Architosh News Reports
  Architosh Staff ([email protected])


MacCAD News: Rep says - Alias/Wavefront Maya coming to OS X?

4 Apr 00' [Updated: 7 Apr 00]

[Editor's note: we continue our report with updated information on Maya for Mac OS X, some history on its development and other yummy details.] Click here.

[Editor's note: Architosh, by nature, isn't a "rumors" type of site. And we don't really like doing rumors for the obvious and not so obvious reasons. However, we have talked about a few, very interesting prospects for the Mac in the past, and ... this because, we do get, from time-to-time, some very interesting emails.] ;-)

Who Said What?

Architosh received an email from a reader writing about Alias/Wavefront and Mac OS X support. It has been rumored for awhile now that Alias would be bringing Alias/Wavefront Maya to Mac OS X at some point in the future after OS X is released. However, these are still rumors and Alias has made no public comments about Mac OS X support.

At Seybold Boston, we brought these rumors up to a SGI representative on the show floor and asked if there was any truth to them. The representative -- as you would imagine -- resisted any comments about these rumors but didn't deny them either. It was mentioned to this particular rep that there were rumors circulating about Alias hiring new Macintosh programmers and this rep did admit that he had heard of such things but couldn't comment on their reality as he was an employee of SGI.

Our reader, however, did mention that an Alias representative told him personally that Alias was, indeed, "hiring Mac developers for a Maya port", but there has been no public information as of yet. We contacted this reader for more information, including the reps name, but unfortunately, were not able to obtain it. (we encourage readers to contact Alias directly about OS X support)

Our Sherlocking Around...

We searched briefly for Macintosh information on Alias/Wavefront's website and it did reveal some interesting Mac details, but no real evidence supporting the rumors were indeed true and that Alias was searching and hiring Mac developers. Alias is searching for developers, but not Mac ones. For instance, there are no job listings for programmers specifically calling for Macintosh experience. The only interesting thing found was a "familiarity with Macintosh computers" requirement for new "Regional Systems and Network Administrators". And this may be due to the existence of Macs in industrial design shops which have different computation tasks, eg, graphics or rendering using some other application. This doesn't imply anything more than that or imply future Mac OS support.

Why Alias/Wavefront is good for Mac OS X

Many designers and, particularly, industrial designers, would love to see Alias/Wavefront's products come on over to Mac OS X. We have received a number of emails from readers wanting to see this happen. Apple's industrial designers -- who happen to use the product on IRIX machines (I can't imagine them using NT-based boxes to create the exciting forms that help shape Apple's neat machines -- that would be worse than Bill Gate's fantastic $75 million home being designed by Mac-based architects, which it was!) would probably love to create their designs using machines they have designed. And I am sure Jobs would love that too. But is there enough demand? And what would it take to port there studio products it to OS X?

It might not take as much if they are going to be moving over to Linux; and according to SGI reps, that's where they are headed. When asking about SGI and support for OS X, this rep told us they would be shifting to a Linux-centric strategy and away from IRIX. We briefly discussed that Linux seems to be causing proprietary UNIX vendors to reshift their strategies and rally around Linux.

Even Apple is now acknowledging the relevance of Linux for its future Macintosh OS X platform. The company recently put up a PowerPC Linux page at and Jobs made reference to Linux in his OS X presentation at Macworld Expo SF 2000. To be sure, Linux is going to affect the OS X world (whether more negatively or positively remains to be seen). But this is a lot better than Windows, where Linux has developed its largest front.

If Alias/Wavefront eventually develops for Linux in addition to (or instead) of, its own IRIX UNIX OS, then (and perhaps only then) will we see Mac OS X support. For at the moment, what SGI reps are saying is: Linux in our future? Yes ... OS X? no comment ;-)

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