Pigs Are Flying! Apple + Intel!

june 6, 2005

I must say, holy crap, it's really happening! Apple is truly switching to Intel x86 chips for all future Macs. I never, ever thought I would see this day. I am a bit shocked, a bit sad, and a bit happy -- and I truly don't know what to make of all of this. "We are going to make the transition from PowerPC to Intel processors, and we are going to do it for you now, and for our customers next year. Why? Because we want to be making the best computer for our customers looking forward," announced Steve Jobs during his WWDC keynote speech. He made it clear that Mac OS X has been living a "double life", with builds for both PowerPC and Intel at each iteration. He introduced many products that will help for the transistion including Rosetta which will dynamically do binary translation so that Intel-based Macs can still run PowerPC-compiled applications. MacBU says they will continue to support the Mac platform and so does Adobe. My fear now? Sales will most likely dry up for a lot (or most of Apple's products). Why would anyone buy a PowerPC-based Mac if the future is Intel-based? How will Apple and software vendors continue to support PowerPC-based Mac users? There are millions of us out there. If there is any fear that support for PowerPC-based Macs is going to dry up once Apple completes its transistion to Intel-based machines, then between now at 2006, there will be very slow sales for the current Macs. If Apple handles this correctly, but assuring PowerPC-based Mac users (and potential users) that there will still be software for us, then this transistion will be much smoother. Otherwise, this could be the death of Apple. So far, I have not seen anything from Steve Jobs about the continuance of software for PowerPC-based Macs. He did mention "Universal Binary" when talking about Microsoft Office, but that's not enough. I want a PowerBook 15" to replace my iBook G3/600. If I cannot get a guarantee that software for PowerPC-based Macs will continue to exist, I may as well wait until the Intel-based version comes out. Well, here's the deal on the Universal Binary: "[Y]ou're (developers) going to build what's called a universal binary. It contains all the bits for both architectures. One binary, works on both PowerPC and Intel architecture. So you can ship one CD that supports both processors." That's certainly good news.

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