It’s official, Apple will be transitioning to Intel-based Macs in the next two years. The “soul of the Mac” is the operating system, not what processor or hardware the computer runs on. That said, how different is an Intel-based Mac from a stock PC running Windows or Linux? The $999 developer kit with a 3.64GHz P4 suggests nothing, or does it?
Spoke too soon. From CNet:
After Jobs’ presentation, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller addressed the issue of running Windows on Macs, saying there are no plans to sell or support Windows on an Intel-based Mac. “That doesn’t preclude someone from running it on a Mac. They probably will,” he said. “We won’t do anything to preclude that.”
However, Schiller said the company does not plan to let people run Mac OS X on other computer makers’ hardware. “We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac.”
Interesting tidbit: The name Rosetta, formerly the codename for Newton’s Handwriting Recognition System, has new meaning today as the Dynamic Binary Translator that allows PowerPC code to run on Intel-based Macs.
Can an Apple turn into an Orange? We’ll find out soon enough!
I’ve been holding off a major computer purchase to see what Apple is up to. Now that this news is out, I might opt to buy a refurbished PowerMac G5 or a previous generation model instead of the more recent speedbump releases. I’ve been doing fine with my now 4-year old QuickSilver, but I need something to bridge the gap between now and the next 2 years.
Update: John Siracusa from ArsTechnica has posted a short article on the switch to Intel. Good read from the man who writes the best reviews of Mac OS X anywhere!