7 thoughts on “Apple Throws in the Towel and goes PC”

  1. Apple throws in the towl? IBM showed no signs of giving Apple what it desperately needed so Apple had to look to another supplier. OS X is Apple’s gem, not the processor that runs it.

    I would have preferred AMD over Intel. Currently AMD owns Intel in the dual core 64bit universe.

    You could say that this is a match made in heaven for me as I love Tiger on my Dual 2.7 and I seem to have a Intel addiction.

  2. A “death to Microsoft” angle: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Apple-chose-Intel-What-s-Jobs-really-after-2834.shtml

    Incidentally, the day Tiger was released, some newby on Slashdot asked, “Can it be ported to x86?”, and the Slashdot vox populi (which I detest intensely) poopooed the guy calling him a complete idiot. If you read some of the banter on Slashdot about CISC vs RISC and MMX vs. AltiVec (I have no idea why you would want to) you can see just how philosophically challenged some of the top logicians on slashdot are.

    ref: http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/06/1752234&from=rss

    Incidentally, that softpedia article seems like wishful thinking to me. You can find all the crazy opinions one way or the other in that apple.slashdot link above.

  3. This is the second time Apple has done this. Before it was Motorola 68k to PowerPC. And if that experience is any indication, the transition will be surprisingly smooth. I wouldn’t expect to see any Intel-only apps until sometime around 2009.

    As before, new apps will be “universal” for a long time. This means that the PPC and Intel binaries live in different segments of the same executable. The OS automatically chooses which one to run. As well, for PPC-only apps (which will be with us for quite a while, until developers get their universal versions out) we have “Rosetta”, another in a long line of emulators for old platforms. The requirements for Rosetta are that the app has to be abloe to run on a G3 Mac (i.e. no G4-specific or AltiVec instructions are supported).

    Personally I am disappointed that Apple didn’t go AMD. However, it is obvious that that route is readily available to Apple at any time, and I’m sure Intel knows this. As far as Intel goes, this can’t be much of a big deal for them, right? Apple represents such a small share of the market, at least right now.

    An interesting point I read is that this could really boost Apple’s hardware sales, since an Intel Mac could run MacOS and Windows (perhaps a the same time if we can believe the hype about CPU “virtualization”) while other PCs can only run Windows. Of course someone is going to hack MacOS to make it run on other PC’s, but Idon’t think that will affect Joe Average’s buying choices.

    So overall, it’s an… “interesting” decision. I fully expect sales of high-end Power Macs to fall through the floor as everyone starts waiting for 3.8 GHz Intel Macs. Actually, it will likely be Penntium-M based at a lower spped, but with better performance.

  4. The G3 has been a boat anchor for 6 years http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1824839,00.asp . Good Mac games (there is such a thing, right?) mostly use AltiVec, I read. Going to the store with the intent of buying an Intel based Mac to run Rosetta on PPC code? Please. Mac executables just doubled in size? That’s a bit odd too. I’ve been doing the emulation and cross-compile thing for 6 years with WinCe, there you leave what you don’t want on the installation CD (or don’t even build it).

    And all this just so one’s powerbook doesn’t croak due to lack of battery power after the first DVD you wacth on a trip? http://reviews.cnet.com/Apple_PowerBook_G4__PowerPC_G4__1GHz__17_in__TFT_/4505-3121_7-20783423-6.html

    As a developer of cross-compiled applications, I have to say I’m not too thrilled about debugging the things in 3-4 different places. The Codewarrior development environment also bit the dust.

    Oh ya, and does Intel actually have a low power 64 bit chip? I guess that’s one of those NDA shoot-on-sight secrets between Apple and Intel. The deal only makes sense if Intel is about to release something in that department.

  5. About AMD over Intel: I’m thinking of getting an Acer Ferrari 4000 notebook. Intel just *must* have something up its sleeve in this (Athlon 64 M) department.

  6. How good/bad is the software situation in light of the Intel inside announcement? I see nothing but blue skys and sunshine. :-)

    Intel based Macs will be here one year. Today’s Xcode based apps can be recompiled to support Universal Binaries within a month (Mathematica took 2hrs). This leaves 11 extra months for problematic/non-Xcode apps to be sorted out. Keep in mind that Apple is providing Intel based development solutions now, 12 months before the retail hardware hits the Apple Store. When the first Intel based hardware is released to retail I believe most software developers/companies will release updates that contain Universal Binaries or have new products ready to roll. Altivec heavy apps may need some major sorting out but I think a year of development is plenty of time to get the job done. The most amazing thing to me is that Mac OS X for Intel is already a mature OS. I hear the iLife apps are already Universal Binary apps! Rosetta is the safety net. Most people will be having fun performing tricks on the trapeze. (Reid, any thoughts on this matter from the point of view of a Apple software developer?)

    As far as games are concerned I would say that game developers have a more that just Altivec to think about now. I hear that the new Macs will be able to use PC video cards! Yeehaw!

    64-bit computing is important but so is horsepower. Intel’s well documented 2006 roadmap shows 32-bit Dual Core Pentium M’s in the lineup. Considering that the current Pentium 2.13 is a monster performer I think we can all look forward to some seriously powerful PowerBooks next year. The 64-bit dual core desktop lineup (current and future) looks extremely tasty.

    Apple’s new hardware is going to rock!


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