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Mac OS X is now OS X. My theory.
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Feb 24, 2012, 04:59 AM
 
Could the change from "Mac OS X" to just "OS X" be a sign of something?

Just like Apple Computer became just Apple because they make more than just computers, could removing "Mac" from OS X also mean something?

For instance, there are rumours that the Mac Pro will be retired. Is it possible that Apple will license OS X to someone like HP so they can sell non-Macs that run OS X? Apple may want to leave a hardware segment that doesn't make much money while still wanting a market to sell Apple software to.

Apple could make licensing stipulations: no all-in-one designs to compete against the iMac, no Mac mini competitors, just typical desktops and servers.

I don't think this will happen, but does anyone here think it might?
     
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Feb 24, 2012, 05:10 AM
 
It seems pretty dumb to me to take the Mac name out of OS X. I'm guessing it's just to make the naming more consistent between iOS and OS X rather than some hint as to future non-Mac, OS X based computers, however. It's a nice theory but one that is wholly unsupported, and I'm betting Jobs was fairly insistent with everyone that there would never again be Mac clones.

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Feb 24, 2012, 05:35 AM
 
A snowball in hell not melting is more probably than Apple licensing OS X: they make their money by selling hardware. They're killing Microsoft's business model by handing out their OS for $30 (OS X) or for free (iOS).

Even if that weren't so, their Mac business is thriving and OS X gains market share all by itself.
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Feb 24, 2012, 05:49 AM
 
But is Apple making much money with the Mac Pro?

Apple abandoned the pro server market, so you can't say it's impossible that they could abandon the workstation market too.

I agree that it seems unlikely. I'm just smearing the Mac Pro rumours and the OS X rename together. I think the next-gen Xeons will finally bring the Mac Pro update. But Apple's heart really doesn't seem to be in that market segment any more.
     
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Feb 24, 2012, 07:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
But is Apple making much money with the Mac Pro?
Apple is making a lot of money making MacBooks (Airs and Pros), and they make a lot of money selling iMacs. I'm not sure whether they're making money with the Mac Pro, but I would guess they at least break even. But even if they abandon the workstation market, there are still plenty of Macs to go around.
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Apple abandoned the pro server market, so you can't say it's impossible that they could abandon the workstation market too.
In a sense, Apple was never in the pro server market, they were in the entry-level server market.
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
I think the next-gen Xeons will finally bring the Mac Pro update. But Apple's heart really doesn't seem to be in that market segment any more.
I'm not entirely sure about that. I think you can make an argument that Apple wants to sell its pro video software. Regardless of what you think of Final Cut Pro X, in Apple's view it will become a staple in the movie industry, and for that, they need workstations. So I am not sure whether they'll can the Mac Pro anytime soon.
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Feb 24, 2012, 08:41 AM
 
The server question is really the only indication that Apple will want to license anything, because they do need something to let people set up networks of Macs. They don't have to license the entire OS, though - they can simply partner with a server manufacturer to sell a package that fills the same role as OS X Server and installs on top on some common UNIX variants or even Windows. The OS X kernel is not especially great for a server, so it should be easier and more efficient to just decouple the server daemons and sell them as a package (with a support contract) or let a server manufacturer sell them. That way, you can set up everything from a 10 person office (on a low-end Xeon E3 from Dell or whatever) to a massive corporate network (on multiple Power7 or Xeon E7 nodes - that PPC port is still around can could be dusted off) and Apple can keep doing what they do best - make great clients.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Feb 24, 2012, 09:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Apple abandoned the pro server market, so you can't say it's impossible that they could abandon the workstation market too.
I think there is a big line to cross between the servers and the Mac Pro. Probably not as much as in the past, but there are many people the buy the Mac Pro that don't require the pro machine. I highly doubt the same was true of the servers.

For example, I bought my PowerMac G4 instead of the iMac at the time even though I never used it for photo/video/audio work, but rather because I wanted a more powerful and expandable machine.
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Feb 24, 2012, 10:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I'm not entirely sure about that. I think you can make an argument that Apple wants to sell its pro video software. Regardless of what you think of Final Cut Pro X, in Apple's view it will become a staple in the movie industry, and for that, they need workstations. So I am not sure whether they'll can the Mac Pro anytime soon.
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How would it handle Final Cut Pro X?
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Feb 24, 2012, 10:53 AM
 
Apple still makes TONS of money selling Macs. More than they ever did in the past.

It's just that they are making BUTT TONS of money selling iOS devices. It makes the perspective seem weird.

Macs are more popular now then ever, and make more money now then ever...

Macs aren't going anywhere for a long time.

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Feb 24, 2012, 01:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The server question is really the only indication that Apple will want to license anything, because they do need something to let people set up networks of Macs. They don't have to license the entire OS, though - they can simply partner with a server manufacturer to sell a package that fills the same role as OS X Server and installs on top on some common UNIX variants or even Windows. The OS X kernel is not especially great for a server, so it should be easier and more efficient to just decouple the server daemons and sell them as a package (with a support contract) or let a server manufacturer sell them. That way, you can set up everything from a 10 person office (on a low-end Xeon E3 from Dell or whatever) to a massive corporate network (on multiple Power7 or Xeon E7 nodes - that PPC port is still around can could be dusted off) and Apple can keep doing what they do best - make great clients.

Interesting ideas here!

I'm not sure how much traction Apple will find in selling hardware for the purpose of running OS X stuff though, not with the rush to virtualize everything.
     
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Feb 24, 2012, 02:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
You can max out an an 27" iMac like this:

How would it handle Final Cut Pro X?
Not that the question was directed at me, but the iMac only sounds great until you want a RAID card or something else that requires expansion.
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Feb 24, 2012, 02:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
Not that the question was directed at me, but the iMac only sounds great until you want a RAID card or something else that requires expansion.

I guess that's where Thunderbolt comes in?
     
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Feb 24, 2012, 03:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
Apple still makes TONS of money selling Macs. More than they ever did in the past.

It's just that they are making BUTT TONS of money selling iOS devices. It makes the perspective seem weird.

Macs are more popular now then ever, and make more money now then ever...

Macs aren't going anywhere for a long time.
Exactly what is the difference between a "TON" of money and a "BUTT TON" (button?) of money?
     
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Feb 24, 2012, 05:58 PM
 
About 27 billion dollars last quarter.

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Feb 24, 2012, 06:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Interesting ideas here!

I'm not sure how much traction Apple will find in selling hardware for the purpose of running OS X stuff though, not with the rush to virtualize everything.
Virtualization is another reason, but mostly for the Power7 side of the equation. What I'm saying is that Apple is spending a lot of effort making servers that are really only critical to a fairly small corner of their overall strategy - to make use that there is a way to set up a network of Macs without the admin costs shooting to the sky. The smart choice is to leave that to an expert in servers. I'm sure IBM would be happy to oblige, and MS could see some real advantages there as well (when counting MS divisions, Server & Tools has passed Windows by profit, so this has to be a focus for them).

It does leave the Mac Pro workstation side hanging, but Thunderbolt is the obvious way to alleviate the iMac lack of expansion. The one thing missing is that über-powerful GPU, but maybe that's a niche too small to be contested.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Feb 24, 2012, 07:51 PM
 
I just don't really know where Apple's place ought to be. I agree that it makes sense to get out of hardware, but they don't really seem to have a firm place in software either. I actually think their greatest potential might be with iCloud.
     
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Feb 25, 2012, 04:03 PM
 
If Apple discontinues the Mac Pro, what happens to all the professional users such graphic/video artists, the architects and scientists who want OSX and need extra vid cards, loads of RAM and the ability to swap out HDs in minutes? My 27" iMac is great, it's fast and space saving, and the screen is just awesome, but I'm not sure I'd buy it again because of the difficulty accessing the innards. 40 minutes just to take a dead HD and insert a new one? As opposed to 3 on a Pro? I hope to keep the iMac for a long time, but when the time comes to replace it, I'm hoping for a basic tower again.

Which brings me to another point about the Pro, it does not have a entry level model, say one with an i7 chip, and a good but not screaming vid card. The new Xeon chips are quite expensive, compared to the i7, so if Apple made a Pro for about $1699, that would boost sales quite a bit. Paired with Apple's 27" monitor, It would be a bit more than the iMac, but with all the advantages of expandability. I really don't like having sundry external HDs, optical ones etc cluttering my desk as with the iMac.
     
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Feb 25, 2012, 07:44 PM
 
I've always thought Apple should sell all Mac Pros with integrated video, and only provide video cards for sale as an upgrade. There are an awful lot of Mac Pros out there with video cards that never even spin the fan up because the only workload is audio or analytical. I'm not sure Xeons support integrated video though.
     
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Feb 26, 2012, 05:00 AM
 
Honestly, if Apple made a 1500 Mac Pro I'd probably order it that day, even though my MacBook Pro actually fits nearly all of what I'd buy the Mac Pro for. There's something about just having a huge impressive box that's completely unlimited by internal space that is appealing to me.
     
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Feb 26, 2012, 08:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by jmiddel View Post
My 27" iMac is great, it's fast and space saving, and the screen is just awesome, but I'm not sure I'd buy it again because of the difficulty accessing the innards. 40 minutes just to take a dead HD and insert a new one? As opposed to 3 on a Pro?
That rather sounds like a problem with the design of the iMac's enclosure: I agree that the hard drive bay should be much more accessible.
Originally Posted by jmiddel View Post
Which brings me to another point about the Pro, it does not have a entry level model, say one with an i7 chip, and a good but not screaming vid card.
What you are proposing is the fabled xMac -- which, I bet, will never see the light of day.
Originally Posted by P View Post
The smart choice is to leave that to an expert in servers. I'm sure IBM would be happy to oblige, and MS could see some real advantages there as well (when counting MS divisions, Server & Tools has passed Windows by profit, so this has to be a focus for them).
I agree, it would be nice, but on the other hand, in the past, this has resulted in red-headed step child products (there used to be an AIX-based Apple Server out there).
Originally Posted by P View Post
It does leave the Mac Pro workstation side hanging, but Thunderbolt is the obvious way to alleviate the iMac lack of expansion. The one thing missing is that über-powerful GPU, but maybe that's a niche too small to be contested.
I think for many video and audio professionals, the iMac's glassy display is a big no-no.
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Feb 26, 2012, 08:04 AM
 
I've never met an audio professional who gave a shit about the glossy display on an iMac.

FWIW, they sound the same to me.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
What you are proposing is the fabled xMac -- which, I bet, will never see the light of day.
One of about four different fabled xMacs.

The most-clamored-for xMac—"the headless iMac", more or less—has been available as the Mac mini for quite some time.
     
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Feb 26, 2012, 08:49 AM
 
Maybe Apple could open source some of its server tools or port them to a (new) flavour of linux.
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Feb 26, 2012, 10:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I've never met an audio professional who gave a shit about the glossy display on an iMac.
I meant to write »video and publishing professionals«, sorry.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The most-clamored-for xMac—"the headless iMac", more or less—has been available as the Mac mini for quite some time.
I was always under the impression that the most-wanted xMac was an iMac in a tower with PCIe slots and space for more hard drives.
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Feb 26, 2012, 11:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I was always under the impression that the most-wanted xMac was an iMac in a tower with PCIe slots and space for more hard drives.
Not before the Mac mini was released in Jan 2005.

Back then, the entry-level Power Mac G5 was $1500, and the hoi polloi wanted a headless iMac.

Now that the iMacs offer massive bang for the buck, and the Mac mini has covered all but the high-end (and the low-margin crap tower) display-less Mac demand, the only people still wanting one are mostly people who would never buy a Mac anyway, and the people who want the kind of cheap hardware that is killing the desktop PC market already.

The iMac does need to be more easily serviceable, though. I wish they'd find a way to give it original iMac-G5-style access.
     
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Feb 26, 2012, 01:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Maybe Apple could open source some of its server tools or port them to a (new) flavour of linux.

What server tools exist that are not Objective C GUIs?
     
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Feb 26, 2012, 02:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Maybe Apple could open source some of its server tools or port them to a (new) flavour of linux.
Why? Then they'd in effect make a separate server operating system. It's probably easier to simply license OS X server.
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Feb 27, 2012, 12:19 AM
 
Personally I think "Apple OS X" sounds better than "Mac OS X".
     
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Feb 27, 2012, 01:12 AM
 
I actually prefer the name Mac OS X. It's a small thing, but I don't like Mac minimization.

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Feb 27, 2012, 03:05 AM
 
What I'm wondering is how far Apple will go to amalgamate OS X with iOS. I don't just mean the UI and UI conventions, because obviously the plan is to make those experiences identical, but the actual underlying codebases... It requires more resources for Apple to have to maintain two totally separate operating systems and keep conventions between the two of them in sync, yet they are obviously two totally separate animals, and there are clearly downsides to injecting a bunch of irrelevant cruft into either OS that will just hinder performance needlessly.

However, maybe Apple will attempt to have both operating systems coexist in the same directory structure with one kernel for iOS devices, and another for Macs, and a lot of symlinks in between the userland stuff to share as much code as possible? This way, they'd be able to merge both teams and make it easier to update both OSes concurrently... This will obviously be a huge undertaking with a fair amount of risk involved though, perhaps with not enough upside compared to just keeping them completely separate.

Once Apple's new filesystem is ready this should be one of Apple's most substantial improvements to date (making upgrades like Lion -> Mountain Lion trivial by comparison), so maybe this will be part of a ushering in of a new generation of Apple operating system where the distinctions between OS X and iOS become more and more blurred.
     
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Feb 27, 2012, 04:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Why? Then they'd in effect make a separate server operating system. It's probably easier to simply license OS X server.
Except that with 10.7+ the difference between client and Server OS is less than it has ever been. If they opened licensing to Server, people like Dell would just hide the server apps and effectively ship OS X client. Apple won't have that.

Bess, I meant they should open the GUI apps to run on another OS. Maybe the whole Server bundle from Lion Server. That would seem the way to keep everyone happy.
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Feb 27, 2012, 04:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What I'm wondering is how far Apple will go to amalgamate OS X with iOS. I don't just mean the UI and UI conventions, because obviously the plan is to make those experiences identical, but the actual underlying codebases... It requires more resources for Apple to have to maintain two totally separate operating systems and keep conventions between the two of them in sync, yet they are obviously two totally separate animals, and there are clearly downsides to injecting a bunch of irrelevant cruft into either OS that will just hinder performance needlessly.

However, maybe Apple will attempt to have both operating systems coexist in the same directory structure with one kernel for iOS devices, and another for Macs, and a lot of symlinks in between the userland stuff to share as much code as possible? This way, they'd be able to merge both teams and make it easier to update both OSes concurrently... This will obviously be a huge undertaking with a fair amount of risk involved though, perhaps with not enough upside compared to just keeping them completely separate.

Once Apple's new filesystem is ready this should be one of Apple's most substantial improvements to date (making upgrades like Lion -> Mountain Lion trivial by comparison), so maybe this will be part of a ushering in of a new generation of Apple operating system where the distinctions between OS X and iOS become more and more blurred.
I think as the iOS hardware gets better and better Apple will eventually have the option to build laptops and desktops with Arm CPUs and then run iOS on everything. The question is will they then dump the server/workstation/pro side of things altogether?
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Feb 27, 2012, 05:05 AM
 
I don't see them doing that, Linux admins generally aren't interested in management GUIs, so Apple's ROI in learning to write x11 apps would probably be very small. On the Windows side most people would be using Microsoft technologies such as Active Directory, .NET, and IIS, so I don't see the incentive there either.

If apple was interested in this sort of thing they'd probably do more open source, where their contributions have been inconsistent.
     
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Feb 27, 2012, 05:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I think as the iOS hardware gets better and better Apple will eventually have the option to build laptops and desktops with Arm CPUs and then run iOS on everything. The question is will they then dump the server/workstation/pro side of things altogether?
I don't think the CPU architecture is the big thing here, I think it is the input method, legacy support, and a handful of UI design issues such as window management.
     
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Feb 27, 2012, 09:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I actually prefer the name Mac OS X. It's a small thing, but I don't like Mac minimization.
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Feb 27, 2012, 12:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I don't see them doing that, Linux admins generally aren't interested in management GUIs, so Apple's ROI in learning to write x11 apps would probably be very small. On the Windows side most people would be using Microsoft technologies such as Active Directory, .NET, and IIS, so I don't see the incentive there either.

If apple was interested in this sort of thing they'd probably do more open source, where their contributions have been inconsistent.
The point wouldn't be to do it for Linux or Windows Sysadmins, the point would be to do it for Mac Sysadmins if they gave up on OS X Server on Macs.

I figure that x86 CPUs must be superior enough to Arm in some respects or Apple would already be using them in MacBook Airs or Mac Minis.
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Feb 27, 2012, 02:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I figure that x86 CPUs must be superior enough to Arm in some respects or Apple would already be using them in MacBook Airs or Mac Minis.
The reason is simple: Currently available ARM CPUs are not as fast as currently available x86 CPUs. There is nothing in the ISA to imply that that will be true forever, however. Intel's strength is its processes. They also seem to currently have an advantage in the cache hierarchy, but these things change - remember how Intel was behind AMD not too many years ago and then look at something like this making mincemeat of the not-yet-available Medfield Atom. Intel is ahead, Sandy Bridge is great and Haswell looks interesting, but they can't afford to fall asleep at the wheel again.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Feb 27, 2012, 02:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The point wouldn't be to do it for Linux or Windows Sysadmins, the point would be to do it for Mac Sysadmins if they gave up on OS X Server on Macs.
But would this be worth their effort? Sooner or later, these admins are going to have to delve into these platforms and all that goes along with it without Apple training wheels to help them with the transition.
     
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Feb 27, 2012, 04:31 PM
 
When it was suggested that perhaps Apple should port certain server components over to another OS, what I assumed was being referenced was Apple specific server tools like support for Apple networking protocols and other things that make OS X Server work well with OS X (client), not GUI administrative tools. But really if Apple were to go to the trouble of separating out certain server components for a different OS like an Apple Linux fork, wouldn't be easier to address the performance issues of OS X Server and go from there?

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Feb 27, 2012, 05:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
because obviously the plan is to make those experiences identical
Actually, I don't think they are going to make the experiences identical. They are striving for consistency across their product line (i.e. "Contacts" on all platforms instead of "Contacts" on iOS and "Address Book" on OS X), but they are making a distinction between the two.

From John Gruber's Daring Fireball article (boldface emphasis mine):

Originally Posted by John Gruber
Just like with Lion, Mountain Lion is evolving in the direction of the iPad. But, just as with Lion last year, it’s about sharing ideas and concepts with iOS, not sharing the exact same interaction design or code. The words “Windows” and “Microsoft” are never mentioned, but the insinuation is clear: Apple sees a fundamental difference between software for the keyboard-and-mouse-pointer Mac and that for the touchscreen iPad. Mountain Lion is not a step towards a single OS that powers both the Mac and iPad, but rather another in a series of steps toward defining a set of shared concepts, styles, and principles between two fundamentally distinct OSes.
     
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Feb 28, 2012, 04:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Bess, I meant they should open the GUI apps to run on another OS. Maybe the whole Server bundle from Lion Server. That would seem the way to keep everyone happy.
I think you'd still need to maintain one particular distro of Linux or (more likely) FreeBSD. I think it's more likely that either Apple offers a server with a custom config of Solaris, AIX, Linux or Windows Server (gasp!). I think their attitude towards servers is that OS X Server in its current incarnation is probably good enough for the use scenarios they have in mind (even though the server tools seem to be a jumbled mess at the moment).

If we think of workstation hardware at the moment (which can also double as server hardware), then licensing would indeed be easy if Apple goes down that route. Which I doubt. Somehow sticking with status quo seems to make more sense to me at the moment: for as long as they stick close to Intel's reference designs and keep the venerable Mac Pro enclosure, I suppose they can turn a profit on those machines. In the worst case, why not increase prices a little, but keep the Mac Pro line?

The Mac Pro could become a hobby of sorts, but one with an important halo to professionals. As I've written before, they have invested quite a bit into Final Cut Pro X and other high-end software (e. g. in the audio space). If these guys want Mac Pro-type power, but can't buy it from Apple, many of them will switch away, leaving pro software in the dust.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
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Mar 1, 2012, 12:18 PM
 
I think if Apple was going to change the name to OS X for the purpose of allowing 3rd party PC makers to load OS X, Apple would have changed the name at the event when such an announcement was made, not before.

I don't see Apple ever doing this though. If the market for high end power boxes just becomes a niche, Apple would either just charge accordingly or discontinue the line.

I think we'll see the line between tablets and laptops disappear complete in the near future and possibly a single OS verse iOS and OS X. As the tablets become more powerful, it make sense that they could eventually run a full version of OS X, which may have more to do with Apple's continued integration of iOS features into OS X through Lion and 10.8.x.

I think the desktop, at least something along the lines of the iMac concept, will continue beyond the laptop simply because of screen real estate. I prefer doing working using a computer with a large screen and my desktop is where I do work, it's a presence kind of thing. That being said, Apple's Airplay provide that kind of functionality in the future as well.

A single Apple OS could look like something that switches from an iOS like OS to a OS X OS based on how it's being used at any particular point, again, it's just about what the hardware can do down the road. For example, compare the 1998 iMac to the iPhone, which would you call the more powerful machine?

Hmm. Makes me wonder. If you maxed out a PowerMac, were able to pit it against a kind of RAID box of the same size of the Power Mac box and filled it with iPhones.....

In the future, all Macs are handheld devices that you simple connect wirelessly to a work station, larger screen, TV, it could be anything, all running a single adaptive OS.
     
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Mar 1, 2012, 05:10 PM
 
If we wait long enough, all we'll need is an iPhone and everything else will just be screens for it to use. Maybe even just an iPod Shuffle...
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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