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Apple's recent announcement that they will chuck their IBM
processors in favor of Intel may be just a simple change for Apple — or it may be much, much
The switch to "Intel Inside" means that the Mac operating system will have to be rewritten, which is why Apple won't begin shipping Intel-based computers until July of 2006. A project of this magnitude will take a lot of development time and money, and the changeover won't be complete until 2007. Also, such an announcement may impede sales of Apple computers until the new system is in place. So why is Apple willing to make this kind of investment? It can't be to just save a few dollars on chips or to improve processing power.
Apple clearly has something more in mind. Although Apple CEO Steve Jobs said he doesn't plan on selling Apple software to run on Windows computers, that course of action remains a possibility. However, Apple makes more money on hardware sales than on software, and also recently announced a technology called Rosetta that makes it possible for Windows software to run unmodified on Apple's new Intel machines. This could create a computer capable of running Windows software on the Mac operating system. Since a major drawback for potential Apple consumers has been the lack of software for the platform, this new technology could not only dramatically increase Mac hardware sales, but could also allow Windows users to switch platforms without losing their software investment.
Or, will Steve Jobs be looking at the chip change as an opportunity to create more hardware solutions like living-room-based media centers? Apple has traditionally pushed the envelope, and it will be interesting to see what Jobs has up his sleeve this time.
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