> there isn't the same kinds of requirement to get binary lumps of code running on alien architecture.
Are you implying that this has something to do with the software being free?
In 2006, I used Time Machine to back up my G5, and then restore it onto my new Intel Core Duo (both iMacs!). The migrated apps just worked, regardless of whether they were free software or binary blobs.
This has nothing to do with software freedom. It's about having a good user experience: when your users migrate from an old machine to a new one, it just works, period.
Linux doesn't have this requirement because it prioritizes developers over end users. I'm not bashing Linux here, I use it often and appreciate it for what it is. But an honest assessment tells us it has never come close to Apple-level smoothness in architectural transitions.
Perhaps I have misunderstood the use of the word 'story' in your first post.
> Are you implying that this has something to do with the software being free?
No, but I am asserting that I typically don't need to run non-native code on my computers because I can obtain or generate native code for any given architecture  I happen to be using.
I expect that where people are beholden to others, say if they are using non-free software, to create binaries that they can use on specific pieces of hardware, then yes in that case it will have 'something to do with software being free'.
> In 2006, I used Time Machine to back up my G5, and then restore it onto my new Intel Core Duo (both iMacs!). The migrated apps just worked, regardless of whether they were free software or binary blobs.
I'm not sure I appreciate the usefulness of this feature as much as you do -- you were obliged to run that software, in both instances, on hardware available exclusively a single vendor. In that scenario I would have expected to be able to run native code on both platforms.