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An Apple killer move: GPL


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#1
Frodo42

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Have just been pondering Apple's options...:

If, instead of sending the usual lawyers, they release the x86 port of OS X under GPL, what would happen:

1) Loads of drivers. All the Linux drivers (which is a *lot*) would be readily portable.

2) Lots of early adaption. People could legally give it a try on their own PC.

3) Plenty of bug reports for rapid improvement. Good for Apple & all

Then something else comes into view (point intended):

Why wait for Windows Vista?

When you can have a rock-solid OS with the best user interface on earth. At a price you can't beat and you get the source, too. Lots of readily available applications (think 'Adobe'). Retailers could preinstall it on PC's, avoiding paying the Windows tax and providing a better OS on top of it.

While Apple might not reap monumental financial awards immediately, Microsoft without is defacto OS monopoly would find its financial foundation crumbling, fast. Would be a hard blow to Linux as well.

Just speculating... :)

-Henrik

#2
eightballx

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I dont really think that apple would do that because the one main reason would be:

They wouldnt make any money! think about it... you wouldnt have to pay to get OSX, not very smart business sense for apple really is it?

-=eightballx=-

#3
Swad

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I'll have to say though - it is an intriguing question. And I'm not so sure that Apple wouldn't make money. Granted, it wouldn't be like it is today, but they're resourceful. Other companies with GPL OS (Redhat, Novell, etc) have made profitable businesses by supporting OS's that are free, but offer the end user something more.

Very interesting question, though.

#4
Moe

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Have just been pondering Apple's options...:

If, instead of sending the usual lawyers, they release the x86 port of OS X under GPL, what would happen:

1) Loads of drivers. All the Linux drivers (which is a *lot*) would be readily portable.

2) Lots of early adaption. People could legally give it a try on their own PC.

3) Plenty of bug reports for rapid improvement. Good for Apple & all


Nice idea, but I agree with eightballx. Apple isn't like Novell or RedHat - those make big bucks by equipping companies with networks, servers and stuff. But OSX is a client OS. There is nothing to support, since it "just works". So they need to sell it to profit.

But imagine the core OS was released as open source:

1) Loads of drivers. yadda...

2) Lots of early adaption. People could legally try the core OS on their own PC. Would be like the early linux days, no GUI, but enough to write drivers and port apps.

3) Plenty of bug reports, yadda...

Oh wait - Darwin IS already open source. Seems like they were faster than me *mumbles and wanders off to fix AppleAC97AudioIntelICH for his chipset*

#5
Bildo

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If, instead of sending the usual lawyers, they release the x86 port of OS X under GPL, what would happen:

1) Loads of drivers. All the Linux drivers (which is a *lot*) would be readily portable.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


As someone already said, Darwin. There are people who reccomend just copying over all the System Extensions from the latest Darwin x86 to your osx86 copy. But that's not why I'm here.

Darwin is a port of BSD, which is GPL Incompatible. Releasing OSX under GPL is impossible, as OSX is linked to the BSD stuff, I would think. There's a big writeup about the BSD license problem, but the point is, OSX can't be released under GPL. It's actually impossible.

Second: Linux drivers don't really work that well in BSD, but BSD Drivers (Specifically those in Darwin) do. Yes, I signed up just to tell you this.

#6
mike douglas

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Darwin is a port of BSD, which is GPL Incompatible.  Releasing OSX under GPL is impossible, as OSX is linked to the BSD stuff, I would think.  There's a big writeup about the BSD license problem, but the point is, OSX can't be released under GPL.  It's actually impossible.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

1. The article you pointed to is there for historical reasons, check the bottom of the article. The new BSD license is called BSD-2.

2. Darwin is released under the APSL, not the BSD-2.

#7
nixcamic

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1. The article you pointed to is there for historical reasons, check the bottom of the article. The new BSD license is called BSD-2.

2. Darwin is released under the APSL, not the BSD-2.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The interesting thing is, all versions of any bsd based os now, including darwin, still have the advertsing clause from the original bsd, so even though they are released under gpl compatible licences (BSD-2 APSL) @**** University of Berkley junk still has to be kept in or your in violation of the original licence from the university, thats why when you boot osx with -v you can still see that. GPL says that you dont have to have any of that suff, so if you release something that was once under the original bsd licence under the gpl, your violating the original bsd licence.

#8
mikesown

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This is a move apple will not take for quite a few reasons:

1. Steve. He would rather burn in hell then watch OSX be turned into an OSS which he didn't make any money off of, and discouraged people from buying.

2. Money. If OSX was GPL'd noone would buy the hardware, as drivers would be fairly redaily availible because of the OSS.

3. What kind of company would this turn apple into? iPods only account for 1/4 of their revenue, and maybe some diehard mac fans would still buy macs, but most of the other 3/4 would be gone. So apple will basically be commiting suicide to their computer line of products. Does apple want to turn into an mp3-player company? Hell no!





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