“What’s an Intel chip doing in a Mac? A whole lot more than it’s ever done in a PC” – this is the headline on the www.apple.com site this morning.
Roughly six months ahead of schedule (and only seven months since the move to Intel was announced), Steve Jobs surprised the Mac faithful gathered at the Macworld Expo conference in San Francisco yesterday to announce the launch of the first Intel powered Macs.
The first Macs will be based on the new Intel Duo, a dual core CPU. There will be two iMacs, a 17-inch, 1.83GHz version, for $1,299, and a 20-inch, 2GHz version for $1,699. A new line of Intel powered laptops, the MacBook Pro, will include a 1.67GHz, 15inch, 80GB verion for $1,999, and a $2,499 version including a 1.83GHz and 100GB drive. These new Intel based laptops will be the fastest Mac laptops so far.
The transition for the whole line of Macs to Intel is expected to happen by the end of this year.
It will be interesting to hear whether these new machines can be dual booted, for example Mac OS and Windows. Also, it will be interesting to see whether Apple decide to sell a version of Mac OS x86 to run on any Intel hardware, not yet their own branded boxes. If so, this could be the largest competitor Microsoft has seen in years, and possibly the strongest competitor to eat anyway at their current market dominance.