June 6, 2005 5:20 PM PDT

Intel deal may mean end to OS 9 support

SAN FRANCISCO--Apple Computer's move to Intel chips appears to spell the eventual end of support for older, pre-Mac OS X programs.

Current versions of Mac OS X support the running of Mac OS 9 programs in a "Classic" environment. However, documentation for Apple's Rosetta technology says the transcoding software will not support programs written for Mac OS 8 or Mac OS 9.

Rosetta was announced by CEO Steve Jobs on Monday as the translation software technology that will help ease Apple's planned transition to Intel-based chips. Rosetta will allow most Mac OS X programs to run on Intel-based Macs even if the software has not been compiled to run natively on Intel chips.

Complete coverage
Apple's new core
Read News.com's complete coverage of Apple's dramatic decision to transition to Intel processors.
In an interview, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller did not definitively address future Classic mode support but said "it's certainly not very high on the priority list."

Schiller said Apple research shows few new Mac buyers are using Classic.

"In recent versions of Mac OS X, we actually stopped installing Classic by default because very few--if any--people use it anymore," Schiller said. "We've done research to determine who buying new products from us is using Classic. You really can't find hardly anyone who does anymore."

An Apple representative declined to comment further on future support of Classic.

Classic came into being with the arrival of Mac OS X in 2001 as a way to run programs that had not been "Carbonized," or modified to run natively in the new operating system.

Though the transition could pave the way for the end of OS 9 support, Apple has long predicted its death, with Jobs first delivering that message to developers in May 2002.

For some time, Apple continued to sell a limited number of models with OS 9, primarily for schools and some business customers. More recently, though, OS 9 compatibility has come only through Classic.

People who are running Classic programs aren't out of time yet. Apple plans to continue selling PowerPC machines for the next two years, so presumably customers have at least that long to buy machines capable of running Classic applications.

CNET News.com's Declan McCullagh contributed to this report.

16 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
get rid of it already
there is no reason to still be running OS 9 unless you are a
publishing house that has a system in place that requires it. it's
time to move into this century.

when i buy OS X upgrades, i don't want a portion of my money
going to fund a dead OS.
Posted by muntz (34 comments )
Reply Link Flag
OK, I work in a publlishing house
Well, a graphic arts house. And I still think it is a non-issue. We still use classic for a few things (customizations to software already paid for), but it won't be until 2007 that the Mac line will be entirely migrated, with the high end stuff being the last. We'll handle it. At some point you have to move on, and catch up with the rest of the world.
Posted by catchall (245 comments )
Link Flag
M$ should follow this lead
Dump old user instead of trying to make all Windows OS compatable with older versions is why Windows is a piece of swiss cheese when it comes to security. I have heard that Windows has so many lines of old code that not even M$ programers know what they do.
Posted by Gerald Quaglia (72 comments )
Link Flag
Come on now, C|Net...
This isn't "news". Apple killed off MacOS9 3 years ago and hasn't
offered support for it since then.
Posted by GGGlen (491 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bentley Software...
Needs to update microstation for OS X for powerpc and intel, I'd
happily start forking over money for the update but they probably
aren't interested. Now if i could get more architects to email them
to show that there is a lot of interest... sorry off topic there. Yeah
this is old news about OS 9, OS X is the future for the present.
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Reply Link Flag
LMAO ... :-)
My ONLY version of OS9 is classic mode under OSX. Get with it
CNET, anyone still running OS9 is still running an OLD MAC, and
didn't want to upgrade, are happy with what they have, and just
don't plain care.

So please, move on.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mac OS 9 users don't need new hardware anyway
Whoop de freakin' doo. If you're still running OS 9 or "need" to run
it, then you don't need new hardware anyway. Your old Mac will
continue to work fine for you. A brand new Mac with an Intel
processor -- not even available until mid-2006 at the earliest -- is
way more power than you need, chump.
Posted by jmproffitt (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
old Mac
Sorry, but I disagree. The video display on the twenty Imacs in my computer lab are terrible. I've replaced some hard drives, am disgusted with the slow performance of OS 9 programs. Calling people with up to date hardware; names (chump??) is hardly a sign of intelligence.
Posted by sandynwa (3 comments )
Link Flag
VPC for OS 8-9?
I wonder if we may see some form of emulation to run OS9 on x86 in the future. I definitely can see a niche market for such a thing and as CPUs get faster and faster with dual cores or better I can see this as a very viable thing.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where can you find...
.... support for OS 9 programs now? Adobe doesn't have any. MS
doesn't have any. Macromedia doesn't have any. Intuit doesn't have
any, Symantec doesn't have any, and Apple doesn't have any.


So how can you lose what doesn't exist???????
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good point! It is virtually inexistence
I hope the new Apple OS is not locked down on the ROM/BIOS or it will have the same fate.

Ancient before it even takes off.
Posted by (23 comments )
Link Flag
Will the OS run on unmodified BIOS?
I don't think reverse eng'g the BIOS is very complicated thing even with a high level of encryption but the legal implication is.

So the question is do we spend a lot of money in a proprietary OS/Hardware and force to change in a couple of years?

OS should be made to load in a "STANDARD" platform. Or else I will just stick with what I have and go on with my life.
Posted by (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Once again, NO BIOS....
.. OS X will NOT run on a basic PC, but WIndows will run natively on
a Mac/Intel, along with OS X.

"OS should be made to load in a "STANDARD" platform. Or else I
will just stick with what I have and go on with my life."

No way. Have a good life.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.