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Some Blog I Wrote

stuff i think about and then type on a keyboard

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Much Ado About Apple

The geek community can breathe easier now that John Dvorak has chimed in on Apple's switch to Intel. To meet his FUD quota, he added that the "Freenix" community will ultimately suffer as developers roam to more profitable pastures.

Moving OS X to IA-32 will likely have little impact on the efforts of the Freenix community. Freenix has uses other than the "desktop environment" and "user experience" found in OS X and that other, sporadically maintained operating system. When techies at Firm A choose a flavor of Freenix, they are likely doing so for backend purposes. Firm A might still use a more conformist OS for frontend or daily operations purposes. In short, Freenix is for the geeks, and applications like GIMP or Open Office allow the geek to perform non-geek functions in the same environment where they develop their own applications.

I've changed my tune about this transition since yesterday. It's ultimately a good thing for both Apple and Intel. 64-bit computing isn't necessary a huge gain for the average user, so moving to IA-32 -- note I'm not using "x86" -- isn't so much a step back as a step in the right direction. I have Jeff Harrell to thank for that. (Read the comments in that blog entry for a great discussion, including my own clumsy stupidity.) Whether the chips used by Apple feature Hyperthreading or EM64T is anyone's guess, as is the general hardware configuration. Regardless, the user experience on the Intel Macs will have to considerably more responsive for the switch to be worth it in the eyes of Mac and non-Mac users alike.

One news item that many have passed over in favor of FUD is the release of OS X 10.5 Leopard in 2006. Apple intends to release this update around the same time Microsoft is scheduled to unveil Windows Longhorn, the first major update to the Windows OS since 2001. If Apple were smart, they would release Leopard any time from one week before to one week after the release of Longhorn -- somewhere in the same news cycle. Pairing this with the release of new Intel Macs would be an insanely great maneuver to steal Microsoft's thunder.

Posted by GiromiDe @ 2:00 PM
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