WWDC 2005 – More questions than answers

6 06 2005
Brace for impact -[- Bombshell drops -]- Next year, Macs will be “Intel
inside”!

Old rumors that OS X since the very beginning was secretly
running on PC’s at Cupertino are true, Steve Jobs confirmed. For the past 5
years OS X has lead a secret double life, “just in case …” Changing
manufacturers is one thing, switching architecture is another. While I see
several benefits for using Intel cpus (updates, availability & price), I’m
really curious what todays announcements will bring in the short term for the
Apple developers & community + Apple computer.

For developers
it’s just been one thing after another. Can we truly believe that this
transition will be a matter of hours for developers? The engine under the hood
doesn’t make or break a car – and maybe we all are just switching from a
turbodiesel to gasoline engine? – but what about the OS speed & overall
footprint with those “universal binaries” (which are compatible with both PPC
& Intel) that every application will have? Sounds like a risk for bloating
to me. Will Macs become cheaper (more commonly available parts)? Faster update
frequency? What will happen to a Mac’s life cycle & value retention? … Up
to now Macs have held their value pretty well compared to their PC counterparts.
Many questions, few answers. I fear sales may go a little flat and wonder what
will happen when you see some comparably specced Macs & PCs with a
noticeably different price-point.

The good thing – though
everything Intel will only start shipping Q2 next year – will be overdue
notebook updates (since the G5 doesn’t fit the bill). But, who will buy a
notebook now (which many consider lacking power & battery life) before the
Intel-li series will come out?? And is the grass greener on the other side?
Having personally used some quite recent WinTelAMD notebooks … they’re not
necessarily all that fast or faster than a PowerBook. Certainly not when they’re
off the grid. I do understand Steve’s point though that IBM hasn’t been able to
deliver and that the roadmap for x86 cpus is more favorable & predictable.
So I guess switching to Intel is a good thing. We’ll probably still pay premium
and nothing else will really matter 🙂

Sadly enough, todays keynote
didn’t bring any hardware updates or totally new items. I thought we would see
the DP 3GHz PM today, some other IBM announcement and a hint on PowerBooks.
Instead we’re now embarking with Intel’s boat … which actually is lagging
behind AMD recently ! But, let’s not go there 🙂

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