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Wednesday May 17, 2006 11:52 pm

Apple Makes OS X Completely Proprietary


Posted by John Goulden Categories: Apple, Microsoft, Software


AppleIn a move that will disappoint some users, and leave others caring not one whit, Apple has closed down the ability to roll your own kernel for the Intel-based build of OS X.  This news comes purportedly from Apple’s fear of piracy, which sadly seems justifiable when one looks at how quickly the Intel version spread in the wild.

Macworld had the following not-so-encouraging words to say on the subject (Note: my emphasis).  “The Darwin open source Mach/Unix core shared by OS X Tiger client and OS X Tiger Server remains completely open for PowerPC Macs. If you have a G3, G4, or G5 Mac, you can hack your own Darwin kernel and use it to boot OS X. But if you have an Intel-based Mac desktop or notebook, your kernel and device drivers are inviolable. Apple still publishes the source code for OS X’s commands and utilities and laudably goes several extra miles by open sourcing internally developed technologies such as QuickTime Streaming Server and Bonjour zero-config networking. The source code required to build a customized OS X kernel, however, is gone. Apple says that the state of an OS X-compatible open source x86 Darwin kernel is ‘in flux.’”

As a Windows user, the remote possibility of OS X being available for non-Apple hardware was only intriguing as something to tinker with.  Windows is my platform of chioce because it’s what I’m comfortable with, it runs all of the software I need/want, and there’s no impetus to make me migrate to something new.  However, Apple’s hardware is a different story with its sleek lines and fantastic build quality, and it’s that portion of Apple’s business model that will drive new growth for them in the years to come.


Read More | Macworld


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