Mike Schaeffer's Weblog
Thu, 30 Jun 2005
Some historical context around Apple/x86
I ran across this quote the other day from I, cringely:

"The market has stupidly decided that Intel microprocessors are better than Apple's preferred PowerPCs, so Apple will be at a disadvantage trying to sell PowerPC machines into the Intel market. This is what's right now killing Silicon Graphics, which is finding rough going pitting its MIPS processors against Intel. ... Yes, Apple will build computers with Intel processors. Their aim, as in all of these products, is for the high end. Based on Intel's new Merced chip, the new Apple machine will have PCI slots, Universal Serial Bus, Fast Ethernet, IEEE 1394 FireWire, IRDA, DIMM sockets, but no ISA slots and no backwards compatibility to DOS. So this is NOT a PC in the strictest sense, since it will only run Rhapsody, but not System 8 or Windows NT. It will run Mac applications inside Rhapsody. And because Apple is both the author of Rhapsody and the designer of this machine, Jobs believes that more customers will want to buy their Rhapsody wrapped in Apple hardware than not."

Funny thing is... that quote is from October of 1997. A lot has changed since then, but since the core reasoning was sound it probably shouldn't be too much of a suprise that he was ultimately right.

The other interesting bit was that Cringely wrote that piece around 1997, which is when the NDA for 'Project Star Trek' expired. Star Trek was a project in which a few Apple, Novell, and Intel software engineers got MacOS 7 running on PC hardware. I'm not sure what the business story would've been, but it was a nice technical accomplishment nonetheless.

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