“‘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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