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This transition is no big deal for users
Authored by: cfoster on Jun 07, '05 11:32:21AM

There are very few people who need to be concerned about this transition. (e.g., scientists with limited budgets and a large investment in custom software AND a need for new hardware in 2007.) 99.9% of users will never know there's an Intel chip instead of a PowerPC chip inside their box. After all, Steve fooled 3800 software engineers at the WWDC -- how would the average user know the difference?

"But what if my G5 is made obsolete by a P6 instead of being made obsolete by a G6?!"

What if it is? All computer hardware is 'made obsolete' by the next generation of hardware. It will still run. It will still have been a good investment for you at the time you bought it, and continue to be a good investment long after Apple has switched processors.

"Maybe I should wait a year or two to buy an Intel Mac instead of buying the computer I need today?!"

But then it will be first-generation hardware and you won't want to risk hard earned dollars on new, untested technology -- better wait another year until the hardware is proven. THREE YEARS is a long time to lose productivity for a couple of extra processors cycles.

Those that want all the reliability they have come to know and love with Macs and are concerned about the transition will actually want to buy SOONER, not later. More conservative consumers will want to to stick with "tried and true" PowerPC Macs for as long as they can. Of course, the Intel Macs have been in testing for the last FIVE YEARS, so they aren't exactly experimental. If Steve Jobs is doing his WWDC Keynote on one, you can bet it's pretty solid.

The only people that really need to be concerned are the developers (I'm one), but the road map for us looks pretty straightforward as well. This is a ridiculously well planned transition. In fact, we don't need to change our code at all if it's not a processor intensive app. 'Rosetta' takes care of all existing apps without any changes, but they'll get a small speed bump when created as a universal binary.

So, I think (almost) everyone can relax -- unless you are a developer with a processor-intensive app, or have a situation similar to the scientist scenario above, you won't even know it's happening.

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