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Windows NT for G5 released

"the XBOX 2 SDK has been seeded to developers on dual Apple Power Mac G5 systems running a custom Windows NT Kernel"

This should prove interesting. Now that the NT kernel runs native on the G5, a full native G5 port of Longhorn will probably be the surprise announcement in a couple years.

Tony Chang
Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Doubtful.  Microsoft has enough time with driver issues for one platform.  A second platform will be too much cost for too little benefit.

Older versions of Windows NT also ran on the PowerPC architecture (as well a Alpha and MIPS).  Those other platforms were dropped.

The Xbox will run off a PowerPC chip -- hence the need for a PowerPC development environment.

Almost Anonymous
Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Alpha, MIPS, enough said. It was always quite portable.

Li-fan Chen
Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Tuesday, March 9, 2004

What would be the point in bringing G5 Longhorn to the market as a general computing platform? We already have AMD as a competitor to Intel and giving more control to IBM over the Windows world is about the last thing we need.

Granted it could cover the ass if the boys in blue turn out to seriously leave the Intel/AMD world in the dust performance wise, but is that really likely?
And theoretically an IBM/MS symbiont could be the ultimate million pound gorilla: MS gives IBM near exclusives to hardware for the future Windows platform and IBM leaves the software side to MS. It would be perhaps the most daring and  brillant business move in history, but it would require such a core strategic reversal for both parties that I do not believe the companies could ever pull it of. 

I would leave th XBOX2 G5 story at a pragmatic MS descision to go with a low power/ high performance/ quite piece of silicon to power a specific device where those qualities where premium.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Microsoft could use this to extend their embedded NT / XP product to a another processor.  I doubt they would go with a Consumer / Business OS though.


A Software Build Guy
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

The Intel architecture is at the end of its life - the PowerPC still has plenty of upswing. Microsoft realizes that Longhorn has to run on the PPC because in 2007, the intel chips will be stuck at 5GHz on insurmountable heat issues and the PPCs will be at 8GHz and rising.

As to IBM, not an issue. IBM is not the only company that can make the PPC architecture - Motorola can make chips and of course they will if the market is there and probably others like AMD will jump in as well; it's an open architecture.

Gates is thinking long term here. That's how he does things.

Tony Chang
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

The advantage is that the G5 (well, PowerPC 970) uses much less power than Intel and AMD CPUs.  Current versions use about half the power of x86 chips, and the upcoming 90nm versions are supposed to knock that down by another 50%.  This has a couple of advantages.  First, it makes high-end notebooks and other small form factor PCs much more of a realistic target.  Second, because IBM isn't fighting the same power dissipation battles as Intel and AMD, they've got a much clearer path to higher clock speeds.  x86 performance increases have been on the downturn.

Interestingly, Intel's move to 90nm resulted in a significant power consumption *increase*.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

"x86 performance increases have been on the downturn."

Boy, you're not kidding. 18 months ago I bought a 2.53GHz P4, and it wasn't the top end of what was available (the 3.06GHz was, the first available HyperThreaded P4). Today, the top end is 3.4 GHz. An 11% speed increase over 18 months. Whee. At least the bump in Front Side Bus speed has helped some.

Oh, and they offer 2MB L2 cache CPUs for about 3x normal price. *rolls eyes*

Brad Wilson (
Wednesday, March 10, 2004


Where did you get the information that Intel processors will be stuck at 5Ghz ???

Remember that de x86 code is translated to micro-code. They can even build a complete new processor with a new design, as long as the x86-to-microcode translator is present it will still be compatible with the Pentium processor series.

Can you give a URL or something to prove your statement  ?


Jeroen Jacobs
Thursday, March 11, 2004

Sure, it is possible, but Intel and AMD appear to be having lots of trouble making significant advances.  The problem is one of power dissipation.  The 90nm Prescott P4 uses more power than the old 130nm P4.  Intel has been very vocal about the trouble they're having.  So the short version is that they probably could create a 5GHz P4 today, but it would be a 250 watt chip and require a prohibitive cooling system, which makes it next to useless.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Moore's law of course applies to the number of processors on a given area of silicon, and not to clock speed but it more or less applied to processor sppeds in the past but no longer appears to be doing so. If bus speeds were increasing at the same rate as before we would be on 5Ghz by now.

Mind you, the fact that nobody really cares about these speeds anymore may be part of the explanation.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, March 11, 2004

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