Today's Insightful Slashdot Post (Macintosh PC's)
Everyone is in a buzz over all of the coverage of Steve Jobs' announcement about future Intel based Apple Macintosh computers. Well, I say most of the speculation at this point is fruitless. I think Apple will continue to do what they do best. Except they will use open source as leverage against the Windows PC marketshare. Apple is going to use Intel chips to make computers smaller and continue to push the envelope of computer design.
Read my comment, then more of my speculation:
People will buy them if they are shiney!Want to know what I'm trying to say? Read on...
(Apple created the gold standard mp3 player, why not create the gold standard PC? I say they will continue to design machines the same way - Intel chips will allow for smaller machines with more power (see: Mac Mini's shortcomings) - uncrackable, all you need, powerful, easy to use, stable Macintosh PC. Maybe it's a move to use more open source developers. x86 is well documented and used - liked by many open source developers. Open the hardware for the Mac and create a universe of Linux distributions designed for each PC/Notebook/Tablet/MiniPC model. Standard hardware makes development a breeze, doesn't it?)
Apple is great at making sexy machines. No doubt are they going to continue to do so. Just because they are moving to Intel chips doesn't mean you are going to see a beige Apple computer.
What you will see coming from Apple is smaller devices, maybe shaped in the way of your DVD player or your Palm Pilot, maybe portable video? Wireless devices for the home, work or travel? Doesn't matter - it will be about tightly integrated products. Closed products that will need a crowbar to open.
That won't matter, they are going after Windows. Apple needs to make all types of hardware alliances and convince their allies to open their hardware to developers. Mac OSX is already based on a number of open source projects and millions of lines of donated and tweaked code. They even sponsor an open source project along side of closed development. Just because you won't be able to open your (new Apple) computer's case doesn't mean it isn't "open".
If the hardware is easily programmed for then we will see two options for operating systems. Open and closed. Apple will provide you with a machine that has everything and can't be modified other than with software. Microsoft may try to move into that market, but they already have a great share of middleware applications for the Macintosh platform. That isn't going to Microsoft's stance. Microsoft will likely try to push the options of Windows beige box PCs. Plus, Microsoft is slow to release software that needs to built from the ground up.
What will happen is that Apple will say that you can run either Macintosh (OSXI?) or Linux/*BSD/Hurd.
Open source developers would love that the hardware doesn't change and that errors on anyone's machine will happen across the board. This will make Linux a real force to reckon with.
Linux on an Apple tablet? Microsoft's worst nightmare.