Aug 11, 2006

The end of one era, the beginning of another

Source: ars technica
Written by Eric Bangeman

I thought I was getting a new Macintosh PC. Instead, the box said “Quad Xeon 64-bit workstation.” It was then that it really hit me—the Big Switch was over and my once shiny Power Macintosh G5 was yesterday’s news.

The introduction of the new, yet familiar-looking Mac Pro at the Worldwide Developers Conference (along with the updated Xserve) closed the book on the PowerPC’s 12-year run in Apple’s product lineup. And it all happened so fast. Just last year, Steve Jobs stood in front of the gathered masses and dropped the big bombshell.

Apple’s initial timeframe was conservative. The first Intel system would ship by June 6, 2006, with the transition complete sometime in 2007. Instead, Apple was able to accelerate its schedule, unveiling the first two Intel Macs at Macworld San Francisco this past January. The iMac Core Duo and MacBook Pro were joined by the Mac mini in March and the MacBook in May.

Making the transition easier for Apple was Intel’s new Core Duo chip. Available at the beginning of 2006, Yonah (aka, Core Duo) was a good fit across much of Apple’s product line, with two notable exceptions: the Xserve and Power Macintosh. Both of those needed something beefier than a 32-bit processor and thanks to Intel’s roadmap, we all knew what it was and when it would be coming. Sure enough, Apple CEO and Chairman Steve Jobs delivered the goods at the WWDC keynote.

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