Sterling Ambivalence (sterlingnorth) wrote,
Sterling Ambivalence

Could this be the switch heard 'round the world?

I feel somewhat sorry for the lass who sent me the Toshiba I posted about below, which served me well until the demise. She bought a new 12" iBook two months ago. Shortly before technology evangelist Paul Thurrott made an idle comment on April 26th. That day he complained that the Windows Longhorn project looked like a train-wreck. That comment, plus one by another describing Longhorn as "looking like ass" got the major play that day. However, another comment was noted by the Mac enthusaist community: "Apple is unhappy with the PowerPC production at IBM and will be switching to Intel-compatible chips this very year. Yeah, seriously."

That earned him a lot of derison from the Mac enthusiasts. Though probably not as much as John Dvorak has everytime he brings it up.

Last Friday, C|Net posted that come 1pm today (EDT), Steve Jobs will announce that Apple is switching to Intel made processors. The Wall Street Journal, and other papers began reporting such as well. Now, whether this will happen, or numerous respected publications get socked in the eye remains to be seen. We'll find out in about 30 minutes to an hour whether or not this is true.

Well, you will. I probably won't find out until 6pm or later when I return to my PC to read the day's news. But if this turns out to be true, and true in the way that Apple switches to the x86 architecture (Intel could just be making PPC chips), I will feel sorry for my friend who had just bought a new iBook. If Apple does something like this, sales of PPC hardware will pretty much drop off a cliff. I doubt people will be buying technology that Apple is going to abandon shortly, no matter how well emulation goes. (And emulation has proven to be difficult, as x86 can't mimic PPC very well.)

Reasons for Apple to make this switch seem to be unclear. There's nothing much beyond frustration with IBM's ability to make enough chips for the company. Because of this old partnership, Apple had actually run out of computers to sell numerous times. But from what little I know, this doesn't seem enough to jump through all the difficulty of changing horses for the third time.

That said, I know nothing. It's best I shut up now. You'll probably know all the details come 2pm eastern time. I'll probably learn of them after sunset.
Tags: apple
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