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"leaked Intel OS X software" - are you crazy?

Leaks of supposed Mac OS X to run on Intel have already started appearing on the internet. Some have suggested that Apple is doing this on purpose to build up interest and to beta test in the real world. In that scenario, Apple allows the piracy while publically decrying it, thus still being able to sell their own hardware to the more honest and more wary while building an underground following. Supposedly this keeps Microsoft from getting too frightened (which would cause them to drop Mac versions of Word, etc.) and lets them build momentum without too much notice. When they have enough strength, they themselves drop Microsoft products, and go head to head with their own versions or use Open Office or NeoOffice.

Yeah, right. Microsoft is not that stupid. As much as I'd like to see Mac push Microsoft right off the map, and as obviously superior as Mac OS X is, I don't think it can happen that easily.

That doesn't mean it can't happen. I'm sensing much less resistance to Macs and even seeing more columnists recommend them. I was quite surprised to see a recent column talking about buying a computer for your college bound child say that if you had to pinch every penny, buy Windows, but to buy the Mac if you possibly could.

So the Mac may start gaining serious ground against Windows. I know, I know, what about Linux? I don't think so. It's all too confusing for Average Joe. Too many distributions, too many options. Basically, too much power. It's not going to happen. Linux can fight Microsoft at the server boxes, but not at the desktop.

Back to these leaked OS X on Intel downloads: Pretending momentarily that it actually worked well and wasn't as horribly difficult as it is, who would install this? This is pirate code, that could be pickled with spyware and who knows what. You are actually going to install that??



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© Tony Lawrence







Sun Jul 10 13:47:55 2005: 772   drag


heh, My friend found a supposed copy of the leaked OS X x86 disk from a work buddy of his. He took it out of curiosity. Of course it wasn't, it just displayed a picture of the Goatse guy (If you don't know what it is, don't look for it. You won't like it.) at boot up time.

Probably installed something on his computer and who knows what else.

So downloader beware.

Personally I wouldn't waste my time with it. I already have a ibook and that's enough.

As far as allowing-piracy-for-a-marketting-tool goes it's not entirely without merit. After all a legal variation is simply called "shareware" and is what made ID (game maker) rich. Certianly free software apps like Gimp and Free operating systems would have a wider audiance if big closed source software like Windows XP and Photoshop wasn't so trivially easy to pirate.

The only real evidence is with Windows XP and I noticed in forums that people decried Microsoft's use of heavy anti-piracy technics that were supposadly bullet proof when they released that OS. Then once people realised that they could download a so-called 'Corporate Version' of the OS they all suddenly shut up and people started getting kicked instead for asking about were to find cd keys.

So why would Microsoft spend all this time, effort, and money protecting a OS from piracy then at the same time release a version that had none of those protections?

The standard answer was to make it easy for medium sized business to handle installing multiple copies of the same OS that they had paid licenses for. But It would be a small thing to setup a authentication service for a corporate edition to provide the same piracy protections, but provide convience. I've installed software that used such protections many times. Hell with some software it authenticated it self every time you openned the app, rather then just at install time.

The other bit of evidence (that's not realy evidence) is that Microsoft is perfectly willing to distribute free copies of all of it's OS's, Office and developement tools for absolutely no cost to students attending computer administration-related classes at many technical schools, colleges, and universities.. who would normally be the prime target for Free software. I myself had received free and legal copies of Windows 2000 pro, Windows 2000 server, Windows 2000 advanced server, Windows 2000 datacenter server, and Windows XP pro from programs my school was enrolled in. (I missed Win2003 though.) Thats several thousands dollars worth of software for enrolling in classes that didn't cost more then a few hundred.

As far as Apple goes, pretty much every major product announcement has been 'leaked' several days, if not weeks, in advanced to numerous Mac rumor-style websites. And all the leaks have been mostly suprisingly accurate, except for the hoaxes. It's a nice way to maintain a sort of cult apple following. Certainly providing "pirated" software is a nice way to gain market share and expose software to people that would of never bought, or been able to buy, the software otherwise.

But that's all rampant speculation. It's not worth anything, but I am suspicious.

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