“Apple Computer is making the leap to Intel thanks in part to a software translation technology from a 65-person company in Los Gatos,” Dean Takahashi reports for The Mercury News. “Transitive Technologies confirmed Tuesday that it is providing Apple with technology that allows old Macintosh software programs to run on computers based on Intel rather than IBM chips. Transitive’s technology will be part of software called Rosetta, which will work for current Macintosh OS X programs that run on PowerPC systems but not for older programs that run on OS 8 and OS 9 software, according to Apple.”
Takahashi reports, “Apple Computer Chief Executive Steve Jobs demonstrated Rosetta on stage at a developer’s conference Monday, where he announced the alliance with Intel. ‘Steve was nice enough to recognize a relationship with us,’ said Bob Wiederhold, CEO of Transitive. ‘Our efforts involve integrating our technology into their system software.’ Rosetta will be important for Apple to hang onto its loyal Macintosh customers at a time when it is making a major switch to new hardware. If Rosetta lives up to its promise, consumers won’t have to throw away their old software when they buy a new computer from Apple with Intel chips.”
“Transitive uses only about 25 percent more memory than an older application otherwise might use. Wiederhold said Transitive’s team figured out how to do translation at roughly 70 percent to 80 percent of the speed at which it ran on the original computer,” Takahashi reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Note: In an attempt to clear up confusion we see everywhere, including in some recent MDN reader feedback:
Rosetta is intended to translate PowerPC-only Mac software for “Macintel” (Macs with Intel processors) computers. PowerPC Macs don’t need Rosetta. Developers are already preparing “Universal Binary” versions of their software which, simplified, contain both “Macintel” and PowerPC Mac versions of their programs. All of the major software packages from the big players like Adobe, Microsoft and Apple will offer Universal Binaries. If you have a “Universal Binary,” you won’t need Rosetta to translate, so there will not be any performance hit. Rosetta is simply there to translate for “Macintel” users who wish to run older Mac PowerPC software.
Keep in mind that Rosetta is the last resort for Macintel users who do not have Universal Binary versions of their PowerPC software. Macintel users will want Universal Binaries. PowerPC Mac users already have the native software.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple+Intel news is no reason not to buy a new PowerPC-based Mac today – June 07, 2005
RUMOR: Apple planning Mac OS X ‘Tiger’ release for x86 PCs? – February 25, 2005 (Transitive Technologies)
Startup claims ‘near-universal emulator’ allows any software to run all platforms with almost no performance hit – September 13, 2004 (Transitive Technologies)
iPod success opens door to Mac OS X on Intel – March 04, 2004