Seriously though... what if Apple did switch to Intel x86?
I’ll tell you! Just as things seem quiet I ditch out to TGI Friday’s and when I come back… the main server for Mobile17 is down and Apple’s switching to Intel! Wait a second… there’s no way that’s happening… is there? Let’s break things down.
Say Apple *is* switching to Intel chips, which they obviously are since CNET News has run a story already. (Sure, sure, nobody can believe it, but with Apple’s World-Wide Developer’s Conference [WWDC] just days away, I think they’ve finally caved-in.) Most likely, due to Apple and IBM’s disagreements, Intel will takeover PowerPC production, either with a similar, yet compatible, product… or even with a new generation of processors. I seriously doubt Apple’s just thrown in the towel on the PPC architechture. (UPDATE: It looks like perhaps they might be dropping the architecture after-all, but not 100% sure.)
Okay so now that we’ve covered what’s 90% most likely to happen, let’s cover what would be “Thinking Different”. Apple’s Mac OS X is based on FreeBSD (adapted to Darwin) and can easily be compiled to run on Intel’s native x86 platform. If they did that, they could offer OS X for PCs and Macs alike. Dell’s been flirting with Apple over OS X recently — could this be it? Could the world’s most advanced operating system be making the switch? A friend of mine involved with MacRumors said, “Dell couldn’t do that without taking a serious hit,” but how about a dual-booting Mac/PC… wouldn’t you buy one? I sure would.
Okay, so there’s no chance of our “Scenario B” actually happening, and we’re too far from April Fools for jokes. Dell and others are bound with Microsoft contracts that even prevent them from offering Linux on Desktop PCs in many cases. Mac fans are horrified right now, and PC fans are like “pff… it’s about time. *hugs gaming rig*” (kidding) — time to calm down, take a step back, and see this from Apple’s point of view. They’re primarily a hardware company (even aside from the iPods), and I doubt they’d shoot themselves in the foot.