Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is expected to tell developers of the Apple World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) on Monday that the computer vendor will start using Intel chips, claims Cnet.
Low end computers will switch to Intel by 2006, the high end models by 2007, the news site claims.
The switch has major implications for users and software developers. Software designed for today's PowerPC equipped Mac computers won't run on the Intel machines because of the different chip architecture.
So for a number of years users will have watch out which software version they buy, and developers have to create and maintain two versions of their products. You can use emulators to run Power applications on Intel, but expect a severe drop in performance there.
Why Jobs feels all this trouble is worth making the switch, only Jobs knows. Intel chips have a greater market share, greater volume and therefore offer a faster development path than IBM's Power architecture and are cheaper.
Theoretically the move could bring OS X to any Intel PC from say Dell or HP. But Apple would only do that if it felt it could win a software battle against Windows – a battle that it is likely to lose for the simple reason that the world (and most importantly the enterprise world) is locked into Windows.
That would only make sense if Apple decided to merge OS X with Linux – at least users are used to seeing the open source operating system as a viable option. Such a move would be far fetched, but until recently so was Apple moving to Intel chips.
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