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Who else is excited about the Apple / Intel deal?

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Jonathan F/2, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. For those that don't know, Apple computers will start using Intel processors in the next year, transitioning the whole line in 2 years. Basically the difference between PCs and Macs will be all but gone, at least in hardware.

    I'm a die-hard Mac user, but if need be I can roll my own DIY PC, but for most all my work, I'm a big fan of OSX and the smooth integration of Apple and its hardware. Anyways with this merger, Apple will no longer be constrained by 3rd party vendors, but can actually stay competitive with the latest offerings of the PC world.

    Most all my work is done on my 12" Powerbook. By the time I upgrade this machine, I'll be drooling over the fact that I can probably upgrade to a fast (and cheaper) Intel based Powerbook. For those who have experienced OSX, the prospects for such a portable machine is to die for.

    Anyways, any other mac geeks excited? :p 
  2. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    As a former Apple Rep, I guess it is cool.. As a Mac User and sometime help support person, I can see it as a big pain in the....

    The reason for it being a pain is all the none apple hardware drivers that could be a problem just like in the Windows world.

    At the moment I am taking a wait and see view on it.
  3. mf44


    Jun 4, 2005
    NJ & MD
    I, too, am torn. I just recently switched to Apple with a new 12" Powerbook (well not switch, as I still retain my tower PC). I like OS X alot, even though I'm still getting used to it. My older machine would crash a lot, so now I don't worry.

    I welcome the added speed, especially that will be available to the laptops. The heat issue is definately a problem as even with my G4 I can notice temperatures higher than my similar sized PC laptop.

    What I worry about, however, is the direction of Apple. I wonder if the change to Intel will mean that Apple can offer OS X on a variety of vendors platforms. Certainly this means for compatibilty, but will the integrity of OS X be sustainable like that? This is all purely speculation, however. Basically, it looks to me like Apple is in a position where they can switch most of their production simply to software and accessories like the wildly popular iPod. Granted, I think they would lose their appeal if this happened. It would be impossible to keep up their reputation of reliability if hardware was a big question mark. Plus the aesthetics certainly make a Mac a Mac. Heck, part of the Powerbook's appeal was how sexy it was to me, hahah.

    All in all there are a ton of IFs. Regardless it will be interesting to see the progess they made, and I don't regret getting an Apple now. Let's just see what happens...
  4. Supposedly the devkit machines that went out, are based on "off the shelf" PC parts, but it runs OSX amazingly fast. I can see this being a good thing in the long run. Funny thing is, I heard Xbox 2 dev kits were based on Apple G5 towers running a modded version of Windows! Talk about the tech industry in Bizarro world! :O
  5. I was an Apple employee for a total of about 9 years between '86 -'96 (two separate periods of time), mostly in the areas of technical support and some internal software development for the support centers. During that time, I saw lots of changes at the company, and remember both good and bad periods where Apple seemed to be making incredibly good and incredibly bad decisions. The decision to move to an Intel architecture was discussed a long time ago, but was ultimately killed for a variety of reasons. In my humble opinion, those reasons were short-sighted and I truly believe that the computing landscape would be substantially different today had this current decision been made earlier.

    At this point, I think Apple is being forced to do it just to maintain any hope of continuing to produce a reasonably-priced hardware platform. The lack of supplier diversity and relatively low volumes for some of the components used in the Mac platform keep the prices too high to stay competitve now.

    The transition will not be simple, and it will probably be bumpy. If Apple can pull this off, it will buy itself an opportunity to show the world why it's software technology still has some significant advantages and should be considered as a viable alternative to the Microsoft juggernaut. The key, as always, will be lining up third-party support. What good is an OS if there's no applications to run on it? Maybe Guy Kawasaki can be enlisted to help in that regard...

    I just hope it's not too little too late. I really enjoyed the creativity and user-centered approach that Apple adhered to for many years before the product margins made it very difficult to fund R&D. It would be wonderful to see Apple focus on software for a change instead of splitting it's limited resources on software and hardware.

    Let's hope this turns out well! Everyone could benefit from it in the long run if Apple is successful.
  6. sinapps


    Apr 30, 2005
    I'm very surprised that the Mac user base remains loyal after the repeated prison shower treatment they get from Apple. This will now be the third time that Apple has required their users to upgrade all of their software when they purchase a new machine.

    Sure you'll be able to run your old software in emulation mode, but that is not the point. In the windows world, I have the option to run Photoshop 5 or 6 and have it run faster and faster on every new machine I buy. Mac users do not have that option.

    The most amazing part of this deal is that Apple users will now go out and buy a PC from Apple and pay 2x what a similar Dell will cost just because it'll come in a neat case.
  7. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    This isn't gonna be a big deal.

    The operating system and all software except for some games and a few hacks are high level code. Ain't nobody doing assembler anymore.

    I don't think Apple is planning on using the current Intel chips, as they are not optomized for UNIX as the G series PowerPCs are. The new Apples certainly won't be Windows boxes, so Intel will be busy cranking out low-power consumption chips to Apple's specification. Just like (once arch-rival) IBM, who couldn't get the low-power part right, and Moto couldn't deliver on schedule (because they are too busy laying off the lifers before they can retire.)

    Intel's just won the bid - that's all.

    Rad, four times if you count the Apple ][, or 5 for the Lisa. Apple is an evil, evil company and Steve Jobs is the devil incarnate. And I will do anything they say, because I sold them my soul for osx.
  8. Drivers will likely be the only real bump along the way.

    The parts that matter in OSX, Darwin, have run well on x86 hardware for some time. BSD also runs there, as well as other similar OSes, kernels, etc.

    OSX will just be that much faster for the switch. And Apple will gain some headroom.

    I would hope the major software developers will produce "universal binaries" that run on both systems without costing users very much. The big pile of software folks get from Apple these days won't cost anything because that is what will come with the new machines.

    It should make for "interesting times" to say the least.

    My qualifications are I have been using Macs and developing Mac software since there have been Macs. If you use a Mac you have used software I worked on. Heck, the same goes for most Windows users as well.

    As a user, I have both machines in front of me and happily use both. It's all good to me.
  9. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    Hi Chris,

    Didn't know the processor in the Apple was optimized for Unix. I used to run Linux on several PC platforms until quite recently and wouldn't necessarily complain about performance, though I didn't have a chance to compare the whole with an Apple.

    If Apple is going to deliver affordable hardware (or OSX working on standard PC hardware), this would certainly be a reason for me to give it a try. I always liked the Apple way of doing the operating system and GUI, and they were years ahead of Microsoft (and maybe still are). A wider user base would definitely increase the number of software applications being available, and may make it a serious contender with their arch-enemy.
  10. IxLr8

    IxLr8 Guest

    The increased market share will definately help with the viability of Apple. I do like their products a lot but doing this for a living and seeing that apple doesn't play in the business space like Intel or even the new AMD stuff. Someone comented above that Apple is optimized for *nix and Intel isn't. I'm sorry, I strongly disagree. You don't see Apple stuff running oracle in a business environment under RedHat or SuSE etc. It's likely that you won't see it for a while. It's version of *nix is BSD in flavor and there are stronger calls to System V based environments.

    As far as being optimized for *nix, both Intel and Apple have a long way to go. Out of the box, the AMD Opteron 64 based CPU's win hands down.

    Just my .02 cents.
  11. GaryW

    GaryW Guest

    The article I read simply stated that Apple is changing vendors from IBM to Intel. It did not imply that they were switching chip architectures.

    Could it be that Intel will just be manufacturing the same Apple processor, and that's it?
  12. Nope, Apple is going to use the same CPUs as in regular PCs.
  13. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Acccording to Steve J. and other sources, OS X was running on regular Intel processors from Day 1. It was called "secret life of OS X", if I remember correctly :) 

    OS X is pretty much based on FreeBSD; which runs on my Intel servers and Intel workstations without any problems with drivers and/or hardware support, including high-end video.
  14. JAM


    Apr 30, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    All I can add is that I've been waiting to upgrade my G4 1.25 GHz dualie to a dual 3 Ghz (or faster) tower as promised by Jobs - what - 2 years ago now?

    IBM let me down. If Intel can make this happen without huge software transitions, I'm all for it.
  15. I was actually about to jump in and buy an Apple this September. I'm going to wait now as I dont like the idea of buying "dead" technology - ie. PowerPC. I think this is a good thing as Apple will have access to faster processors and multi core CPU's etc.... The real issue in my mind is that Apple must convert over to Intel ASAP as I think they can capture a respectable piece of the Windows PC market due to concerns with Security etc.. with Windows


  16. I watched the keynote address last night. Some bullets about their plan...

    * The new Intel roll out will take two years.
    * Apple is still planning on releasing some new PowerPC Macs in the next 12 months.
    * OS X.5 (Cheetah) will be released at same time as MS Windows Longhorn (12/06).
    * Apple will produce an entire line of hardware. Note: there was no mention of Mac OS X running on non-Apple Intel Macs.
    * At time of delivery of Intel based Macs many software apps will run natively on Intel and Power PC (including Adobe products). Remaining apps will run in a real-time translator which will be indistinguishable to the user.
    * Every version of OS X ever released has been used and test against Intel platform. Apple's plan has been to develop OS X as a platform independent OS!
    * Ease of applications switching to a Intel and PowerPC "universal binary" will be driven by the type of source code platform. Without getting into to much computer geek talk they presented a nice slide which illustrated that 50% of the top 100 software vendors can convert their apps in a few hours, about 30% could convert in a few days, and the remainder would take a "good bit longer". Note: This just illustrates the Apple commitment to planning for an eventual switch from the beginning.

    I am looking forward to more details in a year. :wink:
  17. Sounds all good when Steve Jobs presented it, but have you been to any Mac specific tech site forums? A lot of developers who were heavy into mac programming (specifically G4/G5 Altivec programming) aren't very happy at all.
  18. No I haven't spent any time on other forums. Not enough hours un a day :wink:
  19. I personally know many, many Mac programmers. We don't mind the switch.

    New challenges are what make us happy. :p 
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