Apple to use Intel microprocessors beginning in 2006, all Macs to be Intel-based by end of 2007

At its Worldwide Developer Conference today, Apple announced plans to deliver models of its Macintosh computers using Intel microprocessors by this time next year, and to transition all of its Macs to using Intel microprocessors by the end of 2007.

Apple previewed a version of its critically acclaimed operating system, Mac OS X Tiger, running on an Intel-based Mac to the over 3,800 developers attending CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote address. Apple also announced the availability of a Developer Transition Kit, consisting of an Intel-based Mac development system (3.6GHz Pentium 4-based) along with preview versions of Apple’s software, which will allow developers to prepare versions of their applications which will run on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

“Our goal is to provide our customers with the best personal computers in the world, and looking ahead Intel has the strongest processor roadmap by far,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO in the press release. “It’s been ten years since our transition to the PowerPC, and we think Intel’s technology will help us create the best personal computers for the next ten years.”

“We are thrilled to have the world’s most innovative personal computer company as a customer,” said Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel in the press release. “Apple helped found the PC industry and throughout the years has been known for fresh ideas and new approaches. We look forward to providing advanced chip technologies, and to collaborating on new initiatives, to help Apple continue to deliver innovative products for years to come.”

“We plan to create future versions of Microsoft Office for the Mac that support both PowerPC and Intel processors,” said Roz Ho, general manager of Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit in the press release. “We have a strong relationship with Apple and will work closely with them to continue our long tradition of making great applications for a great platform.”

“We think this is a really smart move on Apple’s part and plan to create future versions of our Creative Suite for Macintosh that support both PowerPC and Intel processors,” said Bruce Chizen, CEO of Adobe.

The Developer Transition Kit is available starting today for $999 to all Apple Developer Connection Select and Premier members. Further information for Apple Developer Connection members is available at developer.apple.com

Intel plans to provide industry leading development tools support for Apple later this year, including the Intel C/C++ Compiler for Apple, Intel Fortran Compiler for Apple, Intel Math Kernel Libraries for Apple and Intel Integrated Performance Primitives for Apple.

326 Comments

  1. Crouching Tiger-

    The Pentium is only at the end of its road if you believe the stuff you read on this forum, and you don’t search elsewhere. Of course there are a lot of people in here that are going to say they knew the x86 was better all a long. Where were you before today?

    Lots have been talking about how hot and power hungry the x86s are compared to the G5s. Yet can’t explain why there are notebooks (yes, some thinner than a PowerBook) based on the latest that Intel and AMD offer. But no G5 mobile, I wonder why? There are even notebooks with the Athlon64 chip. 64bit notebooks, go figure. That’s sounds pretty good for a “dead” platform. It’s like the people saying this stuff don’t even hear themselves. I see the same people saying they are saving their money for a shiny new G5 PB. Or even funnier, a 10-core cell. When Apple themselves said they are too hot and need too much power for now.

    PC hardware is just better. The OS sucks, but the hardware is superior. The video cards are years ahead. I know it’s popular to bash the gaming on windows, but nothing crushes a computer like pushing all those pixels in a 3D environment. If the pc hardware can do that it can do anything the current Mac can do, but faster in most cases; those couple of Photoshop filters that run 2 millionth of a nano second faster on a G5 not withstanding. After all, they don’t show you the 2 filters that run 2 millionth of a nano second faster in windows. So, if your job is only applying those 2 filters all day, my heart goes out to you. Not because you will now be doing them 2 millionth of a nano second slower; but because your job sucks. Over all the two platforms are about the same in terms of speed in everyday usage.

    Intel and AMD have both launched dual-core 64bit chips and AMD has a dual-core 64bit mobile chip coming later this year. This is a good move. I’m not saying the PPC is an inferior technology, it’s not, but if IBM doesn’t develop chips that Apple wants and needs it “is” pointless. At least now we can see the real difference between a Mac and a windows box, I believe it’s the OS.

  2. Ex-Apple Customer: Why so hot under the collar? All your existing computers will still work. Even if Apple didn’t switch to Intel, they would still be obsolete some day. I can guarantee that all the major software developers will support both, because obviously most people are not going to go out and buy a new computer just to get Intel. And developers need to sell software to make money, so they’ll develop for both.

    As far as the old Intel vs. PPC arguments, this proves nothing. We’ve known for years that driver optimization is one key point (which has been a little lacking on the Mac side). Still, in many ways, PPC did prove faster. The problem is that IBM has dropped the ball, and what was once faster is now losing ground with each passing year. If IBM can’t keep up, Apple needs to switch to SOMETHING to be a viable platform. Speed is an important element in our world of advanced applications, and new technologies demand more of it.

    MW: “work” as in, I think Apple’s plan will work.

  3. The dark side?

    LOL

    It’s a CPU. Calm down people… Mac hardware and software will be as awesome as ever, only it won’t lag behind the PC world in terms of performance anymore.

  4. Frankly, what’s inside the box is really immaterial as long as it has the usual quality that Apple is known for. If OS X runs the way it should and all my apps continue to hum along, I won’t care.

    If you think this means that OS X will run on any vanilla box, you’ll be sadly mistaken. You’ll still need a Mac from Apple. I don’t see SJ getting sucked into the morass of hardware that is the M$ nightmare.

    Leopards can change their spots and Leopard should ship with binaries for both PPC and the new Intel hardware. If Apple engineers have kept OS X current on both platforms since 10.0, there will be no problem. Their tough job in 1999-2000 was to port NeXT over to the PPC.

    I don’t get to rev my hardware for another two years but I’ll have no problem with the new hardware, especially a nice fast iBook!

    MDN MW: “major” as in major changes ahead.

  5. At its Worldwide Developer Conference today, Apple announced plans to deliver models of its Macintosh computers using Intel microprocessors, Microsoft operating systems and Dell hardware, by this time next year, and to transition all of its Macs to using Intel microprocessors, Microsoft Longhorn and Dell Dimensions by the end of 2007. Steve Jobs noted that “I’ve been leading a double life for five years . . . Pentium rules!”

  6. SJ must have been VERY pissed at IBM:

    “I stood up here two years ago and promised you 3.0 GHz. I think a lot of you would like a G5 in your PowerBook, and we haven’t been able to deliver that to you,” said Jobs. “But as we look ahead, and though we’ve got great products now, and great PowerPC products still to come, we can envision great products we want to build, and we can’t envision how to build them with the current PowerPC roadmap,” said Jobs.

    Now one hint: the Intel roadmap. What Jobs describes below is not current x86 road map but the future MP 64-bit chip families based on an evolution of the PentiumD 64-bit from Intel:

    “When we look at future roadmaps, mid-2006 and beyond, we see PowerPC gives us 15 units of perfomance per watt, but Intel’s roadmap gives us 70. And so this tells us what we have to do,” he explained.

    in mid-2006 it is not x86 32-bit of today to produce the above. Maybe SJ got lured by the prospective of quad-processors Macs that IBM – as it seems clear now – must have told him “Forget about that” as well as to the “3.0 GHz G5”.

    I gave this scenario the least possibility although not excluded it but it still leaves me thoughtful. All of a sudden, I think in Hell they are buying heaters now.

  7. Vive long the new IT … COMMUNISM.
    (by the way.
    Is not the OS. stupid.
    It is everything. stupid.
    Mac was unique. stupid.
    apple, dell, lenovo, lenin computers … same)

  8. This is BS. What am I supposed to do now? I need a new G5 for video work, but buying it now just makes it LEGACY HARDWARE immediately!!!! I like to purchase systems that are going to last me more than 1 to 2 years. These “transparent and dynamic” bindings are another way to say instability. I hate compatibility modes. I hated OS Classic emulation. We just got passed that and now this.

    I’m not saying that I’m leaving, I’m just saying that I am in a tough position now. I think that this has put alot of people in a tough position. Hopefully more details will come out soon. If this is all we get for now, it’s going to be a long year and a half…..

    Oh yeah: “stantheman” – bite me

  9. Wow, the white flag is flying high over Cupertino…

    Where should I start…

    • I thought the PowerPC was the bomb it: ran cool had low power consumption and was 64 bit

    • now we are to believe that a 32 P4 and a Dell box is the bomb

    If this was not so sad it would be funny. Mr. Jobs is trying to sell us a Dell Computer running OS X via some seamless background magic!

    Today is the day that Apple died, only it was a suicide.

    Why would anyone in the “real IT world” abandon a proven OS with years of hardware support for a brand new OS that has never ran on our hardware?

    ©

    ps Apple may have had something with 64 bit on custom built hardware now they are nothing.

  10. The biggest difference in Job’s “transition” arguments was that each transition was to a superior alternative. I don’t see ANY evidence that Intel is a superior architecture to 64-bit PPC we have today. Cheaper, yes. Better? no.

    The OSX, Pentium 4 developer builds will be pirated out in every torrent site known to man. Good going Apple.

    What’s next, Product Activation?

  11. This is great news. Macs will still be ahead, just because of the OS. Hi Stan, past your bedtime isn’t it? Does your mom know you’re up?

  12. You don’t think that Apple and Intel will just stand still for one year, and then cram a one-year-old chip inside the Mac mini, do you?

    Everyone complaining about the current P4 not being 64bit etc, grow up and think outside the box.
    I guarantee that the first “Mactel” machine won’t come with a chip that’s state of the art today! It will be state of the art when it comes out.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.