Mossberg: Intel Switch "Will Strengthen Apple and the Mac"

Wall Street Journal technology columnist Walter Mossberg believes Apple Computeris switch to Intel processors will be good for the company and Mac users and the switch will have little effect on consumers.

In his first comments since last Mondayis announcement, Mr. Mossberg said, "In the long term, the change will strengthen Apple and the Mac. Even consumers who use Microsoft Windows...will benefit, because the Macis impact on the industry is vastly greater than its market share.

"In the short run, the chip changeover should make little difference to average consumers," he commented. "Changing the processor in these machines will be a nonevent, sort of like changing the engine in next yearis Lexus cars. As long as the new engine is at least as fast and smooth as its predecessor, few drivers would notice or care."

Mr. Mossberg said the processor isnit what makes a Mac a Mac, but its "elegant operating system."

Mr. Mossbegr cautioned that if Apple fails to execute its planned switch well or the Intel processor doesnit perform as promised, "the Mac could be in trouble," he said. "Users would lose if too many third-party software developers decline to spend the money and time to convert their products so they run on the Intel chips."

In responding to readers questions about the Apple switch to Intel, Mr. Mossberg commented that he doubts prices will fall substantially on Macintosh hardware. "Appleis lower volumes, higher quality and unusual designs will likely keep it out of the very basement of the market."

Editoris Note: At the time of this posting, Mr. Mossbergis column had not yet been posted to his public Web site and is only available to Wall Street Journal subscribers. Once posted, check this link to his archive page and select his Personal Technology column for June 9.