way. MacOS X is probably the most usable OS on the planet at the moment.
posted by chunking express at 4:32 PM on March 28, 2006


xammerboy: "Personally, I actually like Windows better. At least it doesn't lock people out of using the command lines."

LOL!
posted by 31d1 at 4:57 PM on March 28, 2006


16:57 up 90 days, 17:17, 6 users, load averages: 0.88 0.91 0.90

Then again, that one's a server.
posted by bigbigdog at 4:59 PM on March 28, 2006


E:\>uptime
'uptime' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.
posted by Jimbob at 5:02 PM on March 28, 2006


They really should have bought Be instead.

Be did not have Steve Jobs, who has been arguably important in Apple's turnaround.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 5:10 PM on March 28, 2006


20:26 up 42 mins, 2 users, load averages: 0.25 0.44 0.45
c-69-254-70-97:~ p$


Woo hoo, I'm hot!!!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:28 PM on March 28, 2006


Congrats on the nixtards into making this another uptime measuring dickswap.
posted by cellphone at 5:49 PM on March 28, 2006


More likely they're going to start offering support for Windows applications directly in the OS. Potentially, vice versa.
posted by o0o0o at 6:30 PM on March 28, 2006


To a large extent it's the influence of Tevanian and the other Nextensions that has made today's Mac less of a a Mac than it has ever been. This bunch tried (and failed) to get rid of type and creator codes, AppleScript, and the Carbon API -- it was only open revolt on the part of various customers that saved some of these technologies. For the first few years of Mac OS X there was a real NIAN (Not Invented at NeXT) syndrome at Apple. I see Avie's departure as a positive sign, frankly -- a sign that Jobs recognizes that the NeXT underpinnings have been taken as far as they can go and that it is time to begin thinking differently once again. Hey, one can dream.
posted by kindall at 8:24 PM on March 28, 2006


Apple would never move to Windows- what would then make their computers different than any (cheaper!) PC? It would completely shut down their computer business.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero


You're dead wrong, and obviously have never used a mac. (not to mention apple has always considered themselves a hardware company first)

Folks who claim it's stable must never do any real work, or are just slow as molasses.
posted by HTuttle


Keep trolling.
posted by justgary at 8:32 PM on March 28, 2006


Cr'apple....
posted by Timberman at 8:32 PM on March 28, 2006


What a load of crap. Microsoft just started on what, its tenth bottom-up rewrite of Vista, and Apple just almost-hitchlessly migrated their operating system -- which was already arguably ahead of XP in many respects -- over to MSFT's hardware configuration (you know, the one MSFT is trapped on) and are well on their way to vertically-integrating their way into home entertainment lightyears ahead of MSFT.

MSFT is behind on Office and on their OS -- what kind of leverage would they have to get Apple to adopt their operating system when they haven't even been able to write the damn thing yet? "Hey guys, you can have Viiiista... uh.... when it's done in 2008." And if Apple's OS works on x86 processors and MS is committed to writing an application layer (Office etc) on top of OSX, why would Apple want to deal?

Dvorak must be looking into a different crystal ball right now than I am. If I were Steve Jobs I'd be asking Ballmer if he was interested in a job, and what his previous Dunce and Court Entertainment experience included. I'm sure the guy picked up plenty working for Bill.

That or, as has been suggested, Dvorak's just a dumb fucking idiot. And his keyboard is impossible to type on. And his music is boring.
posted by spiderwire at 8:44 PM on March 28, 2006


Hey, here's an alternative idea.

Rather than gate-crashing the nightmare of incompatibility that MSFT's created by outsourcing their OS to clone manufacturers willy-nilly in an effort to save themselves from an ill-considered IBM license (you know, the one good business move they've made), Apple starts an "Apple Certified" standard for hardware that wants to get into new OSX boxes. (ATI and nVIDIA, arguably the two biggest players in the peripherals market, have been on board for generations. And it's obviously relatively superfluous for most peripherals like RAM and HDDs. Intel is already in line, clearly.) They use the standard in conjunction with their proprietary hardware *and* software platform to control compatibility and prices and then force the third-party manufacturers into a massive underbidding party to get pieces into Apple boxes (a la Dell).

Very little downside to Apple here since we already know they can turn a profit even though they have almost no leverage over the hardware industry -- in this scenario they merely do a detailed one-time Q&A evaluation on a component, and get paid for it. And they're under no pressure to say 'yes' to certification since they already have workable advantages. (Point is that even now they're obviously at a feasible profit margin -- hell, they even have a mass-market OS that's proven to run on two completely different platforms.)

So their standard becomes the rubber stamp that Apple's brand already is for many -- "it actually works" -- as opposed to the competition, which (despite the trolling upthread) breaks under the weight of spyware, registry fuckery, hardware incompatibility, and other general bloat faster than you can unplug your internet connection in fear.

Then they parlay that standard into a platform that's more stable than Windows on the same platform, where they don't have to assume the manufacturing or support costs of peripherals anymore, and are the perpetual gatekeepers of the hardware and software on everything in your home, from your Apple(tm) Entertainment System (formerly known as the Mac Mini), your Portable Apple(tm) Entertainment System (formerly known as the iPod), and your Apple(tm) Computer and Laptop.

Don't meet up to the Apple Certified(tm)(r)(c) standard? Didn't play ball? Looked at Steve Jobs funny at a party once? Well, you're now out of a few percentage points of the computer market (at minimum), as well as some of the home entertainment market and the vast majority of the portable entertainment market. (And that's just todays markets.) Tough shit for you.

You know, sort of like Dell, Microsoft, and Intel all rolled into one.

Or, you know, they could sacrifice the huge advantage they've recently (luckily) gained in the OS wars, take on MSFT's shitty OS and remain enthralled to a known-to-be-merciless company that can't get a product out on time. (Bonus Question: if you were Adobe, would you be more pissed at Apple for making you write a new binary or at MSFT for not even having a next-gen OS to write for?) And they redirect the money they've saved in OSX development (and sacrifice all the money they already invested in it) into all their other markets and try to increase their already-overwhelming dominance. Oh, and hope that no killer apps come out.

Sounds brilliant. My money is on Black Sweatshirts over the Chair Hurlers in a KO, Marv. They've been waiting for this break for years.
posted by spiderwire at 9:03 PM on March 28, 2006


HTuttle: why the troll? You stressed out because you didn't get a chance to beat your wife today?
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:55 PM on March 28, 2006


Apple is not switching to Windows. Sheesh. They're switching to AmigaOS. The signs are all there if you know where to look for them. Think about it—it makes perfect sense!
posted by adamrice at 6:27 PM GMT on March 28

If only... *sigh* OS4 on a Mac would be a wet dream ;-)
posted by Chunder at 1:31 AM on March 29, 2006




Interestingly, Apple has announced that they're joining BAPCo, an industry-wide Windows benchmarking consortium.

This means that they somehow really care how well Windows runs on their hardware. The folks who think OS X 10.5 will include virtualization are pissing themselves over this news, as it's a strong sign that there will be some form of native Windows support on Macs in the near future.
posted by mkultra at 6:47 AM on March 29, 2006


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