Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Switching to Intel

Did you notice, desktop computer (Apple) and workstation computer (Sun) is switching to x86 platform, one after another? Choosing the hardware platform and CPU is just a business decision, but making the software (including OS and Application) to work on different hardware platform, you need some technical effort.

Mac OS first develop on Motorola 68000 series CPU and later ported on PowerPC, it never runs on Intel (or x86) CPU before version 10. If Mac OS runs on Intel CPU, I think most poeple will buy an IBM compatible machine and install a Mac OS on it during the 80s.

Mac OS X inherits NextSTEP OS from NeXT Computer, which Apple acquired at 1996. Before Apple acquired NeXT, NextSTEP already available on Intel machine, but when OS X was released, it only runs on PowerPC platform.

I am not surprised OS X can runs on an Intel machine, because NextSTEP already did it before. I am surprised by Steve Jobs want it to run on Intel machine, Steve Jobs never want his product on Intel CPU. Even at NeXT, Intel platform is not his first choice.

Recently Sun Microsystems announce will sell Intel base server machine. Sun has a great OS product, the Solaris operating system. I have been using Solaris (on SPARC machine) for many years, it is very stable and performing well. I am not sure how well it will run on Intel platform.

Solaris on Intel is not a new product. SunOS has been ported to Intel platform as early as in 1980s, but the most popular version that I can remember is Solaris 2.6. A lot of users doesn't know Solaris runs on Intel, may be the Intel version was not so popular and it was lack of support.

What Sun did is just like Apple. Their product on specific hardware platform which is not Intel, but Intel is some company that you just can't ignore. The recent switch to Intel for both Sun and Apple already prove it.

2 comments:

jlchannel said...

Dell switch to AMD :P

fuyichin said...

I heard Dell's AMD server, is not selling as good as their expectation.

Dell对AMD的采购对双方都没有产生预想的效果

read from here. :)