John Dvorak seems to thrive on controversy (much like the rest of journalism). His latest claim is that while Apple’s switch to Intel processors could threaten Microsoft, it also “could actually be most dangerous to the emerging Linux OS environment.”
Linux has other problems too. It’s likely that developer interest will wane when Apple is fully engaged on the X86 platform. While Apple ran on the PowerPC chip the amount of developer effort in the Open Source camps was nil. But now that Apple is using the same processor as everyone else, targeting the Macs will now be an easy decision to make. This will be at the expense of Linux.
And then there are the numerous developers who simply do not subscribe to the notions of the Open Source Foundation and its rigid licensing requirements. They will quickly see profit opportunities for OS-X/86 development without having to worry about what has to be shared and what can be sold for profit.
Huh? Dvorak doesn’t seem to grok the Linux and Open Source community. First of all, one of the first things that’s going to happen is that developers will port Linux to the new Intel-based Macs. Just like they’ve ported Linux to the XBox, Playstation, Game Boy, and just about every cell phone and PDA out there. It might not be the most practical thing to do, but it’s a challenge, and therefore it will be done.
The way I see it, Linux and its cousins have a lot to gain. With only one CPU to target, work will become easier for those working on Mac emulators. I don’t imagine that it will be long before we see something like WINE. Maybe MINE is in our future?