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Apple prepares macOS for discontinuation of 32-bit app support
By Thom Holwerda, submitted by Drumhellar on 2018-02-03 14:15:01

When users attempt to launch a 32-bit app in 10.13.4, it will still launch, but it will do so with a warning message notifying the user that the app will eventually not be compatible with the operating system unless it is updated. This follows the same approach that Apple took with iOS, which completed its sunset of 32-bit app support with iOS 11 last fall.

This is good. I would prefer other companies, too, take a more aggressive approach towards deprecating outdated technology in consumer technology.

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RE[9]: Comment by ebasconp
By Alfman on 2018-02-07 23:14:10
ahferroin7,

> Strictly speaking, there isn't anything about 64-bit x86 that required them to be present (though they're established as an architectural feature now that you can't really get rid of without breaking most 64-bit code), though I will comment that the performance improvements they allow for have been a significant driving force for the adoption of 64-bit x86 systems.

Ironically these x86 deficiencies probably helped drive the adoption of AMD64. For better or worse, AMD64 gave x86 new life. I know the market strongly favors wintel compatibility, but part of me would have liked to see x86 be replaced with a cleaner architecture. Clearly AMD64 is an improvement over it's x86 predecessors, but I do wonder where mainstream computers would be today if it hadn't succeeded? IA64, PPC, ARM, RISC-V, some other x86 variant?

Edited 2018-02-07 23:15 UTC
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RE[10]: Comment by ebasconp
By zima on 2018-02-08 01:53:15
We would likely still be using x86, only with PAE to get over the 4 GiB RAM limit.
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RE[10]: Comment by ebasconp
By ahferroin7 on 2018-02-08 12:29:27
Probably IA-64 because of the hardware level x86 emulation (which was absolute crap, but still better than nothing), though it would have taken far longer to become as ubiquitous as 64-bit x86 is, and POWER, SPARC, and MIPS would likely be more widely used than they currently are in mid-level systems (POWER and SPARC are still very widely used in top-tier systems, and MIPS is pretty ubiquitous in embedded systems (though it is being slowly supplanted by ARM in that area)). Intel made some really stupid choices in designing IA-64 that came very close to the project being dead on release, but the big ones didn't matter for people who didn't care about x86 compatibility to begin with.

More interesting is what would computing be like today if the Motorola 68000 had been production-ready when IBM was designing the original PC systems. Up until it became evident that Motorola couldn't meet IBM's timetable, the 68k was in contention as a competitor to the 8086 for the original PC, and had it been chosen instead the world would be a very different place right now (Motorola would be much bigger, Intel would be smaller, PowerPC CPU's as we know them probably wouldn't exist (Motorola was a significant factor in their original development, but part of that was because they didn't have any killer product lines at the time), etc.).
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RE[11]: Comment by ebasconp
By Alfman on 2018-02-08 15:17:28
ahferroin7,

> Probably IA-64 because of the hardware level x86 emulation (which was absolute crap, but still better than nothing), though it would have taken far longer to become as ubiquitous as 64-bit x86 is, and POWER, SPARC, and MIPS would likely be more widely used than they currently are in mid-level systems (POWER and SPARC are still very widely used in top-tier systems, and MIPS is pretty ubiquitous in embedded systems (though it is being slowly supplanted by ARM in that area)). Intel made some really stupid choices in designing IA-64 that came very close to the project being dead on release, but the big ones didn't matter for people who didn't care about x86 compatibility to begin with.

I actually wanted to get a IA-64 to experiment with, but it was just way too expensive. I think that in addition to the other concerns, the outrageous price tag really hurt it's adoption by would-be software developers like myself.

> More interesting is what would computing be like today if the Motorola 68000 had been production-ready when IBM was designing the original PC systems. Up until it became evident that Motorola couldn't meet IBM's timetable, the 68k was in contention as a competitor to the 8086 for the original PC, and had it been chosen instead the world would be a very different place right now (Motorola would be much bigger, Intel would be smaller, PowerPC CPU's as we know them probably wouldn't exist (Motorola was a significant factor in their original development, but part of that was because they didn't have any killer product lines at the time), etc.).

I imagine you are right about this. Business partnerships made all the difference for the x86, which wouldn't have otherwise been the best technical choice. I can't remember where I had read an engineer's account of the early days with x86, but he said it was more of an application specific design at the time and they never intended for it to become a defacto computer processor standard.
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