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Macintosh Moving to Intel Processors [Updated]

As rumored, Steve Jobs announced today at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference that the Macintosh will make a transition to Intel processors.

Jobs reviewed the two previous major transitions, from Motorola 680x0 processors to the PowerPC in 1994 thru 1996 (before Steve Jobs was back at the helm), and from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X in 2001 through 2003. Saying "It's time for a third transition," he explained that the need for the change was more than just the inability to deliver a 3.0GHz Power Mac, as he promised 2 years ago, but that Intel offers increased performance AND reduced power consumption ("Intel chips runs cooler"), a critical factor for PowerBooks, and an exceptional "roadmap" into 2006 and beyond.

He said that Mac OS X has been living a secret double life for the past five years (see Marklar rumor) and gave a demonstration. The design for Mac OS X has always been processor independent and cross-platform capable by design. The technology to let existing PowerPC applications run on Intel is named Rosetta and performs dynamic translation transparent to users (see QuickTransit from Transitive).

Mac OS on Intel is to be given to developers (ADC "Select" and "Premier" members) now and to customers "this time next year." The transition will be completed in less than 2 years, by the end of 2007. Dashboard widgets, scripts, and Java programs do not need porting. With Xcode 2.1 (out today and distributed at the Keynote), developers can make a "tweak" and recompile for Cocoa applications, and port Carbon applications in a matter of weeks. Mathematica was ported in 2 hours, although the porting team had direct support from Apple. A universal version of MS Office is coming. Photoshop and its plug-ins run with typical performance but take longer to load.All demonstrations during the Keynote were performed on a 3.6GHz Pentium 4, to the surprise of many in the audience.

Update: Apple press release; Intel press release

Top Rated Comments

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123 months ago
I'm writing this on my Thinkpad, as I had to use some Windows only programs. But thanks to Apple, things will now change.

My hope is that MS can make Virtual PC run full speed on Mac OS X for Intel. Or maybe just give users a WinXP compatiblity program (no user interface) for OS X for Intel users so that we can use all of our Windows programs on an Intel Macintosh.

Now we can use all our legacy Windows programs, Windows games, and the newest OS X programs (iLife, Adobe) on one machine - a Macintosh.

Goodbye Dell - your machines are problematic, and I can't understand your overseas support people.
Goodbye IBM PC - you're now in China
Goodbye HP - your new CEO will probably mess things up.
Goodbye Gateway - I was never a "country boy" anyways.

The switch is now complete - it's Apple Computer 100%!!!

BTW: I'm an avid Apple Computer user since the Apple II and have a vintage Apple Computer collection.
Rating: 8 Votes
123 months ago
I am stunned! I wonder what Intel chips Apple will be using... Hopefully Pentium M or some of the dual core chips in the pipeline...

Expect Mac sales to tank in the next 1-2 years though...
Rating: 4 Votes
123 months ago
Well, that answers a lot! And says a lot!

I could care less what the hardware is--I'm more interested in the overall user experience. So this is probably a good thing.

Bob
Rating: 2 Votes
123 months ago
i think that everyone is over reacting

osx will STILL be osx and all thats changed is that you are going to have a chip that runs cooler and faster

how could you not be happy :confused:
Rating: 2 Votes
123 months ago
I wonder what the Intel-based Macs will be called. Didn't the "Power" in PowerMac and PowerBook come from the fact that they use PowerPC chips?
Rating: 1 Votes
123 months ago

Apple have betrayed us all never again will i use a mac and no more will they be as pc users flock to buy osx for pentium 4s :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: i wish i was there i would have bood


I hear Sun could do with some users.

Jesus wept, get a grip will you?

You are criticising Apple for making a decision that will almost certainly boost their market share, to the detriment of Windows? How's that bad, again?

I'll still buy Macs, even if PC users can install it on their machines (which, I imagine, they may not be able to due to some hardware lock in Apple build in to the Mac architecture).

Leave the computer for a bit. Talk to some humans. Then come back.
Rating: 1 Votes
123 months ago
I'd be surprised if Apple was opening OS X up to run on any old PC - they'll most likely continue to control the chipset and prevent their hardware sales getting eaten up by DIYers.

I wouldn't be surprised to see some folks work on getting around it, though...
Rating: 1 Votes
121 months ago
CompUSA was selling a 1.8 Powermac for $1199, "managers special" demo unit. This thing looked like it was sitting in the store for YEARS. It had about 1/4" of dust on the top.

I think that if you see Comp go out of the Apple resale business, you know things are working great in transition. :)

Put side by side, in a store like Comp (with little or no sales expertise), the current generation of Macs cannot compete.
Rating: 1 Votes
122 months ago

Nothing said here matters. Apple will never get more than 5% market share no matter what hardware they are running on until you can put SQL server and Oracle on the mac AND... you can run exchange and Outlook on it. Until this happens (which is never) no large corporation will ever fully use the mac whether its on a pentium, titanium or alpha. Oh its a FACT.

Great, now, can you look into that Crystal Ball of yours and tell me something more useful, like tomorrow's Lotto numbers?
Rating: 1 Votes
123 months ago
Negatives:
-Apple's arguments (MHz myth, etc) can now be used against it
-I just generally like IBM more than Intel
-I'm not a big fan of x86

Positives:
-More powerful mac's
-(Hopefully) Cheaper Macs
-I'm not sure about this one, but wouldn't this mean that porting software from PC to Mac would be somewhat easier? if so: More software, more games, etc

I'm personally mixed, but I think it'll be an overall good move for apple... I just need to find out more... NOW! :D
Rating: 1 Votes

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