Arstechnica has a great article about why the MacTel switch and why there’s more to it than Mr. Jobs’ “perf/watt performance road map.” Here’s my favorite bit:
But they didn’t jump ship for performance or performance/watt reasons. They jumped ship because they no longer care about making leading-edge computer hardware. They also don’t care about PC market share, or any of that other G3-era Mac Faithful malarkey. From now on, merely “good enough” is good enough for the Mac line, and the real innovation will come in the form of post-PC gadgets and entertainment-oriented, techno-cool doohickeys.
It’s anyone’s guess what Apple will do, but it’s certain their options are pretty open. If the PowerPC becomes important, the could use it and switch back. If the Intel really does gain, they’ve made the right bet. By moving to Intel, the performance comparisons become much more meaningful and not so full of caveats. If their deal with Intel gives them cheap access to chipsets they need for their “next big thing”, it sure is nice that the open ended question: “Will Apple license their OS to other hardware vendors?” will continue to taunt Microsoft and pundits alike, even if they never pull the trigger. What’s more clear now, is that what we heard Jobs preach, was much more like a favorite short story of old.