It Happened to Me

Some Mac Fans are Concerned

The recent announcement that Apple will switch from PowerPC to Intel chips had at least one Mac user worried: while pickup up some RAM at one of the computer shops along College Street West’s “Geek Row”, I overheard a guy say that he was a bit worried about it.

“I’m afraid it’s going to change the Mac experience,” he said.

I reminded him that the usability of the Mac didn’t lie in the

underlying processor, but in its operating system and user interface. I

cited the example of the Palm handhelds and compatible units, where

different models use different processors.

“The difference you will notice is faster machines, and since Intel can

actually manufacture chips in volume, you probably won’t be waiting as

long for your new computer order,” I said. “Who knows, Macs may get

cheaper, too. Economies of scale and all that.”

I don’t know if this guy would be a typical example of the Mac faithful

— a sometimes rabid group whose love for the Mac sometimes crosses the

bounds of rationality.

(Don’t get me wrong — I rather like the Mac platform. In fact, I’m making this entry on my new 12″ PowerBook.)

Apple spent years touting the superiority of the PowerPC chip, so this

sudden turnabout, while sensible from a technical point of view, may

seem like heresy to the Mac faithful. The Apple marketing team has an

interesting challenge ahead!

Perhaps they could recruit the Simpsons, as Intel did back in the days of the Pentium II [775K, QuickTime]…

Screen capture: Still frame from the Intel Pentium commercial featuring Homer Simpson.

This ad could be an allegory for what will happen to Apple’s computers. Click to the view the movie.

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