Archive for June 3rd, 2005

Apple to switch

It was about time. It should have happened 2 years ago, before the G5 fiasco. Apple screwed themselves once more with IBM as they did with Motorola a few years ago. IBM was not able to deliver faster G5s that ran cool enough for laptops (the primary hardware sale for Apple). Yes, IBM created the Cell and the fast XBOX G5, but these versions of the PPC are not compatible with Apple’s version, and obviously IBM is not interested in “backporting” the technology to a binary-compatible G5 CPU for Apple.

JBQ says that Apple should have switched to x86 in 1993 already instead of going to PPC. And another eye opener was a bit later when the clones died and the PREP/CHRP fiasco and Sun pulling out of the PPC, Apple should have seen their PLATFORM shrink and that meant that Motorola would lose interest in the architecture. And that was what happened indeed, and that bad news for Apple that made them go for IBM. But IBM does not care enough for a customer who only sells 5 million of their G5 CPUs per year. The PS3 and XBOX are expected to sell 100 millions each. Now, who’s a better customer that IBM should catter for? Apple was screwed again.

In other words Apple has made major strategic mistakes the past 12 years, this is what cost them to go from 10% of market share down to 2% today. There were 4 points in the past 12 years that would have made any sane company to switch to a STABLE company that is GUARANTEED to deliver new CPUs out, and that was Intel. Apple was afraid of the risk of derstroying their brand, so they killed themselves softly, year by year, just enough so they won’t get sued by their shareholders and no CEO gets the blame.

I now expect Apple to use 64bit dual core hyperthreaded PCs between 3 and 4 GHz made by Intel. And of course, don’t expect to buy Mac OS X and run it on your random PC, this will never happen. Apple is a hardware company, the “Apple PC” will be a proprietary piece of hardware and Mac OS X will require it. Besides, it is _impossible_ to correctly support all the chaos of x86 third party hardware that random people have in their random PCs. Look at the failure of Linux to do just that with many pieces of hardware (especially ACPI, webcams, WiFi firmwares). When BeOS came to the x86, it was a disaster for them as well. Apple won’t do the same mistake. They will restrict their compatibility support to a sane number as defined by their Apple PCs.