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Apple Watch: A Few More Thoughts About Intel
Wednesday, 2005 June 8 - 11:41 pm
Just a couple more thoughts on the Apple-Intel thing, which has still got the Mac community all abuzz.

First, there are some people predicting that an Intel-based Apple cannot survive in the razor-thin-margin world of the commodity PC market. Those people apparently aren't thinking about this very carefully. Remember, Apple has a built-in margin of anywhere from $25 to $100 because they do not have to pay for a Windows XP license. Plus, Apple is competing against the likes of Sony and Lenovo, not against Microtel and eMachines, so they don't have to sell a $300 computer, even if they wanted to.

Second, there have been some reports about the performance of Rosetta, the PowerPC emulation system that the Intel-based Macs will use. For some applications, particularly those that are memory-intensive or graphics-intensive, the performance will be quite good. For other applications, like those that are computationally intensive or that require lots of floating-point calculations, performance will be quite poor. Overall, I think people will find that it works well enough, and better than they would expect from an emulator.

Third, some folks are predicting that in the short term, sales of PowerPC-based Macs will tank because they'll be considered to be obsolete. I thought that too, at first; but personally, I'm beginning to think that it'll be better to buy a PowerPC-based Mac, if you're planning to buy in the next year or two. The initial slate of Intel-based Macs will probably be somewhat flaky when it comes to compatibility and performance. Me, I just might buy the next dual-processor G5 that appears, who knows.

Overall, the Mac community seems to be settling down from their initial state of shock and panic, and they're starting to see that the Intel migration is not only necessary, but probably a good thing in the long run. I guess we were just so used to thinking of Intel as part of the evil empire, and it's taking a little while to get over that.
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Posted by Ken in: techwatch


Comment #1 from olafandyjon (Guest)
2005 Jun 9 - 9:02 am : #
My biggest worry is the obsolesence issue as I just bought a G5 iMac. As long as they have software that can run on Intel and Power PC chips, I'll be happy.
Comment #2 from Ken (realkato)
2005 Jun 9 - 9:39 am : #
Three things: (1) Your iMac will be no more obsolete than it would have been, had Apple announced a "G6" chip in the future. (2) Developers won't ignore the huge installed base of folks like you; they'll be putting out PowerPC-compatible apps for years to come. (3) No doubt someone will come up with a reverse-Rosetta to allow running Intel apps on the PowerPC, should the need arise.
Comment #3 from olafandyjon (Guest)
2005 Jun 10 - 8:44 am : #
I hadn't even thought about it in terms of #1...which puts me more at ease (not that I was losing sleep over it or anything). Still, I actually think it's pretty exciting that they're doing this. I've pretty much considered Steve Jobs to be a god who can do no wrong. Doesn't mean I'd want to work for him though. (Not that I could).

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