The Macintel Report

Apple Recruiting Sony Engineers, Trusted Computing on Macintels, Halo Effect Intact, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2005.08.04

This Week's Mac-on-Intel News

Low End Mac has standardized on Macintel as our official informal label for the forthcoming OS X-on-Intel Macintosh computers, although you'll probably find just as many people calling them "Mactels". Whatever we call them, Apple's decision to switch to Intel CPUs means we live in very interesting times.

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

Apple Recruiting Former Sony Engineers

PC Pro's Simon Aughton reports:

"Apple is recruiting former Sony engineers to help it build its new, Intel-based laptops, according to Engadget.

"The website claims that a reliable source told them that Apple is 'having trouble playing catch up with the learning curve for designing using the Intel platform' and as a result has been 'scrambling' to hire engineers with experience of developing light notebooks, of which the Sony Vaios are a prime example."

Apple to Include Trusted Computing on Macintels?

boingboing.net's Cory Doctorow says:

"People working with early versions of the forthcoming Intel-based Mac OS X operating system have discovered that Apple's new kernel makes use of Intel's Trusted Computing hardware. If this 'feature' appears in a commercial, shipping version of Apple's OS, they'll lose me as a customer - I've used Apple computers since 1979 and have a Mac tattooed on my right bicep, but this is a deal-breaker....

"...when I use apps that aren't free, like Apple's Mail.app, BBEdit, NetNewsWire, etc, I do so comfortable in the fact that they save their data-files in free formats, open file-formats that can be read by free or proprietary applications. That means that I always retain the power to switch apps when I need to. That means that if the vendor changes their policy in a way that is incongruent with my needs, or if they go out of business, or if they treat me badly, I can always go across the street to another vendor, or to a free software project, and switch. This acts as a check against abusive behavior on the vendors' part and it is, I believe, partly responsible for the quality and pricing of their offerings.

"The point of Trusted Computing is to make it hard - impossible, if you believe the snake-oil salesmen from the Trusted Computing world - to open a document in a player other than the one that wrote it in the first place, unless the application vendor authorizes it....

"What this means is that 'open formats' is no longer meaningful....

"My data is my life, and I won't keep it in a strongbox that someone else has the keys for."

Note: I agree. It's one reason I do my word crunching in text editors that save files in generic plain text documents rather than a word processor like MS Word. cw

Apple's Halo Stays on Despite Switch to Intel

eWeek's Daniel Drew Turner writes:

"News Analysis: Industry watchers don't see the company suffering from its decision to change, as iPod brings more of the masses to the Mac."

Apple's Not-so-grand Entrance

Electronic Business Online's Cameron Crotty says:

"Apple Computer's recent embrace of Intel processors for its Macintosh line of personal computers set the mainstream press abuzz. Only hours after the announcement at the company's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco in June 2005, ordinarily buttoned-down financial columnists and cynical tech pundits were speculating about everything from an impending merger between Apple and Intel to a renewal of Apple's suicidal flirtation with the Macintosh clone market. But Apple's shift isn't likely to affect the electronics industry in proportion to the amount of news coverage it generated. Here's who Apple's move will affect, and how much&emdash;or how little."

Tech Developments

Dude, You're Getting a Mac

InfoWorld's Tom Yager reports:

"Dell and Apple are now two peas in Intel's pod, which raises questions about servers

"One reason that Dell didn't make my short list of companies with vision is its lousy business decision to remain the lone first-tier player not to add AMD's processors to its server lineup. HewlettPackard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems, among others, like Dell's decision fine. They know Dell's missing out on AMD's secret sauce. AMD's CPU line is so very manufacturer-friendly- meaning that it's also profit-friendly, as system vendors evolve from model to model and reach into new markets, especially the higher-density value server market that AMD is certain to own.

"Dell wants no part of this, choosing instead to cleave only unto Intel, and by gum, to stick to the idea even though competitors and their customers have proved the folly of it. Standing out like a Southern belle in a biker bar must make Dell a little squirmy. Even I must empathize with the pain of sharing a flshbowl with a bad decision. I suppose I should be glad that Dell has found a friend in Apple."

Intel Trims Centrino, Celeron Prices

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Intel cut the prices of its Celeron D desktop processor line-up this weekend, knocking up to 13.6 per cent of the price of each part.

"The chip giant also formally added last week's Pentium M 780 and 778 mobile processors to its price list, prompting price cuts to the existing Pentium M family, and to the Centrino bundles that incorporate them."

Intel to Build Memory Controller into Desktop, Mobile CPUs?

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Intel is to follow AMD's lead and integrate memory controllers into its microprocessors, market watcher In-Stat has forecast. By 2009, it reckons, 70 per cent of all x86 processors shipping will have their own memory controller, it said.

"Right now, the number's under 20 per cent, each one an AMD chip. Indeed, that figure roughly matches AMD's market share. It's possible to see AMD increasing its market share considerably, but not to the extent that Athlon, Opteron and Sempron processors will command 70 per cent of the x86 market."

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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