Jun 4, 2005

"Oh, just one more thing..."


I was going to mention that Steve Jobs' WWDC keynote was Monday, which is a big deal for Mac heads, but until today there wasn't much to indicate it was going to be a big deal. The biggest news in terms of new products that rumor site had pegged was the possibility of an iBook refresh and a 2G iPod shuffle with a teensy screen. And maybe an iTunes-related cell phone.

Then this morning I read that Apple is going to announce a switch from PowerPC chips to Intel chips.

Rumor and tech sites have been talking about this move since...well, 1997. Considering for a long time the rumor was that there's a version of Mac OS X designed to run on the Intel architecture deep in the Cupertino skonkworks, I think it's a good move. While the PowerPC architecture may have been superior according to those who really know about these things back in the day, PC makers were able to squeeze out more and faster (and more importantly, much cheaper) PCs off the Intel architecture.

And nowadays, it's more about the system, and with people checking out alternative OSes in higher quantity due to proliferation of Windows viruses (not that Bill Gates has to worry about a marketshare battle). And an Intel version of Mac OS X just might enable people to install, or computer makers to license, Mac OS X on PCs.

The switch would apparently start in the low-end Macs (i.e. the Mini) next year, then migrate throughout the system by 2007. I think this could be a boon for their notebooks. Apple's been trying to shoehorn a G5 into their computers for some time now, but heat-dissipation is a problem. Using low-power Intel processors might give Mac users faster and cheaper notebooks, and to me that's all good.