It's official: Apple will switch to Intel Published: June 6, 2005, 11:04 AM PDT By Ina Fried Staff Writer, CNET News.com TrackBackPrintE-mailTalkBack just in After years of trying to get people to switch to Macs from Intel-based computers, Apple Computer itself has switched. CEO Steve Jobs officially announced on Monday that Apple would gradually shift its Mac line to Intel-based chips over the next two years. The move confirms a timetable first reported by CNET News.com. Jobs' announcement formed the centerpiece of a keynote speech to Mac programmers attending the company's annual Worldwide Developer Conference here. The conference, expected to draw some 3,800 attendees this year, is a traditional venue for Apple product launches. In his speech, Jobs revealed that Apple has been developing all versions of OS X since its inception to run on both Intel and PowerPC chips. "Mac OS X has been leading a secret double life the past five years," he said. The move to Intel marks a tectonic shift for Apple, which has used processors from IBM and Motorola (now Freescale Semiconductor) throughout the life of the Mac. However, the company has changed architectures before, shifting in the 1990s from Motorola's 68000 family of chips to the PowerPC architecture jointly developed by IBM and Motorola. The CEO showed a demo of the Tiger operating system on an Intel-based machine, saying, "We've been running on an Intel system all morning." Jobs said most of the necessary OS work has been done, but developers will have to do some work to make their applications work on Intel-based machines. Programs written will require various amounts of effort--from a few days of tweaking to months of rewriting--depending on the tools used to create them. A few things, like widgets and Java applications, will work without modification, Jobs said. Going forward, Mac developers will be able to create universal binaries of their programs that will run on both types of chips. In the meantime, Apple has a transcoding tool called Rosetta that will allow programs written for PowerPC chips to run on Intel-based machines. "Every application is not going to be universal from day one," Jobs told the audience. A Microsoft executive said the company would create universal binaries with future versions of Office for the Mac. And Adobe Systems CEO Bruce Chizen told developers they can be "absolutely sure" his company would support Apple's transition. "The only question I have, Steve, is what took you so long," Chizen said.