Friday, June 10, 2005

Intel, Apple, and the Victims

Right off the bat, I want to say that if you are starting a good band with a good sound, name your band "The Victims", because when I wrote that I immediately thought, "That would be a great name for a band."

So, to the topic at hand. I wanted a blog and every blogger with a sense of trend is talking about the Apple/Intel deals going on before our eyes, and behind our backs. But, not just behind our backs, but behind the backs of several big name companies and tech-world shakers who are going to become very nervous at board meetings for months to come, maybe years, maybe until the very last board meeting their particular company holds. If Cringley is right about Apple and Intel merging, or even if they are only striking lots of extremely friendly, exclusive deals, there is a lot at stake in the world, technologically, economically, socialogically, and politcally.

The first and most important point to make here is to simply point out the amazing sense of irony this situation brings to the table. Do you honestly and fully realize what is going on here? Apple, the only major competetor to Intel's prize architecture over the years, is poised to become their biggest customer. Apple on Intel chips is a strange a sounding phrase as Sadam marrying Mother Teresa!

This move is going to have a two-fold affect on the open source movement, particularly the Linux people. On one hand, everyone is going to have a much slicker choice of alternatives for Windows very soon. On the other hand, this will open up the idea of using something other than Windows to the mind of Average Joe User, so he will be more willing to take a chance on free systems like Linux. It will be interesting to see where these trends balence.

Over on Slashdot, this guy makes an interesting comment about the biggest mythical challenges to the Apple/Intel pair that could pop up. The "Microsoft acquires AMD" is a little bit of a stretch, but the IBM/Cell/Linux idea is probably a crowd favorite. I've been waiting to get my hands on a Cell chip for a long time now, and seeing what it might be able to do in the hands of all those skilled Linux developers and other open source coders is really a fantastic thought. I'd love to get a look under the hood myself.

HP is definately going to be in on this deal, in my opinion. They already make Apple's iPods, they have close ties to Intel (Pavilion and Celeron sure bring in a pretty chunk of change for the two of them), and with a move to Intel it will be much easier for Apple to shift the hardware work over to another party, and focus on the software work they are so blessed at.

These are the cards, and the major players have their hands. How will they play them? What wild cards do they have up their sleaves? I for one am very interested to see how this game plays out. I was about to purchase an iMac or an iBook, but now I'm going to step back and watch, and way, and hope for the best. Rought waters are ahead, but we might come out of it all for the better, or hell could break loose and we'll all be stuck in the mud.

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