08/06/2005

BBC NEWS | Technology | Apple Intel move 'could confuse'

BBC NEWS | Technology | Apple Intel move 'could confuse'

Apple's move to Intel is a bold move. IBM/Motorola have had some supply problems with the PowerPC's used in current Macs and IBM has so far been unable to produce a G5 CPU that's cool enough to run in a laptop configuration.

Intel have had their Pentium-M for a while and it's a proven laptop worthy chip. Intel are still the biggest chip manufacturer on the planet, though they are suffering form increased competition.

It's always been rumoured that MacOS X has been available on Intel hardware inside Apple for sometime, and Steve Jobs told the world it was true at the developers conference.

This is a drastic move for Apple, especially with the rest of the world jumping on the PowerPC bandwagon (Xbox360, PSP3 using Cell and Nintendo Evolution), maybe Apple felt that as a "small" player compared to the console giants - Apple developments would be pushed to the side.

With Intel now supporting the x64 architechture and dual-cores, it could be a good move for Apple. Though it will be very interesting to see if Apple go for standard Wintel hardware or will have some Apple proprietry technology so MacOS X will only run on their speicific hardware. It will also be interesting to see if Apple stick with OpenBoot (whihc is actually a decent powerfull mini-OS all to itself - running Forth in the ROM) or move to the generalised PC BIOS. That could be the MacOS X lock-down (though as an open spec, other manufacturers could produce OpenBoot ROMs for their designs).
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