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Some Blog I Wrote

stuff i think about and then type on a keyboard

Friday, June 10, 2005


"Mactel" a company rather than an alliance?

Robert X. Cringely obviously plants at least the tip of tongue in this cheek as he predicts Apple and Intel intend to eventually merge to negate Microsoft and AMD. As a good writer, he makes his somewhat wild hypothesis seem not so far-fetched -- establishing something close to a bona fide theory.

I too have pondered why AMD is out of the picture, why Apple has effectively crippled their own non-iPod hardware sales for the next 12 months, and why Apple appears to be stepping back from their highly-touted 64-bit platform. The final question might be answered by a recent comment posted by Jeff Harrell in his own blog entry (scroll down a bit).

Following Cringely's argument, the next 12 to 18 months is the time for Apple and Intel to strike against Microsoft. The dominant bloatware producer has been continuously pushing their next OS back for several years. Nary a peep has come from Microsoft except for Xbox 360 buzz, delay announcements for Longhorn, the occasional security patches, and the occasional attempts at making quick cash with marginal software updates. The company's current presence in the marketplace is guided more by inertia than innovation. Were it not for the increasing demands of computer games, Intel would be twiddling their thumbs.

Intel must see Apple as their salvation, their key to staying alive and competitive in a consumer sector dominated by a stagnant company. This circles back to the question I asked immediately after the announcement: Does Intel need Apple more than Apple needs Intel? Cringely's answer appears to be that the need is mutual. After all, they have a mutual enemy. They each have a roadmap that the other promises to bring to fruition. "Mactel" has the potential to present a much stronger case against Microsoft than Apple and Intel separately.

I remember reading a business journal article at an optometrist's office many years ago that stated that Microsoft's ponderous size could eventually hurt the company. Though the article made no memorable mention of Apple or Intel, let along a merger of the two, it stated that the company's need to control every aspect of the computing market would be its downfall. Microsoft would fail to see the big picture, being too slow and too stupid to "get" where computers were going outside of the humdrum office environment. And offices might eventually grow tired of dealing with such a slow and stupid company with no viable alternative. While Mactel might not win the hearts and minds of CIOs, it doesn't really need to -- the home has become the battlefield of technology.

What happens in the next 12 months will likely be scrutinized more than any Apple endeavour since the company's founding. I still find it odd how a company with less than 5% marketshare in the computer sector demands so much attention, but they were the first computer maker to brand a personal computer as "cool" and then as an essential part of the "digital lifestyle." I just hope all this hoopla isn't for nothing. I hope they enter 2007 stronger than they have been. After all, Longhorn will probably be (again) just around the corner, due to arrive some time in late 2007 early 2008.


Posted by GiromiDe @ 1:10 PM
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