June 6, 2005

How about them apples?

The big news in the world of computers today was the announcement (or confirmation of the rumor) by Apple CEO Steve Jobs that Apple is switching to Intel processors for the Macintosh. This is big news, as the company had previously used PowerPC chips built by IBM. The reason for the switch so far has been given as improved power consumption characteristics and more confidence in Intel's plans for the future. So far, the announcement has brought up two main questions on the web:

1. Will I be able to run OS X on any Intel PC, even if I didn't buy it from Apple, and would I be able to run Windows XP and OS X on the same computer?

2. Why would anyone buy a Mac between now and when the first Intel Macs come out next year?

If it is ultimately true that any Intel PC can run OS X, I can see Microsoft taking a big hit in their market share, as OS X is reputed (I've never used it) to be easier to use than Windows XP. The real Holy Grail is a PC that is running both OS X and the latest version of Windows XP, while allowing the user to modify files with each operating system as desired and use programs that are only available for one OS or the other on the same machine. The real kicker in the announcement was the Steve Jobs revealed during his presentation the his visual presentation was running OS X on a Pentium 4 and that the last five revisions of OS X have been dual compiled for both PowerPC and Intel, just in case they ever decided to make the switch.

It's big news.

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