Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 6th Jun 2005 22:01 UTC
Editorial Today's confirmation that Apple is going x86 makes today a historic day in the industry. It may mean that Microsoft might see a few percent decline of their market share the next few years, but what about Linux? If Linux were to lose an equal amount of share it would alter its spread to the desktop, a spread that has been very positive so far.
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Sad to see the switch..
by erktrek on Tue 7th Jun 2005 04:42 UTC

Having recently (few months ago) purchased a Mac Mini to check out what all the excitement was about I must say I am now extremely conflicted (the FUD is beginning to sink in I guess).

To me this looks like the beginnings of a high tech version of the "Old Coke" versus "New Coke" debacle.

Apple's move makes sense in that X86 is a more widely accepted (not necessarily better) and stable (consistent, I guess) platform. For the future this is a good thing maybe. But like "New Coke" the concept appears somewhat bland.

Some thoughts/fears/questions that are causing me angst (YMMV):

- Apple computers have had a certain unique design mystique that was easy to buy into (even if you were paying a premium). For me (and apparently for others) this is rapidly fading.

- It is harder to now commit time or more $$$ when I'm not sure where things are going. I can't recommend Apple to my clients in the next 2 years - there is no guarantee of stability that I am willing to support (not that I am that experienced in OSX anyway).

- Down the road who's to say that Apple won't pull another big surprise. Apple always seems to be on the "revolutionary" side of change rather than "evolutionary". This might be cool and trendy for Joe Sixpack and Stefan Artfart but somewhat alarming for businesses trying to maximize their computer investment. Apple does want to sell to businesses right? In fairness though the X86 move seems like a good move to a more longterm "stable" platform but at what short term cost?

- Given a level hardware playing field doesn't the "Apple Premium" seem like a much harder sell? Margins are so much tighter in the X86 world. The competition is already established and very aggressive. It remains to be seen if Apple, as a hardware company can compete against vendors like Dell. Maybe licensing/branding is the way to go but ultimately then what's the real incentive for a distributor?

- Longhorn may not be better than OSX but in 2 years it won't be bad either. The question is will it really be worth the extra $$$ with less software relative to Windows for a proprietary platform? Apple's R&D will be going into new stuff, legacy stuff and conversion stuff. The concern here is that innovation will slow down while Microsoft with more resources will keep improving.

- How are the smaller "bread and butter" developers going to react to this?

- What's going to happen to the once loyal users who think that Apple has "sold out" or are peeved because they think (whatever the reality) their hw purchases have been rendered obsolete sooner than expected.

- What happens now? If things get bad can Apple survive the next few years on their other successes?

Sigh... I guess it's time to wait and see what happens next maybe in the end it's all sugar water anyway.