Mac Developers Mixed on Intel Switch

Macintosh developers at this weeks Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco have mixed feelings on whether the switch to Intel processors by Apple Computer will ultimately be a win for the company and software companies, two published reports said Tuesday.

"Itis certainly the right decision in the long run. In the short term, thereis the worry that hardware sales will drop off," Leonard Rosenthal, Chief Innovation Officer of Apago Inc., told

Some developers warned that despite initial tests using Appleis proprietary porting tools, applications might not be as easy to port to the new hardware as Apple CEO Steve Jobs promised during his keynote address to developers Monday.

Some developers who The Mac Observer spoke to said they watched Monday as a number of companies sat down with Apple software experts and tried porting their apps. Those with software applications written in the Cocoa environment ported their creations through Appleis Xcode development tool in little time, according to many. Developers using Xcode and Carbon suffered longer, many walking away with "loads of bugs", according to one software developer source, who asked not to be identified.

"Itis a good sacrifice for them in the long term," Ray Slakinski, designer of the Mac podcasting software, iPodderX, told The New York Times (subscription required). "I think Mac sales are going to take a hit for the next few months," he said. "I was in the market for a new laptop, but Iim holding off."

Will the Intel switch be a smooth one for Apple? Al Gillen, research director at IDC, told the NYT heis skeptical.

"They have a history of pushing platforms that is fairly disruptive," Mr. Gillen said. He pointed to Appleis move from its original Motorola 68000-based systems to systems using the PowerPC. Though Apple had promised the transition would be smooth for Mac users, "it was basically a irepurchasei operation," he said, requiring new software for those purchasing the new computers. "Their concept of ifairly easyi sometimes requires buying new things."