Microsoft to dump Longhorn, license MacOS X

Microsoft to dump Longhorn, license MacOS X

Summary: There are actually two loony tune headlines I can think of thatmight make some sense: "Intel to fab PowerPC for Apple" and"Apple to sue IBM for commercial malfeasance." Both depend, ofcourse, on things I don't know - specifically on what's in thedetails of Apple's contracts with IBM and Freescale.

Boy, take two days off and what do you get? Sun buys Storagetek, and Cnet reports that Apple really will go Intel! So what's the next loony headline to be "Microsoft to adopt GPL"? "SCO funds Groklaw"? "Torvalds takes reins at CA"? Did April 1st become a systems project and run a little late this year?

There are actually two loony tune headlines I can think of that might make some sense: "Intel to fab PowerPC for Apple" and "Apple to sue IBM for commercial malfeasance." Both depend, of course, on things I don't know - specifically on what's in the details of Apple's contracts with IBM and Freescale.

I'm not that good at taking time off, so I spent most of Friday afternoon working on a commentary about the OS decision developers face these days. IT's still only a draft, but here's a related bit:

Without presuming to know anything about the detail of the contracts involved or the temper of the players, it seems obvious to me that IBM's actions in developing both a 3.2Ghz, 3-Core, PowerPC derivative for high volume use in Microsoft's X360, and an Altivec equipped eight-way, 3.9Ghz, PowerPC derived, grid on a chip for its own use are inconsistent with its protestations that technical difficulties, and technical difficulties alone, have prevented it from meeting Apple's expectations with regard to the G5.

So what's the bottom line? Well, I don't think it's April 1st, so I'm certainly going to be tuned in when Steve Jobs makes his pitch at the Apple Developers Conference tomorrow. Maybe, after that, we'll all know something -because right now, I know nothing - except, maybe, that it might be fun to predict another headline: "EMC wins takeover battle for Storagetek"...

Topic: Apple

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  • Microsoft *HAS* adopted GPL

    [i]Powerful SDK Use the software development kit (SDK), which supports more than 1,900 UNIX APIs and migration tools (conforming to the IEEE 1003.1-1990 standard), such as make, rcs, yacc, lex, cc, c89, nm, strip,[/i][b] gbd, as well as the gcc, g++, and g77 compilers[/b].

    Microsoft and the GNU Project

    Many Microsoft users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is more often known as 'Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX 3.0' or SFU, and many users are not aware of the extent of its connection with the GNU Project.
    ( )

    There really is a SFU; it is a subsystem, and these people are using it. But you can't use a subsystem by itself; a subsystem is useful only as part of a whole operating system. SFU now inludes Interix which is normally used in a combination with the GNU development toolchain and libraries : the system is basically GNU, with SFU functioning as the compatibility DDL Library layer.

    Many users are not fully aware of the distinction between the compiler toolset, which is SFU, and the whole system, which they also call `SFU''. The ambiguous use of the name doesn't promote understanding.

    Programmers generally know that is a Subsystem. But since they have generally heard the whole system called `Interix' as well, they often envisage a history which fits that name. For example, many believe that once Softway Systems finished writing the posix compatibility DDL Libraries ( ), they looked around for other free software, and for no particular reason most everything necessary to port a Unix-like system was already available.

    What they found was no accident--it was the GNU system. The available free software ( ) added up to a complete system because the GNU Project had been working since 1984 to make one. The GNU Manifesto ( ) had set forth the goal of developing a free Unix-like system, called GNU. The Initial Announcement of the GNU Project also outlines some of the original plans for the GNU system. By the time Interix was written, the system was almost finished.

    Most software projects have the goal of developing a particular program for a particular job. For example, Softway Systems set out to build an environment to allow UNIX apps to be ported directly to NT. Donald Knuth set out to write a text formatter (TeX); Bob Scheifler set out to develop a window system (X Windows). It's natural to measure the contribution of this kind of project by specific programs that came from the project.

    If we tried to measure the GNU Project's contribution in this way, what would we conclude? If you had access to the full source code of SFU with Interix, you might find found that, GNU software was the largest single contingent, around 60% of the total source code, and this included some of the essential major components without which there could be no compatable subsystem. SFU by without Interix itself could be about 20%. So if you were going to pick a name for the system based on who wrote the programs in the system, the most appropriate single choice would be `GNU''.

    But we don't think that is the right way to consider the question. The GNU Project was not, is not, a project to develop specific software packages. It was not a project to develop a C compiler, although we did. It was not a project to develop a text editor, although we developed one. The GNU Project's aim was to develop a complete free Unix-like system: GNU.

    Many people have made major contributions to the free software in the system, and they all deserve credit. But the reason it is a system--and not just a collection of useful programs--is because the GNU Project set out to make it one. We made a list of the programs needed to make a complete free system, and we systematically found, wrote, or found people to write everything on the list. We wrote essential but unexciting major components, such as the assembler and linker, because you can't have a system without them. A complete system needs more than just programming tools; the Bourne Again SHell, the PostScript interpreter Ghostscript, and the GNU C library are just as important.

    By the early 90s we had put together the whole system aside from the kernel (and we were also working on a kernel, the GNU Hurd, which runs on top of Mach). Developing this kernel has been a lot harder than we expected, and we are still working on finishing it.

    Fortunately, you don't have to wait for it, because SFU is working now. When Softway Systems wrote Interix, they filled the last major gap to get Unix/Posix compatable source code running on NT: a Microsoft-based system ( or GNU/Microsoft system, for short).

    Putting them together sounds simple, but it was not a trivial job. The GNU C library (called glibc for short) needed substantial changes. Integrating a complete system as a distribution that would work `out of the box'' was a big job, too. It required addressing the issue of how to install and boot the system--a problem we had not tackled, because we hadn't yet reached that point. The people who developed the various system distributions made a substantial contribution.

    Aside from GNU, two other projects have independently produced a free Unix-like operating systems, One system is known as Linux, it was developed by Linus Torvald, it was developed by many people all over the world. The other major system is known as BSD, and it was developed at UC Berkeley. The BSD developers were inspired to make their work free software by the example of the GNU Project, and occasionally encouraged by GNU activists, but their actual work had little overlap with GNU. BSD systems today use some GNU software, just as the GNU system and its variants use some BSD software; but taken as wholes, they are two different systems which evolved separately. A free operating system that exists today is almost certainly either a variant of the GNU system, or a kind of Linux or BSD system.

    So GNU Project supports Microsoft's SFU as well as the GNU system.

    We never use any Microsoft systems with SFU for any of our work and we hope you don't use them in the future. Why would you want to when their are freely available free operating systems such as Linux [] which will perform so much better running *nix programs on the same hardware? But please don't confuse the public by using the name `SFU'' ambiguously. SFU is the subsystem, one of the essential major components of the system. The system as a whole is more or less Interix with GNU compiler toolset, with SFU added. When you're talking about this combination, please call it `GNU/Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX' or 'GNU/Microsoft SFU'.

    Also ( [b]to get the joke[/b] ) See Linux and the GNU Project
    David Mohring
    • right - and thanks!

      Scary isn't it?
  • in your dreams buddy

    Just last week you guys were telling about PowerPC (how ... blah blah blah).
    Now Apple moves to the x86 space.

    Here's the next headline for you.
    Apple dumps MacOX X and jumps to Windows inturn becoming a PC manufacturer like Dell.
  • interesting

    I bought an mac mini a few months ago and really love Panther. Give the cool programs only found on the mac. It makes it a really good alternitive to MS and no viruses what-so-ever compared to the 50 thousand on MS windowing system.

    IBM is creating a bad name for itself in a strange way, by offering MS 3.2 chips and is currently unable to give Apple a 3.0 chip last year. Ibm promised a lot but came through with a lot of HOT AIR(look at the cooling on the G5 Dual!)

    I'm excited, because for once Apple will have a really good partner that has the ability to match their own creativeness. Thanks INTEL! :)
    • Small runs would still be unprofitable.

      Creative as Intel may be, they'd still expect to make money working with Apple.

      I'm curious about how Intel could expect to make money on Apple-only when IBM could not.

      If the Apple announcement doesn't make Intel's profit obvious, we haven't heard the whole announcement.
      Anton Philidor
      • PowerPC cips (as used by Apple) are also used by IBM.

        The PowerPC chips (that which Intel may be fabricating) are used in both the Macintosh systems and the Power line of IBM workstations and servers. This makes the run more profitable for Intel as it gives them a lrger market to justify the epence of fabing the 2, 4 and 8 or 9 way PowerPC chisp that Apple and IBM need.

        Odds are that the Apple/Intel deal only means that Intel will use their fabs to make multicore PowerPC chips to meet the market demand (which Apple has not been able to meet via IBM/Motorola).
        • IBM won't stop making their chips.

          From the NY Times story:

          Even as a chip maker, I.B.M. has moved aggressively beyond the PC industry, focusing on making the processors for video game consoles from Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony, and specialized chips for other uses, like the Internet router computers made by Cisco Systems and cellphone technology by Qualcomm. I.B.M. also uses its Power microprocessors in many of its own server computers, which run corporate networks.

          By contrast, the chips I.B.M. makes for Apple represent less than 2 percent of chip production at its largest factory in East Fishkill, N.Y. And while the microelectronics business as a whole is strategically important for I.B.M., it is a small part of the revenue of a company that increasingly focuses on services and software. A. M. Sacconaghi, an analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, estimates that the company's technology group - mostly microelectronics - will account for less than 3 percent of I.B.M.'s revenues and 2 percent of its pretax income this year.

          Sorry if I misunderstood you, but your first paragraph seemed to imply that IBM would start getting chips from Intel. This deal appears to involve Apple only.
          Anton Philidor
  • One thing's for certain

    No matter what the announcement turns out to be on Monday, Jobs
    will have an enormous audience drooling over his every word. Give
    him his due, if this is all for naught, he certainly sucked you guys
    tic swayback
  • Confused

    Why is the article titled: "Microsoft to dump Longhorn, license MacOS X" when none of the article content has anything to do with it? I'm guessing that it deals with Murphy's "April 1st" commentary, but is Microsoft actually dumping Longhorn for OS X or not?

    BTW: Don't bother telling me I'm stupid or can't read. I'm almost 20, and this is the first time in almost 12 months that I haven't gotten an article's intention.
  • Let the games begin!!

    I love this! I look forward to what Steve Job's is going to announce. M$ is not the standard OS for everyone. People want choices. I would have a MAC today if it was cheap enough. Solaris 10 is awesome! Linux is really moving up to a nice desktop, KDE 3.4 is sweet!! These are exciting times! OSX on intel. Sweeeeet!!