Switching to Intel means the end of Classic.


In yesterday’s write-up,I included Apple’s decription of Rosetta that contained the following section:

Rosetta does not run the following:

* Applications built for Mac OS 8 or 9
* Code written specifically for AltiVec
* Code that inserts preferences in the System Preferences pane
* Applications that require a G4 or G5 processor
* Applications that depend on one or more kernel extensions
* Kernel extensions
* Bundled Java applications or Java applications with JNI libraries that can’t be translated

The bit about “Applications built for Mac OS 8 or 9” nagged at me a bit. Did that mean that Apple was going to re-engineer Classic to run as an Universal-binary and have PPC be emulated? The answer, confirmed by John Gruber at Daring Fireball is that Classic support ends with the PowerPC. Once Apple’s switched to using Intel processors, that’s the end of Mac OS 9 running in Classic as far as Apple’s concerned. With Apple declaring the death of Classic way ahead of time, it’s now going to be an opportunity for an outside developer. Will someone pick up and run with it?


Eric Baldwin

It is the height of arrogance to shut down all access to OS 9 applications under Leopard. I have upgraded many apps ’til I’m blue in the face. My bread and butter apps (Illustrator, Photoshop, Word) are certainly ready for Leopard and I’ve paid those fees. But I have thousands of dollars worth of smaller applications and games that I cannot upgrade because they are either not supported or their companies are gone. I bought these apps because I wanted to use them. Tiger let me do that. I won’t be moving to Leopard until someone makes a Classic emulator that runs under it (and I’ll bet I’m not alone).

Tonio Loewald

Rosetta can run Classic even if it doesn’t run apps designed for Classic. No big deal.

Worst case, PearPC will run under OSX for x86, and you run run Classic under it.

Anything written specifically for altivec is likely to get updated, and Apple has published a handy guide showing how to translate altivec code to SSE where necessary.

Weili Wang

I personally haven’t used Classic since 10.1 and that is about 4 years ago. Seriously though, how many users still use Classic today? Those who still use Classic are unlikely to upgrade to new hardware anyway. Did anyone actually thought that Classic was going to be around forever?

Rich Trouton


Essentially what that section means is that Altivec-specific support isn’t available on Intel. Intel instead uses SSE. This is something Apple talked about yesterday during the Mac OS X State of the Union session yesterday. This hits a lot fewer apps than you might think. Most apps don’t tap into the extra power that Altivec offers because they don’t need to, so we’re mainly looking at high-demand applications like Avid Media Composer, Apple’s Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop and the like. The applications that do need this support will need to be fixed to include SSE support as well.

David Appleyard

“Applications that require a G4 or G5 processor”

Surely the point of Rosetta is to emulate programs which are built for these processors… how is that not the case?

Comments are closed.