Friday, June 10, 2005

Intel inside Macs, Apple confirms

SAN FRANCISCO - After two decades of touting its Macintosh as a superior alternative to PCs based on Intel Corp. chips and Microsoft Corp. software, Apple Computer Inc. announced plans to switch the Mac to the same Intel chips that have powered Windows-based machines for years.

The deal, which has long been rumored, will help Apple better compete with the performance - and potentially the price - of Windows PCs. Still, Apple will continue to build its own computers and says it won't be licensing its software to other PC vendors.

Speaking to thousands of software developers Monday at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the move was driven by the fact that its current chip suppliers - IBM Corp. and Freescale Semiconductor Inc., the former semiconductor unit of Motorola - could not promise the same horsepower and power efficiency as Intel, the world's largest semiconductor company.

Intel, on the other hand, has plans to make its chips more powerful without dramatically increasing electricity demands. That's critically important for notebook computers, which now rival desktops in U.S. sales

Jobs revealed that Apple has been working on the move for at least five years, creating two versions of its Mac OS X operating system for both the current Mac chips and those built by Intel. He said the transition will start by mid-2006, with the entire Mac product line switched by the end of 2007.

Calming fears that Apple's switch would ignite a revolt among its most important software programmers, Jobs was joined on stage by two major developers - Adobe Systems Inc. and Microsoft. Both announced that they would support Macs running the existing and new hardware.

Source: cincypost

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