WWDC: What developers are saying

Here’s a sampling of what Mac developers are saying about Apple’s decision to use Intel-built chips in its hardware starting in 2006.

Adobe: We are absolutely committed to taking our applications so that they run natively on Intel in an Apple box. — Bruce Chizen, CEO

Bare Bones Software: From where I’m sitting it looks like Apple is doing what’s right for its own business, and making sure that Apple customers have the best platform to run on. What Steve Jobs said about not being able to get low heat CPUs in their laptops, and fastest CPUs for the desktop; those are important considerations when you’re in a competitive environment. I think adopting the Intel part is an interesting strategy. — Rich Siegel, president, founder and CEO

Chaotic Software: Frankly, we don’t care what hardware Apple is running, as long as it is running OS X… We’ll keep chugging along on projects we already have out and those in the works. Our products will not depend on what hardware we are running.

Delicious Monster: The demo I saw [during Monday’s keynote] running emulated Photoshop was running as fast as the laptop I just bought. And that’s in emulation mode. That’s leaving aside the apps that will be native. Those are going to be screamingly fast. — Wil Shipley, co-founder

Elgato Systems: Elgato will support the Universal Binary format, all our products will run natively on Macs with PPC or Intel processors. All in all we expect this to be an easy and relatively painless transition for end users and most developers. — Dr. Markus Fest, founder and chief technology officer

Fetch Softworks: Apple and its developers are much better prepared for this transition than we were for the PowerPC and OS X transitions. To have an operating system, compiler, and hardware to develop and test with this at this stage of the process is very impressive. Most developers did not have access to PowerPC Macs until they were in the hands of customers. Getting our software ready for Intel will be much less work than a major OS update. For customers, moving to Intel hardware should be easier than moving to a new OS release. — Jim Matthews, founder

FileMaker: Initially, it feels like a pretty easy transition for us, and we’re committed to making that transition. There’s not a lot of trepidation on our part in terms of the tools [Apple] is talking about. — Ryan Rosenberg, vice president, marketing and sales

Hamrick Software: This is terrific news, if it increases the size of the market for Mac OS X. In particular, if Mac OS X runs on other vendor’s processors, this could significantly increase the market for Mac OS X applications like VueScan. — Ed Hamrick, founder and president

Insider Software: I think an announcement of this magnitude is very exciting. After years of false starts, it is finally going to happen. I know there are many unanswered questions, but I think this has to have been a very thoroughly analyzed decision by Apple’s executives, and I’m sure they have much better insight into this at this point. Their recent track record suggests that this will be very successful, although I do think there will be some short-term negative sales repercussions. It may boost low-end sales, while holding back some of the higher end purchases. — Robert Leeds, chief marketing officer

Intuit: We don’t foresee any challenges on our part, so long as Apple makes this as transparent to end users and applications as possible. — Peggy Chang, senior product manager, QuickBooks for the Mac

LaserSoft Imaging: We are positively thrilled with the news that OS X will be working on Intel platform. Yes, we have questions about the transition and understand that we have to port our code to Xcode, which we had already planned. We have started to port to Xcode in order to be able to use Core Image in the future. One of our developers is present at the conference and he was also positively impressed with the outlook. And what I heard as reaction from one of our other developers who had previously worked with a Next computer was also very positive and mentioned as a “dream has come true.” — Karl-Heinz Zahorsky, founder

Mark/Space: Mark/Space is committed to the Mac OS platform, and we plan to support Apple’s new hardware when it arrives. Our engineers are attending WWDC this week, gathering all the information they can to make for a smooth transition. If this change to Intel-based hardware helps Apple grow their business, then we will all benefit. It’s certainly an exciting time to be a Mac developer. — Eric Ullman, director of sales and marketing

Microsoft: The Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit is focused on developing products that matter to customers. That means evolving its strong relationship with Apple and working together to build on the tradition of making great software on a great platform… The Mac BU is already hard at work on the next versions of Office for Mac and Virtual PC for Mac. An important part of that work includes collaboration with Apple engineers on Xcode to create Universal Binaries of future versions of Office so that it will run natively on Apple’s future hardware. — Roz Ho, Microsoft Mac Business Unit general manager

MYOB: Short-term, [Apple’s move to Intel chips] is not an issue, as it looks like Rosetta is going to give us something to move forward with. We’re obviously going to look at long-term plans to [make AccountEdge] work natively on Intel, as we would need to move over to Xcode [from CodeWarrior].” — Tom Nash, product manager, AccountEdge

Near-Time: We have no concerns about [the transition to Intel chips]. We look forward to testing it. Apple had a lot of foresight. The experience moving from OS 9 to OS X was much messier. If you look at Xcode and Rosetta, it is transparent. No one would have thought that the Intel chip was driving the demo [during Monday’s keynote]. There was no difference, it was just recompiled. We’re looking for a rich, beautiful UI and high performance, and it’s remarkable that what we saw [Monday] ran on an Intel box. — Reid Conrad, CEO

Panic: While definitely mind-bending news, to the end user it means nothing more than faster, shinier, better Macs down the road. That’s it, and that’s a very good thing… To be honest, we don’t have any concerns from a technical standpoint. It’s going to be infinitely easier than the OS 9 to OS X transition. We’re just ready to dig in and get transitioning! — Cabel Sasser, co-founder

ProVue Development: I think it’s right to compare this to the move from 68K to PowerPC. That transition was pretty smooth, but I expect this to be even smoother. Development tools are much more advanced now than they were back in the early 90’s, and virtually no one programs in assembler anymore. I suspect that the transition period may be even shorter than the 2007 timeframe Apple is indicating. — James Rea, president

Roxio: We’re excited about the shift. If it leads to lower cost Macs and grows the platform then all software developers are sure to benefit. We’re optimistic that [Apple has] thought about how to keep things as smooth as possible for developers — the staged approach seems reasonable. We’ve got great things planned for our Mac products. — Adam Fingerman, director of product management

Runtime Revolution: We regard this as a bold but very good step for the Macintosh platform and confident that it will bring new users into the fold. We will certainly be supporting the new MacTel architecture and as we currently support other operating systems using Intel processors see no problems in bringing Revolution to these new high performance Macs. — Rod McCall, public relations officer

SmileOnMyMac: We are delighted with Apple’s move to Intel processors in anticipation of a richer hardware road map. SmileOnMyMac will move our applications to Universal binaries. We know that this will be trivial for PDFpen/Pro, disclabel, and photoprinto. We expect some additional work will be required for pagesender, as it contains a print driver. As a developer, we feel well-supported by Apple. — Greg Scown, co-founder

Wolfram Research: Ten to 15 years ago porting to another platform was a big deal. The port to Intel was a lot easier because Apple showed good, disciplined cross-platform engineering. — Theo Gray, co-founder

This story, "WWDC: What developers are saying" was originally published by PCWorld.

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