Apple and Intel
I think everyone is going to listen in to the big announcement. The article at news.com quotes an analyst saying that it may hurt Apple to switch architectures again but correctly counters this argument that this time is different. This switch will be under a FreeBSD based operating system. There are only a few cases where software developers are going to be affected, where their software is byte-order dependent, but most shouldn't feel a thing. This is pretty exciting. I'd love to be able to run OS X on my home Intel box or, at a very minimum, dual-boot it. Doc Searls, speculates that maybe this means Intel may be only helping Apple fix the yield problems and be in talks with IBM to fab the Power PC chip. I'm not sure I buy this one. It would take more than a "sex change" for Intel to manufacture the Power PC. This move by Apple is pretty simple. I think it's the first stage in a multi-stage plan to further gain market share against Microsoft. First lure PC users into Apple stores to buy iPods. Tempt them with all the high-design and functionality of Apple hardware. Show them Intel hardware made by Apple. Finally, if you can't sell them the hardware, send them home with CD to load up on their current Windows machine. As long as Longhorn remains in the shop Apple's got all the time in the world to execute on this strategy.