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Jason Pontin

A View from Jason Pontin

Bored by Apple's Deal with Intel

Today, during my weekly appearance on CNN, I was asked about Steve Jobs’s announcement at the World Wide Developers Conference that henceforth Apple’s computers would use Intel’s chips (and not the PowerPC chip manufactured by IBM and Motorola that powered…

  • June 8, 2005

Today, during my weekly appearance on CNN, I was asked about Steve Jobs’s announcement at the World Wide Developers Conference that henceforth Apple’s computers would use Intel’s chips (and not the PowerPC chip manufactured by IBM and Motorola that powered Macs for years). I did my best - I am a trouper, a pro, a cable news warrior - but I was only mildly interested in the whole subject. The only people who really care are those for whom the Macintosh, as an alternative to the Wintel duopoly, is a kind of religion. Here are three reasons to raise one’s eyebrows - but no more than a millimeter, mind you.

1. I am astonished that Apple has managed to keep a secret like this for 6 years. But Jobs says that the MacOS has been compatible with Intel’s architecture for at least that long: “MacOSX has been leading a secret life.”

2. There is nothing now to prevent Apple from licensing MacOSX to PC manufacturers. We could see low-cost Mac clones. I would be astonished if Jobs were to do it, however. How do I know? Oh, easy. Apple is not a software company at heart. Steve is interested in innovation, and the innovation he enjoys occurs when software and hardware are integrated. Finally, Apple tried Mac clones in the mid-90s, but Steve killed the idea when he returned to the company because people weren’t buying more Macs - they were buying less of his expensive Macs.

3. Macintosh users will now be able to run Windows and its applications without emulation and all its attendant slowness and breakages.

See, I told you: only mildly interesting. I don’t know what the big deal is. But some people, like Forbes.com’s Arik Hasseldahl care a lot. He thinks it’s going to kill the Mac. No, it really won’t.

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