Steven Max Patterson, writing for Network World:
In 2007, the Mac was on life support. Consumers and companies
bought Windows XP and Vista machines instead of Macs. The Mac had
been very proprietary up until then. The hardware platform was
based on the Motorola 6800 family, which came in third behind
Intel and AMD and the PowerPC. It ran a proprietary OS with
components of FreeBSD Unix, but it was not Unix compliant.
The Mac transitioned that same year. It had been a proprietary
device running a proprietary operating system, with a beautiful
proprietary user interface (UI) in an elegant ergonomically
designed enclosure. Apple pivoted by shifting to the Intel
platform and FreeBSD Unix, complying to the Single UNIX
Specification (SUS). The Mac today is a PC running an open-source
operating system with beautiful proprietary UI in even more
elegantly designed enclosures. FreeBSD influenced the evolution of
the MacOS. Since the transition, many FreeBSD Unix components were
rewritten and many APIs were added.
I count at least 10 glaring errors in just these two paragraphs. The only thing he’s right about is that switching the Mac to Intel’s x86 architecture was good for the platform and good for sales. But they announced the switch at WWDC 2005 and began shipping them in January 2006. And though Mac sales did rise after the switch, the Mac was not “on life support” prior to that — Mac sales were doing pretty well, growing in 2005 with thriving retail stores and talk of an “iPod halo effect” driving new customers to the Mac. And Apple was switching from PowerPC CPUs, which they’d been using for over a decade. And the original Mac CPUs were from Motorola’s 68000 family, not 6800. And the proprietary-ness of the OS didn’t really change at all, and could trace its roots back to NeXTStep in 1989. Good god.
★ Wednesday, 18 October 2017