Some economic analysis of Apple's move to x86

Scott Ritchie scott at
Sat Jun 11 14:36:07 CDT 2005

On Sat, 2005-06-11 at 20:16 +0100, Mike Hearn wrote:
> On Sat, 2005-06-11 at 11:40 -0700, Scott Ritchie wrote:
> > If it works for Wine on Mac, why wouldn't it work for Wine on Linux?
> Well, Mac users/developers tend to write Mac software which isn't
> portable anywhere. That's my primary concern.

Well, increased Mac-only API usage would only be caused by an increase
in Apple's marketshare.  But if Apple's marketshare is going up because
it is more useful now that Wine works in more instances, then Linux
would be experiencing the same growth in utility.  Even if Linux doesn't
grow that much during this period (which would be unexpected given its
rapid growth and the increasing utility of Wine), I'd still rather Apple
be gaining ground instead of Microsoft.

People switching from MS to Apple helps Linux too, in an indirect way -
it lowers Microsoft's ability to break standards (standards that Linux
wins on), and it is slightly easier to make things Apple/Linux
interoperable than Windows/Linux interoperable.

In the unlikely event Apple becomes big enough to become the next
Microsoft and Linux users have to start worrying about how to run Cocoa
apps without equivalents, well, there's already a wine-like project to
get them working :)

> > Maybe if they do some sorta half-baked frankenstein port mixing APIs,
> > but in that case all Wine did was reduce the expense of porting to Mac,
> > rather than raise the expense of porting to Linux.  Such a port,
> > incidentally, would mean Wine was missing a key part of the Windows API,
> > and extending Wine rather than converting to use the Mac APIs may be a
> > lot more efficient.
> A (good) Mac port of an app basically implies rewriting the GUI anyway,
> you can't get native look'n'feel without it. That's not *such* a huge
> deal on Linux, partly because expectations are lower, and partly because
> the GUI is more similar to Windows anyway so you can do a lot more with
> theming and such.

And it's especially not a big deal with full-screen games, which have
their own internal look and feel already.  This is why games are the
easiest thing to create a true port using Wine, and why I'm really
excited about the future of gaming on both Macs and Linux.  It's also
why I claim the Mac game porting firms are in a load of trouble unless
they embrace Wine.

Scott Ritchie

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