Apple's NZ distributor happy with Intel decision

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Mac

Apple's decision to switch from IBM to Intel chips isn't fazing Renaissance, Apple's New Zealand distributor.

"It's very exciting news, but it's very early days yet," says Renaissance's Apple division head, Steve Ford.

"We're waiting on a lot more information regarding the timescale, implications and what software will and won't run, but it's just a different kind of chip — the Mac OS and everything that drives it will remain the same," Ford says.

"We don't anticipate any issues for customers buying Apple products."

The move "is big news in that Apple has been using IBM and, before that, Motorola, for many years, but looking at the information we have regarding the roadmap, it wasn't going where Apple wanted", he says.

He says he doesn't anticipate any disruption to Apple users in New Zealand as a result of the chip switch.

Apple announced at last week's recent World Wide Developer Conference that it is abandoning the IBM PowerPC chip in favour of Intel's offering and that the first Intel-driven Macs will ship next year.

The change will be complete by 2007 and Apple has launched a Developer Transition Kit to help developers to write versions of their products that can run on both IBM PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

The move has gone down well with New Zealand-based Apple software developer SubRosaSoft. "It's an exciting transition for us because our software is ready, our people are ready and I think the market is ready," says chief executive Marko Kostyrko.

He says SubRosaSoft "has been carefully focused on making our code platform-independent since the transition between Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X".

by David Watson