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Jun 6, 2005

It’s True: Mac + Intel Inside

Source: MacWorld Live WWDC Coverage

The rumors are true: Intel will be inside

Jobs talked about the major transitions in the Mac’s life — starting from the Mac’s Motorola 68000-series processor to PowerPC. “The PowerPC set Apple up fro the next decade. It was a good move,” he said.

“The second transition was even better — the transition from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X that we just did,” he continued. “This was a brain transplant. And even though these operating systems (9 and x) vary only by one in name, they are very different, and this has set Apple up for the next 20 years.”

As the Intel logo lowered on the stage screen, Jobs said, “We are going to make the transition from PowerPC to Intel processors, and we are going to do it for you now, and for our customers next year. Why? Because we want to be making the best computer for our customers looking forward.”

“I stood up here two years ago and promised you 3.0 GHz. I think a lot of you would like a G5 in your PowerBook, and we haven’t been able to deliver that to you,” said Jobs. “But as we look ahead, and though we’ve got great products now, and great PowerPC products still to come, we can envision great products we want to build, and we can’t envision how to build them with the current PowerPC roadmap,” said Jobs.

Intel processors provide more performance per watt than PowerPC processors do, said Jobs. “When we look at future roadmaps, mid-2006 and beyond, we see PoweRPC gives us 15 units of perfomance per watt, but Intel’s roadmap gives us 70. And so this tells us what we have to do,” he explained.

Transition to Intel by 2007, and yes, Marklar exists

“Starting next year, we will introduce Macs with Intel processors,” said Jobs. “This time next year, we plan to ship Macs with Intel processors. In two years, our plan is that the transition will be mostly complete, and will be complete by end of 2007.”

Jobs then confirmed a long-held belief that Apple was working on an Intel-compatible version of Mac OS X that some have termed “Marklar.”

Mac OS X has been “leading a secret double life” for the past five years, said Jobs. “So today for the first time, I can confirm the rumors that every release of Mac OS X has been compiled for PowerPC and Intel. This has been going on for the last five years.”

Jobs demonstrated a version of Mac OS X running on a 3.6GHz Pentium 4-processor equipped system, running a build of Mac OS X v10.4.1. He showed Dashboard widgets, Spotlight, iCal, Apple’s Mail, Safari and iPhoto all working on the Intel-based system.

Read the live update

3 Responses to “It’s True: Mac + Intel Inside”

  1. Carsten Says:

    So what does this all mean? Can we run Windows on Macs and MacOS X und PCs? Will binaries compatible and so on? Questions over questions…

  2. Marco F. Says:

    This is great news for us users. More power, more flexibility, more choices.
    I don’t think OSX will become a “Windows” OS, running on any x86 machine. Knowing (well, not actually) Apple, they’ll probably make workstation-esque machines. But how they’d keep the “illegal” OSX on any x86 dilemma away, I have no clue.
    Future will tell, only 6 more months to 2006 :)

  3. nunatak Says:

    YIKES–i’m yet to be convinced as the devil is in the details! having first survived the 680X0 transition to POWER PC hybrids, then POWER PC proper, only to leap from OS 9 to OS X, and SCSI to firewire –is it time yet again to upgrade all software and hardware components?

    if history is any indicator, it’ll be another few years afterward before all components are finally optimized.

    the burden of past transitions were squarely placed on the consumers wallet. this time i hope it’s different.

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