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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

As rumored, Steve Jobs announced today at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference that the Macintosh will make a transition to Intel processors.

Jobs reviewed the two previous major transitions, from Motorola 680x0 processors to the PowerPC in 1994 thru 1996 (before Steve Jobs was back at the helm), and from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X in 2001 through 2003. Saying "It's time for a third transition," he explained that the need for the change was more than just the inability to deliver a 3.0GHz Power Mac, as he promised 2 years ago, but that Intel offers increased performance AND reduced power consumption ("Intel chips runs cooler"), a critical factor for PowerBooks, and an exceptional "roadmap" into 2006 and beyond.

He said that Mac OS X has been living a secret double life for the past five years (see Marklar rumor) and gave a demonstration. The design for Mac OS X has always been processor independent and cross-platform capable by design. The technology to let existing PowerPC applications run on Intel is named Rosetta and performs dynamic translation transparent to users (see QuickTransit from Transitive).

Mac OS on Intel is to be given to developers (ADC "Select" and "Premier" members) now and to customers "this time next year." The transition will be completed in less than 2 years, by the end of 2007. Dashboard widgets, scripts, and Java programs do not need porting. With Xcode 2.1 (out today and distributed at the Keynote), developers can make a "tweak" and recompile for Cocoa applications, and port Carbon applications in a matter of weeks. Mathematica was ported in 2 hours, although the porting team had direct support from Apple. A universal version of MS Office is coming. Photoshop and its plug-ins run with typical performance but take longer to load.All demonstrations during the Keynote were performed on a 3.6GHz Pentium 4, to the surprise of many in the audience.

Update: Apple press release; Intel press release

Article Link: Macintosh Moving to Intel Processors [Updated]


macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2005
Apple have betrayed us all never again will i use a mac and no more will they be as pc users flock to buy osx for pentium 4s :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: i wish i was there i would have bood


macrumors 68020
Mar 22, 2004
The Great White North
I am stunned! I wonder what Intel chips Apple will be using... Hopefully Pentium M or some of the dual core chips in the pipeline...

Expect Mac sales to tank in the next 1-2 years though...


Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Well...seems to have answered a few questions. It seems there is a sort of fat or differently optimized binary involved in making Transitive work? And well, I guess my next computer is going to be an Intel based PB or iBook...maybe that means they'll finally refresh the shell on the iBook! :D


Jan 15, 2003
Well, that answers a lot! And says a lot!

I could care less what the hardware is--I'm more interested in the overall user experience. So this is probably a good thing.



macrumors regular
Jan 8, 2004
I'm kind of shocked. Does this mean no new hardware until the intel stuff begins to ship by next year's WWDC? That would be an insane business move. They should at least update the ibook and mac mini. I am disappointed :(


macrumors G3
Dec 31, 2004
"No escape from Reality...”
The Switch is Complete!!!

I'm writing this on my Thinkpad, as I had to use some Windows only programs. But thanks to Apple, things will now change.

My hope is that MS can make Virtual PC run full speed on Mac OS X for Intel. Or maybe just give users a WinXP compatiblity program (no user interface) for OS X for Intel users so that we can use all of our Windows programs on an Intel Macintosh.

Now we can use all our legacy Windows programs, Windows games, and the newest OS X programs (iLife, Adobe) on one machine - a Macintosh.

Goodbye Dell - your machines are problematic, and I can't understand your overseas support people.
Goodbye IBM PC - you're now in China
Goodbye HP - your new CEO will probably mess things up.
Goodbye Gateway - I was never a "country boy" anyways.

The switch is now complete - it's Apple Computer 100%!!!

BTW: I'm an avid Apple Computer user since the Apple II and have a vintage Apple Computer collection.


macrumors newbie
Nov 25, 2003
Macmadant said:
Apple have betrayed us all never again will i use a mac and no more will they be as pc users flock to buy osx for pentium 4s :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: i wish i was there i would have bood

I'm sure I'm just feeding a troll, but come on, guy! What difference does it bloody make if it's PowerPC or x86? You should see the power of Macs going up while the price of them goes down! How could this be in any way a bad thing?


macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2005
i think that everyone is over reacting

osx will STILL be osx and all thats changed is that you are going to have a chip that runs cooler and faster

how could you not be happy :confused:


macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2004
Macmadant said:
Apple have betrayed us all never again will i use a mac and no more will they be as pc users flock to buy osx for pentium 4s :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: i wish i was there i would have bood

I hear Sun could do with some users.

Jesus wept, get a grip will you?

You are criticising Apple for making a decision that will almost certainly boost their market share, to the detriment of Windows? How's that bad, again?

I'll still buy Macs, even if PC users can install it on their machines (which, I imagine, they may not be able to due to some hardware lock in Apple build in to the Mac architecture).

Leave the computer for a bit. Talk to some humans. Then come back.


macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2001
I wonder what the Intel-based Macs will be called. Didn't the "Power" in PowerMac and PowerBook come from the fact that they use PowerPC chips?


macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
I think it's going to be all OK...

That is, I hope it's going to be all OK.

It's not like we're going to be running Windoze!!

I can see this attracting a lot more Switchers to the Mac!


macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
Apple betraying us.. ********.

It shouldn't matter WHAT processor apple uses, as long as its fast enough and runs OSX.

I think this is actually a good thing - potentially cheaper machines and more potential user base. I'm ignoring the elitist who think apple shouldn't have a marketshare more than "5, 10%" etc.

If IBM, Moto can't deliver good processors, then Apple have to do something and x86 is the answer. x86 are currently generally faster than PPC processors and have more of a future. I hope you'll be able to run AMD processors.

I wonder if Intel OSX will be able to run on any PC or whether apple will lock them down.. i.e., you have to buy an Apple branded machine.

Additionally, I assume that Apple aren't getting out of computer hardware, i.e., they'll still design machines.

Overall, it is a *GOOD* thing.

Viruses - the processor makes no difference. If OSX got wildly popular on PPC - viruses would be targetted towards PPC based Apple Macs, the same with Intel.

One thing that does worry me, IBM Warp couldn't compete with Windows on Intel.. will the same thing happen with OSX?

There will *never* be a PowerBook G5.


Moderator emeritus
Oct 5, 2001
San Diego, CA
I'd be surprised if Apple was opening OS X up to run on any old PC - they'll most likely continue to control the chipset and prevent their hardware sales getting eaten up by DIYers.

I wouldn't be surprised to see some folks work on getting around it, though...


macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2005
I think this kicks ass!!
Finally Apple will release its full potential. And yes! I will still buy a PM this fall!


macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2004
Surrey, England
It'll be odd i guess telling stubborn PC users that the mac is now using pentiums, but hopefully in 4 years when everything has settled everyone will see this as a masterstroke (4 years is a long time though :( )

I'll still be happily using Mac OS X Leopard though while Longhorn slogs through its virus' :D


macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
We need to try to be optimistic. If done correctly this can be a very exciting transition.


Administrator emeritus
Jun 28, 2002
North Central Colorado
intel press release:
apple press release:

my own take - this is one of the most interesting things I've ever even contemplated happening. There's still some unknowns - are the Intel chips going to be proprietary, or will OS X run on any x86 chip? If that's the case, will it also run on AMD hardware as well?

I think the implications for the normal user (those that don't write/code apps) are incredible - cheaper/faster machines with a faster cycle between speed refreshes, and the lovely ease of use of OS X.

It looks to me like Apple may well finally have the tools necessary to take down Windows from the top shelf.


macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
As long a Apple doesn't have to put that dumbass Intel 'Tune' in their ads!!!!


Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
Bergen, Norway
Macrumors said:
The transition will be completed in less than 2 years, by the end of 2007.
This is what worries me, most of all... all other discussions on x86 architecture and which CPUs the "Mactels" will be running (my guess, until I hear otherwise is the Pentium-D) aside... Two years waiting for new hardware is a very long time and might push a lot of potential buyers (me included) up on the fence (not to say over the fence)... :(
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