So Apple admits the unthinkable, they really have been compiling and running MacOS X on Intel all these years, just in case. With the talk about reduced power consumption, I’d think they must be looking at the Pentium M chips as the Pentium 4 & Pentium D don’t exactly sip the power. Two dual-core Pentium M chips in a PowerMac could be quite the screamer and I’d bet still lower power consumption than a current single-core G5. One has to wonder if they aren’t looking at AMD also, as I recall, the Athlons use quite a bit less power than the P4s, though I don’t recall how they compare to the Pentium Ms.
Rosetta. Running PowerPC-compiled apps on the Intel. I can admit to having tried the impressive PearPC, but slow didn’t even begin to describe the initial experience. Admittedly I tried it again a few months later with a newer build and it was significantly faster but still barely usable in my book.
One potentially huge benefit would be VirtualPC. If the switch enables VirtualPC to run WinXP on OS X as fast as VirtualPC currently works on a Windows-based PC, that’d be pretty cool. What I’d really like to see is another Apple branded technology announced for 10.5 basically building in VirtualPC technology. Running Windows apps directly without actually loading a VirtualPC-type Windows XP system? Despite the potential security issues, that would be impressive and really eliminate a major reason for the average consumer to shy away from the Mac platform. Alas, no announcement on any such thing today, hopefully they’re just keeping that one a secret until 10.5 is closer.
So, a completely new lineup of dual-core Intel-based PowerMacs coupled with another release of MacOS X (10.5 Leopard) in time for Longhorn. Could Apple actually be giving Microsoft a serious run for their money?
Interesting tidbit from MacRumors.com… Developer transition kit – 3.6Ghz P4, for select and premier developers only $999. Tack on $500 for the Select Developer membership, not bad at all. Cheaper than even the bottom-rung PowerMac Single 1.8ghz G5 in the developer program at $1199 (+$500), I can’t wait to see the full specs and how it compares in speed.
Update: Bummer, you have to return the development P4 unit “by 2006″ when I’d imagine the true Intel-based units will be available.