Tuesday, October 14, 2008

OSX86 Community Part 1

The OSX86 community really has come a long way in the last year. It's truly amazing how much progress has been made. What started as a geek curiosity/challenge when the original Intel DevKit release leaked has turned into a large community of developers who have been able to make OSX86 a credible alternative to Windows & Linux on commodity hardware. I think perhaps Apple is to thank also -- there's no way the OSX86 project could continue, and even flourish, without Apple turning a blind eye. I believe it's now clear Apple is understands OSX86 is their trojan horse. They see the value in allowing curious users a chance to try OSX before they make the leap to Apple computers. If the user never makes the leap -- what has Apple lost? Nothing at all. They have won another user from the Windows/Linux world. Perhaps they buy an Apple keyboard or mouse. Apple's margins on this stuff are incredible. If you buy a fancy aluminum keyboard and Might Mouse Apple has made about as much off you than Microsoft makes off a Windows OEM sale. If you use Safari's search box they see Google ad-revenue. If you use iTunes or buy an iPod/iPhone they make money. If you recommend a Mac to a friend or family they have gained a sale they might otherwise have lost to PC makers. The really big story of OSX86 is how Apple has silently embraced a new type of business model and new attitude. No lawsuits, no DMCAs, no predatory code. Apple is allowing geeks & hackers to join their walled garden to some degree and no one has really noticed it yet.

Next time I would like to examine the OSX86 community from a more technical perspective. Many developers have contributed to the project and done things, with limited resources, that would have seemed impossible 2 years ago.

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