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Vierge99
Dec 4, 2002, 10:51 AM
If you go to Apple's website and click on "Hot News" right now, one of the headings is "Recession Bright Spots." It takes you to a story about the economy, IT fields, and more importantly, Comdex 2002. There is a paragraph in it that says:

"...IBM marked down key elements of its software product line, restoring simple, one-price licensing for companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. IBM has slashed prices for new Unix systems based on the 64-bit Power CPU (hello, Moto?)..."

I'm not sure how or if this relates to Apple, but with the current rumble about a new chip that may one day be installed in future Power Macs, it could be good information.

Here is the link:

http://www.infoworld.com/articles/op/xml/02/12/02/021202opnoise.xml

MacCoaster
Dec 4, 2002, 10:56 AM
I think they were talking about slashing prices of their Unix line--the IBM Servers and Workstations.

But the price slash could mean lower processor cost for Apple. Who knows.

lmalave
Dec 4, 2002, 11:44 AM
Here's a related article:

http://news.com.com/2100-1001-975940.html?tag=fd_top


IBM is moving to all-Linux for its workstations and Low-end servers, and this is indeed good news. For now IBM is trying to lower the price on their Power4 based Linux servers (which still puts them in the $10,000 to $15,000 range), and once the 970 chip is produced, IBM will use it in a new line of Linux workstations (not sure what the pricing's going to be). The reason this is good news for Apple is because IBM is commited to using the 970 in its own Linux workstations, which means IBM will produce the 970 in greater volume and will devote more R&D resources to its ongoing development.

MisterMe
Dec 4, 2002, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by Vierge99
If you go to Apple's website and click on "Hot News" right now, one of the headings is "Recession Bright Spots." It takes you to a story about the economy, IT fields, and more importantly, Comdex 2002. There is a paragraph in it that says:

"...IBM marked down key elements of its software product line, restoring simple, one-price licensing for companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. IBM has slashed prices for new Unix systems based on the 64-bit Power CPU (hello, Moto?)..."

....

The CPU is a small fraction of the cost of building a server or workstation. This has virtually nothing to do with Apple. Even if IBM gave Apple the CPUs and Apple passed all of the cost reduction to its buyers, the price drop on its products would be barely noticeable.

oldMac
Dec 4, 2002, 01:28 PM
I also read an article about IBM pushing Linux running on Power 4 processors. Inparticular, about trying to drive down the costs.

This is potentially good news for Apple as it demonstrates IBMs intentions to push Linux via the Power architecture.

Unfortunately, Apple doesn't push the CPU volume necessary to push PowerPC processor development in a competitive way. They can only fix this by moving to a processor that has higher volume or by increasing their own marketshare (which is very difficult to do when your processor of choice is not competitive.)

On the up-side, if IBM succeeds in increasing the market for this processor, Apple will be able to switch without large detriment to their user and developer base.

On the down-side, if IBM does not succeed in creating a viable market, then Apple is simply delaying their ultimate move to an x86-based architecture, which will require significant energy and cause many problems for users and developers. If this is the ultimate outcome, it would probably be better to get it over with now than to delay and wait out the indecision of yet another dying processor line. Either way (switchig to x86 now or later), it will be a PR nightmare for Apple.

That being said, if IBM has a fast processor that Apple can move to with minimal headache, Apple should take them up on it (IMO). Ultimately, I think Apple will have to move to x86, but perhaps they can lay the groundwork over time, so that the transition will be less painful (and less "on-the-heels" of the significant move to OS X.)

Catfish_Man
Dec 4, 2002, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by oldMac
I also read an article about IBM pushing Linux running on Power 4 processors. Inparticular, about trying to drive down the costs.

This is potentially good news for Apple as it demonstrates IBMs intentions to push Linux via the Power architecture.

Unfortunately, Apple doesn't push the CPU volume necessary to push PowerPC processor development in a competitive way. They can only fix this by moving to a processor that has higher volume or by increasing their own marketshare (which is very difficult to do when your processor of choice is not competitive.)

On the up-side, if IBM succeeds in increasing the market for this processor, Apple will be able to switch without large detriment to their user and developer base.

On the down-side, if IBM does not succeed in creating a viable market, then Apple is simply delaying their ultimate move to an x86-based architecture, which will require significant energy and cause many problems for users and developers. If this is the ultimate outcome, it would probably be better to get it over with now than to delay and wait out the indecision of yet another dying processor line. Either way (switchig to x86 now or later), it will be a PR nightmare for Apple.

That being said, if IBM has a fast processor that Apple can move to with minimal headache, Apple should take them up on it (IMO). Ultimately, I think Apple will have to move to x86, but perhaps they can lay the groundwork over time, so that the transition will be less painful (and less "on-the-heels" of the significant move to OS X.)

If you replace all the instances of x86 in that post with something else (IA-64, perhaps) then I think you're right. Apple will eventually need to switch away from PowerPC, but I don't think it will need to for at least a decade.

bluecell
Dec 4, 2002, 02:44 PM
Originally posted by Catfish_Man
If you replace all the instances of x86 in that post with something else (IA-64, perhaps) then I think you're right. Apple will eventually need to switch away from PowerPC, but I don't think it will need to for at least a decade. A decade? How did you come to that conclusion? Apple won't be around in a decade if they're relying on IBM and Motorola. The sad truth is, Apple's getting annihilated because of the slow development of the PowerPC. They don't have enough in the way of options there anyway.

Computer_Phreak
Dec 4, 2002, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by MisterMe


The CPU is a small fraction of the cost of building a server or workstation. This has virtually nothing to do with Apple. Even if IBM gave Apple the CPUs and Apple passed all of the cost reduction to its buyers, the price drop on its products would be barely noticeable.

Yep... know how much the 15K RPM 73 GB SCSI Hard Drives cost? Thousands... plus all the RAM and the high margins because companies can afford to pay almost any amount for top-notch performance and stability.