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WinInfo Daily UPDATE--Apple Confirms Move to Intel--June 7, 2005

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In the News
- Apple Confirms Move to Intel Chips
- Microsoft Ships WSUS
- EU, Microsoft Agree on Antitrust Compliance Proposal

==== In the News ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Apple Confirms Move to Intel Chips
As expected, Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs announced yesterday during his keynote address at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2005 trade show that his company is migrating to Intel microprocessors. The transition will take more than 2 years, Jobs noted, with the first Intel-based Macs appearing in mid-2006.

"Our goal is to provide our customers with the best personal computers in the world, and looking ahead Intel has the strongest processor roadmap by far," said Jobs. "It's been 10 years since our transition to the PowerPC, and we think Intel's technology will help us create the best personal computers for the next 10 years."

Apple's move to Intel chips is complex because the company has been using PowerPC microprocessors for the past 10 years. But Jobs said that Apple has been "secretly" maintaining versions of Mac OS X that run on Intel chips. This news isn't difficult to believe: Mac OS X is really just the latest version of NextStep and OpenStep, the latter of which Apple ported to Intel chips more than a decade ago.

To ease the transition, Apple is taking a slow approach. First, Apple will seed developers with a $999 loaner machine that uses the Intel-compatible version of Mac OS X Tiger. The company says that most major software products will require days or weeks to convert to the Intel chips and that a software-emulation environment called Rosetta (named after the Rosetta Stone) will let PowerPC-based Mac software run on Intel-based Macs. The first Intel-based Macs will ship in mid-2006, accompanied by Mac OS X 10.5 (code-named Leopard). Apple will convert its entire lineup of Mac hardware to the Intel platform by the end of 2007.

Although Jobs did answer many questions about the Intel migration, some questions remain. Will Intel-based Macs be able to run Windows? Will standard PCs be able to run future versions of Mac OS X? And what about Leopard? Is it PowerPC only? Intel only? Or both? And how will the company maintain sales momentum, over the next year especially, while Apple preps a coming generation of Intel-based Macs?

Whatever happens, it's an interesting time for the industry. No surprise, then, that Apple is right in the middle of the latest news. On a personal note, I'd like to thank the many kind Apple fans who took time today to drop me a note congratulating me on getting the scoop on this story. I appreciate it.

Microsoft Ships WSUS
Microsoft shipped Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) yesterday. The long-awaited upgrade to Software Update Services (SUS) gives small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) free software-patching functionality. Based on the company's new Microsoft Update backend, WSUS will be joined in July by two related tools--Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) 2.0 and SMS Extended Security Update Inventory Tool. Like Microsoft Update, WSUS has been years in the making. To fulfill customer requests, the software giant originally planned to ship WSUS (then called SUS 2.0) in early 2004. "We know that your number-one desire is for us to eliminate the need for patches," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said during a keynote address yesterday at the Microsoft TechEd 2005 trade show.

Microsoft Update, the Web-based successor to Windows Update, is now also available. Like Windows Update, Microsoft Update provides patches and updates for Windows products but it also supports other Microsoft products, including Microsoft Office and Microsoft SQL Server. "Customers want us to do whatever we can to minimize the costs associated with updates, and this gives both consumers and IT professionals a single place to look for those updates," Microsoft Corporate Vice President Gordon Mangione said yesterday.

WSUS requires Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2000 Server with Service Pack 4 (SP4). For more information about WSUS and the free download, visit the Microsoft Web site.

EU, Microsoft Agree on Antitrust Compliance Proposal
After the European Union (EU) carefully reviewed Microsoft's proposal to comply with the EU's antitrust ruling, EU regulators agreed to drop a controversial requirement and ratify the proposal. The EU had asked Microsoft to explain how it was going to meet two requirements: that the company ship versions of Windows XP that exclude Windows Media Player (WMP) and that it give competitors the technical information they need to interoperate with Microsoft's server products.

Microsoft easily met the first requirement. The company created two new XP versions--Windows XP Home Edition N and Windows XP Professional Edition N--that meet the EU's specifications. Microsoft wrangled a bit over the second requirement, however. Although the company granted the EU's request that technical information be provided on a royalty-free basis, Microsoft insisted that the information not be used in software products that are distributed under an open-source license.
Yesterday, the EU agreed to that clause and abandoned its requirement that Microsoft include open-source developers in its technical-information sharing. And with that bit of compromise, Microsoft and the EU are, for the first time in many months, in agreement. Microsoft will be spared the possibility of massive fines. (The EU can legally fine Microsoft as much as $5 million a day for not complying with the antitrust ruling.)

Microsoft is still appealing the overall EU antitrust ruling that instituted these requirements. The resulting legal battle could last for years.

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