PPC and religious wars

Garance A Drosehn (gad@eclipse.its.rpi.edu)
Mon, 23 Jun 97 14:39:12 -0400


> > PowerPC is better than Intel...Microsoft wants to kill
> > PPC...Microsoft ports NT...Everyone uses NT on PPC...Microsoft
> > drops PPC support...PPC dies...
>
> PPC was dead long before. If it had been a success, MS would
> have stayed there, they're not dumb.

Microsoft wanted WindowsNT on PPC (or some RISC processors) back
when they thought that Intel's chips would soon run out of gas.
Intel has done better at speeding up their chips than originally
expected, so PPC is less important to Microsoft.

It's also true that it isn't a simple transition to go from WinNT
on Intel to WinNT on PPC. Most WinNT developers didn't bother with
PPC, and thus customers interested in WinNT were better off on
Intel. And of course, with almost all customers sticking with
Intel, there wasn't much reason for WinNT developers to care about
PPC. I don't think there was any great conspiracy involved, it's
just the way things worked out.

> The fact is, when Apple and IBM couldn't get their crap together
> with CHRP, PPC outside of Macs and a few other machines (3DO M2
> anyone?) was dead.

First was PREP. That standard was decided on without much Apple
involvement, and it wasn't much of a surprise that it didn't work
well for Macs.

Next was CHRP, which later got renamed into PPCP. I still prefer
calling it CHRP. While this hasn't worked out as well as one might
like, it is not dead. MacOS 8 is supposed to run on CHRP systems.
It is not fair to say Apple "couldn't get their crap together",
it's IBM which was not able to live up to their OS/2 claims. I
don't see how that is Apple's fault.

I believe that Rhapsody, BeOS, AIX, and probably the mklinux's
will be running on CHRP, once CHRP boxes show up in significant
numbers. Is Sun still doing solaris on PPC boxes? Does that
include plans for CHRP?

> If Apple had held up their original agreement to do MacOS on
> CHRP, PPC wouldn't look as bad as it does and neither would Apple
> (speculation of course). PPC looked good 2.5 years ago, then
> Apple backed out and it went down the toilet.

PPC is PowerPC, which is the chip. Apple has certainly not backed
out of using PowerPC chips.

PREP was the first standard, which Apple never did agree to and
thus they can not be accused of abandoning any agreement.

CHRP was the next standard, and while they haven't raced to it as
fast as one might like, they will ship a CHRP-ready system this
year. That's better than IBM's track record.

In any case, this is another thread which is much more likely to
generate heat instead of light, and now that summer is upon us I
don't think we need any more heat.

---
Garance Alistair Drosehn     =     gad@eclipse.its.rpi.edu
Senior Systems Programmer        (MIME & NeXTmail capable)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute;           Troy NY    USA