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Well, the cat's out of the bag - Jobs has confirmed in his WWDC keynote speech that the first Intel-based Mac will be shipping next June, with the lineup transitioned by June 2007. The demos on stage have been on OS X running on a 3.6GHz P4.

And 10.5 will be known as "Leopard".
 
 
 
 
 
 
Well, the recent stuff (the G5s, aka PPC970) was IBM's work, rather than Motorola (now Freescale, since their spinoff from said former parent company) - but yes, while the 970 performs well, they probably Steved themselves when they assured Jobs of 3GHz within a year, and only delivered 2.5GHz, now edging up to 2.7GHz. And there just didn't seem to be any way of getting a G5 into a PowerBook - and there's probably the largest bone of contention, given the rising importance of laptops in the general market (as with that announcement the other day that laptop sales had exceeded desktops for the first time). Apple's been seeing that for a while, so it'd make sense for the first Intel Macs to be PowerBooks, offering a healthy speed bump - or at least, clock speed.

No chance of OS X going, thankfully. And it sounds like Apple's in it for the long haul, with PPC and Intel support for some time to come, so my humble menagerie won't be left out of the new fun. (A 400MHz PBG4, a 300MHz original iBook, and a 266MHz PBG3)

I do wonder if either Apple, or some OSS project, might now bring WINE over, to enable simple running of some Windows apps.. and I dare say this'll be a mildly positive thing for games development, given folks like Valve tend to only know Intel assembly. But there's probably great reliance on DirectX rather than OpenGL. Still, it'll be interesting to hear the scuttlebutt in the coming weeks and months.