According to Steve Jobs, Apple Computer is ontrack to ship Intel based Macintosh computers by June 2006. Jobs said at the recent Apple Expo (Paris) that "We said we'd be shipping by next June, and we are on track to have that be a true statement."

Apple made announcements several months ago that the company was changing CPU suppliers from IBM to Intel because IBM could not deliver faster processors that the marketplace demands. To properly compete, Apple needs to have a computer available that is at least 3 GHz, something that IBM has not been able to deliver with the Power line of processors.

Apple presently uses the PowerPC 970FX processor (G5), that is a single-core chip. IBM has recently upgraded that chip to the 970MP whose dual-core technologies could deliver a preformance increase of 50-80 percent. Apple could debut this new processor in late September, with CPU speeds of 1.4 to 2.5 GHz.

Also this week, I found out that Apple updated OS X 10.4, and shipped this code to developers, along with 10.4 for the Intel platform. It is good to know that Apple is encouraging the development of the OS, and preparing vendors for the switch, so that vendor's will write code for the new platform. I am still looking for information to see if Apple is developing a Virtual Machine for running the older code on the new hardware. They did a splendid job with the VM when the platform migrated from Motorola 680x0 to Power PC back in the early 1990's.

Personally, I am excited for the Intel changeover -- from my work with PC's, I can see that Intel has delivered some fine solutions out there for the Windows and Linux people. For some reason, the "Intel Inside" logo is no longer seen as a warning symbol... it will be quite a sight to see one of those stickers right next to a shinny apple. Apple has also stated that they are writing OS X so that it only works with "special" Intel components... parts of me wish that Apple would just open the door and let the software flow onto any Wintel computer, but looking at it from a support standpoint, there are a lot of odds-and-ends hardware out there that Apple would suddenly have to support. Having Apple certified components certainly makes the troubleshooting a lot easier.

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How will this impact the influence of apple in the market? Will intel based macs help Apple get a bigger piece of the market? Is this something that can be a huge threat to Microsoft?


I am much more of a geek than a marketing person, so I may have the wrong vision here, but here is my opinion:

* I think that Apple will gain some market share, but not a universal overthrow. There is still an annoyingly large percentage of colleges preparing IT people who do not understand the elegance of the architecture, and develop an Anti-Mac bigotry.

* I think that if Apple were to release OS X to the Wintel community, and let it run on any clone, I think a number of people would convert easier. Especially if the viruses can be managed -- OS X is very safe to many modern viruses / attacks, but it can be argued that with most of the world running Windoze, there isn't enough population out there to form proper statistics. What would be really cool is to have the Apple presence on the computer market blossom, and prove the truth that OS X is much more hardened from attacks.

* I think that Linux is the largest threat to Microsoft, with it's open-source architecture, and environment that continues to live today. Linux gets closer and closer to the point of being functional as a daily desktop. I think it has a little bit more to go, but so far, I am doing nearly everything on Linux that I did on my Mac.

Good questions.


Although it's quite understandable that people sing the praises of their 'favourite things', the move from IBM processors to Intel on Apple's part is and was never about any semblance of 'World OS domination'. Instead, it's about survival.

IBM were unable to produce a suitable notebook processor for Apple to use in a world where portability and power consumption efficiency are paramount. Apple have made the move to Intel processors to enjoy the benefits of high performance, power efficient portable computing processors. That much has been openly discussed since the announcement was first made.

It also only takes a small leap of intellect to realise that the PC hardware world is rapidly moving in the direction of TPC (trusted platfor computing) for digital rights management. The Intel (and AMD) camp has already progressed down that path, whereas the IBM camp hasn't. Making the move gives Apple a pathway to the future of multimedia content, and makes a lot of sense indeed.

Sorry people, but neither Apple OS nor Linux are any real threat to the dominance of Wintel on corporate desktops in the forseeable future.

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