Monday, June 06, 2005

Apple looking to switch to Intel processors...

So it looks like Apple is finally looking Microsoft and Intel straight in the eye. While this idea has its drawbacks, there are a lot of good things that could come out of this.

A drawback is that a lot of software that is being produced for Macs now won't work in Macs with Intel-based processors and vice versa in the future. So my Mac mini that is only about 3 months old might have a limited library of software that it is able to run.

On the other hand, it will help Macs get faster and most likely cheaper in the long run. I'll be the first to admit that the Macs that I'm able to afford aren't nearly as fast as the Windows/Intel-based PCs that I could have spent my money on. But Apple was the first to offer dual-processor based computers on a large scale basis for consumers.

As far as pure speed goes, PCs do have a bit of an edge, but Apple makes that up in the best operating system money can buy in OS X. However, if Apple switches to Intel chips, the PC world is looking at being able to get their grubby mits on OS X.

If Apple and Intel join forces, the monopoly that is Windows will be in serious danger. OS X Tiger (version 10.4) is literally years ahead of Windows. Microsoft has this great new operating system waiting in the wings codenamed Longhorn, but Apple beat them to the punch by at least a year with OS X Tiger. And OS X is the sole reason why I feel that the most expensive PC in the world can't touch my $600 Mac mini. I'm running OS X and I've never once crashed, never once had a virus and am able to edit movies, create photo slideshows and author DVD's with software Apple practically gives away.

When I hit high school I jumped on the PC bandwagon with both feet and at the time Mac operating systems were terrible. In fact, they were terrible up until OS X. I learned everything I knew on a PC and I knew them pretty well inside and out. I helped set up Windows NT 4.0 networks and I had a small computer business for a couple of years. I lived the PC so don't even begin to think that I'm one of these Mac-heads that talk smack without having ever used a PC. Chances are I know more about them than you do, if I may be so bold.

Where I work now uses original iMacs running OS 9.0 and they are terrible. I kept reading about how great OS X was so I bought an iBook laptop running OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) and that was when I knew I was finished with Windows forever.

What Apple does that makes the Mac superior to the PC is that they make the software and build the computer as well. Dell might build your computer, but they rely on Microsoft to make sure that all of the hardware jives with Windows. And all of the other hardware manufacturers have to make sure their hardware jives with other hardware.

Sure Apple uses ATI and Nvidia video cards and various other manufacturers for their computers, but if I have a problem I can go back to the source at Apple instead of having to call tech support all over the country. The Windows people blame the hardware people who blame other hardware people. And before you know it you are calling tech support in Japan for your motherboard when your cutting edge video card was the problem initially. (I've done it before.)

So a lot has to happen just for a PC to work properly without even getting into viruses and all the problems associated with the Internet. Ultimately the only problem with the Mac is that you can't pirate software from your neighbor and save a couple of hundreds bucks on Microsoft Office.

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