Big day for Apple

Following a weekends worth of rumors (NYTimes, CNN, WIRED, The Register #1 #2 #3, Google, Engadget #1 #2, Gizmodo, CNet #1 #2, and ZDNet… as you can see, the major news sites are all posting about it) Apple Computers admitted that they are going to make the slow change from using the PowerPC processors of IBM/Motorola to Intel processors. Today was huge for Apple Computers when Steve Jobs, in his yearly WWDC (WordWide Developer Conference), announced the progress of the current PPC chips wasn’t fast enough to keep up with the company’s strive for more powerful machines.

When discussing his old vision for the PowerPC line of processors, he thought they’d originally be able to go up-to-and-beyond 3GHz:

“I stood up two years ago and promised this (3.0G PowerMac), and we haven’t been able to deliver.” Steve says it’s bigger than that, though. No roadmap for the future based on PowerPC – they can’t see a future”
Courtesy of Engadget

In a remarkable show of fore-sight, Jobs then let out that Apple has been planning a way for quick architecture change for many years in the off-chance that their supply of and demand for the PowerPC chips falls below levels of their liking.

“Every release of Mac OS X has been compiled for Intel for the past 5 years. Here comes the demo!”
“As a matter of fact, this system I’ve been using here…the keynote’s been running on a P4 3.6GHz all morning”
Courtesy of Engadget

I look forward to the day when my AMD (Intel x86 compatible) processor is able to run the Apple operating system. It would, honestly, be my dream come true: who wouldn’t love the power and stability of an Apple OS mixed with the geekiness of a *NIX OS. The only concern is hardware compatibility and stability issues brought about by allowing just about any hardware to work with the OS. This may be one reason Apple may pick the Itanium processors as opposed to the Pentium line from Intel. I’m thinking this will also allow the hardware costs to be lowered for Apple which will allow the end-user costs to be decreased as well when purchasing the “built for Apple OS” hardware.

I’m interested to see what happens with this in the next few years.



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