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more apple on intel

Sunday,  06/05/05  09:27 AM

I have nothing brilliant to add to my musings yesterday about Apple on Intel.  I still feel the key reason must have something to do with binary compatibility with Windows applications.  All the other things Apple gets from this transition - efficiency, cost savings, branding - just don't see worth the trouble.  Especially in games, Apple trails Windows dramatically in the availability of software titles; this factor is holding back the Mac platform more than any other.

Some (like Jason Kottke and Doc Searles) are suggesting that perhaps Apple on Intel doesn't mean Apple on x86.  Like Intel will start making PowerPC processors.  Or that this involves a new platform for home media or something and not the mainstay Apple line.  Both of those possiblities seem remote to me.  Maybe Apple will use Intel chips for video processing, but not for the main CPU.  That could work, although it is less delicious than many other possibilities...

Check out MacRumors for a link-filled roundup of blogospheric speculation.  A most intriguing rumor was on CNet that this has something to do with their video strategy: Apple/Intel coupling could woo Hollywood.  Unfortunately "could" is pretty indefinite and there are no details to explain "how".  And then why announce at a developer conference?  Nah, that just doesn't feel right.

If you haven't already please read John Stanforth's thoughts; he argues that it should be Apple on AMD (maybe it is, maybe the rumor was distorted, but I actually don't think so; that kind of detail would have emerged), and that Apple will use Xen for Windows emulation (I don't agree; Xen requires Windows to emulate Windows, if Apple wants Windows API emulation they'd integrate Wine).  Russell Beattie thinks it will be for servers only (pretty much the opposite of what I think).  And John Gruber believes the rumors but can't explain them.  "The only way this makes any sense is that there’s something else.  Something big.  Not that CNet and the Journal have the story wrong, but that they only have part of the story - and the part they don’t have is what’s going to knock our socks off."  I love it.

Well, I guess we'll find out tomorrow :)

[ Later: Even more Apple on Intel... ]