Vista, Intel IDF and the Mac OS X Intel transition.

While reading my atomic magazine which arrived earlier in the week (which happens to have as its main feature set articles on Windows Vista/Longhorn there was a coverage of the Intel Developer Forum going into details about up and coming chipsets specifically the i945 express chipset which features onboard graphics compatible with the Vistas Windows Graphic Compositing engine (or what ever the hell its called) which got me to thinking…

As I understand it presently apple need to do the following to build a laptop

  1. Design/Contract Chipset (North Bridge) to be used
  2. Source graphics chip and ram
  3. design motherboard
  4. and so on in the process

As far as I can see with intel releasing chipsets that support the graphics that vista wants immediatly provides graphics support for the various levels of quartz (extreme, 2d extreme, hyperactive, marchitech of the day) as found in Mac OS X. This leads me to believe that the first mac’s built on the x86 platform will probably be something like the iBooks and Mac Minis. These are aimed at the consumer who is unlikely to have a vast quantity of existing (PPC) Mac software who will be little effected by the architechture change. The (i/power)Book lines have been stagnant for some time now and I would expect the consumer lines rather than prosumer lines to be the least hassle to switch.

This gives apple an easier design route, less complex supply chain and potentially less expense.

I think it will be very interesting to see what happens.

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