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Apple and Intel are officially together now

Yesterday during the opening of Apple software developers forum Steve Jobs announced the transition to Intel processors in the future generations of Macintosh computers. He said it was the third most important innovation in the history of the company. The first one was transition from Motorola 68000 CPUs to PowerPC. The second (and the most important) — the transition from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. The reason is higher suitability of Intel solutions for mobile products. According to Steve Jobs, while PowerPC promises 15 performance points per Watt in 2006, Intel is going to provide the whole 70 pp/W. Apple is looking forward the mobile market as well as 3+ GHz clock rates.

As I already said, the OS is one of the most important parts of Apple machines. For 5 years Apple´s most secret workgroup has been developing an OS and key applications for Intel processors — project "Marklar". Yesterday they showcased a typical machine on Intel Pentium 4 3.6GHz CPU running Mac OS X v10.4.1 and several popular applications. It wasn´t an emulation, since the code was fully compatible with x86 architecture. The next Apple´s OS will be named Leopard and will see the light before Longhorn.

The software is divided into three groups. The first one includes Xcode-based products compiled as binary suitable for both x86 and PowerPC. The second group includes software that needs to be recompiled. And the older software will be emulated using Rosetta technology (also showcased). Speaking of software, Microsoft´s Roz Ho and Adobe´s Bruce Chizen declared the readiness to release adapted versions of Office and Photoshop, respectively.

Besides, Pol Otellini of Intel announced that this year developers will see Intel C/C++ Compiler for Apple, Intel Fortran Compiler for Apple, Intel Math Kernel Libraries for Apple and Intel Integrated Performance Primitives for Apple.

While Mac OS will work on Intel CPUs, it will not work on other platforms. The protection will be hardware, but no details are announced. But on the contrary, Windows XP will run on Apple machines.

The first compact solutions on Intel CPUs are promised by the middle of the next year, while the transition is to finish by the end of 2007.

Representatives of IBM and Freescale separately informed that though they can answer to any CPU needs, Apple´s share in their businesses is too tiny to seriously affect sales.

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