Coursey Weighs In On Macs With 'Intel Inside'

ZDNetis David Coursey added his voice to the many talking about the possibility of seeing Macs run with Intel microprocessors. In his latest AnchorDesk editorial he prognosticates that it will be possible to purchase a Mac powered with an Intel or equivalent processor within 18 months.

Coursey talks about his own previous doubts to this type of scenario and how Microsoft ties in. From the article:

Iive considered--and rejected--this idea in the past. My feeling has been that, unless Apple were ready to cut the cord with Microsoft, it wouldnit attempt this kind of head-to-head platform competition.

WELL, GUESS WHAT? With Apple ads encouraging Windows users to switch platforms, and Microsoft whining about supposedly slow sales of Office for OS X, itis clear that the relationship is in trouble. As the two drift apart, Apple has little reason not to make a processor change.

Coursey believes the seemingly high costs of Mac hardware will be affected by a change to a common architecture, but he also recognizes how important hardware sales are to Apple.

WITH THE MOVE to an Intel-equivalent processor, Appleis hardware prices could come down slightly, and the real battle to get Windows users to switch to Mac OS would be on.

...My bet is that, even if Apple does make the switch to Intel, it will lock out other PC makers and continue to be the exclusive supplier of Mac hardware. That revenue is just too important to Appleis bottom line for Cupertino to allow just anyone to make Macs.

He apparently hasnit forgotten how close Apple came to dying during the Macintosh clone days and wouldnit believe a move like this to indicate a similar plan. Instead, he supposes that there could be a way to configure things so OS X will run only on the desired hardware. This would not only protect the bottom line but also the tight hardware/software integration that Apple is known for.

I donit think Appleis switch to Intel would create a second source for Mac hardware, something Steve Jobs stopped almost as soon as he arrived back at Apple in 1997. (Remember Power Computingis Mac clones?) Itis both a marketing opportunity to snag switchers and a chance to reduce Appleis dependence on Motorolais PowerPC chips.

Keeping Apple the sole supplier of Mac hardware, regardless of processor, would not only protect Appleis revenues, but also assure that the tight link that exists between Appleis hardware and software continues. Such OS/hardware coupling is very much in the interest of Apple customers.

The editorial finishes with Coursey stating that the major hurdles to a plan such as this are largely in the willingness for Apple to get it done.

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