What's New: New Macs Use Intel Chips

Apple showed two new Macintosh computers running on Intel CPUs at Macworld Expo on Tuesday, months ahead of schedule. While a fast turnaround, Apple was rumored for years to have a version of its prized OS X operating system running on the Intel platform.

Interestingly this will be the second time Apple has attempted to transition its user base to another hardware platform, which requires customers to purchase new applications to run on their new operating system. Apple successfully transitioned from the Motorola 680x0 processor family to the Motorola/IBM PowerPC family in the mid-90s. Our speculation is that Intel's marketing dollars played a big part in this deal, and will essentially end up sponsoring Apple advertising as well as product development with Apple's software vendors, as programs must be rewritten for the new platform.

After years of platform competition between Apple/IBM/Freescale (Motorola) and Microsoft/Intel, 2006 is seeing several major swings in the computing industry. Upstart AMD is taking over from indistry giant Intel on the PC side, and Intel will replace IBM and Freescale on the Macintosh. The two new Macs unveiled Tuesday will use the Intel "Core Duo" CPU, a low power, dual-core design introduced last week. AMD has already said it expects most of its CPU sales to be dual-core models by year's end, and Intel is gradually following suit.

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 07:00 pm CST

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