Apple Computer’s break with longtime processor provider IBM and its new alliance with Intel leave open a raft of questions about motive, implementation and risks. The company also faces the challenge of building on the unmatched success of its iPods and iTunes Music Store in the face of unrelenting competition. And theories abound on the path Apple will take as it aims for a central role in digital home entertainment.
SiliconValley.com is exploring the subject in one of their periodic roundtables. They’ve pulled together a diverse group of insiders and observers, and they (and you) can speculate to your heart’s content about Apple’s future in a weeklong exchange in their forum this week.
• Tim Bray is the co-creator of XML and “Director of Web Technologies” at Sun.
• Nathan Brookwood is principal analyst at Insight 64. Earlier in his career, Nathan directed processor research at Gartner Dataquest, where he focused on microprocessors used in computational applications.
• Dawn C. Chmielewski is an entertainment technology writer and columnist for the San Jose Mercury News.
• Michael Gartenberg is vice president and research director for the Personal Technology & Access and Custom Research groups at Jupiter Research in New York.
• Peter Glaskowsky is an analyst with the Envisioneering Group in Seaford, N.Y., a former editor of the Microprocessor Report newsletter and an architect with MemoryLogix, a microprocessor design firm.
• Mark Gonzales was Apple’s senior product manager for seven years. During the early ’90s he was part of the “Star Trek” project — the now legendary effort to make the Mac OS work on Intel chips. Gonzales later co-founded Powered Inc., a provider of solutions that combine e-commerce and e-learning. He’s currently a consultant whose client list includes Sony, Hewlett-Packard and CDW
• John Gruber publishes Daring Fireball, an influential Apple-focused Weblog.
• Andy Hertzfeld was a key member of the original Apple Macintosh development team. Since leaving Apple in 1984, he has co-founded three new companies — Radius (1986), General Magic (1990) and Eazel (1999), where he created the Nautilus file manager for the GNOME desktop on Linux. Now, with the Open Source Applications Foundation, Hertzfeld’s work is directed toward promoting innovation and ease of use on the Linux platform. Andy currently works for Google.
• Leander Kahney is a content editor for Wired News. Before becoming an editor, Leander worked as a senior reporter specializing in Apple Computer and the Macintosh community, Internet culture and emerging technologies. Many of his Mac articles were collected in a popular book, “The Cult of Mac,” published by No Starch Press in 2004.
• Kevin Krewell, a 25-year veteran of the electronics industry, is a senior analyst at InStat and editor-in-chief of the Microprocessor Report.
• Brent Simmons is the author of NetNewsWire, the runaway smash-hit RSS news aggregator for Mac OS X, and the founder of Ranchero Software.
While public access to this conversation has been restricted to read-only, SiliconValley.com encourages your participation. You may submit your questions and opinions for publication by posting to the roundtable forum. Public submissions will be added to the conversation only after they have been reviewed and approved by an editor.
Enter the roundtable here.