Thus it turned out, the rumours had it reported correctly. Given the media used to spread those rumours, it should probably not be too much of a surprise, either. And a strong suspicion remains that those rumours were intentionally planted. Although is still surprises me, in a way, using that old X86 technology. The details and the specs aren’t know, however. After all, the client company is still a hardware developer, and does have quite a bit of an IP in that particular field. We’ll see. Much of the talk is now, how will that company survive the transition, and who is going to buy their current hardware products. I know we will here at the studio. One sleek laptop is getting pretty long in tooth, and need a replacement sooner than later. There is no way we’ll wait a year or more, predicted by the transition plans.
Besides, that hardware won’t be outdated the moment the new processing units make it into the market. Emulation layers will be build in, and software developers on various fronts will continue to improve their stuff. If they don’t, too bad, they’ll lose a customer. Some big names in the software business haven’t developped really exciting products, the past two years. And now that they’ll get in bed together, I’m not sure more can be expected. The less noted news of the iCEO’s keynote speech was the announcement of the next version of the OS that gives life to that hardware. Codenamed “Leopard”, it is scheduled to be released end of 2006. A frontal attack?
If all turns out to take a turn for the worst when the transition period is over (imagine those ugly ugly stickers on the hardware), contingency plans will be developed, blowtorches purchased to get rid of those stickers, no matter what. If the software side of things become the problem, which I doubt, there are alternatives — and no, I’m definitively not talking about purchasing products from a convicted monopolist.
Meanwhile, more news is coming on that front. The web browser and the rendering engine that power it goes back to it’s roots in the open-source world. Dave Hyatt just announced the opening of a Web Kit website, where all the goodies are available, a publicly accessible bugzilla bug report system, and more:
the Objective-C API that wraps WebCore, is also being open sourced. This comes as a nice surprise, given all the talk the last few months about lack of commitment to the community.
I wonder what other little tidbits will slowly come out of that conference week.
[ update ]
John Siracusa is sad, and pens the eulogy. This little tidbit to brighten the day, and put things in perspective:
Q: Will x86 Macs come with a two-buttons mouse?
A: Hey, we’re just taking about moving an entire platform to a new CPU architecture (again). Let’s not get crazy!