Why does anyone care about running Windows on the new Macs?

When you're a blogger it's sometimes a strain to say something new about a topic that's gone around and around. I am pretty sure you've seen the announcement from Apple that their next generation of Macintosh computers will use Intel processors.

Other than the industry melodrama about Steve Jobs embracing the very chips that for years he insulted, and perhaps bemusement of how Steve got that Intel Exec to dress up in a silly white costume while Steve looked cool in his traditional black turtle-neck.

But other than that, who cares that Mac's are now going to have "Intel Inside"? I mean for me it's kind of like finding out that next year's model car is switching to a Bosch electronic ignition from a GM model.

There's also been a lot of commentary on whether the new Intel based Macs would run Microsoft Windows. One the one hand it's again a bit gossipy: "Would Apple bury the hatchet with Microsoft or would they spitefully prohibit (legally) or prevent (technically) this?"

There's a more interesting strategic question there though.

It relates to how Apple for years and years kept their software and hardware proprietary. Nobody but Apple could make Macs and no computers but Macs could run the Mac OS.

This new development opens the door a crack, and if Windows could run on the new Macs, it would open even further. The next natural question would be, could Mac's OS X Operating System run on a Dell? Would Apple permit it?

How about this one: It is conceivable to me that Windows Vista would run better on Apple hardware than any other. Now wouldn't that be a hoot? How could that happen? Better in the sense of more reliably and robustly. Not because Apple designs better hardware than Dell (although they might.)

It could happen because Apple hardware is a lot more closed than PC compatible computers. The configurations that occur in the field are far more limited and well known. No old Acme Brand network cards or motherboards out there.

Hence Microsoft (and Apple) potentially will be able to deliver a more solid solution when combining WIndows Vista with Intel based Macs. If Steve allows it.

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Posted on January 21, 2006 and filed under Life, Technology.