Monday, June 06, 2005

The MacIntel Computer

If you care, you've probably already heard that Apple is switching from the PowerPC to an Intel chip. John Dvorak makes an interesting point.
Apple and its BSD-UNIX kernel running on the Intel platform should outperform Windows by an extreme … So [Steve] Jobs can change his comparison advertising from PowerPC versus Intel to OS-X versus Windows on the exact same chip. The publicity potential here is chart-topping. What Mac user won't enjoy this show once it gets going?

I've never understood why the Mac nuts are in such denial over this platform shift. This change to Intel will not only save the platform but potentially drive it into a position of dominance. What will be lost, of course, is the niche and mystique aspect of the Mac which many of its users seem to relish as part of some misguided superiority complex.

A more interesting scenario to me is examining the possibility that Windows users can switch to the Mac OS on their Intel machines. Is this going to be possible?
This seems like the real sleeper possibility. Will Apple allow its operating system to run on computers that are purchased as Windows machines? It should be possible since they will run on the same chip. What will Microsoft do? Will it attempt to prevent such dual use computers. Will they get away with it? What will Apple charge for the operating system if a Windows user wants to buy it and install it on his PC? A well-worked out plan could help Apple stage a real comeback for the Macintosh environment. One major issue will be the file systems. How can such a dual-use computer share files. What will Microsoft do to prevent file sharing?


Matthew said...

Surprisingly, Apple's Phil Schiller announced that MacOS X will only run on Intel hardware purchased from Apple directly. Though there are no plans to support or sell Microsoft Windows for Mac hardware, Apple will do nothing to "preclude" the possibility of users installing it on their Mac.

Blue said...

That is surprising. It allows Mac users to migrate to windows but unless Mac promotes the idea among potential windows users of buying a windows box by buying a Mac and then installing windows, it doesn't help windows users migrate to Mac. Is this a response in advance to a perceived threat from Microsoft?