June 3, 2005 5:08 PM PDT

Apple to ditch IBM, switch to Intel chips

Apple Computer plans to announce Monday that it's scrapping its partnership with IBM and switching its computers to Intel's microprocessors, CNET News.com has learned.

Apple has used IBM's PowerPC processors since 1994, but will begin a phased transition to Intel's chips, sources familiar with the situation said. Apple plans to move lower-end computers such as the Mac Mini to Intel chips in mid-2006 and higher-end models such as the Power Mac in mid-2007, sources said.

The announcement is expected Monday at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, at which Chief Executive Steve Jobs is giving the keynote speech. The conference would be an appropriate venue: Changing the chips would require programmers to rewrite their software to take full advantage of the new processor.

IBM, Intel and Apple declined to comment for this story.

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The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Apple was considering switching to Intel, but many analysts were skeptical citing the difficulty and risk to Apple.

That skepticism remains. "If they actually do that, I will be surprised, amazed and concerned," said Insight 64 analyst Nathan Brookwood. "I don't know that Apple's market share can survive another architecture shift. Every time they do this, they lose more customers" and more software partners, he said.

Apple successfully navigated a switch in the 1990s from Motorola's 680x0 line of processors to the Power line jointly made by Motorola and IBM. That switch also required software to be revamped to take advantage of the new processors' performance, but emulation software permitted older programs to run on the new machines. (Motorola spinoff Freescale currently makes PowerPC processors for Apple notebooks and the Mac Mini.)

The relationship between Apple and IBM has been rocky at times. Apple openly criticized IBM for chip delivery problems, though Big Blue said it fixed the issue. More recent concerns, which helped spur the Intel deal, included tension between Apple's desire for a wide variety of PowerPC processors and IBM's concerns about the profitability of a low-volume business, according to one source familiar with the partnership.

Over the years, Apple has discussed potential deals with Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, chipmaker representatives have said.

One advantage Apple has this time: The open-source FreeBSD operating system, of which Mac OS X is a variant, already runs on x86 chips such as Intel's Pentium. And Jobs has said Mac OS X could easily run on x86 chips.

The move also raises questions about Apple's future computer strategy. One basic choice it has in the Intel-based PC realm is whether to permit its Mac OS X operating system to run on any company's computer or only its own.

IBM loses cachet with the end of the Apple partnership, but it can take consolation in that it's designing and manufacturing the Power family processors for future gaming consoles from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, said Clay Ryder, a Sageza Group analyst.

"I would think in the sheer volume, all the stuff they're doing with the game consoles would be bigger. But anytime you lose a high-profile customer, that hurts in ways that are not quantifiable but that still hurt," Ryder said.

Indeed, IBM has a "Power Everywhere" marketing campaign to tout the wide use of its Power processors. The chips show up in everything from networking equipment to IBM servers to the most powerful supercomputer, Blue Gene/L.

Intel dominates the PC processor business, with an 81.7 percent market share in the first quarter of 2005, compared with 16.9 percent for Advanced Micro Devices, according to Dean McCarron of Mercury Research. Those numbers do not include PowerPC processors. However, Apple has roughly 1.8 percent of the worldwide PC market, he added.

Apple shipped 1.07 million PCs in the first quarter, and its move to Intel would likely bump up the chipmaker's shipments by a corresponding amount, McCarron added.

CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos and Richard Shim contributed to this report.

See more CNET content tagged:
IBM PowerPC, IBM Corp., Apple Computer, x86 processor, Apple Intel Mac Mini

288 comments

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so much for
Apple being better due to its architecture. Now it will be pure eyecandy and a version of Linux.
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hahaha
The reasons why Apple diehards are Apple diehards never cease to amaze and amuse :))
Posted by Soliton (39 comments )
Link Flag
An Intel processor....
... does NOT mean that Apple would settle for a PC-like
architecture. That is too crude to implement the noce features OS X
provides - like real plug and play, not plug, wait, and pray.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Servers First?
As a long-time Mac user (since the Mac Plus), I think this is
GREAT news, but I question the "Mini first" strategy. The rather
obvious choice for the first Intel system is the xServe. Most
xServes run mostly Apple-supplied or admin-compiled software,
so the switch would have minimal impact. Emulation might not
even be necessary.

As for the overall "feel" of the machine... it'll still be an Apple.
The "soul" of a Macintosh is NOT in the processor, which was
proven by the switch to PowerPC. Intel Macintoshes will be every
bit a Macintosh, only be faster and use less power because of
the better CPUs. PowerPCs aren't all that great anymore, and the
Pentium M will be a MUCH better choice for the Mini. It's too
bad AIM wasn't able to keep up with Intel, because the PowerPC
showed a lot of promise, but the actual products simply don't
compete anymore.
Posted by samkass (310 comments )
Link Flag
that's not quite true
Rest assured the architecture will still be closed - whether or not apple uses intels standard chipsets or not. Apple will still be able to control the hardware, and thus not have to go into the MS problem o fhaving to support everything on earth.

That being said, this would suck.
Posted by drhamad (117 comments )
Link Flag
Can anyone confirm this?
Is Apple really moving to Intel processors? Rigt now I cannot find another source.
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This may be a real twist...
If Apple can make OS X run on an Intel processor (probably the
Itanium to maintain the RISC concept), and WIndows can run on
the same processor, the next generation computers might be a
common hardware design and dual mode OS's. That was the
CHRP concept a while back 'Common Hardware Reference
Platform' with a core kernal plus personality (OS) overlays.

Can't really see Apple going with an X86, even tho maybe they
could. The X86 line is just aboout out of steam and needs to be
junked.

And, if Apple shifts to the Itanium, that just might force MS into
a clean OS design, especially one without the registry file.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
dual boot mac and indows (on a PC at least) would be impossible
apple's terms of use for the mac os
Posted by stefanlod (2 comments )
Link Flag
Registry
What is wrong with the registry? It is generally misused by a lot of programmers, but that is not the fault of Windows.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Not Itanium, I'm sure
It's the Itanium that's all-but dead. x86 is the one that's alive and well, evolving, and going to last well into the future. The 64-bit extensions, dual-core CPUs, and other innovations guarantee the death of Itanium (which is already well under way).
Posted by fredmenace (159 comments )
Link Flag
Itanium is not RISC
it is EPIC. Go google.
Posted by orfeu_niko (104 comments )
Link Flag
I think this switch is going to go a bit more smoothly than you think.
Ever since OS-X was developed, Apple has maintained an x86 version of OS-X, codenamed Marklar, in the event they decided to switch to x86.

The reason they did this is because it was _EASY_. Take a look at any OS-X binary. If you know your stuff, you'll be able to tell that it was produced with gcc. gcc's got the tremendous advantage that it doesn't NEED you to write any hardware-specific code. If you're compiling for an IBM PowerPC G5, it'll throw in Altivec instructions where necessary. If you're compiling for an Pentium-4, it'll use SIMD. If you're compiling for a dual processor system, it'll figure out what can run in paralell and shunt the code this way and that.

In other words, porting architectures is about as difficult as modifying the "ARCH" variable before your run make. about the main exception to this is the Kernel. You know, Darwin? The thing that already runs on any system you care to run it on? Yeah. Done and done. When Jobs says "easy", people who've been programming as long as I have, and who've been so obsessed with getting a copy of Marklar for the last four years as I have been know he means it. In fact, at the worst, it means about 600 computer-hours of compilation, and maybe about the same number of man hours in stability testing on their "reference machines".
Posted by (14 comments )
Link Flag
Damnit
i will never buy apple again.. ever... if this is true i am very sad...
and how will i get new software for my computer. who will make
outdated stuff... i hate apple... to court i say to court
Posted by paintedover26k (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
although
and i still wouldnt buy another apple.. maybe they will have intel
make an all new processor.. but i hate intel and damn.. this
really sucks
Posted by paintedover26k (15 comments )
Link Flag
why
would apple do this after intel is stealing their design ideas???
mac mini intel mini ahhhh
Posted by paintedover26k (15 comments )
Link Flag
"Never by Apple"? Why?!
It's just a CPU. It processes instructions. The real soul of the
Macintosh is in the boot loader, which lets it "plug and play" (to
use an Intel term) anything, and in the operating system, which
was designed from the user's point of view.

An Intel Macintosh will be every bit as much a Macintosh as the
PowerPC Macintosh was after they switched from 680x0. If you
never buy Apple again, have fun in Windows-land, which will still
have all its same problems.
Posted by samkass (310 comments )
Link Flag
Um... what?
Sorry, but you're not paying attention. Forget the headline for a sec. They're going to phase the switch. Your high-end mac will still be good for the next five years - about the life of the product, if you're stretching it. All your favorite apps will have new versions anyway by then, and you'll probably already have bought them.

Meanwhile, those new apps will come on shiny DVDs with both PPC and x86 versions. And how much you wanna bet that Apple 1) keeps a generic PowerPC on the mainboard for "classic" apps for the next generation or two of Macs, and 2) already knows how to make a better PearPC, DOSBox (emulator with API extensions and integration built in) style for their later generations.

I mean, this is APPLE, man. They won't leave their small and loyal zealo- I mean user base behind.

For reference, I like macs, and even own one, but I'm under the impression that about 90% of people who use macs exclusively are insane zealots. I mean, you realize that this shift, if done correctly, can place Apple OVER microsoft, right?
Posted by (14 comments )
Link Flag
this is BS
if this proves to be a legit story i will eat **** and film it with print
out of this post strapped to my head.

apple has no reason to switch to X86, x86 has been just as
stangnent as IBM has been if not more, the only real jump is dual
core, and IBM cant be far behind, and with the low clock speed of
the pentium D i dont see apple switching to intel.
Posted by hectoruk (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
no reason?
What, you mean all the G5-based laptops that Apple has been selling for the last couple of years? Hey, get a clue. IBM can't cool the G5 enough to put it in a notebook. Nobody want's G4 machines. Our company junked all its G4's for G5's this year. Laptop sales are up, desktop sales are down. See where it's headed?
Posted by (30 comments )
Link Flag
I hope your __ is tasty
Apple has every reason to move their xServes to Intel. Releasing
MacOS X Server x86 is a no-brainer. Also, the Pentium M is now
going dual-core, while Apple can't even get the single-core G5
into a laptop... The Pentium M would easily double the
processing power of the PowerBooks and Man Mini. As for the
P4 vs. the G5, Apple has fallen a little behind here, too... why not
take advantage of the P4's lower cost and (slightly) higher
performance?

Basically, except for the irrational overreaction of short-sighted
Mac zealots, it's a no-brainer benefit for all of Apple's hardware.
Posted by samkass (310 comments )
Link Flag
p0n3d
Ha!
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Link Flag
well
I hope you post yourself eating **** soon. I presume you meant human waste product. That would be some fascinating video
Posted by wnurse (39 comments )
Link Flag
Wow like people haven't started THIS a bajillion times
Apple-Intel rumors have been around as long as Apple. Come on, you guys. THINK!!!!!!! Alright, so suppose that Apple decides to switch to Intel. Of course, all that software (Photoshop, Illustrator, GRAPHIC DESIGN SOFTWARE, any software really) would have to be rewritten for x86. OS X would run on Intel. Now, in the year or so it would take to rewrite all this software, and change production of the computers and alter them, how many people would buy a PowerPC based computer that will have no software or support in the future?

None.

Come on people, we know you like to entertain these ideas, but its just not going to happen. I'll eat my hat if it does.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Man, why are apple people so...
Dumb.

"all that software (Photoshop, Illustrator, GRAPHIC DESIGN SOFTWARE, any software really) would have to be rewritten for x86. OS X would run on Intel."
Yes, Adobe would have to rewrite Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign for the x86. Oh, like IT'S NOT ALREADY RUNNING ON THE X86 YOU FRIGGING MORON! Visit Adobe.com and click on PRODUCTS.

"Now, in the year or so it would take to rewrite all this software, and change production of the computers and alter them, how many people would buy a PowerPC based computer that will have no software or support in the future?"

Yes, this whole thing makes no sense from what we know. Assuming everybody's assumptions are right, and Apple will do a straight port to x86, it will be the end of Apple has a hardware company.
Posted by (30 comments )
Link Flag
Indeed
Even more so, this is the millionth time I've seen this rumor on
C|NET.

Let's face facts, if Apple were to switch to x86-based
architecture which would be a monumental logistic nightmare,
they'd no doubt switch to AMD chips which are far more
powerful than Intel chips running at far far greater clock speeds.

Odds are if Apple is indeed in negotiation with Intel, it's not for
CPUs but for some other technology like PCIe or WiMax
Posted by ScifiterX (69 comments )
Link Flag
Re..written?
I'm sorry, is software still written in assembler? I could have sworn that the development environment for OS-X was GNU C/C++, which, if I remmeber correctly, doesn't care which processor you're compiling it for, as long as you've got one specified in the ARCH environment variable.

Wow. Adobe would have to change an environment variable and sell lots of copies of the same version of each piece of software they put out. I'm sure THAT'll put them in the poor house.
Posted by (14 comments )
Link Flag
p0n3d
More ha!
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Link Flag
Will you film yourself like hector will?
He says he would eat s**t. You said you would eat a hat. Is that a clean or dirty hat and will you film it?
Posted by wnurse (39 comments )
Link Flag
LOL
Yummy
Posted by John Medina (15 comments )
Link Flag
Well, I guess your going to eat your hat!
HEY, GUESS WHAT! THEY HAVE SWITCHED!!! (partially)
Posted by somedudeuno (2 comments )
Link Flag
Time to get a new hat
HEY, GUESS WHAT! THEY HAVE SWITCHED!!! (partially) I guess you dont have a hat anymore!!
Posted by somedudeuno (2 comments )
Link Flag
I'm still not buying this
I'm simply not... it just doesn't make sense. Maybe I'll be proved
wrong Monday. Who knows. If it turns out that Apple is going to
jump to the Itanium or some new processor that's fine with me. If
it's x86 and this turns out to be Steve's great folly of a crusade
against Microsoft (which is an imagined enemy anyway) you can
count me out.

For now, though. I don't buy it.
Posted by (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
intel sucks
how can you say intel makes goods chips.. they use more
power.. and cant hold their own against amd... their next chip
has the ability to kill peer to peer and a remote control thing...
hackers here ya go.. man intel is whorible..
Posted by paintedover26k (15 comments )
Link Flag
And if there were to be any processor jump
Why would it be to Intel of all people? Why not something like
Sun's UltraSPARC... of course Sun being a company making Unix
processors to begin with. If this is true, this will go down as one of
weirdest things to occur in my short lifetime. If Steve is really
personally angry enough at IBM to pull this sort of a stunt (which I
doubt he is, surely he's smarter than that) then the world has
officially gone to Bedlam.
Posted by (10 comments )
Link Flag
p0n3d
Even more Ha!
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Link Flag
Intel 81.7, AMD 16.9, PPC "not included"...
*** does that mean? The numbers are x86 architecture only, in which case they're meaningless in context (that's quite obviously NOT "the PC processor business")? Or that PPC isn't made by either Intel or AMD, which is an obvious tautology?

Sloppy reporting.
Posted by (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Doubtful, but Apple will not get rid of PPC
I think Apple might migrate some of the MAC's to Intel, but I seriously doubt they will shift their whole line to X86. IBM's high end Power and PowerPC have way to much of a advantage.........

From a marketing perspective I think Apple should stick to PPC to preserve their brand equity.
Posted by rshimizu12 (98 comments )
Link Flag
it means
"*** does that mean? The numbers are x86 architecture only, in which case they're meaningless in context (that's quite obviously NOT "the PC processor business")? Or that PPC isn't made by either Intel or AMD, which is an obvious tautology?"

It means that Apple's insignificant market share wasn't included in the numbers. Just take the 100 percent and multiple it by 2 or 2.9834 or 1.93434 to get the PPC numbers. OK?
Posted by (30 comments )
Link Flag
WOW... hard to imagine
Apple is really the only company that has ever pulled this kind of thing off -- with its Motorola 68K to PowerPC transition. Intel tried several times to get rid of x86 and replace it with a different, cleaner architecture, and it didn't work. HP is trying to move PA (HP 9000) customers to Itanium, and many are jumping ship, either to Sun Sparc or x86. Look at what happened when Digital tried to get Intel customers to move to Windows NT on Alpha. Didn't work.

That said, OS X stands the best chance of pulling this off. It already runs on Intel x86 (it just doesn't get out of the Apple campus), and it supports "FAT" binaries -- executable files that contain code for multiple processor architectures in a single file (this elminations a lot user confusion -- "there's two files, which one do I launch? PPC? x86?? Huh?"

But Apple's got a big problem. It just put customers and developers through a big transition in operating systems... now it wants to change processor types. Developers will probably not be happy. A lot of older code may not be endian-neutral. PowerPC is big endian, and x86 is little endian. Users will want to be able to run their old PowerPC apps. Is Steve Jobs going to ask everyone to immediately go out and buy upgrades of their software for x86? At least with the OS 9/X transition you could use classic, or boot into OS 9 for any apps that wouldn't run in Classic. So do they have an efficient emulator/binary translator they plan to use? If they don't they're dead.

This seems like a very risky move. CNET has typically been reliable about this stuff, but I doubt Apple can pull this off. If Jobs thinks they can, I'm willing to speculate that his ego is now bigger than planet Earth, and he's way out of touch with reality.
Posted by chris_d (195 comments )
Reply Link Flag
what really bothers me is...
this is categorized in teh enterprise hardware section. i'm in the enterprise hardware business and the companies i see must hide their macs as soon as i get there...never seen them ever as a standard.
Posted by tlite722 (160 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Top 5
Apple is one of the top 5 in shipment volume for rack-mounted
servers, but way down the list in revenue... it's one area where
Apple tends to provide the cheapest solution. xRAID is one of
the highest meg-per-dollar solutions, and xSAN is half the cost
of competing SAN solutions. They're definitely not high-end
servers, but for what you get they're a great deal, which is why
you see them in many of the "low cost supercomputer" setups.

And offering the option of Intel (and a *server* OS on Intel-
standard hardware) is virtually a no-brainer from a business
growth pespective.
Posted by samkass (310 comments )
Link Flag
doesnt make sense
Your comment doesn't make any sense. Why would anyone need to hide anything from you!?

It's up to a company what they choose to use. I've never worked in a homogeneous company, they've all had unix flavors, windows, and at least some macs in the marketing group if not more. In many of the companies I've worked at, which have a lot of unix, many people use macs for their laptops.

What you say makes no sense, in syntax or fact.
Posted by kxmmxk (320 comments )
Link Flag
Apple's Move to the Server Market
I think a move to Intel sets up Apple very well to compete in the
server market against favorites such as Microsoft and Linux. It's a
tough sell asking enterprises to lock into proprietary hardware.

Aside: I'm very happy with my Powerbook and its G4 processor. But
I know, things could be a little sweeter with Intel's M chip. Too bad
this has to happen when the powerpc is picking up steam on the
gaming consoles.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I second the x86 for X Serve
I think it might be logical move for Apple.
Anyway Darwin is running on x86, whole stack of server apps
was there all the time.

Prospectives of Apple on servers were always underestimated.
Analysts were shouting "Apple's server line is fastest-growing
server product," but due to M$ induced ad hype Windoz vs.
Linux everyone is refusing to notice Apple. And Apple has
scored bunch of deals good already.

x86 for Apple's desktop will be complete disaster and Apple
understand that. "Think different" aspect will vanish. But on
server side they will be capable to make cheap and good and
fast systems.

Windoz management - especially as shipped by M$ - sucks very
much. Linux management and rocket science are some things
comparable in complexity. Management tools Apple developed
for they X Serve line are one the best: drawing power of Unix
and throwing convenient GUI into the mix. Imagine polished and
finished YAST2 with remote management capability - something
nor SuSE nor Novell did accomplished - what great potential it
could have.
Posted by Philips (400 comments )
Link Flag
proprietary?
Why would an Apple server running Mac OSX with an Intel chip
inside be any less proprietary than an Apple server running Mac
OSX with a PPC chip inside?
Posted by ygtbfkm (29 comments )
Link Flag
C'mon, seriously folks, THINK
Do you really think that with the massively complex switch to
PowerPC that Apple is going to give up on its relationship with
Apple just because they're at 2.5 rather than 3Ghz? By now, any
fool on the street knows Ghz are kind of irrelevant, for one.
Second, the developer community would be ticked off to say the
least, and I'm no developer. Third, PowerPC is a great, not good
architecture, and it just needs time to develop. IBM is not like
Motorola of 68xxx days, and are very much in the
microprocessor business, and at the pointy end too. Fourth,
they've already got to deal with two CPU suppliers, you think
they're going to have to support three? Finally, can't you
imagine some NEW device they're going to introduce that could
use some appropriate cool Intel chip? If you imagine Apple
have been busy simply trying to tweak the platforms, you're
sadly mistaken. I'm sure this signals some interesting new
directions for the company.
Posted by maxpatton (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Corrections...
3GHz was where they were supposed to be LAST summer, when
they were stuck at 2.3GHz. By now, if they'd stuck to that curve,
they'd be closing in on 4GHz.

And if the PowerPC is so great, why are most PowerPC chips
underperformers and power hogs? Wasn't it supposed to be the
other way around? An ABI is only as good as the chips you can
make with it.

In the meantime the Intel Pentium M is going dual-core in
laptops *this year* while Apple is stuck with 64 bits that no
laptop user needs, and has no major laptop-capable current-
generation CPU.
Posted by samkass (310 comments )
Link Flag
Not that far-fetched, actually
Nowadays, is there really a killer-app that runs on the Mac which isn't made by Apple itself? I can't think of one off the top of my head. Switching to Intel on the other hand would mean Macs can viably run Windows, especially given the virtualization technology that'd be in future Intel chips. A Mac that can run Windows and Mac OS simultaneously is an attractive package.
Posted by Chung Leong (111 comments )
Link Flag
You're off a bit.
1) Yes. Because of that complexity, Apple's been keeping a hedge: Marklar. It's OS-X for x86, and it's been developed in paralell to OS-X. Switching is just a matter of deciding on a new reference system and providing a different CD.

2) Right. You're no developer. So you don't know that the OS is about a zillion times more important than the architecture when it comes to writing code. Seriously, no one writes in assembler anymore. Not production code, at least. gcc will compile to x86 with about as much difficulty as it will compile to PPC, and about all the developer has to do is swap an environment variable from "PowerPC-G5-Altivac" to "686-P4-SIMD" (or "686-P4-64-SIMD-Dual", as the case may be), and gcc will take care of dealing with how the binary should be specialized.

3) Umm.. it's a processor. I know there's flame wars back and forth about RISC versus CISC, but to a compiler it's all the same. And as long as the compiler can take advantage of the features of a processor, it doesn't MATTER which one it's on.

4) "Support"? It's an extre couple hundered CPU-Hours per product for compilation on the new platform. Nothing Apple can't handle. And whos their other supplier? Motorola? I'm pretty sure Apple negotiated a special 68k instruction set out of IBM for the PowerPC switch so that Classic could run in its own mode.

5) I dunno. XScale processers are pretty awesome things. They're ARM, and if you don't know what that means, take a look at your GameBoy Advance, your Nintendo DS, your Sony PSP, your PDA, or any of a number of other small devices. Apple just needs to come up with an application for it.

I mean, hell, they could probably make a PDA that would knock the **** out of Windows Mobile sales.

New Direction: Run OS-X on any x86 machine. Steal a LARGE chunk of MS's market share.

Reasons not to do this:
1: Fear of reprisal from MS. Doubt it. They pull MS Office, and guess what, no one cares; Apple Work handles all MS documents and works better. I mean, lack of Office for Linux doesn't stop those in the Know from using Linux. It's called OpenOffice.

2: Apple users no longer can point at their new mac and look down on the PC using plebs, thinking they couldn't understand the sheer extacy of owning a mac. Apple's response would likely be something like, "Umm, this is business. Your machine still works and remains supported. I mean, I didn't _THINK_ we'd made our customers into complete nutters..."

3: Steve Jobs smokes crack. Since this one isn't true at all, I'm pretty confident that OS-X will be released for x86 in general, as a seperated OS (possibly with an open-source kernel to increase machine support). It won't be the OS-X that is on your pretty Mac Mini, but it will have all the things Darwin does not.
Posted by (14 comments )
Link Flag
Wow!
Pretty kewel! And complementary:

Intel Inside/Apple Outside
Blue Men Dancing/Other Bright Silhouettes Dancing

Wonder what the pundits will call this duo? Aptel? Inpple?
Intelapple? AI?

CharlesJo.com
OS Wars
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://charlesjo.com/newsletterissue?" target="_newWindow">http://charlesjo.com/newsletterissue?</a>
newsletterIssueEntityId=285
Posted by CharlesJo.com (34 comments )
Reply Link Flag
/. thread
on the same topic:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/04/0238235&#38;tid=118&#38;tid=3&#38;tid=137" target="_newWindow">http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/04/0238235&#38;tid=118&#38;tid=3&#38;tid=137</a>

Actually, it's referencing this article.

OSx86 could be another name for the duo.

CharlesJo.com
Posted by CharlesJo.com (34 comments )
Link Flag
Hmmm...
...is this fact or FUD??? I seriously doubt Apple is going to make a
switch this late in the game. IBM has done a real good job with
PowerPC and it would be crazy to switch to the x86 architecture
now.
Posted by JuggerNaut (860 comments )
Reply Link Flag
There must be more to it
The CPU is actually a non-problem at the moment. Mac developers
are not unhappy with G5 speeds; marketshare is starting to grow
for the first time, and the risk of people running a hacked up
variant of Mac OS X on some random Dell is high. Why would Steve
Jobs want to run this particular risk? Not a good idea.
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I just got back from the Apple store
And read this. No kidding!

I've always been a PC/Linux guy and after test driving several different Macs I was still undecided but went to take the plunge on a Mac Mini anyway.

But... after telling the rude little troll behind the counter what I wanted configuration wise, he informed me that his technician was "too busy" and I wouldn't get it till the next day.

Had he not been such a jack*ss I might have been more understandable, but that experience and this article clinched it for me. I'am sticking with my PC.

Quite frankly, I found the MACs to be pretty slow performers, but OSX is really nice. Hopefully we'll see it available for x86 platform someday.

In the meantime, Apple can keep their hardware.
Posted by (56 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And in the meantime&
you can put up with your PC viruses, spyware, and adware.

Oh, happy day!
Posted by (6 comments )
Link Flag
...
That rude little troll might have been having a bad day, it happens
to everyone. Secondly you have no idea what goes on instore and
back of house, so I would be careful when making such remarks.
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Link Flag
Apple is write we should limit who we can call a Journalist
I guess Stephen Shankland can be tossed into the same bin as
Dvorak, trolling for fish bate , how fitting with a last name of
SHANK..land. There is nothing to this story that warrants any
discussion period, move along people realise when you come
across a wanna be journalist....
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Marketing, Core-direction change, and WTF?
There are several advantages from a bean-counter &#38; marketing
perspective of switching the platform to intel-based processors:
it means that Apple can finally compare apples to apples in
speed tests instead of comparing apples to oranges for such
bottom line issues as "processor advertised speed" (as if this
weren't meaningless in the bigger scheme of things, where real-
world performance rules -- but the marketing types will rejoice).

It will also mean that it will probably be easier to gather the
programming staffs to deal with machine-level coding/patching
(since finding machine-level programmers versed in G4/G5
chips is difficult); conversely, it wil also mean they probably will
inadvertently start pulling in the dredges of the programming
realms that currently infest the PC side of the world and are at
least partially responsible for the innate quirkiness of unstable
PC's.

From a co-marketing stand-point, being able to shout "intel
inside" and convincing manufacturers of third party add-on's
that adding a few code-snippets to support the mac (instead of
having to build mac-specific versions) will open up the
accessory and add-on market. Anybody remember NuBus?

Finally, it might signal the emergence of the penultimate battle
-- if they get the OS running on plain-jane OS boxes from a
dozen (or a zillion) different vendors, they will be able to take on
MS Windoze as the platform of choice. Unfortunately, I see this
particular tactic back-firing in three ways:

(A) MS is a marketing company. Yes, they sometimes write
software (and more often absorb it through acquisitions, etc),
but primarily they are the biggest gorilla on the planet because
of marketing prowess. Apple doesn't have the coffers to go toe-
to-toe with them on their home-turf, even with a superior
product unless the spyware/virus/maint/update/support cycles
continue in the current vein on the Windows platform.

(B) If they give up hardware control, they will open themselves
up to the same kind of glitches that the PC side already endurs;
If they don't give up hardware control, they are stuck right where
they're at, but at the mercy of Intel/AMD, both of whom are
extremely loyally dedicated to the Wintel platform because of
raw sales numbers (meaning MS could leverage marketing force
against them, including in such things as processor
development direction -- it doesn't take a genius to figure out
that if MS wants Intel's staff to dedicate itself to changes X,Y,Z,
smaller clients like Apple will be left on the back-burner).

(C) In a combined view (a subset of the full Mac OS runs on
generic boxes, with a complete superset of the Mac OS running
on Apple-branded Intel-driven hardware -- something shown as
early as the roll out of OS X beta's), apple gets split two ways to
Sunday -- people will lambast them for poor stability on the low
end of the spectrum and lambast them for too high prices on
the high end of the spectrum (right now they can be lambasted
only on the pricing models). Apple history has always shown that
their attempts to go low-end, mass market goes awry somehow
(remember the Mac clones?); the company size simply isn't right
for this kind of move, and I doubt it could stand the growing
pains of that kind of growth while still being the same
outstanding firm it has been in terms of products &#38;
conceptualizations realized at the desktop level... This speaks
back to the Pepsi generation at Apple, and the problems that
existed then as well... If anyone has looked at the stock, it's
already started to tank as a result. If you hold stock, I'd expect a
harsh ride over the next two weeks as it rollercoasters...

Best possible solution, if the news is true:
Apple will remain Apple. The box will still be Apple and the OS
will run only on Apple-delivered boxes; the processor core
changes to Intel Itanium or some other multi-core RISC
architecture that they see as feasible, but from the outside of
the box, we don't see the changes...

Fingers crossed
=-= The CyberPoet
Posted by cyberpoet (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
corrections
Two corrections: given the amount of assembly level coding
needed, the number of people familiar with x86 vs PPC is
probably irrelevant. Almost all of that would be in the code-
generating portions of gcc or a JIT compiler for Java, anyway.
Writing code generating code and writing general purpose
assembler code are completely different things.

Second correction: the stock shot up 5% when the first hint of
this rumor came out. I expect if it is confirmed (which I'm still
skeptical of), it will shoot up even more. The point to sell is
right after the Mac Mini Intel box goes on sale, before news of
how poorly it's doing comes out. Then buy it back shortly after
they announce that they're going to stick with some new PPC
that IBM just came out with or something.
Posted by ygtbfkm (29 comments )
Link Flag
Last weeks news
This story was all over last week, it's crap. Jobs will never allow the
Mac interface to be ported to Intel, period. They are talking with
Intel about using their next gen WIFI chipset. MacNN has much
better coverage.
Posted by electblu (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Seems legit
It's all over the AP now.
Anyway, just wait until Monday.

It's gonna be interesting, would they put the "Intel Inside" sticker over the apple now :-)
Posted by seneschal (10 comments )
Link Flag
Cnet and others trying to manipulate stock markets.
Since these rumors resurfaced a few days ago, Apple's stock has
been rising again.

Monday, when this rumor is dispelled and once again Apple
shows that they won't switch to the x86 architecture, the APPL
stock will crash... (well maybe not crashing but it will go down
by some margin)

Some "clever" people could make a lot of money out of this, or
they simply some company wants to hurt Apple's stock, hoping
to throw them in a downward spiral.

Unfortunately, this kind of thing is not a criminal offense...
Posted by (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Huh?
1. Apple's stock has been very steady this week until Friday,
when news of overstocked iPods and Macs sent it down... http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=AAPL&#38;t=5d
2. There is no time between now and Monday to trade stocks, so
stock manipulation as a motive for an article posted after market
close on Friday concerning news to be announced Monday
makes no sense.
3. Intel is, I believe, or was a major investor in c|net, and thus it
WOULD probably be illegal if the motive was stock manipulation.

In short, I don't think so.
Posted by samkass (310 comments )
Link Flag
h0ax!
This isn't the first time and the last time Apple is using C|Net for a hoax. Official well known sources who are always right know that Apple is in talk with Intel, but then about new iPod processors and chips for it's Xserve Raid. So this message may go to the trash. Apple would NEVER switch to Intel, because it's very very expensive and they will loose a lot of market share. Also IBM processors are still faster than Intel/AMD dual core chips, but Apple only wants more, because IBM doesn't do what they promise, but plans for the future show that IBM will reach 6 GHz in 2007 and Intel won't be there then. And that's the date Apple's PowerMac should switch to Intel, I don't think so.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
d
"Also IBM processors are still faster than Intel/AMD dual core chips, but Apple only wants more, because IBM doesn't do what they promise, but plans for the future show that IBM will reach 6 GHz in 2007 and Intel won't be there then"

And how in the hell have you determined this? Have you seen anything to show that the Power PC 970 is uniformly faster then AMD and Intel chips? Everything contradicts this. Oh wait, you're reading the Apple web site that shows that one photoshop filter is faster on Tuesday when it's raining outside.
Posted by (30 comments )
Link Flag
Pure Unadulterated crap.
For a second there I was more than a little worried. I mean, this
is c|net home of "Tech News First," then I came back from
Wonderland. Apple is most likely going to announce a
partnership with Intel and their WiMax technology, NOT there
processors.

If Apple switched it would be suicide for the company. No
matter how fast an x86 processor is just imagine how slow,
slow, slow PPC emulation would be! Have you run VPC lately?

It may be possible server-side, but no way no how, nuh-uh, not
going to happen.

A secondary point, what kind of journalistic standards does this
publication adhere to? "Sources familiar with the situation" cut it
on rumor sites, but a supposed news gathering organization?
Posted by peetmckinney (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
It wouldn't be emulated you idiot
Get off the net before you embarrass yourself any further. Apple would port OSX and its underlying BSD core that ALREADY runs on x86 over and would probably have tools that would recompile existing programs. As for altivec have you ever heard of SIMD Extensions? Apple would, again help developers port over their code to x86. Hell I'm not even a programmer and even I know that.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Link Flag
who hired these business analysts ?
NeXTstep was running on 486/Pentium back in 1995.
NeXTstep became Mac OS X 5 years later after the return of Steve
Jobs at Apple and you believe they scrap the software foundation
that enable it to run on multiple processor architectures ?
Come on! Whether this is rumor or truth, it doesn't change the fact
that the OS X architecture require minimal effort to adopt a new
chip architecture and 90% of Mac developers won't be affected.
And look inside a Mac: 99% is PC components... with a design.
Posted by (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If this story is wrong...
some heads better roll by next week...
Posted by (30 comments )
Reply Link Flag
how about.....
... starting with yours? We need to do something to eliminate the
adolescent purility from the commentaries. Maybe a basic IQ test
before one can post?????
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
finally i can afford a 'mac'
i could never afford to drop $3000 on a mac, but $129, i can afford that... good job mr jobs! finally you can see your company acquire more than 2% of the market. i'm sure the shareholders are very happy with this decision.
Posted by mortis9 (370 comments )
Reply Link Flag
no
as a shareholder i am not
Posted by paintedover26k (15 comments )
Link Flag
Intel doesn't mean cheaper!
You think if Apple ever switched to Intel, it would make Macs
cheaper? Think again. Of course a Mac can be had for about the
same price as a Dell, though Apple actually delivers a product of
value (unlike Dell). Of course if you're paying $129 for a PC, you're
paying too much, they should have already been priced $100 or
less by now.

I seriously doubt Apple will switch to Intel, so don't get your hopes
up.
Posted by JuggerNaut (860 comments )
Link Flag
price check on Apple please?
it must be interesting to live in your world where a $3000 top of
the line work station will drop to $129 just because a chip got
changed.

...especially considering that chip change (which will never
happen BTW) would cost millions in R&#38;D.

sadly, it would seem that in your world the mini has yet to
appear, and you can not price similar machines, or you would
see that a similarly equipped dell and Mac have near identical
prices.

BTW Alice, how is the mad hatter?
Posted by shane--2008 (343 comments )
Link Flag
your confused???
Macs are no different than similarily configured Dells or Toshibas. They are not expensive, that is mis-information.

I know several people who just bought new dell laptops and paid around $1500-2000.

You can get the bottom end iBook for $999.
Posted by kxmmxk (320 comments )
Link Flag
 

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