Any kind of commentary I can offer on Apple’s decision to switch to Intel will hardly be as original or insightful as what you can readily find elsewhere on the Web. But it’s a significant enough event that, as someone who can’t shut the heck up about Macs, I would feel remiss in not commenting on — even in the midst of my crazy-ass work schedule.
Interfaces, Not Chips
Basically: I’ve been begging for this decision for years, because it has never made sense to me that Apple should challenge not only Microsoft but Intel as well. Consumers don’t really care about the CPU at the heart of their boxes — whether they bear a stamp from IBM, Motorola, Intel or even AMD — only about the experience offered by the user interface to their software applications. It’s the interface, stupid.
While it’s true that a lackluster technical platform will limit the flexibility of the user interface, I don’t think there’s a sufficiently significant disparity between PowerPC and Intel architectures to realistically expect anything to substantially change after the switch. That assumes, however, that a majority of software developers are able to smoothly make the platform transition for their Macintosh products; I believe they will.
And finally, given the possibility of an Apple box that not only runs the best operating system in the world but Windows too… where do I enter my credit card number? And where do hundreds or thousands of new Apple customers, suddenly presented with an irresistible new value proposition in top shelf hardware, enter theirs? It’s going to be a hit.