Well, It turned out I was half right.
My first big question was what endian the new Mac will be. This was answered by reading Apple’s developer documentation. The new Macs will be little endian. Hmm, has any other platform in the history of computer operating systems supported both endians? How about NeXT and NT. But we know what happened to both of those operating systems. NeXT became Mac OS X and NT dropped support for the PPC.
My second question was how will Apple keep people from installing retail boxes of Mac OS X on non Macintosh computers? The line item in the license that prohibits users from doing this is completely unenforceable. Technically, Apple could use some secret chip in their Intel Macs to keep the OS from running on white boxes. But I’ve learned a lot by writing emulation software recently and I know Microsoft’s Virtual PC for Windows and other x86 virtualization environments will quickly come up with ways to make the OS think it is running on a real Macintosh. Apple can not stop this thru legal means.
This means Apple’s hardware business will die. I give it three more years. In other words, a year after the first Intel Macintoshes are produced virtualization software will negate the need for me to buy a Macintosh from Apple.
Since I like Mac OS X, I hope it won’t die along with Apple’s hardware business.