The Macintel Report

Dell Wants OS X, Apple's Switch to Intel a Good Idea, IBM Sheds No Tears, WiFi on a CPU, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2005.06.23

This Week's Mac-on-Intel News

Apple announced that they will begin shipping Intel-based Macs by the end of June 2006 and completely migrate their product line to Intel CPUs by the end of June 2007. The Macintel Report examines the impact of that switch as well as developments in the Intel world.

PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing news is covered in The 'Book Review. General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod news is covered in The iNews Review.

News, Analysis, and Opinion

Tech Developments

News, Analysis, and Opinion


IDG News Service's Tom Krazit reports:

"If Apple Computer Inc. ever decides to let its Mac OS X operating system outside of its confines, the company can count Dell Inc. founder and chairman Michael Dell as a possible customer.

"Apple, however, is not keen on striking a deal with the world's largest PC vendor.

"'Mac OS X will only run on Macs. Apple has no plans to sell Mac OS X software to run on PCs,' an Apple spokeswoman said in an e-mail response to questions about Dell."

Dell Will Not Be Licensing OS X

Mac on Intel says:

"As revealed in a recent Fortune article by David Kirkpatrick, Michael Dell has indicated that he would be interested in bundling OS X with his PCs.

"So I emailed Michael Dell, now the company's chairman, and asked if he'd be interested in the Mac OS, assuming that Apple CEO Steve Jobs ever decides to license it to PC companies. (For now, Jobs says he won't.)"

A Multiplatform Future for the Mac?

CRN's Russell Redman says:

"Now that the speculation about Apple switching from IBM PowerPC to Intel chips is over, industry buzz about more platform crossover for the Macintosh is just beginning.

"Solution providers and analysts said Apple's move to Intel opens up some intriguing possibilities: Would Intel-based Macs be able to run Microsoft Windows and Linux? And would the Intel version of Unix-based Mac OS X - code-named Leopard - be able to run on non-Apple computers powered by Intel processors?

"The answer to both questions likely will be no, at least in the short term, VARs and analysts said. But they didn't rule out either eventuality because of the huge market implications for Apple. Both scenarios would open the Windows PC space - especially the lucrative corporate market - to the Mac platform, potentially lifting Apple's 2 percent to 3 percent computer market share into the double digits, they said. What's more, if Leopard were permitted to run on PCs, Apple could reverse its historic decision to not license its operating system on other manufacturers' computers."

Apple and Intel, Sitting in a Tree

WebProNews's Trevor Bauknight says:

"For this lifelong Macintosh fanatic, the urge to react to the news that Apple would be making the switch to Intel processors over the course of the next year had to be suppressed for a few weeks.

"I had to calm my nerves and control various emotional reactions that may have been, well, other than constructive. I hoped to get a sense of how Apple planned to manage the transition and what it could mean in the grand scheme of things. I think I've come to grips with the reality of it, and I think Apple may be giving signs where it is headed. Fortunately for the Mac heads among us, there's no reason to think our favorite company has stopped 'thinking different.'"

MHz Wars Over: Good News for Apple

Macsimum News' Dennis Sellers says:

"Now that Apple is transitioning to Intel chips, the megahertz wars are over. There are lots of potential speed bumps (no pun intended) along the way, but there's certainly one major advantage Apple has in this scenario: the playing field is now level and Apple can go toe-to-toe with Microsoft and Dell and its other competitors in the two areas at which it excels: the design of its hardware and the elegance of its operating system."

Switch to Intel Smart Decision

iSuppli's Matthew Wilkins says:

"Apple Computer's decision to switch its PC and server product lines from IBM's PowerPC to Intel's x86 microprocessor family is a smart decision that will allow the company to improve the competitiveness of its mobile computing products, iSuppli believes....

"On the positive side, using Intel chipsets makes sense, because it would reduce costs. On the negative side &endash; depending on your computer brand persuasion &endash; the use of Intel chipsets could make the Macintosh less of a Mac and more of a PC.

"This brings us to one of the most fundamental issues regarding the Apple platform: What is it that makes a Mac a Mac?"

Macintel Desktops Could Be a Triple-Threat

eWeek's John G Spooner writes:

"Even if full hardware support isn't offered, there's a fallback position for more enterprising Mactel owners. Virtualization technology built into Intel chips-desktop Pentium 4 chips will sport built-in virtualization this year and the Pentium Ms will gain it next-will allow the machines to be partitioned to run numerous different types of software at the same time. Thus, there is no reason the machines couldn't run Windows or Linux and all of the associated applications on top of Mac OS X."

Intel CPUs in a Mac? Cool

Computer Reseller News' Martin Lynch says:

"Apple's slogan 'Think Different' may seem a bit tarnished, considering its recent announcement to swap IBM for Intel as it's future chip supplier.

"After all, when most of the planet uses Intel engines under the hood how different can you remain? Very, I'd say. Apple has always stood out on hardware design and its operating system/software. The chip, after all, is just a chip.

"You don't see Formula 1 fans crying when their team announces plans to move to bigger, faster engine, do you? We are now two weeks on from the day that certain Apple diehards refer to as 'the end of the world'. But two weeks of nail-biting seems to have transformed itself into a mellower acceptance that it's not all bad. Apple's switch to the Dark Side is now more a brush with the Grey Side."

IBM Sheds No Tears for Cheating Apple

The Inquirer's Marc Ninthly says:

"So Apple finally fell to the Dark Side, stabbed its ever-loyal community in the back, took one-step closer towards the unholy Wintel alliance? All true if you believe the hysterical Web outbursts from certain Apple Macolytes over the past fortnight.

"For that minority, Apple's decision has been a betrayal of its stance as the only true alternative to the Wintel dominance. And, let truth be told, they liked being the underdogs. Part of some vastly outnumbered, morally upright rebel alliance versus the evil empire. OK, that's the last Star Wars reference I promise - still trying to purge Revenge of the S**t from my system....

"And what about poor IBM, the jilted partner in this sordid little exchange. Its official statement was quite banal - isn't it always - and spokespeople have had their lips stitched by legal. I know, because my requests for interviews have been met by polite yet, nonetheless, firm replies of "Bugger off - please".

Intel Transition May Cool Mac Sales

Macworld's Philip Michaels reports:

"Apple's decision to replace PowerPC chips with processors from Intel may have long-term benefits for both the company and its customers. But the processor switch could potentially hurt near-term hardware sales, if the attitudes of those surveyed in the Macworld Reader Panel are any indication of what Mac users are thinking.

"Asked how Apple's decision to change chip suppliers could affect their decision to buy a new Mac in the next 12 months, a third of the 414 panelists surveyed by market-research firm Karlin Associates said they would be less likely to make that purchase."

Tech Developments

Intel Integrates WiFi with CPU

ExtremeTech's Mark Hachman reports:

"Intel will present a paper Friday that will demonstrate its progress toward integrating the current Wi-Fi technologies with the next-generation 802.11n protocol.

At the 2005 VLSI Symposium on Circuits in Kyoto, Japan, Intel executives will present two papers, one on integrating a 2.4/5-GHz WLAN as well as a second on a 90-nm filter chain. Intel speakers will show off photographs of a prototype chip."

IDG News Service's Tom Krazit reports:

"Researchers at Intel have figured out how to integrate all the elements needed to connect to wireless local area networks into a compact package.

"Many companies have already built Wi-Fi chips that support the 802.11a/b/g standards, but those products require several other chips built onto the motherboard in order to connect to wireless networks.

"Intel has now integrated components such as power amplifiers onto a single piece of silicon. It has also built connections from the amplifiers to external radio antennas on a single transceiver package, connections that used to be made with multiple pieces of silicon located outside the package, said Howard High, an Intel spokesman. A transceiver is a chip that can both transmit and receive signals."

More Mac News

PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing news is covered in The 'Book Review. General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod news is covered in The iNews Review.

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