the new mactel hegemony
Well, because grumpy suggested it, I thought I would post some digested thought about this new Mac-on-Intel thing. I don’t claim that I’m really the original thinker here by a long shot, but here goes: What is really driving Apple to Intel is not the long awaited 3.0 GHz G5 chip. What is driving this is the Pentium M. More than half of Apple’s computer sales are laptops, and, apparently, IBM doesn’t have a very promising roadmap for laptop-friendly chips. Intel is the leader here with the Pentium M series. While Apple’s high-end server line gets press and attention, moving to Intel isn’t that big of a win for that platform. Not that it will hurt, either–Intel does have some fast parts. But, it seems to me, what Apple really needs is a fast (and growable) line of laptop processors that it can get in volume. Intel fits that bill. Don’t feel bad for IBM – every new gaming console will apparently use IBM processors of some sort. That should account for a little volume.
Update: Now that I’ve actually watched the Stevenote, my observations are even more obvious. Steve and Paul Otenelli both said, right out, that it was all about processing power per watt. Of course, that doesn’t directly mean that this deal was all about the laptop – liquid cooling in the high-end G5 PowerMacs is a little disturbing, too. Now the thing to see if whether or not Apple essentially abandons their 64 bit mantra. They don’t have to, Intel has x86-64 stuff too, but the development platform appears to be a straight-up P4.