In his customary keynote address at the Apple World-Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), Steve Jobs announced Apple’s decision to migrate to Intel processors in their next generation of Macintosh computers. Two long-time supporters of the Mac platform announced full support for the move, strengthening the inevitable bridge necessary for such an integral shift. In a statement recently released by Roz Ho, general manager of Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit, he announced that, “we plan to create future versions of Microsoft Office for the Mac that support both PowerPC and Intel processors.” Adobe similarly stepped up to the plate with their intentions to support the new hardware. Bruce Chizen, CEO of Adobe said they also “plan to create future versions of our Creative Suite for Macintosh that support both PowerPC and Intel processors,” thereby bringing to bat two heavyweight developers whom many smaller software houses look to for guidance.
This may be seen as somewhat of a vindication of a long-held belief among both Mac and PC teams that the hardware lineup of the Mac is the weakest part of an otherwise-successful system. In an ideal future, computer users would be able to run the same software on either system, regardless of the underlying hardware. This dream, already semi-realized through programs like Virtual PC and DarWine, may someday close the rift between the two rival systems, leading to a more user-friendly and effective partnership.
This shift has been rumored since Apple’s Marklar project in 2002, with Apple developing an x86-based OS against a possible switch in the future and has remained in parallel development, with a culmination in the official rollout at the WWDC. The major shocker to many was that the entire Keynote Address was displayed using a 3.6GHz Pentium 4. [Britt Godwin]