The Macintel Report

Intel Inside - So What?, Intel Upset Over 'Dull and Boring' Ad, Specialists Bullish on Macintel, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.01.19

This Week's Macintel News

The most unexpected - and probably most unwanted - development this week has got to be the coining of the worst nickname yet for Apple's Intel-based models, "Macinteltosh" (used by The Inquirer's Fuad Abazovic).

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

Advice

Other Intel News

News, Analysis, and Opinion

Intel Inside - So What?

The San Francisco Chronicle's David Lazarus says:

"Macworld Expo came to a close at San Francisco's Moscone Center on Friday, leaving an awestruck world to ponder the glory and the greatness of Apple Computer uniting with chipmaker Intel - a corporate tie-up that publications worldwide hailed as 'historic.'

"To which I say: Get over it.

"It's a computer, for goodness sake, a plastic box that does lots of really cool things. Does it matter any longer how it does them?

"Who cares if the box has bits and pieces made by Intel or IBM or Samsung or any one of thousands of other electronics manufacturers?

"Few really care - or understand - what's inside anything."

Intel Upset Over Apple's 'Dull and Boring' Allegation

The Inquirer's Nick Farrell reports:

"Five seconds after Intel CEO Paul Otellini dressed in a bunny suit to help Apple's Steve Jobs peddle his new Macinteltosh machine, it seems that the relationship between Chipzilla and Jobs' Mob came under strain.

"The problem is Apple's television ads for its new Macs boast that for years, Intel's chips have been 'trapped inside PCs - dull little boxes, dutifully performing dull little tasks.'

"Now that Apple is using Intel chips, the power of the processor will be set free in a must more interesting and visually attractive way, the ads say.

"While Apple is a bit new to the whole PC way of doing things, the marketing department of Intel is a little miffed that Apple is slagging off its customers and partners in that way."

Apple Neutral about Windows on Macintel

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Intel Macs Give Users More OS Choice

IDG News Service's Elizabeth Montalbano says:

"The idea of running Windows on the Apple Computer hardware just got a lot more appealing with the introduction of Macs built on Intel processors. But don't expect the Cupertino, California, company, to be too keen on its users running Windows on the new machines.

"'We haven't done anything to explicitly prevent it, but we haven't done anything to encourage it either,' Apple Senior Product Line Manager Wiley Hodges said of running Windows on Macs during a presentation Thursday at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco this week....

"Even without specific help from Apple, the existence of Macs built on Intel's x86 instruction set eventually will give users a choice of OSes to run on their new Apple machines. Analysts believe it won't be long before someone comes up with a version of Windows that runs natively on the new Intel-based Macs, even despite a firmware incompatibility issue that prevents Microsoft's operating system from running on the new Intel-based Macs."

Multiboot Question Hangs over Macintel

eWeek's David Morgenstern reports:

"The siren call of multiple-boot machines keeps insinuating itself into the left brains of IT managers, especially following Apple CEO Steve Jobs' Tuesday unveiling of the first Intel-based Macs.

"While Apple Computer and Microsoft remain mum on the prospect, one expected benefit of Apple's switch from PowerPC to x86 processors would be a machine that can boot in three flavors of operating systems: Mac OS X, Windows and Linux."

Apple Specialists Bullish on New Intel Macs

PR: The Apple Specialist Marketing Co-op (ASMC) has announced results of an informal poll of Apple Specialist responses to Steve Jobs' keynote address announcements on January 10th.

"We spoke with Apple Specialists from all over the country here in the Apple Specialist booth at Macworld Expo, and the results were pretty clear," according to Kevin Langdon, Executive Director of the ASMC. "As a group, Apple Specialists are excited by the new products and we're very pleased with Apple's transition strategy."

According to Jim Habel of MacOutfitters, an Apple Specialist with two locations in Pennsylvania, "It is the best of both worlds. The fact that Apple has chosen to put these processors in both their most popular desktop and notebook models indicates that they are very confident about the stability and capability of this new processor. At the same time, we are happy to see Apple maintain the current G4 and G5 models to support those customers who need to run applications which are not yet optimized for the Intel based Mac."

According to Ron Blunden of Computer Advantage, an Apple Specialist in Sarasota, Florida, this transition strategy provides a great opportunity for Apple Specialists. "It gives us a chance to do one of the things that we do best - guiding our customers and helping them choose exactly the right model based on their specific, individual needs. We're here to help people successfully navigate this transition."

While some Apple Specialists were concerned that the new models might slow sales of the previous models, others were busy snapping up every G5 iMac they could find. "My early adopters can't wait to get their hands on a new Intel based Mac," said Richard Haddock from Haddock Computers in Wichita, Kansas, "but my corporate clients require the G4 and G5 models right now. It's great to have them both available."

Most Apple Specialists polled focused on the practical, business-related considerations of the announcement like ordering and inventory levels, but the most common comment, according to Langdon, was, "I want a MacBook Pro. Being in the industry we can get a little jaded, but this product flat-out screams - and we're only human after all."

The Apple Specialists Marketing Co-op represents 160 Apple Specialist Dealers and Service Providers with more than 300 locations throughout the US.

Why Apple Chose ATI over Nvidia for Macinteltoshes

The Inquirer's Fuad Abazovic says:

"There is no conspiracy about why Apple chose ATI over Nvidia for its Intel Mac launch. Apple made a rather simple decision what to put in its new iMac/iBook machines.

"It chose M56 based Mobility Radeon X1600 simply because it was available and it could guarantee that ATI could ship those chips in quantity, time. Of course it also had to like the GPU and its design."

Mac Developers Move Forward on Intel Compatibility

eWeek's Nick Ciarelli reports:

"SAN FRANCISCO - With Macintosh computers based on Intel Corp. processors now available, Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs is pushing developers to 'work even harder' to create native Intel versions of their software.

"And at the Macworld Expo here, developers of business software say they are up to the challenge."

Intel Provides Apple Developers with Tools to Optimize for Core Duo

DigiTimes' Rodney Chan reports:

"Intel on Wednesday announced new software development tools and resources through its Intel Software Network. These tools and resources will help Apple developers take advantage of Intel Core Duo processor technologies to maximize application performance on the new Intel-based Mac platforms.

"The special beta versions of the Intel Fortran Compiler, Intel C++ Compiler, Intel Math Kernel Library and Intel Integrated Performance Primitives are available now. Intel will also provide other resources to assist with software optimization, dual core threading and migration information.

"'Intel is pleased to offer Apple developers a free trial of our products through a special beta program, and we look forward to developer feedback prior to introducing our products in the coming months,' said William Savage, general manager of Intel's Software Products Division."

Can Developers Give MacTels an Enterprise Boost?

eWeek's John Rizzo reports:

"SAN FRANCISCO - Microsoft and a pack of enterprise developers say they are on target for creating Intel-native Mac software despite Apple's surprise Macworld Expo release of the first Intel-based Macs six months ahead of schedule.

"Microsoft announced that it had signed an agreement with Apple to develop Microsoft Office for Mac OS X for at least the next five years for both Intel and PowerPC Macs."

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Gene Steinberg, the Mac Night Owl, writes:

"Maybe I was tired, but I had a good night's sleep, so I shouldn't have felt fidgety, nor struggle to stifle a yawn during the Steve Jobs keynote, but as he spent agonizing moments telling us about the way cool features of the latest version of iPhoto, I felt the urge to nod out. It's not that I don't care about iLife '06. In fact, I'm quite anxious to get my review copy and put the new Podcasting feature in GarageBand through its paces on a future episode of The Tech Night Owl LIVE."

Advice

Mac OS X Discs for PowerPC-based Macs Won't Boot Intel-based Macs

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"Mac OS X installation discs that came with a PowerPC processor-based Mac won't work with an Intel processor-based Mac, and vice-versa, even if both Macs came with the same version of Mac OS X. You can't start up an Intel-based Mac from a CD or DVD that came with a PowerPC-based Mac, nor a PowerPC-based Mac from an Intel-based Mac's discs, either by holding the C key at startup or by using Startup Disk preferences.

"To start your computer from a disc, use the disc that came with the computer."

Does My Mac Have an Intel or PowerPC Processor?

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

Not sure if your Mac is using Intel or PowerPC processors? Here are two easy ways to find out without opening your computer's case.

Visit the About This Mac window

This is the quickest way to determine the type of processor in your Mac:

  1. In the Finder, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu.
  2. Look at the Processor line to see which kind of processor is in your Mac.

Use System Profiler

You can also use System Profiler:

  1. Open System Profiler.
  2. In the Hardware Overview pane, the type of processor is displayed on the CPU Type line.

Other Intel News

Intel Readies 'Yonah'-based Celeron M Series, Ultra-low Voltage Core Duo

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Intel is preparing to launch a 2.33 GHz Core Duo chip, the T2700, The Register has learned. The chip giant's product pipeline also includes faster Core Solo chips, speedier low-voltage Core Duos and the introduction of an ultra-low voltage Core Duo, the 1.06 GHz U2500.

"Intel's roadmap also calls for the introduction of Celeron M 4xx chips - single-core value parts derived from the 65nm Core Solo."

Intel 'Santa Rosa' Centrino to Sport 800 MHz FSB

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Intel's fourth-generation Centrino notebook platform, 'Santa Rosa', will take the hardware's frontside bus speed to 800 MHz when it ships, provisionally sometime in H1 2007.

"So suggests roadmap information seen by Japanese-language website PCWatch. Santa Rosa will be based on the upcoming 'Merom' mobile CPU, the first of Intel's next-generation architecture chips, and the part that will bring 64-bit support to the chip giant's mobile line-up."

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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