Software Report [Intel-Based Macs May Run Windows - 07/20/2005]

Discussion in 'IBM' started by Ablang, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. Ablang

    Ablang Guest

    July 20th, 2005

    Intel-Based Macs May Run Windows
    by Associate Editor Narasu Rebbapragada

    Apple's decision to abandon IBM PowerPC chips in favor of processors
    from Intel raises the possibility of new, affordable Apple computers
    that could boot both Mac OS X and Windows.

    "Apple will not do anything to prevent it," says Michael Gartenberg,
    vice president and research director with Jupiter Research in New
    York. (Today, Macs can run Windows only on a sluggish x86 emulator
    called Virtual PC.)

    At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June, CEO Steve Jobs
    said that the first Macs with Intel processors would appear next year,
    with the migration to Intel expected to be mostly complete by the end
    of 2007. Apple did not say which Intel CPUs it planned to use or where
    they would appear first. But given that Mac OS X is a 64-bit operating
    system and Intel hasn't yet announced a 64-bit mobile chip, Apple will
    probably make desktops such as the IMac and the Mac Mini the first
    recipients of Intel architecture, says Shane Rau, PC chip analyst for
    the research firm IDC.

    Mac OS on Macs

    If you're hoping to load Mac OS X on an existing Windows PC, though,
    you'll be disappointed. Apple has made it clear that the Mac OS will
    install only on Mac hardware, even though the chairman of Dell is open
    to the idea:,aid,121421,tk,srx,00.asp

    Likewise, if you've been hoping that the switch to common hardware
    will mean more software developed for both Windows and Mac computers,
    you are in for a letdown. Developers say that they won't be able to
    develop Mac and PC applications simultaneously, because the coding
    languages are still vastly different. While Mac lovers who have to run
    the occasional Windows application may rejoice at being able to run
    native Windows, the migration to Intel may be rocky for developers and
    users of today's Mac apps.

    Developers will have to recompile programs written for PowerPC Macs,
    and until the new versions appear, longtime Mac fans who buy a new
    Intel-based Mac will have to run their legacy apps with an emulation
    technology called Rosetta (named after the famous stone used to
    decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs). Rosetta will run code created for
    PowerPC on Intel's chips at a pace that Jobs described in a
    presentation slide as "fast (enough)." In a demo of the technology,
    however, Adobe Photoshop took a fair amount of time to launch on a
    prototype Intel-based Mac.

    Why the switch? Rau says that Intel can assure Apple a steady supply
    of chips for all of its products--including desktops, servers, and a
    range of notebooks. "And not just CPUs, but chip sets, Wi-Fi, and so
    on," Rau says. In contrast, IBM had been unable to meet Apple's demand
    for desktop chips, and neither IBM nor Freescale (another Apple chip
    supplier) had a comprehensive road map similar to Intel's. Further,
    IBM couldn't solve the PowerPC CPU's heat problems in order to create
    a PowerBook G5 notebook, and it couldn't help Jobs deliver a promised
    3-GHz Power Mac.

    Rau says that the change to Intel should help to lower the prices for
    Macs. That, along with the prospect of a dual-boot Windows/Mac system,
    could help increase Apple's PC market share--which, according to IDC,
    currently hovers at about 3 percent.

    However, not all observers believe that abandoning IBM in favor of
    Intel is a smart decision for Apple. "Intel is not the 'de-facto
    leader in processor design' that it was a few years ago; in the recent
    past Intel has been out-innovated by both AMD (with a better approach
    to 64-bit computing) and IBM (with a better long-term strategy around
    multicore chips)," wrote Ovum Ltd. research director Gary Barnett in
    an e-mail message.

    For another take on the subject, read "Macs With Intel Inside--What's

    To keep up with the latest developments, visit PC World's Info Center
    for Windows:,ctrid,6,ic,Windows,tk,sr,00.asp

    "We have seen the enemy, and it is us."
    -- Walt Kelly
    Ablang, Jul 24, 2005
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