Comments in the Paper

I was quoted in the local paper today as a “Mac user”. Funny… I will never forget one of my bosses in college telling me I was never going to get anywhere in business if I was a Mac user. Sure, being a Mac user hasn’t gotten me anywhere in business specifically, but it hasn’t hurt me either:

Apple’s switch to Intel: Some say it’s smart; others say it was inevitable.

By Helen Chernikoff
Monday, June 13, 2005
Time was, Mac fans would have been outraged by any concession, or even connection, to Microsoft Corp. or Intel Corp.

Those days are gone. Apple Computer Inc. made peace with Microsoft in 1997. Last week, Apple said it will switch to Intel chips by 2007.

And that’s OK with many Mac loyalists. “There was some cachet to being an iconoclast, to being different,” said Bob LeVitus, the Central Texas author of 49 books about the company’s computers. “But there are downsides to the road less traveled.”

Chips made by Motorola Inc. (now Freescale Semiconductor Inc.) and, later, IBM Corp. have been losing ground to Intel for years. Like Apple’s unique software, they were one more barrier between Macs and the rest of the computing world.

Many Apple enthusiasts not only have accepted the change, they’ve embraced it.

Theories abound as to why. Apparently, Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ charisma did the trick.

“Whatever (Jobs) says is true. It doesn’t matter how true it is, everybody believes it, and it’s true,” said John Engler, a Mac user and local salesman for a New York multimedia company.

Macs remain as offbeat as ever, others say. What makes Macs special is their sleek design and user-friendly software, said Kramer Wetzel, the kind of Mac partisan who, upon entering a coffee shop, automatically tallies the iBooks versus other makers’ laptops.

“It’s like a car: It’s still going to be a steering wheel, a brake and a gas pedal. The engine doesn’t make that much difference,” said John Booher, who owns the Wizard of Austin, a computer training and support outfit.

Switching to the Intel chip is just good business, he added.

Jobs pulled the plug on PowerPC because the alliance didn’t deliver the goods, the superfast, 3-gigahertz chip he’d promised the Apple faithful two years ago, Booher said. Intel’s massive scale — it provides more than 80 percent of the world’s desktop PC chips — also should translate to lower prices. Maybe Apple will pass those savings onto consumers, Booher said.

“Being in bed with the big player who’s got the economies of scale ought to be really good for Apple,” Levitus said. “It’s going to be rough the first few years but once the transition is made, we should get lots of benefits and faster.”

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