Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Geek News Flash!

Apple to Use Intel Microprocessors Beginning in 2006 - Incredible news. I was stunned when the rumors started to fly... and now, they are all true. At first, it was a heartfelt disapointment. The IBM PPC with its RISC architecture was one of those things that made the mac Different. That is part of the allure of the platform. It is counter-culture. It goes against the grain. Intel has always been half of that un-holy alliance with the evil Microsoft Windows (WinTel). However, there is no denying that over the last couple of years IBM has been unable to keep up with the processor advances of the Intel world. In order to compete with WinTel's speedy 3+ GHz processors, Apple has needed to ship dual processors in their pro models. They have been unable to ship G5 laptops because of the heavy power requirements and excessive heat from G5 PPC chips. There have been constant delays in Mac shipments because of IBM's inability to produce an ample supply of G5 processor chips... and they are more costly. So, if moving to Intel means better price/performance and access to all the technology advancements that Intel brings to the table, so be it. Bring on the Macs with 'Intel Inside'.

If you still have that uncomfortable feeling about this... I URGE you to view Steve Jobs address to the WWDC. This will set your mind at ease. He has his act together as usual with a transition strategy that is very painless, with tools to compile Universal Binaries that run on both platforms, and Rosetta code that allows for fast dynamic translation of existing software to the Intel processor that is transparent to the user.

The only question that remains, is how will they continue to sell PPC Macs during the next couple of years until this transition to Intel is complete. Will Mac sales be in the dumper until the Intel Macs are released?