June 6, 2005 11:04 AM PDT

Apple throws the switch, aligns with Intel

SAN FRANCISCO--After years of trying to get people to switch to Macs from Intel-based computers, Apple Computer itself has switched.

CEO Steve Jobs announced Monday that Apple will gradually shift its Mac line to Intel-based chips over the next two years. The move confirms a timetable first reported by CNET News.com.

Jobs' announcement formed the centerpiece of a keynote speech to Mac programmers attending the company's annual Worldwide Developer Conference here. The conference, expected to draw some 3,800 attendees this year, is a traditional venue for Apple product launches.

"Mac OS X has been leading a secret double life the past five years."
--Steve Jobs
Apple Computer CEO

In his speech, Jobs revealed that Apple has been developing all versions of OS X since its inception to run on Intel and PowerPC chips.

"Mac OS X has been leading a secret double life the past five years," he said.

The move to Intel marks a tectonic shift for Apple, which has used processors from IBM and Motorola (now Freescale Semiconductor) throughout the life of the Mac. However, the company has changed architectures before, shifting in the 1990s from Motorola's 68000 family of chips to the PowerPC architecture jointly developed by IBM and Motorola.

Jobs also noted the significant effort required earlier this decade when Apple moved from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. Although the operating systems are only a digit apart, he noted that the move to a Unix-based system was a major shift. "This was a brain transplant," Jobs said.

The CEO showed a demo of the Tiger operating system on an Intel-based machine, saying, "We've been running on an Intel system all morning."

Complete coverage
Apple's new core
Read News.com's complete coverage of Apple's dramatic decision to transition to Intel processors.
As for why Apple was making the shift, Jobs pointed both to past problems and to the PowerPC road map, which he said won't deliver enough performance at the low-power usages needed for powerful notebooks.

Two years ago at the same conference, Jobs introduced the first G5-based Power Macs and promised developers that the company would have a 3GHz PowerMac within 12 months. The company still doesn't have a machine that fast. "We haven't been able to deliver," he said. Nor has Apple been able to introduce a G5-based laptop--something Jobs said "I think a lot of you would like."

Things weren't looking better in the coming months, Jobs said, saying that IBM's PowerPC road map would only deliver about a fifth the performace

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The end of an era?
What I find interesting is that while they mention "Intel-based" processors here, they don't specifically say x86. For all we know, the plans could involve XScale chips or IA-64. That said, this is certainly an occurance I never thought I'd see.
Posted by johnroche--2008 (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Same wavelength
Looks like you and I were asking the same question :)
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
Developer (Power)Macs are running on Pentium 4s.
Posted by olePigeon (39 comments )
Link Flag
Why does everyone assume Intel = X86?
Has anyone thought to ask the obvious question about whether they're switching to the x86 chips or to the Itanium? The Itanium is a cleaner, newer chip and would make a better replacement for the PowerPC chips than the x86.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Per unit price
Pricing, thats why. You ain't gonna see no 500 buck mac mini with Itanium inside it.
Posted by (23 comments )
Link Flag
The giant "Pentium 4" banner could be a hint.
The (Power)Mac will be shipping with a Penium 4... and an even bigger heatsink, 20 fans that sound like a jet taking off, and after 2007, completely incompatible with the existing install base. FAT binaries were a nightmare, and having to develop for two different architectures will also be a nightmare. Universal Binaries will be around for a year, at most. Then all the developers will be moving to x86.

It's hard being a Mac user. I just bought my (Power)Book and now it's useless. :(

Tought to say if Apple's gonna survive this one.
Posted by olePigeon (39 comments )
Link Flag
I'm in total agreement
Even though I believe that Apple's OS X to be a superior software platform that Microsofts offerings, in the short term, Apple would be clearly shooting itself in the foot to contend with the established x86 OS vendors.

Itanium is a far superior CPU Architecture and Apple's OS X running on Itanium makes much more sense and Apple gets the added benefit of kicking sand in IBM's face...

I would buy an Itanium workstation running OS X.
Posted by EmbSysPro (57 comments )
Link Flag
If not x86, might as well stick with PPC
There's no point in switching to Itanium, since (a) PowerPC is competitive with Itanium performance-wise (b) Apple needs a fast mobile chip, and as far as I know, there is no mobile Itanium (c) Itanium doesn't have the same volumne (d) transcoding to IA64 would likely yield unacceptable performance.
Posted by Chung Leong (111 comments )
Link Flag
It's not Itanium
Apple said it would be X86. The Itanium has been a huge
disappointment for Intel. It would be a terrible mistake for Apple to
port to Itanium.
Posted by chabig83 (535 comments )
Link Flag
it will be x86
Well to begin with Jobs admitted to Apple developing an x86 version right along (which by the way was well known they had both versions). Secondly the Itanium is a flop. Intel's IA-64 architecture did not catch on and they are switching to x86-64 which was the route AMD went from the start.
Posted by sutai (8 comments )
Link Flag
It seems "Intel=x86"
I also thought of a possibility of Apple using Itanium rather than Pentium before Jobs confirmed the report. However, based on what he said, it seems pretty clear that Mac OS X has had a secrete affair not with any Intel chips but x86. Moreover, he also mentioned that porting OS X to Intel chips is easy because it is based on BSD and there already is BSD for x86.
Posted by jskson (15 comments )
Link Flag
It's X86...
... watch the keynote speech...
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Because of laptops
Itanium for laptops, don't think so. Swith from power, no laptop G5. NextOS ran on x86. The OS-X that has been running on intel secretly for the past 4 years was on x86. Why Itanium, it is a crappy chip in general computing and it's market share reflects that. Why not do what hp did with intel when they co produced Itanium, and create a x86 hybrid with feature tuned for apple? Opteron would be the best architecture now with its dedicated memory paths and dual 20x pciex capabilities.
Posted by zkysr (78 comments )
Link Flag
which Intel processor
If Apple moves to Itanium, then they're going to be able to create a new market for expensive space heaters. It's a hot chip and probably completely unsuited for portables. The Penium M is a great chip. i can hardly wait to see the performance numbers for transcoded applications.

I think ultimately, Jobs just shot himself in the abdomen. Apple's marketing position-- somewhat pricey hardware that requires users buy manufacturer unique software-- kills any hope fo further penetration in the notebook or desktop markets at a time when notebook computers are outselling desktops.

Furthermore, it's unlikely software developers are going to want to ship two differents versions of the same application in one box. They were forced into that posiion years ago and balked.

Anyone want to bet that over the long haul, Apple is an acquisition candidate for either Sun or Oracle?

--Jim Forbes
an old Apple reporter
Posted by (18 comments )
Link Flag
See more comment replies
Now It's the Battle of the OS's
Windows versus OS X, running on basically a single platform with
common programming. And Apple thinks that this is a survivable

On the other hand, maybe this is the ultimate Windows vs Linux
battle. That one is morre problematic.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
secure vs. Hell
Imagine being able to run all your current apps (visio, office, games
etc...) Without the constent fear of viruses, spyware malware etc...
if you're smart enough OSX is in your future.
Posted by (13 comments )
Link Flag
Apple DOA?
>Windows versus OS X, running on basically a single platform
>with common programming. And Apple thinks that this is a
>survivable decision?????

On the surface this looks like a bad decision. How will Apple justify charging more for a Mac (with Intel) over a PC (with Intel). Most consumers won't care if the Intel Inside is an x86 or an Itanium or a Gift From God.

And this could make G5 and G4 sales plummet.
Posted by (274 comments )
Link Flag
Of course!
Of course it can be a survivable system. Give me an OS that many have said is better than Windows at a price I can stomach and I'll check it out.

I dabble in Linux for just the ability to learn and grow in my field. OSX will be just another skill to learn.
Posted by Sboston (498 comments )
Link Flag
I disagree...
If Apple can get the OS to run on a PC that currently runs Windows, it works will all of the hardware, drivers and software.

I think many Windows user's would jump ship like rats jumping from a flaming garbage barge. While I wouldn't touch Apple hardware (I don't like their little monopoly) I would switch to OS X in an instant.

Posted by (336 comments )
Link Flag
Now It's the Battle of the OS's
"On the other hand, maybe this is the ultimate Windows vs Linux
battle. That one is morre problematic."

It's UNIX, not Linux. Linux is UNIX based though.
But yes, this is a good way to give UNIX to the people, and let people see its superiority over "Windoze" which will finially push MS only to develop new gaming systems instead of better operating systems, which seems to be their current primary focus now. But still, the change from RISC to CISC, in the humble opinon of this programmer, will result in a huge performance loss for people that really need the PowerPC to do hardcore processes. I use my mac for more than surfing the net, sure the Intels may be nice for that. But what about rendering huge video files, or handling all the load on my Xserve I bought for my office. I know Apple has gone through many steps like this in the past, where it looked like they lost their mind, and everything turned out great. However, I along with millions of others are sceptical about this one.
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
So you're saying...
The Windows is going to beat out OS X? I find this hard-no,
impossible-to believe. If anything this levels the playing field and
allows OS X to shine even brighter. Sounds to me like you seem to
think OS X is garbage just like Windows. If you use Linux I have an
even harder time believing this. Linux and OS X have a common
ancestor: UNIX. If anything I would think Linux users would give
OS X way more credit than Windows.
Posted by Dr Juice phD (23 comments )
Link Flag
Hoodwinked...so who do we believe now?
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/powermac/performance/" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/powermac/performance/</a>

Jobs: We were just kidding when we posted that. Believe me now and doubt me later, Intel is superior.

Apple Sheep: huh

Jobs: Basically we are upgrading but continue to buy soon to be obsolete Apple products until the transition is complete.
Posted by (34 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Brilliant point. With documentation!
Applause, applause, applause!
Posted by DarkHawke (999 comments )
Link Flag
Thats funny....
That is funny! I was thinking of the exact same thing... after all this G5 promotion, what came of it? lol
Posted by mikeg4936 (31 comments )
Link Flag
Today is a new day
Yeah, there's always a bit of marketing speak in there. But
having said that I'd say that the G5 is/was a great CPU. The
problem is that it's not going anywhere, especially in the mobile
arena. So when Apple chose and marketed the G5, it was the
better choice.

Today is another day. The G5 is stagnant and x86 is a better
choice for the future (not yesterday, not today -the future). Jobs
knows when a horse is dead, and moves on. That's actually a
good thing.

And speaking as someone who's been through the 68k-PPC
transition, a Mac you buy today or 6 months from now does not
become obsolete simply because Apple starts using a different
processor. All computers become obsolete as soon as the next
one is born, and even the Mac you buy today may very well lead
a longer useful lifetime than the PC you buy today.

I think you'll see more crying because of the loss of Classic
compatibility than you will because of the loss of the PPC.
Posted by taznar (45 comments )
Link Flag
Somebody at Apple thought about this, too?
Yes, either way you look at the arguments for switching to
Intel it damages the credibility of Apple. Was all that was
said about the G4 and the G5 lies, or bending the truth?

Up til now I've been giving "buy" recommendations left and
right, now I've revoked them all. Resellers already seem to
be selling out the machines they have in the shelves at
remarkably low prices.
The Berlin wall was brought down by a slip of tongue, like
the Osborne computer company.
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
PowerPC lives on with the Amiga
I guess this could be good news for the Amiga and its PowerPC
future. The question is; will AmigaOS4 beat Longhorn to market?
Posted by JuggerNaut (860 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So what useful software ...
.... runs on an Amiga? And where do you get an Amiga? How about
support? parts? upgrades?

If the Amiga is a massive do-it-yourself hobby item, it's no answer
at all.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
What's the point?
Amiga? Are they still around? Last thing that I heard from them was back in the early 90's.
Posted by Maelstorm (130 comments )
Link Flag
so they are going to stop you from installing OSX on IBM compatible machines??
if this is the case, how can they expect sales to increase. the mac base is very small to begin with and now, many will feel violated with the new change to intel, so apple risks losing many loyal followers anyway.
sorry, but someone will come up with a way for this to happen. and i'll just wait it out.
Posted by xman95 (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Errr, hardware drivers?
Ever tried running Linux on a PC?
Posted by Chung Leong (111 comments )
Link Flag
Apple will lose users
I'd like to know why Apple will lose users, where are they going to go. Are all of the Mac users who feel betrayed going to sell their Macs and go out and buy a Dell? Are they going to build themselves and AMD machine and run Linux?

No one is leaving and Apple and most 3rd party users will continue to support PPC for at least the next 5 years at which time they will have definately upgraded their computers.

This is a good move, and I agree with Chizen, what took you so long!
Posted by (4 comments )
Link Flag
OSX and Darwin + Intel = Now = True
Darwin, is open source and you can compile it on current Intel
architecture. As demonstrated by Steve Jobs, all versions of OSX
have been compiled and run on Intel machines.

I am sure Intel was not the only chip they were looking at.
Question is, what did Intel show Apple? Guess we will have to wait
and see.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
Open Letter to Steve Jobs and Apple Computers
With the recent announcement from Steve Jobs and all the buzz
surrounding it, a lot of your customers are worried about this
switch to Intel. Many say that the PowerPC is fine and there's no
need to switch. They say that a decision like this is going to
force many customers away. They say that Intel charges more
than twice as much for their chips comparable to the PowerPC.

Your loyal customers are worried right now. Can you keep the
same high standards for design, stability, security, and ease-of-
use? Is this going to hurt the developers? What about the price?
Your equipment is already expensive, but then again it is top of
the line, and I know that I personally, like many customers,
don't really mind spending nearly $3,000 for the 17" PowerBook
because I know that it will still be near top of the line 2 or 3
years down the road.

I feel that in the coming months, before you even begin
designing and building Intel-based systems, you need to start
talking to the consumer. You need to create an open forum for
discussions of the issues mentioned above. You have an
installed base somewhere near 16%, and I know that you as well
as Mac loyalists don't want to see that shrink. I love my
PowerBook, but if I have to spend $5,000 on the next PowerBook
when it comes time to upgrade, I'm probably going to get a Dell
just because I can't afford to buy a Mac anymore. I know yours
is a company full of intelligent and talented people, and I would
truly hate to see your products grow so expensive because of
this move that even people like me who swear they'll never buy a
Windows machine make the switch BACK to the dreaded Wintel
platform because your harwarde has gotten so expensive.

Yours is a great company that's been through Hell and back and
has still, somehow, managed to produce some of the greatest
products the PC industry has ever seen. It would truly be a
shame if this switch forces your company back into the position
it was in during the 90's. I sincerely hope that you'll open up the
lines of communication and begin seriously considering and
releasing information on pricing and development, and keep the
customer informed of the progress made on the Intel platform. I
hope you can hold Intel to the same high standards that you
hold your own design teams. I'd really like to see this move as
the beginning of Apple reclaiming it's rightful place os a true
dominant force on the PC industry, instead of the underdog that
it has been and, admittedly, still is.
Posted by Dr Juice phD (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are you serious?
The only thing switching to Intel would do to "Power"book prices would be to LOWER them CONSIDERABLY. There is NO chance that your beloved Powerbook will get more expensive. One of the key points that Steve Jobs mentioned in his keynote was that it "will allower Macs to be produced at lower costs." Your letter needs to be revised. Seriously.
Posted by mikeg4936 (31 comments )
Link Flag
Why do you assume Mac/Powerbook will cost more ?
The total savings in parts list and savings in hardware R&#38;D will make it competative with Dell in performance per dollar. I am pretty sure of that.

Feature per feature and MIPS per MIPS, they could roughly be the same or slight advantage for Apple. We don't know the details of the chip deal, so its hard to just assume higher price for Intel processors.

A future powerbook for $5000 ?. You must be joking!. Possibly a $2000 Powerbook thats the fastest in the world of notebooks at the time.
Posted by (5 comments )
Link Flag
Shaky Facts...
"I know that it will still be near top of the line 2 or 3 years down the road."

I think Apple upgrade their hardware a little more frequently than that! I can let you off with poor phrasing there but...

"You have an installed base somewhere near 16%"

Where did you get that number from?!? Lol.

I'm not anti-Mac. I'm not anti-Linux. But I do like my Windows box. Does everything (except my laundry). Compatible with everything (except my gran). This "less secure" stigma annoys me too. Windows seems to have more holes only because its user base is so much larger under which to discover them. But I digress.

Apple have been getting stronger year-on-year, and Apple's hardware market is dominated by OSX (surprisingly). I welcome their entry into x86 and will give their OS a dual-boot try-out as I have every other flavour I've come across. I am, however, going to point-blank refuse to use a one-enourmous-button i've-got-no-fingers-of-which-to-speak mouse!

Well done Apple. Welcome to the big boys arena.
Posted by djcaseley (85 comments )
Link Flag
Mac = system software + cool design
Apple should finally get out of the PC business except for still
creating cutting edge technology and PC packaging. I hope they
will start a "Mac certified" program for hardware so they can still
tightly control the hardware-software integration, but basically
allow anyone willing to adhere to this hardware standard to run OS
X. They would likely have an instant OS hit with a huge user base
that people will flock to to get the gerat OS software lacking bugs,
worms, and viruses.
Posted by Bailey Kessing (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mac OSX only on Apple OEM hardware
From the article:

"After Jobs' presentation, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller addressed the issue of running Windows on Macs, saying there are no plans to sell or support Windows on an Intel-based Mac. "That doesn't preclude someone from running it on a Mac. They probably will," he said. "We won't do anything to preclude that."

However, Schiller said the company does not plan to let people run Mac OS X on other computer makers' hardware. "We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac," he said. "
Posted by feranick (212 comments )
Link Flag
Apple's core competencies
You're right on. Perhaps this switch will Apple focus on its core competencies of good consumer software/hardware/industrial design instead of evangelizing a specific CPU architecture...

Looks like IBM just blew it, thinking that Jobs was bluffing again. It is unfortunate that the Mac won't benefit from PowerPC usage in the game consoles.
Posted by echelonbob (35 comments )
Link Flag
They tried that already
They tried opening up their hardware platform and allowing
compaines to make "clones" and it was an unmitigated disaster.
They won't make the same mistake again. One of the key
reasons that Apple computers work so well is because Apple has
an amazing amount of control over the systems.

Conversely, Microsoft's business model is the complete
opposite. It's worked well for them in that it's made them lots of
money, but the problem then becomes stability. If 1,000
different companies make Windows machines and 1,000 more
companies write software, there is no way they would be able to
fully test every configuration out there. If they tried, we'd still be
waiting on Windows 98.
Posted by Dr Juice phD (23 comments )
Link Flag
Anyone see a link between this move by apple and intel's pandora? it got me thinking last week when i saw the pandra up next to the mac mini and then later heard the rumors beginning to surface, kinda makes sense though.
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So much for buying my powerbook.
I'm about a week away from shelling out the cash. Meh, maybe I'll just buy a 23 inch screen instead. Yes.... That's what I'll do. And then I'll kill myself because I just realized the shock of the news is over, and I'd rather them go with AMD processors cos Intel processors suck.

Yup. Time to kill myself.
Posted by (461 comments )
Reply Link Flag
it's a comptuer
Time to call a crisis hotline! I wonder how many calls a suicide hotline gets over this announcement from the SOHO district in NY. Go out for a drink and it will all be over. It's not like they killed your first born, it's just a computer, which will still be the same, except now they can make an up to date laptop.
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Link Flag
Nonsense. It will continue to work fine.
Current Macs will probably continue to run all new Mac software (including OS X) for the next five years.

All purchased apps will soon include binaries for both CPU's. Just run the applications as you normally would.

The only people who might have compatibility issues are the early adopters of Intel Macs. Their old PowerPC-only Mac software won't work.
Posted by open-mind (1027 comments )
Link Flag
Thats so sad. But go ahead and get out of the gene pool if you think it is so tragic that Apple is changing.

Change can be good!
Posted by Sboston (498 comments )
Link Flag
oh deaaar god.
No really, this is not good. Undoubted long term, core strategic error. God, he could at least have gone with the opteron. It trounces xeon in graphics heavy arenas. The nasty sound is the reality distortion field around cupertino cracking. This strips away one of the core elemnents of the macintosh's alternative ethos. Bugger it. I knew this era was too good to last. I think jobs has fundamentally misjudged the delicate psychology of apple's position in the buying public's mind. The one thing you cannot say about this decision is that it represents the much espused virtue of thinking different. Rather, it strikes you strongly of capitulation to the seeming banal realities of apples position. Whatever figleaf remained is now gone; the mac is now an enclosure, good fabrication and a well regarded unix variant os. Demmit, Jobs, what were you thinking of?
Posted by noadandy (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Guys! Its an computer! They change all the time!

This could be a very good thing for Apple.
Posted by Sboston (498 comments )
Link Flag
change is good
Nobody should be angered by this move. Intel's processors are excellent. OS X isn't going to change... They have already laid out plans for their universal binaries to work on both platforms. For the most part this is going to be transparent to the users except for the fact that the Apple with Intel will run much faster than the PPC.
Posted by sutai (8 comments )
Link Flag
"Rather, it strikes you strongly of capitulation to the seeming banal
realities of apples position."

Personally, I prefer Apple capitulating to "banal realities" than living
within a reality distortion field.

Just have to get throught he emotion to the logic. Not that its all
that easy to do when it comes to branding and marketing.
Posted by taznar (45 comments )
Link Flag
One additional item...
... as previously reported, Apple's move to Intel may have very
much to do with securing video distribution rights just like Apple
did with music via the iPod. Check the other articles, and wait for
what OS X will be able to do inthe near future. This could make
Windows Media look like a total waste of time and effort.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The link you're refering to
Adding to what you mention, here's a link to a blog that talks to exactly what you've mentioned:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,67749,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2" target="_newWindow">http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,67749,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2</a>

Apple was looking for a hardware solution to DRM. Scary stuff.
Posted by Richard G. (137 comments )
Link Flag
Windows Media Player
"This could make Windows Media look like a total waste of time and effort."

I'm a solid Windows user despite trying out the competition, and I think that WMP is a waste of time already! VLC all the way!
Posted by djcaseley (85 comments )
Link Flag
Big Hint
Well, the big hint is that Steve Jobs has said that Mac OS X has been leading a double life for the last 5 years.

Thus dosen't say that we can just pick up a copy of Mac OS X and run it on our home PC's.. just that they will have a "Mac" with an Intel x86 processor in it. Obviously the innards of a "Mac" will now change although I think you'll find it will inherit some of the PowerPC stuff.. for example: No BIOS, it will have still have OpenFirmware instead and other intrinsic "Mac" things.

..anyway I was just reading between the lines, Mac OS X isn't for everyone.
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Development x2 for the past 5 years?
Is that why Macs are so expensive? We were paying for the extra software development teams. Now it makes sense.
Posted by (34 comments )
Link Flag
Open Firmware Gone?
People I've heard from, who know a lot more about this than me,
are saying that Apple is indeed dropping Open Firmware in this
move. Too bad, really.
Posted by taznar (45 comments )
Link Flag
pretty funny analogy
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
While Apple does't plan on letting OS X run on other hardware, they
practically said their new boxes will probably be able to run

Apple makes the nicest high-end laptops (PowerBook) and
desktops (G5 tower and iMac G5).

Plus, they'll have to remain competively priced.
Posted by mgreere (332 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What I'd like to see...
Is when you are getting your laptop or Desktop you get a choice of OS. Windows/Mac/Linux on the same hardware.
Posted by Sboston (498 comments )
Link Flag
Virtual PC & Virtual Mac on the same hardware?
Look beyond the change which is doubtless going to be painful for the Mac users to some of the possibilities. Even if Apple keeps it's MacOS locked to their own hardware it's likely someone will write the drivers to make a virtual Mac available on just about any generic PC available. The Mac hardware platform may be opened up even if Apple doesn't want it to be.

There are still too few details about this whole change available to make any decisions about whether this is a clever move or horrible misstep but one thing is certain, IBM must have been a really hard partner to work with or Intel has offered a huge incentive to Apple to force Apple to make a change like this.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not virtual anything....
OS X and Windows XP running natively on the same platform.

Al least until MS gets the idea to diverge with Airhorn.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Looking forward to a PowerBook in 2007
I would of already bought a Powerbook if Apple could have upgraded them to G5. Even though I don't like the fact that I'll have to wait a year or two, I'm glad that the PowerBooks will finally be upgraded to a more powerful processor.

Does anyone know how the Intel chips compare in regards to battery life?
Posted by (61 comments )
Reply Link Flag
meh no difference
I have a sony vaio 2 ghz (13 inch display) and the battery life is
actually really similer to my 1.5ghz (15 inch) powerbook. arouund a
dvd + 30 mins of light work for both of them. If i got the larger
battery with the sony model then it would be longer but thats an
optional extra. still happier with my powerbook though
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Link Flag
Concerns wrongfully bundled
In order to ally your fears:

The processor that an OS runs under has very little to do with its security. Keep in mind that Linux also runs on x86, and still has better security in many distributions than OS X.

Indeed, none of the concerns I've read in the replys to this story are valid for a processor switch. Intel x86 processors - and their supporting circuitry - are generally lower priced than those for PowerPCs (check prices for PPC for Amiga boards vs. Intel boards), and get comparable or better performance (depending on factors such as time of the year, phase of the moon, benchmarking utility used, mood of the reviewer, company that owns the reviewer, what the reviewer had with his beef chow mein at lunch last thursday, etc).

I bet you're waiting for me to say more about Intel processors. That's it. Price and speed. That's ALL that matters.

Ok, one other thing matters: Fault frequency. The number of uncaught errors that occur per successful instruction processed. IBM's PPC has a fault frequency of 2 faults per 100 trillion instructions. Intel's x86 has a fault frequency of... 2 faults per 100 trillion. AMDs have an FF of 4 faults per 100 trillion. (aren't you glad they went with Intel?)

For all intents and purposes, Apple made a lateral move in terms of price and performance (the marginal cost of porting software - anywhere from 2 manhours to 40 manhours per major third-party application - will initially cancel out the initial savings of using a less expensive processor and logic set). So why move?

I believe Apple is positioning themselves to actually compete with Microsoft. Yes, I assume that OS-X will be locked to Apple hardware initially, but it won't last. Jobs likely knows this: Within a week of the first release of OS-X, x86 edition, there will be a patch that will allow a user to run OS-X on arbitrary x86 hardware, with full driver support.

My guess is that it'll be just a little more complicated than swapping out the OS-X kernel for the Darwin kernel - just like that which has been done in order to run OS-X on arbitrary Amiga hardware.

Darwin, being open source and meant for consumption computers, has a range of device drivers rivaling that of linux, which is to say, incomplete, but only slightly.

Jobs will appear, then, to "give in to the masses" and release x86 for the generic PC, using the Darwin driver set.

Why go through all this trouble?

A couple of reasons. One, Apple is trying to sneak up on Microsoft. MS is a behemoth, and can and will crush Apple with any number of false accusations, surreptitious lies, supposed patent violations, and about as much legal crap as they can land on Apple. If Apple is to compete with Microsoft, they have to sidestep into a position where it's feasible.

Second, Apple does NOT want to leave it's loyalists in the cold. If all else fails, they need their 16% install base. Rest assured, OS-X and the applications you love will not stop being built for PowerPC just because they're finally releasing Marklar. (Yes, Marklar. It was the code name for OS-X x86, and if you didn't know that, it would explain why you're scared.) Apple also doesn't want the purchasers of its hardware to think they've been gypped as PC users just plop OS-X on their bad-ass $1100 PCs. The way Apple's doing it, the bad-ass $1100 Mac will be availble before OS-X for the generic x86 is availble.

Anyways, thank you for not paying attention, as is the wont of these forums.
Posted by (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Marklar is lebonese for SATAN.
Posted by (461 comments )
Link Flag
On the lighter side...Hopefully this won't herald
Hopefully this won't herald the start of apple ads with the annoying
intel tune, or the bloody blue man group and no intel stickers or
start up logos on my mac please. Actually this move is pretty smart
especially since intel do make good mobile chips (and notebooks
are becomming really popular) and we can now get better graphics
cards too. Once all the work is done and intel and apple keep on
progressing this will be a golden age.
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Reply Link Flag
In all this fuss, we seem to have forgotten about Intels foray into
the Mobile, and Phone market.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
X86-based Mac = Windows on Apple?
If Apple switches hardware and OS architecture to X86, doesn't that mean I will be able to install Windows on the new Macs (and Powerbooks - hmmm, will tehy change name to Intelbooks or Pentibooks??). Vice versa, wouldn't the Apple OS then run on any PC??
Posted by HanSolosdkjfdsklsjfldsjf (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Yes, thats possible
On this c|net article, it mentions the ability to run Windows on a Mac perfectly. However, OS X won't be available to PC users at all.
Posted by mikeg4936 (31 comments )
Link Flag
Apple had no choice
Apple had no choice. Not if they didn't want to fall further and further behind in speed.
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
it's about time
It's about time Apple went this route. There were a lot of rumors about this when they switched to OS X since the base system they started with was actually an x86 core... More importantly, we will finally be able to do actual head to head speed tests instead of Apple's knowingly falsified speed tests.
Posted by sutai (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apple speed tests...
vs. Intel's knowingly true speed tests.
Posted by taznar (45 comments )
Link Flag
Apple's turned back to tech leadership
In 1984 my Apple Lisa sported a true 32-bit processor (as did every Mac, subsequently.) Intel's state-of-the-art chip was 16-bit and many 8-bit "Intel-insides" were still around. Then the Apple's graphical interface and 16-times faster processor and the bundled Office-like software suite blew everyone else away and Microsoft's only today catching up, reliability-wise.
Yesterday's announcement that Apple would switch to Intel chips hid the bigger, gloomier message--Apple was spurning AMD's 64-bit retail leadership as well as Sun's rock-solid, Unix-proven 64-bit technology.
Today's gloomy for tech-heads but it looks like the marketing fluffers will be busy massaging the truth out of this story in their special way.
Posted by kroebling (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
can't we all get along?
Mac and Windows users have been arguing for years over which system is better, and this debate is only going to get worse once they are both running on the same processor where you can really do head to head competitions... But regardless of your preference, the switch to Intel will make it better for Apple to compete and possibly grab more market share. Switching to Intel should also drop costs significantly for the end user. It will also help developers because they will be able to unify their code base giving both platforms the latest and greatest. Apple is still Apple... OS X is still going to be OS X. All that's changing is what's under the hood. This should actually be a pretty smooth transition.
Posted by sutai (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Posted by mcthingy2 (64 comments )
Link Flag
I wish they went with AMD
I actually wish Apple went with AMD because that would have brought both companies together to fight the Windows and Intel dominance...
Posted by sutai (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Me too...
I would have preferred AMD over Intel since AMD seems to be
delivering great CPUs as of late.
Posted by JuggerNaut (860 comments )
Link Flag

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