Apple Computer recently made the announcement that they will be switching from PowerPC chips to Intel chips starting in 2006. My wife is very pissed. You see, she hates PCs. She used to use the WinTel computers, but got sick of the viruses, spyware, and the overall feel of Windows. Her computer just kept on crashing. I had do everything in my power to stop her from throwing her computer out of our bedroom window.
So last year, We bought the 12″ Powerbook G4 laptop. She originally wanted the desktop model (Silversteam) with the cool flat-screen monitors, but the price was a little high. Plus, she was a grad student at the time and I suggested that the portability was an advantage. After praising the PowerPC architecture, the sleek design, and the operating system, she was hooked.
When I told her about Apple switching to Intel chips, she asked about how it would affect her. After thinking about it, I said “Well, nothing unless you buy a new computer”. Then I remembered why Apple was unique. Apple has a unique approach to user-oriented computing, but since they had a lock-down on hardware specs, nobody was able to clone them. It was almost destroyed by the WinTel monopoly, but bounced back because of their innovations. So, this switch leaves one question on my mind: OS X.
Apple claims that OS X is portable (because of it’s Unix base), but because of their proprietary roots, they will not release it to the PC crowd. Again, they want OS X to run on Apple-only hardware. They are taking the same ill-fated route that almost kill them. If Apple wants to gain share, then they need to attack both sides of the WinTel monopoly. Offer OS X to the generic PC, innovate the desktop with great software, then try to sell Apple hardware. Otherwise, other systems, like Linux and FreeBSD, will eventually take over. Do the right thing, Apple!