Writing for ZDNet AnchorDesk, executive editor David Coursey largely reiterated
last week’s assertion
by Bear Stearns analyst Andrew Neff that Apple will make the switch to Intel processors within 2-4 years. Coursey’s new comments come in an editorial entitled
Macs with Intel inside? You bet! Here’s how.
With Apple and Microsoft arm-wrestling on various issues, Coursey said that Apple has nothing to lose by making a move to Intel. Furthermore, he said, Apple’s UNIX-based underpinnings will make such a conversion “fairly straightforward.” The net result, said Coursey, is that Mac hardware could be cheaper “and the real battle to get Windows users to switch to Mac OS would be on.”
Coursey suggests that even if Apple makes the switch to an Intel-based architecture, it’ll still keep the hardware proprietary enough that you wouldn’t be able to go out and install Mac OS X on your Dell PC. “That revenue is just too important to Apple’s bottom line for Cupertino to allow just anyone to make Mac,” he said.
Regardless, Coursey said that getting away from beleaguered Motorola, the semiconductor manufacturer that produces the bulk of the PowerPC chips used in Macs these days, “is probably a good thing.” It’s also a conceptual move that Jobs and others in positions of authority at Apple have already been through, when NeXT migrated from a Motorola-based architecture to an Intel-based architecture.
Coursey admits he doesn’t have any special crystal ball for these prognostications, but he said that “all signs are” that Apple and Microsoft are heading down separate paths and Apple’s number one priority just now is to win the hearts and minds of Windows users. Given those facts, “an Intel-based Mac can’t be too far away.”