January 10, 2006 1:07 PM PST

Jobs: New Intel Macs are 'screamers'

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for the iPod. Most rival MP3 players already offer FM radio as a standard feature.

Aside from those media tidbits, Tuesday's announcements were focused on the new generation of consumer software, much of which has been seemingly inspired by the success of podcasting and is designed to help Mac users distribute movies, photos and audio more easily over the Net.

Macworld

Jobs spent considerable time demonstrating the new version of iPhoto, which includes a "photocasting" feature that lets people create online photo albums. Other people can subscribe to these albums, just as they do today with blogs or podcasts, and have new photos downloaded automatically to their own computers.

The new iPhoto is faster and can now handle up to 250,000 photos--10 times the prior limit, he added.

The GarageBand music-production software has also been updated to include a podcasting studio, which streamlines the process of making a radiolike show and posting it online.

As expected, the software suite's biggest addition was iWeb, which allows users to make their own Web sites, complete with audio, video and photos drawn from the company's other applications, in just a few minutes. The entire software suite will keep its $79 price tag and will come free on new Mac computers.

"It's a giant new release," Jobs said, talking about the new iLife '06 suite. "It's going to propel us even further ahead of anything else in the world.

The company's consumer applications, including iLife, will run natively on the new Intel processors starting immediately, as well as on the Power PC chip. Professional audio, video and photo applications will be updated in March, and customers will be able to buy a "crossgrade," or new version of the existing software, for $49, he said.

Most other applications will run smoothly by using the translation software called Rosetta, which will come with every new Intel-based Mac, he said. Microsoft's Office will be one of those applications.

Microsoft Mac Business Unit General Manager Roz Ho joined Jobs onstage to say that the software powerhouse is moving ahead to create an Intel-based version of Office. She announced a deal between Apple and Microsoft under which Microsoft will continue creating new versions of Office for Mac for a minimum of five years.

The "commitment should leave no doubt in your mind that we're here to stay, and we're in it for the long term," Ho said.

The quick release of the Intel-based products has left some developers, who expected a few more months before release, scrambling to transfer their own applications over to an Intel-compatible version. Code written specifically for that hardware will typically run faster than software written for the PowerPC chips, but using the Rosetta translation software.

Some of the largest developers have already done considerable work, and are nearly ready to release product. An Adobe spokesman said their Photoshop application would have to wait until the next scheduled update (which doesn't have a date attached yet), but their new Lightroom software will be released in Intel-compatible version sometime in the next few months.

"We think it's great that Apple was able to get this ahead of schedule," said Kevin Connor, Adobe's senior director of product management for digital imaging. "We've already got (Lightroom) running in house on Intel based Macs. We've been waiting until they ship to post it, and now this will let us get that out too."

Other developers are starting to release Intel-based versions of their products too, but they hadn't been warned of the change in the release schedule, Jobs said.

Click here to Play

Video: Jobs shows off the MacBook Pro
Apple CEO debuts an Intel-based laptop that he says is four to five times faster than the PowerBook G4.

Leaving no doubt that Apple would launch a marketing blitz around the Intel-based machines, Jobs showed off a new advertisement introducing the products. Reminiscent of the "1984" commercial that touted the first Macintosh computer, it painted the new line of products as a liberation for the Intel chip itself.

For years, the Intel chip has been "trapped inside PCs--dull little boxes, dutifully performing dull little tasks," the ad says. "Starting today, the Intel chip will be set free, and get to live life inside a Mac."

As is often the case, some of the wildest predictions about potential products turned out to be off the mark, including rumors that Apple would have a plasma television with a built-in Mac computer. The company also did not update the Mac Mini or iBook with Intel chips, as many enthusiast sites predicted.

 

Correction:This article incorrectly reported the screen size of the MacBook Pro laptops that Apple will be releasing. Both new models will have a 15.4-inch screen.

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80 comments

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Hmmm...twice the speed
Guess that settles the performance question between PowerPC G5 versus the Wintel processors.

AMD is the fastest.
Posted by make_or_break (3747 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dual Core???
Um, lets see, Dual Core vs Single Core. Ya, might be a bit faster...
Posted by thawk9455 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Marketing Hyperbole
People,
Please try to understand the difference between "speed attained" and work performed, anyone who has seriously looked at the different cpu architectures that are continuously involved in this argument will tell you that THESE ARE MYTHS. Intels architecture excels at speed. AMDs architecture excels at work and the PowerPC architecture excels at both, while not leading at either.

Steve Jobs is doing what he does best, selling ice to Eskimos.
Posted by EmbSysPro (57 comments )
Reply Link Flag
$1299 for an Intel Apple machine???
$1299 for an Intel Apple machine??? I'll stick to my Windows XP-AMD 3800+ for $720. Why are the prices so high? Just to discourage anyone who doesn't own one from ever buying one? I don't get it. Does Apple make $500 per computer?
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Eating My Words!
An Intel based Mac that has a Linux based OS. Looks like it is time for a big plate of Humble Pie! To all you Mac-aholics I take back all the bad things I said.

And M$ does it again, snatches defeat from the jaws of victory!
Posted by Mister C (423 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ExpressCard?
Apple's ahead of the curve with ExpressCard, but is this sane? With USB they gave up their proprietary ADB, but here they're giving up an established standard for a new one that (they hope) will catch on soon.

None of the big 3 (US) cell phone carriers offers data cards in this format. Will they? Given their active neglect of Mac users, until Dell (or maybe HP) owners start demanding ExpressCard it isn't gonna happen.
Posted by joelwest (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Any Multi-Core Programs?
Dual care chips, in any box, PC or Apple, still have one thing limiting their proformance. The programs. Dual core processros only combine two processor cores into one chip. YOu still have to have both an OS and programs that actually take advantage of both processors.

While the majority of modern operation system (except XP Home) support two processors, and therefore dual core chips, Last I checked, unless you were running server applications or high end (much higher than the adverage user will ever run) aapplications, the vast majority of software out there does not take advantage of anything beyond the first processor.

While eventually multi-core processos look like they will become standard, right how, how many people have programs that actually use that second core?

In a year, when a hot new game come out that requires a multiple processor system, they may grow in popularity with programers, but untill then, the adverage user is not going to see much differance between a single and a dual core chip of the same clock speed. FOr now, they are great for marketing to people who don't know what they are listening to and a reason to add several hundered dollars to the price of a computer.

For the time being, because the idea of a multi-processor in the adverage computer is still new, who actually makes software to put that second core to use? So this "screaming mechine" will only be slightly facter than a single core mechine of the same clock speed to the adverage user. Marketing math is at it again.
Posted by startiger (50 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Like evertyhing but the name
MacBook is hard to say. I know Apple wants to distance itself from
PowerPC by dropping "Power" from its brands but MacBook Pro?!
How about iBook Pro? There could be iBooks and iBook Pro models.

Just my $0.02. All in all, I'm impressed. Saving my pennies.
Posted by discern (75 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Writer
Whoever wrote this should have finished middle school before attempting to prove any points. I found 20 typos and numerous grammar mistakes in this article. If you need someone to write grammatically correct and typo-free articles for you, come to me.
Posted by ROFLance (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Screamers
Someone should tell His Steveness that a "Screamer" roughly
translates as "flambouyant homosexual" in UK.
Posted by mcthingy2 (64 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Boring....
Extremely happy the elitist Mac fans have something else to brag about, but these Mactels are boring. Maybe I'll get excited in a few months, but for now it's nothing new and spectacular. Still slower than AMDs at twice the cost.
Posted by tahbasco (30 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What A Load!
Sorry to be so crude, but the performance claims for these machines is, ah, suspect to me. Did anyone notice those graphs? They were very pretty, woodgrained thingies, but totally devoid of meaning!

Lets try to be realistic about things here. Even though I'm sure both the new iMac and the Mac Book Pro (clunk) are better than their PPC-based predecessors, especially the laptop, the performance increases clearly have as much to do with the supporting technology as with the CPUs, if not more. PCIx over AGP - no contest. Slower video processor vs a faster one - 'no duh' there. Serial ATA over Parallel ATA - another big improvement. And (at least with the MBPro) FSB speeds that can't even be compared to the earlier model. All of that could have been incorporated into any Mac laptop, including a G4 based one, at any point, going back for the last 2 years.

Now, out of curiosity, I went to the site of the company (Freescale) that makes the G4. How many people realize that they too have a dual core CPU, with the same general clockspeeds as CoreDuo, and FSB support that is just as fast as this new Intel CPU too? Check it: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/overview.jsp?nodeId=0162468rH3bTdG7249" target="_newWindow">http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/overview.jsp?nodeId=0162468rH3bTdG7249</a>

If the old G4 is any indication, they'll be pretty power efficient too.

So what? So why make a lateral move in performance and power efficiency, especially when - if moving to x86 is a good idea for some other reason - AMD is available? The new FX-60 is dual core, probably the most efficient desktop CPU ever, and a REAL "screamer" to boot. I'll be putting my money on AMD to surpass Intel even in the mobile space soon. As for PPC ... I don't claim to be an expert, but I do know that PA Semiconductor is reportedly bringing to market a mobile class, 64bit dual core CPU that promises to be very impressive, IBM has a 4+ghz Power6 in the pipeline for '06-07 that has Altivec on it (no one but Apple would compel them to add that, so I guess that lays to rest the idea IBM didn't care about them), and Cell is the most forward thinking CPU design I've ever seen or heard of.

All in all, this move to Intel seems supremely pointless to me. Question for Apple/Jobs: If second best is a worthy enough goal now, why bother with the charade? Just sell the company to Intel and be done with it.
Posted by bcsaxman (69 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Does that $720 price include (cont.)...
You keep forgetting that Winbows is still sftw from the Teletubbies and has no guarantee that it will work with your stuff or hardware.
Posted by JonB. (59 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I was screaming when I found out that my 2-weeks old iMac is now obsolete.
I am a loyal Mac user/owner who bought a brand new iMac as a
New Year's gift to myself two weeks ago. I went to several Mac
stores before buying my new iMac online with a 1.5 GB/500 HD
for $2,100+.

I kept asking sale people in the MAC stores if they will have a
new version of the iMac and they kept telling me that it is the
Mac Mini and the iBook that will be the first ones to change to
the new Intel Dual Core. So I bought the iMac thinking that I
have at least a year--since the version I bought just came out a
few months ago.

Anyway, it's not even two weeks and I have an obsolete unit. I
went to check the price for a 2.0 GB/500 HD iMac and it's
actually cheaper than what I have!

Apple should have a trade-in program for the hundreds of
thousands like me who bought iMacs in the last, say, two
months or so.

Anybody else out there with the same experience?
Posted by Godi GUtierrez (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Gotta love Apple marketing spin
It seems like only yesterday that Apple was hyping "the world's first supercomputer on a chip", and claiming that the PowerPC processor could run circles around x86 processors. Now Apple's entire marketing message is basically "The Mac finally has the world's fastest processor inside". Gotta love 'em.
Posted by VTAlum (30 comments )
Reply Link Flag
TYPICAL MACSCREWED
I learned the same thing a few years back when I actually made
the tragic mistake of buying Mac's popular fruit desktops,
blackberry, blueberry, snow, etc. Only to be crushed to learned a
month later that the new edition iMacs with a multitude of
improvements arrived and was selling for the same proce I paid
not six weeks before and that my machine was now effectively
being sold for like $1,000.00 less. This is a real Machievelian
strategy Mac has been doing for years now. Strategically
DUMPING old units on the cusp of the new arrivals to maximaize
profits before the unveiling. I learned my lesson the hard way,
and almost gave up my lifelong loyalty to Macs because I felt
shortchanged, duped and treated like a fool. If they had any
integrity beyond the modern day obssession with profit over
customer loyalty and support, they would have done the decent
thing and lowered the prices on units they well knew would be
old news after the New year's bells finished ringing. Now, I have
learned to wait until after the annual Mac show, when Mr. Jobs
(who received a piece of my mind via the Classic mode of
comunication: a hard copy letter) unviels his new tricks of the
trade to make people buy buy buy. They refused to refund my
money. I think you have like thirty days from date of purchase
depending on where you bought your machine to return it.
Otherwise, live and learn. I am on the verge of buying their new
MACBOOK PRO, but I just KNOW the Firewire 800 they took out
of the configuration and the DVD burning speeds will soon be
sold, my guess is by summer or fall latest, so I might just sit on
my good hard earned cash until this happens. Fool me once,
etc. etc.
Posted by getwiththeprogram (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Who Cares
Jobs is fighting for his measely 4% of the market...as he has been for the last 30 years. This just proves he is a 30 year loser.
Posted by iZune (58 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apples accomplishments after 30 years...
With the move to Intel processors and Bootcamp Apple has finally realized its goal of catching up Microsoft and copying its product (think New Coke)...
Posted by 757addict (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apples accomplishments after 30 years...
With the move to Intel processors and Bootcamp Apple has finally realized its goal of catching up Microsoft and copying its product (think New Coke)...
Posted by 757addict (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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