Apple takes Mac OS X to the open source world

Apple Computer has embraced the open source software movement with the launch of Darwin, the open source release of its Mac OS X Server operating system.

"We think this is a path to build the most secure operating system and the most robust operating system in the shortest amount of time," said CEO Steve Jobs at a press conference at the company's Cupertino headquarters. He also called Mac OS X "Apple's first modern server operating system we've ever shipped".

By making Darwin available free to developers in a few weeks at http://www.apple.com/darwin Apple claims to be the first mainstream operating system vendor to release its source code to the public.

Apple also announced that the customer version of Mac OS X Server is now shipping, priced at $US499. Apple pitched the Mac OS X Server as an affordable, easy-to-use operating system that will allow small and medium-sized businesses and schools to quickly build a Web presence.

"We're not saying we'll take over the server market, that's not our goal. Our goal is to offer an incredibly powerful and affordable server package," said Jobs.

The first release of Darwin, the open source offering, consists of the foundation layer of Mac OS X Server, including enhancements to the Mach 2.5 microkernel and BSD 4.4 operating system. It also includes AppleTalk, HFS+ file system and the NetInfo distributed database.

At least one analyst said that Darwin signalled a major change in approach for Apple.

"I think Steve in the past has been the high priest of proprietary software and this is a good step for Apple," said Chris le Tocq, director of software consulting with Gartner Group.

Le Tocq noted the lack of mail server software in Mac OS X as a drawback for corporate users who might otherwise have been interested in the operating system; however, Apple does plan to bundle a robust mail server with Mac OS X in the future, Jobs said.

Boosters of the open source movement were understandably pleased with Apple's news.

"The Open Source Initiative is delighted about this announcement ... we hope it will encourage them to open source more stuff in the future, so in the end it will all be open source," said Eric Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?