The Macintel Report

More Ways to Add OS 9 Features to OS X, Modem Problems with MacBook and USB Modem, Opera Problem, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.07.13

This Week's Macintel News

Will going Intel and supporting Windows boost Mac sales? As always, the pundits disagree, with Piper Jaffray promising growth while Seb Janacek doesn't expect it at all.

Between Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop, and the forthcoming CrossOver, we'll have more ways of running Windows on Macs than ever before. This week Ars Technica digs into Parallels Desktop, and MacWindows reports better performance when you assign less RAM to Windows.

On a barely related note, Intel's ill-fated Itanium chip (which we dubbed Itanic back in 1999) is in the news again as Intel is finally ready to release Itanium 2. It's a server-class CPU that only HP has had decent success using. Nothing of interest to Mac users, really, but it is nice to point out that Intel has made some real blunders over the years.

PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing news is covered in The 'Book Review. General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review.

Macintel News

Intel News

Macintel News

Windows-friendly Macs to Boost Apple

Forbes reports:

"Apple's Boot Camp software, which enables Windows software to run on Mac computers, should positively impact Mac market share as early as the third quarter of this year, according to a new Piper Jaffray research report.

"The new Piper Jaffray survey found that, out of 42 near-term PC shoppers, 8.3% of the respondents said they would buy a Mac computer instead of a PC because of the Boot Camp software, which is still being tested."

Link: Windows-friendly Macs to Boost Apple: Report

Move to Intel Won't Equal Market-share Boost

Silicom.com's Seb Janacek says:

"One by one Apple is addressing the objections to going Mac - from switching to Intel chips to accepting Windows. So can we expect a major PC-to-Mac migration? Seb Janacek isn't betting on it.

"Apple has announced that a host of executives including CEO Steve Jobs will preview the next version of the Mac OS X operating system - a.k.a. Leopard - at its Worldwide Developers Conference in early August.

"While Mac OS X 10.5 represents the pinnacle of a sustained period of innovation from Apple and no doubt will be embraced by its dedicated user base, Leopard is unlikely to alter either the company's market share significantly, or its perception in corporate IT departments or even among large numbers of individual PC users."

Link: Will Acceptance of Intel and Microsoft Equal Market-share Boost?

Windows Apps Cross Over to the Mac

InfoWorld's Neil McAllister reports:

"Owners of Intel-based Macintosh computers are still waiting for versions of many of their favorite applications that are built for the new hardware. Although Apple's code translation technology is a marvel, it's no substitute for software that runs natively on the x86 platform. But Mac owners will soon have a new source of professional-grade, commercial software for their beloved machines. The catch is that the software was meant to run on Windows.

"Forget Boot Camp. Booting Windows on Apple hardware is an interesting sleight of hand, but this is different. What CodeWeavers is offering is the ability to actually run Windows applications from within Mac OS X. CodeWeavers' commercial product, CrossOver Office, is based on the open source Wine project, technology that has made it possible to run many Windows applications on Linux systems for almost 10 years. By early August, it will do the same for Mac OS X with CrossOver Mac."

Link: Windows Apps Cross Over to the Mac

Leopard Will 'Absolutely Not' Include Virtualization

Cult of iPod's Pete Mortensen reports:

"Cool little tidbit over at Macworld in an article about the potential for Apple to increase its corporate marketshare.

"Long story short, Apple has no real potential to increase its corporate marketshare (there are a few opportunities, but it won't be a quantum leap).

"The most interesting tip, and one that seems too frank for Apple, comes from analyst Michael Wolff...."

Link: Schiller: Leopard Will 'Absolutely Not' Include Virtualization

Ars Technica Reviews Parallels Desktop

Ars Technica's Dave Girard reports:

"Move over emulation, virtualization is in and it's hotter than two Jessica Albas wresting the devil himself in a pit of molten steel. It's no contest, virtualization has it all: multiple operating systems running on the same machine at nearly the full speed of the host's processor with each system seamlessly networking with the next. Add to that the fact that it's cheaper than getting a new machine and you have the guaranteed latest craze. Not even the Hula Hoop can stop this one.

"Okay, virtualization isn't totally new - it's just new to Macs and Parallels Desktop is the first out the door with a 1.0 product for Mactels. For those that are just getting to the party, here's a bit of a breakdown on virtualization. The idea is that program acts as a virtual machine (VM) and its job is to be the PC (one of the more boring drama classes), tricking the client OS into thinking it's inside a real x86 machine with a physical hard drive, keyboard, Ethernet card, etc., when in reality, it's merely grabbing unused CPU cycles and RAM inside another OS to do it's thing.

"The benefits are pretty clear over a real PC: It's running on the Mac you know and love but you're not sacrificing access to the occasional Windows-only app that you might need. Maybe you have a copy of Office XP for Windows and don't want to shell out for the Mac version. Sure, you could load up Apple's Boot Camp, but using a program like Parallels - or its competitors VMWare, WINE and MS' Virtual PC - means you don't have to reboot just to use that accounting program at work.

"It is a great prospect and now even Apple is recommending running Parallels on their Get a Mac site."

Link: Parallels Desktop 1.0 for Mac OS X Reviewed

Better Parallels Desktop Performance with Less RAM

MacWindows reports:

"Tests show that less is more with Parallels.

"Sylvain Jette sent us test results that indicate better Parallels Desktop performance with less RAM assigned to Windows. Jette also found that this is not the case with iEmulator running on an Intel Mac.

"This Parallels behavior is not what users have come to expect with running Windows on Macs. Ever since the first emulators began appearing for Macs, assigning more memory to Windows has been a method of increasing performance."

Link: Better Parallels Desktop Performance with Less RAM?

Notebook Makers See Demand Pick Up after CPU Price Cuts

DigiTimes.com's Celia Lin and Jessie Shen report:

"Compal Electronics and Wistron posted on-month revenue growth in June, following sequential slides for two consecutive months. Quanta Computer and Inventec, who have not yet released their June sales figures, are expected to also post an increase in revenues.

"Pickup in demand in the worldwide notebook market can be attributed to Intel's price reductions of its Core Duo CPU line in early June, according to market sources."

Apple's MacBook launch was scheduled to take advantage of this price cut, which also allowed Apple to speed-bump the 15" MacBook Pro with no increase in price. dk

Link: Notebook Makers See Demand Pick Up after CPU Price Cuts (subscription required)

Intel News

Daul-core Itanium 2 on the Launch Pad

The ItaniceWeek's Jeffrey Burt says:

"Intel is preparing to launch its long-awaited dual-core Itanium 2 processor, dubbed 'Montecito,' in July, the latest attempt by the giant chip maker to re-establish its technological dominance in the server space.

"Intel will announce the chip at an event in San Francisco July 18, according to two sources close to the company. An Intel spokesman declined to confirm the date."

Editor's note: Intel's Itanic, which is incompatible with its x86 line of CPUs, has been called "the most expensive and protracted flop in the history of the semiconductor industry." For more on the ill-fated CPU, see Itanium or Itanic? dk

Link: Intel's 'Montecito' Finally on the Launch Pad

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