Microsoft CEO Ballmer: Apple’s moved to Intel? Ho hum

“Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s reaction to Apple Computer’s decision to use Intel processors can be summed up in two words: ‘What’s changed?’ Speaking Monday at Microsoft’s TechEd customer conference, Ballmer questioned whether Apple’s move to Intel for its PCs changes the competitive dynamic between Microsoft and Apple,” Martin LaMonica blogs for CNET. ‘Will there be more device drivers because of this? No, Apple has their device model–we have ours. Will there more hardware manufacturers that build Apple machines other than Apple? That’s a whole business model change. No reason to believe so,’ he said. ‘Frankly, if people wanted to do that, they could have been buying parts from IBM. What changed?’ Ballmer also suggested that the chip change could reduce the number of applications available on Mac OS.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ballmer has “no reason to believe” there will more hardware manufacturers that build Apple machines? What about Dell, HP, Sony, Toshiba, Acer, etc.? Jobs don’t need no stinking machines, if he wished, all he’d need to do would be to sign deals; Mac OS X already runs on the world’s PC hardware. If Jobs did this, Mac OS X’s drivers (and applications) would increase, Windows would hemorrhage operating system market share, and Ballmer would be out of Microsoft within months, if MS can even move on large issues that quickly anymore. Of course, Ballmer knows all of this, but he can’t show it in public. In our opinion, Microsoft has been floundering under Ballmer ever since he became CEO. The longer he stays around ignoring Apple and presiding over OS rewrites that easily strip, but never ship, the worse things will get for Microsoft.


  1. Sorry if this is a littel off topic, but,

    QUESTION: What will this mean for Microsoft’s Virtual PC? Since it’s an intel processor emulator isn’t most of the code kind of redundant now? Can it be reworked to run windows software faster? Or is the whole thing in the crapper? Interesting to find this out.

  2. Bullmer is probably thinking: even if Cougar outdoes Longhorn (he is no blind Mac fanboy, so he can also see the sides about Longhorn that actually are better than OSX Tiger. Don’t be stupid by going in denial. It is that way. MacOS improves every year, Win every five years. The good thing about Longhorn slipping back even further is of course that Cougar can contain surprises Longhorn can never counter in time) it’ll be a long time before your average user understands that. MS/Windows is going to be around for a long time yet.


    As others have said: switching will become rampant, once people can multiboot to OSX and Win. As for OSX only running on Mactel: better would be, if OSX would install on anything intel. The more people see it, the more people will switch to it. The few pirated copies out there don’t kill a company. Ask… Microsoft. How many pirated copies of XP out there? A lot, but MS is still number one by quite a margin. I would not be surprised by Apple slipping ‘hacked non Mactel OSX’ versions into the P2P circuit.

    I do thereby ignore the design element of the hardware, of course. I couldn’t give a toss if a Mac would look like a grey shoebox, as long as it runs OSX and finally comes CHEAP!

  3. It seems to me that the media and other folk assume that a move by Apple to Intel processors means Apple is making a PC compatible box that can run Windows. I believe this is completely wrong. I believe that all this means is that a Mac will use an Intel processor rather than PowerPC but otherwise still be a Mac at the hardware level. There are huge diffferences between a Mac and a PC other than the processor and OS (memory layout, interrupt hardware, clocks). Again, I really don’t believe this means Windows will run on future Intel powered Macs. That wouldn’t make sense.

  4. He may not be the smartest ape in the pen, but he’s no idiot.

    He now knows that supporting Apple with Office etc. is no longer just an issue of avoiding antitrust action (not that it matters with the Bush DOJ anyway).

    For years, MS has had the Office knife to Apple’s throat. Ballmer now knows Apple has a knife to their throat too.

    “Don’t make us use this.”

    If MS ever drops Office, expect OS X to be sold to PC owners within weeks.

  5. I don’t think that Windows will run on the Mactel boxes, but I do believe that Apple will create a compatibility box in OS X to run Windows applications. This may be its own creation or a version of Virtual PC that eliminates the need for chip emulation and merely handles the BIOS and hardware hooks that a Windows environment needs.

    You know if they have been running OS X on secret Mactel boxes in Apple HQ, they have done this as well.

    Being someone who is stuck developing Windows software at work, I would love to have a Mac at home that could run my Windows tools at full speed so I didn’t have to suffer with a Dell box.

  6. Kevin, Michael –
    ‘After Jobs’ presentation, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller addressed the issue of running Windows on Macs, saying there are no plans to sell or support Windows on an Intel-based Mac. “That doesn’t preclude someone from running it on a Mac. They probably will,” he said. “We won’t do anything to preclude that.”
    However, Schiller said the company does not plan to let people run Mac OS X on other computer makers’ hardware. “We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac,” he said.’

    from c|net,+aligns+with+Intel+-+page+2/2100-7341_3-5733756-2.html?

  7. I think this is all peachy ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> Look at the flexibility Apple will have. They can choose from four fabs (IBM, Moto, AMD, and Intel) with two architectures depending on what their “exact” needs are for any upcoming device. They are taking the whole CPU issue out of the equation and going more the consumer electronics route where you don’t know what’s running inside and don’t care, just like the iPod.

  8. Quintox: “The only difference between what´s inside a dell computer and an apple computer will be the oS.”

    So let me get this straight: As of today, there are only two differences? The OS and the CPU chip? Funny, I thought there was a lot more to the Mac design than that.

    Yeah, right, pop out the PPC and put in an Intel and suddenly OH NOEZ!! TEH MAC MAGIC SI GOEN!!!!!11

  9. The Ballmer era is funny.. salesman.

    Try talking about software or innovation with this guy and he just turns beet red and runs away. What a visionary.

  10. Re “MDN take:”

    Jobs has unequivocally asserted that his software will run only on Apple hardware. Okay; but still the question remains, was he truthful… or was this merely “posturing” during the incipiency of a new deal, until the waters have been fully tested?

    If the latter is true, then I would have some quite different conjectures to make in regard to what’s behind Apple’s shift from IBM to Intel.

    For those who are breathing and have eyes, the shadow of doubt lingers in the background of Mr. Jobs’ decision to go with X-86. For instance, one SHOULD wonder just how much money changed hands (under the table, of course) between Microsoft and Apple.

    What’s that… you say I’m crazy? Sure I am, my friends, and I’m willing to fight to stay this way! — But read on, if you aren’t one of Apple’s or Microsoft’s yes-man toadies, and see what I’m driving at.

    Look; it doesn’t take a neurosurgeon to comprehend the fact that people in Job’s and Balmer’s positions are interested more in wealth and power than in altruism and the fair treatment of loyal clients.

    Furthermore, no great intelligence quotient (a 92 will do…) is needed to recognize what will likely happen to Linux when Apple software can run universally in X-86 boxes made by a plethora of manufacturers!

    This cuts through the Gordian Knot both for Balmer and Jobs, as it gets the Linux “monkey” of increasing competition to Microsoft’s (endangered) server market off Balmer’s back, whereas for Jobs it means a giant (personal) cash infusion from Microsoft and/or Intel (a long-time peripheral affiliate of MS) — plus the removal of competitor Linux from continuing It’s annoying advances in the Open Source market… advances that compete with both Apple AND Microsoft.

    So, in effect this shift to Intel is a potential win-win situation, with Balmer and Jobs coming out smelling like roses… and Linux’ ears pinned so far back that even surgery would prove ineffective.

    What’s not for Apple and Microsoft to like about that?

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