Apple may be prepping for attack on Microsoft in late 2006

“‘It’s a sell-out,’ proclaimed one computer geek on an online forum. In any other business, changing component suppliers rarely registers with the customer, but Apple is no ordinary business. Last week’s announcement that it would be abandoning its long-standing chip suppliers, IBM and Motorola, and switching to industry-leader Intel was met with disbelief,” Graham Stewart writes for The Scotsman. “It brings to an end a relationship of more than 20 years since Apple first included a Motorola chip in their computers. Meanwhile, the Microsoft platform went with Intel. From that point on the battle lines were drawn, becoming ever more entrenched over the years, with much mudslinging between the two over whose systems were the fastest.”

“No surprise then that many Apple devotees see the company’s plans as tantamount to surrender, though others suspect that chief executive Steve Jobs will see it as an opportunity to move more of his tanks on to Microsoft’s lawn,” Stewart writes. “When Jobs introduced IBM’s next-generation G5 processor at Apple’s 2003 Developer Conference he promised that speeds would top 3GHz within a year. Two years later he’s still waiting. More importantly, IBM has failed to come up with a G5 that can be used in laptops, currently the fastest-growing sector of the PC industry and the largest part of Apple’s PC business.”

Stewart writes, “With Macs using the same processor as Windows, Apple’s Intel machines could offer customers the best of both worlds: the ability to run both Mac and Windows software on the same box. If that is indeed Apple’s long-term strategy, it is not letting on. Senior vice president Phil Schiller has merely indicated that Apple ‘won’t do anything to preclude someone running [Windows] on a Mac.’ Apple may be saving its attack on Microsoft until late 2006, when the Redmond company is expected to release its delayed Longhorn operating system. Apple has announced that it will be releasing its own spoiler around that time in the form of Mac OS X Leopard.”

Full article here.

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53 Comments

  1. I know that Apple tends to push forward new technology like USB, Firewire, etc etc before there is necessarily a demand (dragging us kicking and screaming into the future) while the rest of the comodity box PC world pretty much waits for demand before following. Or they wait until a competitor does it then they are forced to in order to compete. For a company like Intel which does better when newer technology is bought I could see Apple having a higher standing with them, disproportianate with their installed base.

    For better AND worse Apple is more like a Dictatorship…or actually a Republic then a Democracy, and so iMacs suddenly didn’t have floppy drives despite the fact their was no demand to drop it. They went to USB despite their customers having invested in ASB peripherals, they added firewire (forcing us to pay for it when buying a new Mac) despite their not being much to take advantage of it at the time, and now they move to Intel. For a company like Intel that usually has to work within the more democratic arena of the PC world, where demand usually has to come from the bottom up, they must feel like they are held back from innovating too far from the fold.

    Having Apple as a customer for their CPUs may be their way to come up with newer technologies that the rest of the PC world would not pick up because it would cause a disruption like those previously mentioned without their even being a demand. Once Apple leads away with it the rest of the PC world will be much more likely to follow. As always we Mac users are on the forefront.

    Of course it would seem that may be more long term thinking or completely wrong altogether in the face of the fact that Apple is having developers use a Pentium 4 to move their software over. If it was some radically new chip then what would be the point of that.

  2. “Apple has announced that it will be releasing its own spoiler around that time in the form of Mac OS X Leopard.”

    The spoiler was already released, it was called Tiger! Leopard will just be the icing on the cake (or the final nail in the coffin).

  3. INTEL

    – needs to showcase its technology, possibly shrinkwrapped in top-design, something Apple excels at;

    – needs to cut the wires connecting it to crappy, bugged, virused OS (read windows) i.e. needs to polish and reestablish a reputation.;

    – needs vision

    APPLE

    – needs fast portables, possibly NOT power hungry;

    – needs a path for the next decade;

    – needs at least 60 fps in Doom 3 and a way to grant a cheap switching path for people that invested a lot of dough in software for windows;

    – has vision

  4. Groundless most ridiculous prediction for late 2006:

    BG and SJ already agree to MS to buyout Apple. When buyout is announced, BG will remain Chairman and SJ will become iCEO (again) and BB will be forced out. When Apple releases Leopard, they will announce the buyout and also officially rename Leopard to Windows 2006 (Longhorn).

  5. “more democratic arena of the PC world”
    I would not call “PC world” democratic. They were duopoly, Intel and MS. Intel pushed PC vendors to have USB on all PCs long time before Apple implemented USB on Mac, but MS did not ship a stable driver for USB on Windows until after Apple shipped their Mac with USB ports, so USB remained unused ports on PC for few years. For Intel, MS was a heavy anchor dragging them back. With Apple on its team, Intel may able to play MS and Apple against each other to push their technologies out to market faster (not that Apple needs the push. If any thing, Apple and Intel will play on each other to intensify their march toward new technologies).

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