A Sea Change for Apple

June 5, 2005 21:30 by keithkaragan
The story is all over the place ... Apple will be switching to Intel processors. It took a little while to sink in, and finally I came to a conclusion that it the motivation was DRM, more specifically the ability to have the same DRM regardless of the operating system used on a computer, and since Intel is moving in this direction this makes sense in a very simple kind of way. I'm no whiz kid, so some of the stories on this topic point this out already (namely the Wired News story.
There were other speculations to why this might be a priority for Apple: Expanding market share by running on commodity hardware; Performance - the G5 seemingly is not as  “all that” it could be, especially as a server; etc. But the push to be the company that is King of all Media is where I think this is going.
This is a bad idea though, the hardware DRM will be circumvented, and Apple had to know this (so does Intel) so the switch is pure lip service to the movie industry to allow them distribution rights. Rather than set the record straight and get these dinosaurs to recognize the intellectual property distribution landscape for what it is, Apple is willing to risk their bread and butter to make the movie industry comfortable. One can assume that Jobs sees this first to market  strategy as key to winning the hearts and minds of the consumers. Let's not forget that a lot of corporate blood was spilled in the music industry distribution wars of the 1990's, and ITunes came after all that, with the lessons learned of the pioneers to help them form a strategy that worked. The music industry is still ludistic, but compared to the movie industry their the equivalent of the Jetsons.
I don't have much invested in Apple, if the mac went away tomorrow I would adapt easily. That said, I love using my mac more than my windows pc(s). I've used windows almost exclusively for the last 10 years, so that says something. I've been hopeful that the mac would leverage the cell processor technologies as they emerge for even greater creative tools in the arts - with this move I think that's not going to happen in any significant way now. I was also hopeful that the mac OS would be available on Intel hardware before long, lowering the cost of entry - This seems all that much closer now, but I'm uncertain of the damage that a hasty move and the use of emulation will bring to the stability of the system.
Whatever the outcome is for Apple, the shake up will give Mr. Gates and company a reason to worry if the same $100 can buy you OSx and run on the PC you have, market share  margins will certainly change - the next question is if Apple can weather the change with enough horsepower to keep their market sector viable and growing while trying to be media company. Will they simply morph into a different industry?
Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Related posts

Comments are closed