The Digital Guy
After chatting with various sources in an attempt to avoid making things
even muddier, I'm going to explain why there's so much confusion
surrounding the "NeXT" Mac OS, and why Rhapsody isn't going to run on
Intel chips...but the Mac OS is.
That first paragraph pretty much illustrates why there's so much
confusion. You see, "Rhapsody" isn't just Mac OS "8" (or whatever it
winds up being called), it's the new OS consisting of the OpenStep API's
with a new, advanced Mac interface running on top of the Mach microkernal
(referred to as the "yellow" box) AND a component to insure backward
compatibility with system 7.x applications (the "blue" box). Thus the
code name "Rhapsody" actually refers to the bundling of two seperate
technologies, and not just the new Mac OS.
As confirmed by Avadis Tevanian and Jim Gable, (see
<http://www.macweek.com/mw_1106/nw_conference.html>), the yellow box WILL
run on intel chips. Essentially, poor souls who made the mistake of
buying a Pentium based system will be able to run the SAME OS as a
PowerPC Macintosh. The only difference is that the blue box won't be
there, so they won't be able to run 7.x Mac applications. The decision
makes sense when you realize that making 7.x apps run on Intel would be a
major engineering effort for a group of people unlikely to have an older
software investment to protect. Intel users WILL be able to run Mac
applications ported to the new OS and recompiled to run on the Intel
based Mac OS.
Another way of looking at it from the Intel NeXT OS side of things is
that they're going to upgrade their NeXT OS. Their existing investment
in OpenStep programming and applications is preserved.
To sum up:
- The Mac OS WILL run on Intel chips.
- Applications written for the new Mac OS will run on Intel based systems
with a simple recompile.
- 7.x applications won't run on the Mac OS for Intel chips.
- 7.x applications WILL run under the new Mac OS for Power PC chips, code
John J. Halbig
Until the application is written, it runs at 0 MIPS, regardless of the hardware you've got. - Steve Jobs
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