[Wolves] Soooooooo off-topic

Peter Evans zen8486 at zen.co.uk
Fri Apr 7 15:54:56 BST 2006

On Friday 07 April 2006 15:23, chris procter wrote:
> Yes, basically the new Mactels use intels EFI for
> their firmware instead of a standard PC bios. The
> problem with getting windows to run on them is that
> the OS needs to support EFI and MS announced that XP
> does not and Vista will not include EFI support
> (despite previous rumours to the contrary). The
> problem was hacking in EFI support to a closed OS, or
> hacking bios support into EFI.

Now that I hadn't heard - last I read was that they would only build support 
in a 64bit only version of Vista, so the BIOS is dead, erm long live the 

> EFI is an open standard (in its interface if not in
> implementation), so Linux should be easily modifiable
> to support it, and in fact linux has been running on
> Mactel imacs since feb, experimentally at least.

I'd read about ELILO, but all of the comments around it being neither 
widespread or well supported is what's put me off.  I'd rate myself competent 
on the scale of computer use and if I'm really, really pushed (read motivated 
I guess)  could download compilers and utils and make stuff from source.  
However I'm self confessed lazy I want the convenience of knowing there's a 
proven solution to get stuff working. Me install distro, me tweak a few 
settings, me see application, me off and running (more often than not 
screaming into the distance, but that's another story).  If Microsoft aren't 
going to move to EFI then nor will the hardware vendors and there'll be less 
call for development effort in this space.

> What do they gain from stopping linux users giving
> them money?

Agreed they gain absolutely nothing and more importantly they lose nothing, 
but given all the emotion regarding vendor lock-in Apple, in the domestic 
(read non-business/industry) market, are perhaps in the unique position of 
controlling their platforms from the design stages - they could have quite 
easily decided to 'lock out' everybody on their platform and I dare say very 
few people would have been alarmed by it.  However notice that it's rumoured 
that they have taken steps to ensure that their x86 version of OS/X will not 
run on generic x86 hardware.  How do you think the industry would react if 
Microsoft did something like that?

This also leads me to ask a couple of hypothetical questions:

1) Will Microsoft provide software support for it's o/s and applications if 
you were to run them on Apple hardware?

2) Would Apple ever provide a similar service if you could successfully 
install its O/S on generic x86 hardware?

Neither of these are huge issues when looking at the Enthusiast domestic 
market, but could be real shop stoppers when considering systems for business 

Pete Evans

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