Apple's Intel Switch an Enticement to Windows Developers, Expert Predicts

Apple Computeris total switch to the Intel processor by the end of 2007 will be a major enticement to Windows software developers, writes an IT expert.

Arnold Reinhold, a partner at the research and consulting firm Hurwitz & Associateswrote in an article for IT Director that "standardizing in Intel will lure developers" to the Mac.

Mr. Renhold wrote that developers did not support the Mac previously because of an "arcane architectural difference" between the PowerPC and the Pentium called the endian problem.

"Endian issues were a big obstacle to supporting both platforms, Mr. Renhold said. "It should also be possible to port Wine-like software to the Mactel. The open source Wine is a package designed to allow Windows applications to run as-is on x86 Linux boxes. Whether Microsoft raises legal objections remains to be seen.

"The computer industry never standardized on how to number bytes within larger blocks of information called Words," he wrote. "There are two ways to do it and Intelis approach differs from the approach Apple has used in the past."

Mr. Renhold believes the Intel product line, with its economy of scale, low power consumption, and integrated digital rights management will open up a range of possibilities for consumer products that offer what Apple does best.

"New capabilities that you never knew you wanted but canit wait to get once you see them in action," he believes. "With its iPod success, Apple now knows what itis like to have a dominant position in a market. They must have noticed it feels a lot better than ime tooi."