Over the last few weeks there has been a great deal of hype over the whole discovery that Mac owners can now run Windows XP on the new intel based Mac's. Last night one of my friends pointed me to a particular blog post that really exemplifies this @ applematters.com called "take-the-no-windows-booting-pledge"
This has been something that I must say is something that I personally have been looking forwards to, but in a bit of a different way. This is almost what I've been looking for from Apple, where I can run whatever OS I want on whatever box I want. The ideal scenario for me would be that I could buy a copy of OSX on ANY machine that I want. I love the industrial design of Apple computers, but I can (for less) build a more powerful machine than the ones from Apple, infact I have one sitting under my desk now that would blow the drive bay doors off of even the fastest dual-core macs so far, yet I'm still using my mac to write this post.
I know why Apple doesn't sell them seperately, because they would have the same issues that good ol' Microsoft has, and that is one of compatibility. As long as Apple has exclusive OS-Hardware control the user experience is very consistent. The only problem is the same one that I have had with PC manufacturers in the past like Compaq, HP, and IBM; where they made computers that were filled with proprietary parts.
For instance there was the dreated IBM Aptiva... The first computer that I had with more than a GB of HD space, interestingly enough it was sold with 5GB, but after reformatting I found that it was "double-spaced" from 2.5 gigs, and there there was the motherboard, which was offset from the card slots, so no other motherboards would fit. Even still all of the software (from IBM) worked fine with their hardware... until I upgraded to win 98.
Mac OS too has these type of program issues out there where they update the OS or a major shift in the hardware that is used, and at the rate computers are advancing this is occuring ever more frequently. This is still the big issue that MS has; backwards compatibility, where Apple just says that the new version of the OS is not compatible with the new hardware and that's that. That's something that MS just can't do with so much of the world's computers relying on compatibility, something that Apple just doesn't have to do.
It may seem that I'm complaining about Apple, and I am, but not hating them. After all I did start out in computing with the venerable Apple IIe, and still have a Mac Plus sitting on the workbench in my garage. For all of the zealotry that mac "enthusiasts" display for their beloved OS, they conveniently forget the Fat-Binary debaucle when the powerpc chips were introduced, and that OS9 apps don't work in OSX, and 10.4.2 apps don't neccessarily work in 10.4.3/4. Continual forward advancement, and never looking back, means that those left in the wake of "progress" are left far behind.
Getting back on topic here, I don't think that the computer, or even the OS should be a defining factor for a user. Sure there are some things that you can only run on a mac, and there are things that you can only run on windows, but why should you have a machine that can do only one, when there is the ability to do both.
I want both, and have both, but I want a dual/triple boot system that does it all. And if Apple became the first manufacturer to offer the ability to do this, and eventually a parallelization environment where XP apps can run natively in OSX (as long as XP in pre-installed on the same machine), then who wouldn't want to have a great looking maching, that has the ability to run ANY app that you need OS-independant, all in OSX.
Until next time,