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Apple Using us for Beta Testing?


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#1
xenopod

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I have been reading this forum for a while now, and i really feel we are all been used by apple themselves, these releases of os x surely cannot be leaked , but placed on the torrent site (u know which one) and i feel apple r coming here to see what pc users think, before it gets unleashed on the public for sure, i feel only reason apple are doing the x86 machine is to directly go up against microsoft and i say hurray finally!! what i mean to say is if we love it then the general public will love it to.

any contructive comments please add.

#2
Ouch

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Ahh the old beta-leak paranoia - this ones been round the block a few times. I tend not to give much credence to these theories largely because i think apple has far better resources at hand to make those sorts of analyses than a bunch of h4x0rs and a forum. But thats just me.

#3
xenopod

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You are proberbly correct but think about all the hardware us guys are testing for apple at present. oh and proberbly some one here will create a dual boot system and apple can use it to market dual boot osx/xp !! hmm i may even guess microsoft could be very looking with increased fear at the thought of this.

#4
R. Bear Helms

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Mac hardware exclusivity has been their key to selling OS X. If it became PC compatible, Apple couldn't really convince people to spend $1200 on their hardware when you can get a perfectly good PC for $600 or less.

The test platform for OS X was basically an Intel Reference Platform, and therefore the initial OS X releases were fairly PC hardware generic.

Now that 10.4.4 (retail) is out, I notice there still aren't any patches to make it run on a garden-variety PC. And here's where I think Apple's legal department will bare their fangs and claws if someone manages a patch that allows it to work thus.

The torrent site we all know and hate (?) has torrents listed for so many copyrighted films, music, videos, and software (including XP) that you know they must be somehow diplomatically immune to Cease and Desist threats. I guess even Interpol, who do enforce movie copyrights, isn't able to touch them.

Of course torrents are not hosting files, just hosting a directory of a peer-to-peer network of files, so it may be that pulling their plug wouldn't really achieve much.

This issue is kind of a joke with me, because even if OS X ran on PCs, people would find problems with legacy software (*cough* Adobe *cough* Roxio), and realize XP is a better environment for equivalent or more mature apps than most everything OS X has to offer.

Notice Linux hasn't displaced XP to any significant degree. Microsoft sill makes millions every day. Linux can be shown to be more stable, less prone to viruses and spyware, etc., but has this caused an exodus? No, because XP delivers games and other apps that either aren't available for Linux or are so few in number people can't give up their XP platform and therefore end up sticking with it anyway.

Platform inertia is really hard to overcome, and OS X really doesn't have the rocket fuel to push XP off the #1 spot. I'd love to see someone do that, but I'm afraid when Windows Vista comes out, even if OS X were an alternative choice, people'd buy Vista instead.

#5
xenopod

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i cannot help but agree to what you guysare saying but a few things really niggle meabout this who x86 thing, heres a few of the things i mean.


1) if you wanted to protect your hardware the why create beta software capable of running on a pc , should this not be hardware reliant from day one , surely you create the hardware box then write around it , not other way.

2) The darwin project and open darwin project, if apple want to protect mac os x against us using it on non generic hardware then why issue open source.

3) Why use parts in a new machine that can be bought retail, except the processor as yet, but i feel a few months and intel will release this processor to general release or something extremely compatible.

I know judging on apples past tis sounds crazy but it really bugs me at present, maybe over the next few months thingswill get more clarity.

#6
R. Bear Helms

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I am not an Apple employee. I expect both their employees and devs are under a gag order not to address questions like this. So, here comes my spin:

1) Apple released OS X well ahead of their hardware. They also needed to support devs they couldn't (for whatever reason) get the Intel Reference Platform shipped to. Therefore, by relaxing the requirements for the install to be a little more broad based, they could not only support more devs earlier in time, but also not be tied to supply chain problems from Intel should they not be able to deliver enough dev machines on schedule.

What better solution to x86 release of an OS than to make it more generally compatible with PC hardware? Any of your devs could be given a shopping list of CPUs and motherboards and build their own. Very flexible.

Apple also was a bit naive in thinking the install-time TPM dependency would lock out general PC users. When you are rushed to push a beta fast, you cut corners. I'm sure when the TPM dependency workaround became public knowledge, the person in charge of "locking" the beta probably got fired, or at least chewed out.

2) There's no problem in having Darwin be open source and publicly accessable. It's Aqua which is Apple's proprietary UI, the eye candy on top of Darwin. I'm not specifically convinced Apple encouraged open source Darwin, but apparently it's one of those things which were best left to open source. The only people who would complain about it becoming privitized would be devs - most mac users have never seen the terminal screen.

3) Because when you release the retail platform, you will have a copyrighted EFI image that is illegal to reverse engineer, and if that's not enough to lock it up for you, you also have free rein to make the TPM lock up the entire OS and file system if you want.

TPM is like a hardware encryption key, similar to DRM locking out access to music and video content. Apple could use it simply as a machine identifier so iTunes music and video is unlocked by these machines, but they do not have to stop there.

Given that Apple stands to lose big time if OS X can be run on $200 worth of PC hardware, and lose if OS X is freely distributed without license fees, do you honestly think their TPM usage is going to be as lame as it has been in the beta releases?

There's nothing they can do as far as damage control over the compatibility patches for the beta releases of OS X. However, I've not been able to find significant software (Adobe, Roxio) that runs on it. How much functionality do these betas really give anyone? Internet access? So what - Linux does that too.

I also am waiting to see if Maxxuss has patches for the 10.4.4 restore disc. If s/he manages that feat, you can bet your bottom dollar Apple's legal department will go into full feral attack mode.

#7
xiberia

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but would it be worth their time and money? every time Apple release an update, they would have to spend tens of thousands pursuing the crackers and hackers. they could bust Maxxuss for cracking 10.4.4, then bust the next person for cracking 10.4.5, then the next for cracking 10.4.6, on and on and on. Since they're not really losing out here (Mac users will still buy Macs), I don't think it would be worth eating into their profits that much to stop a couple of thousand (at the most) people running patched up versions.

of course, what they should do is SELL the OS to those couple of thousand people instead.... lol

#8
R. Bear Helms

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I doubt more than a few emails to Cease and Desist have been sent from Apple's legal department, and if a spammer can email a million people for free, it likely doesn't cost Apple very much to just shoot these form letters out to domain holders and ISPs. Chances are they engage in this activity on a daily basis.

Something that bears out in some legal precident or other is if you do NOT take actions toward people who infringe on your copyrighted work, there comes a point where the law judges you to be negligent in protecting your rights, and can rule that whatever was pirated is now public domain. I can't site an example, but I was told by someone who is a software copyright holder they have to be vigilant regarding this issue. You apparently can't arbitrarily say this site needs shutting down when an equally or more offensive site hasn't been mentioned... even application of rights or no application of rights is the jist they gave me.

I think the relevant case here are the uses of words like "Xerox" and "Zipper" in the english language. Both these things have been trademarked, but the common use of them basically allows anyone to publish the words "Xerox these papers" without having to put the © or ™ after Xerox in that context.

So, software copyrights may not have any precident regarding unilateral enforcement, but how you react to piracy does have SOME bearing on how courts will view your claims when you do sue.

Microsoft Windows XP is available in a lot of cracked flavors that circumvent the activation phase of the software, and even circumvent the new online "Genuine Windows Advantage" copy-protection checks Microsoft has installed in the Windows Update site as well as installing some beta products like IE7.

There is a cat-and-mouse game with XP cracks and workarounds, and Microsoft keeps playing it. Apple is big enough to also play this game, and in some senses, has to, lest their legal rights to prosecute become abridged.

#9
Dippyskoodlez

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There is a cat-and-mouse game with XP cracks and workarounds, and Microsoft keeps playing it. Apple is big enough to also play this game, and in some senses, has to, lest their legal rights to prosecute become abridged.



I dont think they are exclusivly using people like us to beta test it for them, rather I think they might be using it for a few other things...

Publicity... I mean, geez.. Everyone knows about it now.. and its speed.. :)

User familiarity... I as someone that does a lot of hardware reccomendations and OS support, Im now very familiar with the operating of os X and can help people better and more likely to suggest it to someone..

Debugging.. what better of a community to borrow a few fixed bugs? ;) I wouldnt be suprised if we soon see some of the things jas or maxxuss have done incorporated into os x..

#10
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Frankly, the real reason i would buy a mac would be its hardware. The iPod is still the largest selling mp3 player in the world, just because ppl know its quality and will work very well. Even though companies such as Samsung, iRiver try to create a clone that is as close to the real thing as possible.

Heck i bought an iPod because, it was famous, the looks, the Class and finally ease of use of the product. The moment i got it, it delivered. My friend got an iRiver which got screwed in 2 weeks. My iPod got messed after 11 months, a week left for warranty and Apple replaced the thing, within a week, that too in India.

The next laptop I buy will probably be an Apple, that is if it runs XP/Vista. Also by then probably Virtual PC will work on it, so i can still use XP/Vista on it.

So yes, probably even if the OS runs on a 600$ PC, i would prefer to buy a mac if i had the money. The day i get a job, i am probably getting myself an Apple Laptop.

Apple wont lose anything eve if the OS is pirated, sure they might shut down a few sites. But i don t think their sales are gonna go down because of it. They will probably only go up, due to ppl on PC, wanting to try OSX an get addicted to it.

And as far as Beta testing goes, i would never mind being a beta tester of OSx86...................even if they didnot pay me.

WHEW that was long one





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