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WinInfo Daily UPDATE--Apple Announcement Expected Today--June 6, 2005

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In the News

- Apple Expected to Announce Move to Intel Today
- Details of Microsoft's EU Proposal Emerge
- ThinkPad Enters Tablet PC Market

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Apple Expected to Announce Move to Intel Today

I've always had a contentious relationship with Apple fanatics, but my revelation earlier this year that Apple Computer will move to Intel microprocessors has to be the most important chapter of that relationship yet. On April 26, 2005, I mentioned in a blog post in WinInfo Daily UPDATE that "Apple is unhappy with the PowerPC production at IBM and will be switching to Intel-compatible chips this very year." That blurb touched off a new round of Thurrott bashing by Apple fanatics but was later confirmed by independent reports in "The Wall Street Journal," "Fortune,", and "The New York Times," all of which not only corroborated what I wrote but added details to the story. Today, according to these reports, Apple CEO Steve Jobs will announce Apple's transition to Intel chips at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2005 trade show in San Francisco.
My, my, my. Predictably, speculation about this transition has been all over the map. In the rumor's early days, many people suggested that instead of using Intel x86-based chips in Macintosh computers, Apple planned to use Intel XScale microprocessors for a new Tablet PC-like device. Others suggest that perhaps Apple had the cachet to commit Intel to manufacturing Power PC-compatible chips. My sources told me, however, that Apple was actually switching to Intel chips for the Mac.
None of this speculation really matters. Like most technology enthusiasts, the details of this transaction fascinate me, assuming it happens as reported. And, like thousands of other people, I'll follow Jobs' WWDC keynote address today. I'm more concerned about the Mac community. Where's the love, guys?
When I broke the story, people ridiculed me for dredging up a years-old rumor, as if I were in the middle of a slow news week and simply decided to make up something. Mac fanatics insisted that the news was fake. Slowly, over time, major media outlets started reporting on the Apple transition to Intel, and opinions began to change. But instead of suggesting that maybe--just maybe--I was on to something, the Apple fanatics changed tactics. Thurrott, they now say, didn't actually break the story. He was simply one of many people who wrote about Apple moving to Intel over many years.
That's cute, but it isn't true. The last time a major analyst or news publication reported on this possibility was well over a year before my blurb. The current round of speculation about this transition started right here in WinInfo.
That fact has to rankle the Mac faithful. WinInfo, after all, is perceived as a Microsoft-friendly Windows-based publication. (Clearly, none of these people read my opinions of the software giant during its US antitrust trial.) Coupled with the fact that I published the first-ever major Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger review that was based on final Tiger code, on the SuperSite for Windows, no less, you can see why Mac fanatics are irritated. I'm stealing their thunder. (Apple was upset about the review as well, coming as it did 10 days before Tiger shipped publicly. The company threatened to sue and asked me to temporarily remove the screen shots, which I did.)
News flash time, Apple fanatics. Despite the fact that I tend to be more forthright about Apple's problems than most of you, I'm on your side. I've said this before, but clearly I need to say it again: I want Apple to succeed, not merely survive. The PC industry is a much more interesting and exciting place with a thriving Apple, and I revel in the company's successes as much as you do. For many reasons, I can't switch to the Mac platform full time, but I regularly use Mac equipment and have done so for 4 years. Indeed, I've spent thousands of dollars on Mac and Apple hardware and software over the years (I've also purchased five iPods) and have likely financially supported the company more than many of my critics have.
I'm not in San Francisco, but I wish I were. Like many Apple followers, I'll be glued to my PowerBook screen today, watching Jobs' WWDC keynote address from afar. I don't know exactly what he's going to say, only what my sources have told me. But if the address lives up to the advance hype, it could be one of the biggest speeches of his career. I don't intend to miss it. Let's enjoy it together, eh?

Details of Microsoft's EU Proposal Emerge

European Union (EU) regulators praised Microsoft today for agreeing to give its competitors some free server interoperability information. The agreement is part of the proposal Microsoft submitted last week to meet the June 1 deadline that the EU imposed. Earlier, Microsoft charged companies for the information.
"I am happy that Microsoft has recognized certain principles," EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said. "I remain determined to ensure that all elements of the decision are implemented. This includes the ability for developers of open-source software to take advantage of the remedy." According to a statement that the EU released, Microsoft agreed to give competitors server-interoperability information on a royalty-free basis.
Some fine points still need to be ironed out. The EU hasn't yet discussed Microsoft's plans for Windows XP versions that don't include Windows Media Player (WMP). And Microsoft still refuses to let code that's based on its server-interoperability information be used in software that's distributed with an open-source license.

ThinkPad Enters Tablet PC Market

Computing giant Lenovo Group will announce the first-ever ThinkPad Tablet PC at the Microsoft TechEd 2005 trade show today in Orlando, Florida. Dubbed the ThinkPad X41T, the new device has been in development for a few years. Sources at Lenovo told me last year that the company undertook the Tablet PC design at the request of its customers. The ThinkPad X41T physically resembles the existing ThinkPad X41 laptop computer but features a swiveling, convertible, laptop-style screen. The device weighs just 3.5 pounds and offers 6.3 hours of battery life on a standard battery (8 hours or more with an extended battery) and a biometric fingerprint reader. The X41T will cost just $100 more than a comparably equipped X41 laptop computer. ThinkPads tend to be pretty expensive; the X41T will start at $1800.
For Microsoft, the entry of ThinkPad to the Tablet PC lineup is prestigious and demonstrates the strong momentum the innovative Tablet PC line is experiencing. The ThinkPad is widely recognized as the highest-quality laptop computer available from any PC maker, and Lenovo's entry into the Tablet PC market provides a new level of acceptance and support. According to Microsoft, this milestone will mark the point at which the Tablet PC goes mainstream.

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