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Home » Hacking News » Apple dumps IBM

Apple dumps IBM

by Nikola Strahija on June 7th, 2005 Intel Inside will no longer apply to just Windows-based PCs, Apple will use Intel processors in future Macs.

The switch will make Macs, at least in theory, capable of running rival Microsoft’s operating system.

This has been predicted to happen for some time now. Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, told that for the past five years, every release of Mac OS X has been designed to run on both IBM's PowerPC processors and Intel processors.

The first Macs with Intel processors will appear next year. Apple did not say which specific Intel processors it would use, nor did it say which Mac models would be the first to run with Intel chips. Apple will not allow the Mac OS to run on non-Apple hardware; however, the reverse may not be prohibited.

"In theory, in the future, you will be able to run native Windows on a Mac and Apple will not do anything to prevent it," said Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director with Jupiter Research.
The biggest reason for doing the swich is money, because Macs should become cheaper that way. Although, some analysts labelled the move risky. They argue that Intel is not the leader in processor design, like it was a few years ago. It has been long out-innovated by both AMD (with a better approach to 64-bit computing) and IBM (with a better long-term strategy around multicore chips.

Apple's next challenge will be recompiling current Mac apps so they will run on Intel-based machines, Apple's Xcode development environment would be fundamental to this transition. Apple announced the release of a $999 (£545) Developer Transition Kit, which consists of an Intel-based Mac development system and preview versions of Apple's software.

The company plans to include technology called Rosetta in the first computers it ships with Intel chips, Jobs said. Rosetta, named after the famous stone used to translate Egyptian and Greek in ancient Egypt, will allow code created for the PowerPC to run on Intel processors at a pace Jobs termed "fast (enough)". Jobs loaded several PowerPC-based applications during a demonstration, such as Adobe's Photoshop, which took a fair amount of time to boot as the binary code was translated.
Jobs also confirmed that Apple was currently developing the next version of Mac OS X, codenamed Leopard, due out at the end of 2006 or early 2007.

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