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Sun, 05 Jun 2005
Apple on Intel is all about Laptops

[ from the Saturday/Sunday night insomnia department ]

As an Apple customer, the reason I"d be happiest for Apple to switch to Intel is for laptops. On the PowerPC side, a Powerbook ready G5 is nowhere in sight, while on the Intel there is already the excellent Pentium-M, (to be followed by the more amazing Yonah next year).

I've seen some suggestions that Apple should be switching to AMD processors instead of Intel, if they are going to switch. This article on AMD's answer to Centrino suggests otherwise, at least for laptops.

The laptop segment is the fastest growing part of the PC business, and I much prefer a good laptop to a desktop. The only reason I look back at the Wintel world with any envy is those Centrino powered Thinkpads.

[02:22] | [computers/operating_systems/macosx] | # | TB | F | G | 6 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

There maybe lots of good technology reasons for Apple to be looking at Intel.  The NoteBook market being one.  I think however that there are other serious business reasons for Apple to be looking at the X86 architecture.  An architecture they have summarily dismissed for near 25 years.  Until now.

IBM has made a chain of seemingly unrelated interesting moves that are just now taking on the shape of a grand strategy.  A strategy that is not so much world conquering as it is the long awaited moment of revenge.  And what sweet revenge it will be if IBM can pull this off.  Not that it has anything much to do with Apple or Sun.  They just become road kill as IBM races down the road to their long awaited moment of destiny.

A few events in particular have caused me to think that the great revenge is not so far fetched an idea as one might suspect.  The events are:

1) Support for GNU/Linux as a universal operating system, owned by none, used by all. 

2) The release of IBM WorkPlace, a highly portable desktop productivity environment that ships with accelerated connectivity to the IBM Eclipse based developer environment, and the IBM server stack of Websphere, Notes, and DB2.  While the European Union and the USA Justice Department worry about how to force Microsoft into opening up server, device and file format interfaces, IBM has eliminated the problem.  It's simple, just replace the monopolist desktop environment with one that is open, interoperable, and XML ready.  Not to mention that WorkPlace has been significantly enhanced (pre connected) to work with IBM's stack.

3) Shifting of IBM's entire PC division to third party, and future commodity champion, Lenovo.

4) The Power PC 6 chip, scheduled for release this coming November.

The PP6 is expected to have a ten fold computing power increase over anything the X86 line has in production.  And except for dual core manufacturing methods, there's not much on the X86 horizon that offers any hope of competing against the PP6. 

IBM has refused to license the PP6 to the largest and most successful distributor of the Power PC line, Apple.  Think about that.  If your Apple, and you see that IBM is setting themselves up to be an Intel like distributor of the PP6, yet they won't license the damn thing to the biggest provider of the entire PPC line?  Steve Jobs has to be wondering what's up with that.

Through IBM's incredible support of GNU/Linux and Open Source, the PP6 has an advantage that no other revolutionary chip design has ever had.  A universal operating system, and a vast application layer that incredibly spans desktop, server, devices and even the developer tools - all awaiting the release of the PP6.  Most new chip architectures face the challenge of growing a participatory ecosystem of hardware and software services and solutions.  The cost of going from zero to sixty with critically important collaborative ecosystems is way beyond the reach of most new cpu architectures.  Just ask Transmeta how difficult it is. And they had one of the greatest, most eco connected, systems programmers who ever lived trying to crack that nut.

Apple, Dell, Sun, and maybe even RedHat (think IBM sponsoring Novell's purchase of SuSE to the tune of $50M ) are sadly positioned to be collateral damage in this race to Armaggedon.  Maybe if Apple had been a better open source citizen they might have gotten their PP6 license.  But somewhere along the way someone at IBM figured out that the GNU/Linux

I look at these events, which are but a few of the efforts IBM has cooking (the Eclipse ecosystem is extraordinary), and i can't help but think that everything IBM is doing points in one direction.  They are heading for a showdown with WinTel.  It's for all the marbles.  And it's revenge as we've never imagined possible. 

Posted by
Gary Edwards at Sun Jun 5 12:38:16 2005

So it is true: Apple is moving its software to the Intel architecture. Here's MacNN's coverage of the developers conference, where the announcement was made.Apparently Apple will insist
Posted by Trackback from Bayosphere at Mon Jun 6 12:43:20 2005

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