Well, by now, pretty much every news site and blog across the world has picked up on the fact that Apple are making the move to x86. It doesn’t really come as much surprise; IBM made promises it hasn’t met, and the G4/G5 line has stagnated while x86 romped past it. As a recent Mac convert, I can’t help but feel in some small way annoyed – but it’s mostly down to the fact that the resale value of my Powerbook just took a nosedive.
But then, I wasn’t planning on upgrading for a good few years yet, so that’s largely irrelevant. Come to think of it, the actual processor that my computer runs is also largely irrelevant. I don’t use Solaris on servers, or Mac OS X on my laptop because they run on SPARC or PPC; I use them because of the relative merits of the OS. I brought my Powerbook because I liked the wide screen and the built-in WiFi, but mainly for Mac OS X : A powerful, full-featured UNIX system that I could also stand to use as a desktop for more than 5 minutes. It could be running on x86, PPC, SPARC, Heck, even ARM – but it’s the OS that sold me. As long as the supply of Mac OS PPC applications doesn’t suddenly dry up (which I can’t really see happening, just because of the large install base out there), I’m cool with it. It just means in 3 or 4 years, my next PowerBook will be Intel Inside, and will hopefully also dual-boot Solaris !