The Leopard Changes Its Spots

Looks like I don’t get to be smug. It’s rather hard to tell, since all the sites offering live updates from the ongoing WWDC keynote are basically maxed-out, but it sounds like Apple are moving the Mac to Intel processors exclusively, with the first machines appearing next June and the transition being complete late 2007. ‘Leopard,’ Mac OS X 10.5, is due in the middle of that timeframe.

Yikes.

OK, I’ve found an accessible feed:

There’s a ‘completely transparent’ emulation layer called Rosetta (uh… wasn’t that codename used for the Newton’s handwriting recognition system?), fat – excuse me – universal binaries are indeed the application delivery system, the cross-compiling Xcode 2.1 is available today. Rosetta has been demonstrated running Excel, Quicken and Photoshop PPC binaries on an Intel Mac (but note that it’s not clear if Rosetta works in the other direction too – ie. x86 emulation on a PPC).

The only new product so far is what’s likely to be the most sought-after Mac on the black market ever: a 3.6GHz Pentium-based developer-only unit, sold for $999, available in two weeks and to be returned at the end of 2006. Heh.

Microsoft and Adobe are on board, by the sound of things. Well, they’d have to be, really. And Mathematica was ported in something like two hours.

And that’s it. That’s all the keynote news. Wow. For once, it really was developer-only.

As for the rest of us… hmm. My lumbering old desktop G4/933 will have to soldier on for another year or so. Buying a dual G5 right now would probably be a good idea, but come the end of the year or early 2006… well, one might as well wait for a multicore PIV. And I’d best budget for a round of software upgrades, too, ugh. But otherwise… I guess it doesn’t make much difference. Weird.

3 thoughts on “The Leopard Changes Its Spots”

  1. Yikes indeed. And I thought I’d finally escaped from Intel after all these years. I’ve had a dual G5 for about twice as long as the total music in my ITunes. It’s great to be back on a Mac. Long as it lasts.

  2. Speaking to a local small reseller, and from information he has had from a much larger distributor, hardware sales have dropped very dramatically.. it’s going to be interesting to see how the market settles because some of that is going to be knee-jerk reaction on the announcement. There may well be some very good deals on PPC hardware around the time the first Intel boxes are predicted for shipping.. and do we think the first Intel box will be a dual/multi-core Intel Powerbook??

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