Why Should I Care About the Intel Based MacBook Pro and iMac Announced at Macworld 2006?

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The industry is abuzz with talk about the new “Mactel” MacBook Pro and iMac – the Intel based iMac and PowerBook … er… MacBook… which were announced today by Steve Jobs at Macworld 2006, in San Francisco. (They are also abuzz with the wording of the new television ad about it: “The Intel chip. For years it’s been trapped inside ordinary PCs. Doomed to performing dull little tasks…”)

But the one question on many peoples’ minds – unspoken because they don’t want to look like idiots – is “why should I care?”


Why should I care about an Intel iMac or an Intel PowerBook (MacBook Pro)? What’s the big deal about an iMac or MacBook Pro with Intel inside?

[I should point out here that whether we care or not is really moot, because Jobs also announced that they are transitioning their entire line over to Intel. Whoa.]

Apparently I’m not the only one blase about an Intel iMac or MacBook Pro (may the PowerBook rest in peace), or who doesn’t think that it is The Next Big Thing. An informal poll of those Mac folks around me elicited half-hearted shrugs, and “enh”s. And a web search found not one Mac person who was excited about the prospect.

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Ok, so, according to Jobs’ announcement today, the new Intel iMac has dual processors, and will run 3.2 times faster. And the new MacBook Pro will run some 5 times faster. Sure, that’s nice. But, not exciting. Except perhaps to a handful of hardcore Macolytes ™

And to the observation that “now you can dual boot your Mac, Windows or OS X!”, as one person put it, “the whole reason to use a Mac is to get away from Windows.”

True enough, but ah, the dual boot question.

 

You see, I think that is what the big deal is, and that is why Mac people are for the most part (maybe universally, anybody want to prove me wrong?) apathetic about the whole move to Intel inside your Mac.

Because this is not a move which is aimed particularly at Mac users. This is a move to woo the Windows users. Woooo.

Mactel inside gives Windows users the lifeline they have always wanted – many of them desparately want to try or even make the switch to a Mac, but are afraid to just walk away from their Windows. Now they don’t have to.

Explains one commentator on the Apple Matters website, “I’m a long-time Windows user. For me it’s a big deal to be able to run Windows apps on my laptop. The coming switch to intel looks like it will make it possible to dual-boot OSX and Windows, and this alone makes the purchase of an Apple laptop very much more likely. (In fact it’s nearly certain I’ll get one, provided initial reviews aren’t horrible.) If I’m not alone in this (and I don’t think I am) it could very well give Apple laptop sales quite a boost.”

Indeed, it could very well give Apple quite a sales boost. Maybe Windows users will make the switch, snapping up the new WinMacs in droves.

I just hope Jobs still has something up his sleeve for the Apple faithful.

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5 thoughts on “Why Should I Care About the Intel Based MacBook Pro and iMac Announced at Macworld 2006?

  1. I doubt that you will be able to run both Windows and MacOSx on the same system anytime soon. Apple will come up with a way so Mac’s will be solo just as they are now and I suspect they won’t be any cheaper.But it’s nice to dream i guess.

  2. I can’t believe with all the iMac hype that nobody has ever been able to effect a change in how every Mac has a mouse system that reacts like an old Etch-A-Sketch. I am forced to use them at work and I have switched to using them with my left hand because they cause my right hand to go cold. This is constant whether using the single-push Mac mouse or any of several ball/laser meeces from several brands. They drag then sling-shot forward. Their is never any reliable accuracy. Why??? And why no change in over 20 years????

  3. Sorry, Leslie, but no. There will be a security verification chip on each motherboard, and if it’s not there, the comp won’t boot. www.extremetech.com modded a computer to run OSX on a PC platform, but it was very hardware specific.

    How hard the end product will be to hack, only time will tell. Someone MAY come up with a hack to work around this, but you’d probably have to buy a copy of OSX,Intel version, hope it works, and kiss any warranty good bye because you weren’t using Apple approve hardware.

    This, by the way, is one of the ways that Apple has kept it’s costs down over the years-the hardware can be designed for very specific software, which Apple either manufactures or licenses/approves.

    Aunty is right. This is aimed squarely at Window’s users who are about to upgrade to Vista, and are buying an new comp.

  4. The simple answer: never, if Steve has anything to say about it.

    Regarding why get excited: anyone who’s tried to edit video (or even a big .jpg file) on a PowerMac knows exactly why a processor that runs three times as fast is big news. And a lot of folks use Macs for graphics editing. This also makes people like me, who need the speed, far more likely to switch. Long needed, and a really smart move by Apple.

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