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Apple Announces Mac OS X For x86, Moves To Intel's Processors

Apple Announces Mac OS X For x86, Moves To Intel's Processors

by , 10:00 AM EST, April 1st, 2002

Apple has announced Mac OS X for Intel's line of processors, commonly referred to as x86. Calling the new release "Mac OS X for x86," Apple is attempting to leverage the popular "Intel Inside" logo in order to increase its market share. From Apple's press release:

Apple® today announced Mac® OS X For x86, which enables Mac OS X to run on Intel® equipped computers.

"We didn't buy that "MHz Myth" stuff any more than our customers did," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "The Velocity Engine is just so much pipe smoke, and it was time to hook ourselves up with the real power in the computing world, Intel."

"It has been embarrassing to run those highly specialized Photoshop® bake-offs to try and say that the G4 was faster than the Pentium® line, and now this way we don't have to," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "What better April present to deliver to our customers?"

Mac OS X for x86® brings full support for the Pentium 4® and Xeon® processor lines. Mac OS X for PowerPC® software will run on Mac OS X for x86® with a simple recompile and a minimal amount of recoding, taking advantage of a new set of APIs called Nitrate that replaces the now outdated Carbon APIs. "While we know that all life is based on Carbon, it comes out again in the end as nitrates," said Avadis 'Avie' Tevanian, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "We thought that a fitting name for APIs designed to work with Intel's processor line."

Apple says that the new OS is available now and will run on PCs with Intel's processors as soon as Apple makes them. The company says that running Mac OS X for x86 requires a special boot ROM that locks the new OS to Apple branded hardware. The company has not yet announced new Intel-based hardware. Stay tuned to TMO for more news when it becomes available.

The Mac Observer Spin:

It's interesting to see Apple make this move, though it's less than surprising to see that there is no hardware available to take "advantage" of the new Mac OS X. There is no doubt many a PC geek who is delighted at the idea of being able to run Mac OS X without having to buy Apple hardware; it's too bad that their dreams shall remain unfulfilled. It's even more interesting that Apple would come right out and declare its own marketing ploys like the MHz Myth to be so much baloney. You wouldn't think the company's execs would do that, would you?

Lastly, we applaud the new "Nitrate" name for the x86 APIs. Seems fitting, though we are waiting to see what kind of developer reaction there is to the news that they will have to recode their applications *yet again* to work with the new hardware. Perhaps the company could have called the new APIs "Asbestos, because you need something like that to withstand the heat that these things give off."

Who cares, though, right? We get the proud new honor of being able to run 2.4 GHz worth of processor now! That's all that matters, right?

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