Ibis Itiberê S Luzia wrote:

What about the “megahertz” myth? What about the “switcher” campaign? Now Apple switched. Apple computer no longer exists: now it could well be labeled “Apple Software”. Would anyone point out a reason to buy a Mac (Not “Mac’ anymore, now they are only Apple’s PCs) instead of a chinese PC now?

This is a common misconception. I’m typing this on a Mac at WWDC. There’s a Pentium inside, but you can’t tell unless you go to the “About This Mac” window. It’s a Mac in all other respects. Mac OS X won’t ever run on a chinese PC.

If I were a hardware developer for the Apple platform or if I were a software developer I would be seriously anger with Jobs decision now. He has no idea about the commitment that people which uses the Macintosh has with its products.

I am a software developer and an Apple stockholder. I think Steve Jobs did a very good thing, namely, remove the Mac’s sometimes irrational identification with CPU architecture. While you may disagree with details of the timing or of the way the transition will be made, you’ll have to agree that Apple has suffered too much at the hands of Motorola and IBM in the past. Apple now has the chance to be independent of processor architecture, more than any other computer company can be. And that was the point of my post.

If Intel won’t do the right thing in the future, once the transition to universal binaries is complete, Apple can just drop them at a moment’s notice and jump to some new architecture. After all, that’s what they do now with everything else: video cards, networking chips, and so forth. And you, as a user, usually won’t know and won’t care.

It’s possible if now we think Apple is only a software house which still sells computers for heritage reasons. If Apple hiden from everyone for all of this time that they had an x86 version of their system why not think they have plans or possibly still alfa versions of their systems for almost all CPUs in the market? Thinking in that direction it’s very plausible to conclude that will be possible to run Mac OS X in almost every machine in the near future. What about the CELL? If it goes as good as it was predicted by IBM and Sony for sure Apple will be on that.

Exactly. Where I think you’re wrong is that Apple will never sell Mac OS X separately. The whole Mac experience is possible only on Apple-built machines. I have owned two Mac clones in the 90’s, and while they were good machines, they weren’t true Macs. Apple as a software developer makes no sense.

Can Apple fight piracy? For sure no. They can’t. And Apple will lost profits for piracy as it will became each time easyer to piracy and “hack” DRMs and Mac OS X license codes. They can even “dongle” the Mac OS X, it will make no difference.

Computer architecture is not only CPU architecture. A system comprises controller chips and peripherals. You are assuming that Apple will just slap an Intel motherboard into one of their cases; that certainly won’t happen. Even if the CPU itself is a completely standard Pentium, just to get it to boot lots of things have to happen first: the memory controller has to be configured, the RAM must be checked, a list of peripherals must be built, and so on. All these details are different from one Mac model to the next – often wildly different. Every Mac model has its own “firmware” for doing this. That won’t change.

These things are handled on PCs by the BIOS. But there’s no reason for Apple to build a machine with a standard PC BIOS, or with a standard PC controller chip! These things are needed only for booting Windows; something Apple has no interest in having happen on a Mac. No doubt someone will go to great lengths to have Mac OS X boot on some random PC motherboard. It will be a neat exercise in futility. OK, it may even boot, but then you’ll be restricted to peripherals for which Apple (or the manufacturer) has written device drivers; plug in your chinese Ethernet card and it won’t be recognized.

So, rest assured, we’ll see a variety of Mac models in the future. Some may even still use PowerPCs. Many will certainly use Pentiums. I still think the G5 is a great chip, much better than the Pentium. But I don’t do assembly programming anymore. Only rabid game geeks get excited about which video card does certain operations better than another. As long as it runs my Mac programs well, and looks like a Mac, and feels like a Mac, and has the Apple logo about it, why should I feel betrayed when Apple changes whoever makes its power plug? Its controller chip? Its CPU? Were you sad when Apple made no more 68K machines?

No, it’s not goodbye “PowerPC Inside forever”, welcome “Intel Inside forever”. It’s “Anything Inside”. Whatever works.