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Apple WWDC 2005 - The Intel Switch Revealed

Apple's Intel transition (codenamed "Project Marklar") was the process of changing the CPU of Macintosh computers from PowerPC processors to Intel x86 processors.[1][2]


The transition became public knowledge at the 2005 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC'05) in June 2005, when Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs made the announcement that the company would make a transition from the use of PowerPC microprocessors supplied by Freescale (formerly Motorola) and IBM in its Macintosh computers, to processors designed and manufactured by Intel, chief supplier for most of Apple's competitors.[3]


In June 2000, senior engineer JK Scheinberg requested approval to begin an independent project to port the Mac OS X kernel to allow it run on Intel processors. In December 2001, he demonstrated Mac OS X booting successfully on PCs to Bertrand Serlet, the senior VP of software engineering. By that evening, a top-of-the-line Sony Vaio laptop was picked up from the local Fry's Electronics and Scheinberg was able to get it to run Mac OS X. The next morning, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the Vaio with him on a flight to meet with Kunitake Andō, the president of Sony.[1] Most of Sony's executives were on vacation in Hawaii to play golf and they found Jobs himself waiting at the end of the course with the Vaio running Mac OS X. However, Sony's development team had already finished optimizing the Vaio to run Windows and declined Apple's offer to have Mac OS X to run on their hardware.[4]

Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, stated that Jobs had also approached him about the possibility of having Mac OS X run on his company's PCs. However, Dell said that he declined due to the royalty cost and being unable to secure a guarantee that his company would always have access to Apple's operating system in the future.[5]

In January 2002, two more engineers were assigned to Project Marklar, which was kept so secret that only six people at Apple were aware of its existence at the time. By August 2002, about a dozen more employees were assigned to it.[1]


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