By choosing to build Mac OS X on UNIX, Apple opens up thousands of new applications to Mac owners — potentially expanding Apple’s market share and gives Unix developers access to a lucrative new audience, according to a
CNET analysis piece.
Mac OS X has a UNIX-based foundation, called Darwin, which evolved from a joint effort by Apple engineers and programmers in the Open Source software community. Darwin is distributed under Apple’s Open Source license.
Mac OS X is the first desktop, UNIX-based operating system designed for a mass market. Early signs show that Apple is off to a good start in wooing Unix developers though developers and industry analysts warn that Apple has a long way to go before it understands the UNIX community or delivers to them the tools needed to effectively bring their programs to the Mac, CNET says.
To facilitate UNIX developer relations, Apple has entered a partnership with the O’Reilly Network, a Web a Web resource that provides news and articles of interest to developers.
“Right now, there’s definitely curiosity about Mac OS X from Unix developers,” Derrick Story, managing editor for O’Reilly Network, told CNET. “What they find when they begin poking around inside (Mac OS X) will have a lot to do with whether that interest is sustained or remains a curiosity. It’s hard to say right now how that’s going to go.”
Still, Story sees promising early signs, both from UNIX developers and the more established Mac development community, who are now able to “get inside” a Mac operating system, the story says.
Meanwhile, Apple is so confident about the future of Mac OS X that it’s started pre-installing the next generation operating system on
all new Macs ahead of schedule. And the company is offering free Mac OS X upgrades for new Mac buyers.