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Apple announces transition to Intel chips

updated 02:00 pm EDT, Mon June 6, 2005

Intel transition

At Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference today, CEO Steve Jobs announced plans to deliver Macs using Intel microprocessors by this time next year, and to transition all of its Macs to using Intel microprocessors by the end of 2007. Apple previewed a version of Mac OS X running on an Intel-based computer to the over 3,800 developers attending CEO Steve Jobs' keynote address. Apple also announced the availability of a Developer Transition Kit, consisting of an Intel-based Mac development system along with preview versions of Apple's software, which will allow developers to prepare versions of their applications which will run on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. During his keynote, Jobs revealed that Mac OS X has been "leading secret double life." Every release of Mac OS X has been built secretly for both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs. For the last 5 years, Mac OS X has been "cross-platform by design."

Jobs explained how the transition will affect developers. Widget, Scripts, and Java will work without modification. Cocoa/Xcode programs will require "a few days" of work, with "tweaks" and a recompile. Carbon Apps will have to be transferred to Xcode. A new version of Xcode, delivered today, generates a single "universal binary" that supports both processors.

Jobs later introduced Wolfram's CEO, who said his company ported Mathematica 5 to Intel-based Macs in 2 hours.

"Our goal is to provide our customers with the best personal computers in the world, and looking ahead Intel has the strongest processor roadmap by far," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "It's been ten years since our transition to the PowerPC, and we think Intel's technology will help us create the best personal computers for the next ten years."

"We are thrilled to have the world's most innovative personal computer company as a customer," said Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel. "Apple helped found the PC industry and throughout the years has been known for fresh ideas and new approaches. We look forward to providing advanced chip technologies, and to collaborating on new initiatives, to help Apple continue to deliver innovative products for years to come."

"We plan to create future versions of Microsoft Office for the Mac that support both PowerPC and Intel processors," said Roz Ho, general manager of Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit. "We have a strong relationship with Apple and will work closely with them to continue our long tradition of making great applications for a great platform."

"We think this is a really smart move on Apple's part and plan to create future versions of our Creative Suite for Macintosh that support both PowerPC and Intel processors," said Bruce Chizen, CEO of Adobe.
The Developer Transition Kit is available starting today for $1000 to all Apple Developer Connection Select and Premier members. Further information for Apple Developer Connection members is available at Intel plans to provide industry leading development tools support for Apple later this year, including the Intel C/C++ Compiler for Apple, Intel Fortran Compiler for Apple, Intel Math Kernel Libraries for Apple and Intel Integrated Performance Primitives for Apple.

by MacNN Staff




  1. PHoynak

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What does this mean for the PPC Macs? How long will they work with the new software? Won't this kill new hardware sales? I guess only time will tell.

  1. Macola

    Joined: Dec 1969


    End of an era

    Never thought I'd see the day, but in the end, it's all about the OS.

  1. Dog Like Nature

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sales of PPC macs?

    Surely they'll have to drop the prices massively?

  1. Don Pickett

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This will either be

    Job's master stoke or the move which kills the company.

  1. dlindsay17

    Joined: Dec 1969




  1. dlindsay17

    Joined: Dec 1969


    product naming

    Wonder what is gonna differentiate product lines from now on. So long G-series; hello iMac P4??

  1. just a poster

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Shocked and saddened

    because it means the end of the PowerPC platform.

    This will be a difficult time not for the smaller developers but for the larger ones (Adobe, Microsoft), and it will probably mean some short-term sales strain for Apple as well.

    Still, MacOS X on Intel is going to be a great thing for WINE "emulation" of Windows apps, it will bring hardware costs down and it eradicates the processor speed gap altogether. Long term, I think the outcome will be very positive.

  1. zac4mac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm in shock

    Never expected this "rumor" to be true. All I need now is news that Mitsubishi is buying Harley-Davidson and I'll go back to riding a bicycle and using an abacus...

  1. Tdassel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Transition period ??

    Damn.. how long do you think the developers will support both platforms ? My 4 month old Imac won't see much new software in the future I fear. And it will not last as long as my last Mac ( 7 years ), as I doubt that we will see any PPC software in 3 years from now.

    perhaps I should sell it rather quickly.



  1. Sosa

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Shock and Awe....

    Are we one step closer to the darkside? Or, as was suggested above, is this Steve Job's ingenious gamble to transform Macs into dominant computers again?

    Cloudy is the future....

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