Transition

June 06, 2005

The transition is on. Apple is switching to Intel chips, with new hardware expected in the marketplace by this time next year. Their flagship development product XCode will produce "universal binary" capable of working on either PPC or Intel chips.

Those applications that don't easily re-compile will make use of a "dynamic binary translator" in order to run.

I will be the first to admit that I know next to nothing about the larger ramifications of this major switch by Apple. But I do have two questions:

1) Who will buy a PowerPC version of any Machintosh between now and when the first Intel version come available? (Other than the "tinfoil hat" brigade wanting to stay pure...)

2) Once OS X is Intel ready, why buy a Macintosh at all?

I feel a great disturbance in the force, as if millions of souls cried out in agony....

Updated: 1:45 pm I think I may have hit upon a partial answer to my questions above. Apple hardware uses open firmware in place of a BIOS. Unless the Intel version of OS X truly will run on any Intel platform, you'll still need a Mac to use the OS. It'll just happen to be a Mac with an Intel Inside sticker on the side.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.