在一起我们可以统治银河系

All the Great Men in the history of business, they founded their own companies, and shaped them in their image亨利•福特Ray KrocBill Gates华特-迪士尼。

罗伯特X.Cringely has, for several years, been hung up on the idea that Steve Jobs wants to be the CEO of DisneyCringely is far from the only pundit to float this idea, and on the surface it makes a wee bit of sense: Disney has not been doing very well for at least a decade, and their most consistently successful endeavors in that time have been the films they’ve released from Pixar.

But Jobs doesn’t want to take over Disney — he wants to turn Apple into a Disney-esque companyNot in terms of the products it produces, of course, but in terms of cultural impact, brand power, and worldwide financial successJobs thinks of himself as a peer to Walt Disney, a visionary who creates something of his ownNothing at all like, say, Michael Eisner — an executive who simply comes in and runs a company founded decades earlier.

迪士尼总是成为沃尔特迪斯尼的公司。

And Apple — his decade-long exile notwithstanding — is always going to be Steve Jobs’s company.

所以本周Cringely的专栏, wherein he speculates that Intel is going to buy Apple, overreaches by farIn any hypothetical scenario where Apple gets bought by a larger company, the first question you need to answer is “Where do you put Steve Jobs?” He is not a second-in-command sort of guy因此,克林格利就把他送走了:

这种情况适用于除了微软If Intel was able to own the Mac OS and make it available to all the OEMs, it could break the back of MicrosoftAnd if they tuned the OS to take advantage of unique features that only Intel had, they would put AMD back in the box, tooApple could return Intel to its traditional role of being where all the value was in the PC worldAnd Apple/Intel could easily extend this to the consumer electronics worldHow much would it cost Intel to buy Apple? Not muchAnd if they paid in stock it would cost nothing at all since investors would drive shares through the roof on a huge swell of user enthusiasm.

在我看来展开的故事Steve Jobs finally beats Bill GatesAnd with the sale of Apple to Intel, Steve accepts the position of CEO of the Pixar/Disney/Sony Media Company.

然而,这并不是说它不是一个好的读物The basic idea is sound and reasonable — Apple and Intel suddenly seem to be natural allies, pitted, albeit somewhat obliquely, against MicrosoftThe relationship between Microsoft and Intel具有been strained in recent years, and Microsoft’s decision to switch to PowerPC processors for the Xbox 360 can only be seen as making matters even worse.

Apple matters to Intel not because of its market share — Apple could double or triple its PC hardware market share with its Intel-based Macs and it would barely make a difference in Intel’s overall share of the CPU market.

What’s appealing about Apple to Intel is that Apple makes innovative productsThey push the limits, and are not afraid to introduce new technology firstThe commodity PC hardware business has been one of incremental change, with PC makers clinging to legacy buses and ports for as long as they can.

In short, Intel would like to see a bit less evolution and a bit more revolution in the way its chips are being usedApple is that type of company.

For years Intel has been making cool prototype “PCs of the future”, but no one ever turns their ideas into actual products, instead making new revisions of the same PC designs, only fasterThere is a herd mentality amongst PC makers, much like in any commodity businessThere is nothing herd-like whatsoever to Apple’s mentalityWith Apple, Intel has gained a partner that is unafraid to break new ground.

What’s appealing about Intel to Apple is that they solve both of Apple’s long-term CPU problems:

  1. PowerPC平台往往滞后性能Recall, most notoriously, when Motorola’s G4 production was maxed out at 500 MHz for over a year.

  2. Apple has occasionally had problems getting enough PowerPC chips to meet the demand for its productsThere have been times when Apple couldn’t make computers fast enough to meet demand because they couldn’t get enough CPUs.

Problem #2 is one of the major differences between Intel and AMD. AMD’s processors may be faster than Intel’s — that’s a race that will likely continue going back and forth — but Intel, inarguably, has greater production capabilities than any other semiconductor manufacturerIntel makes more CPUs than the rest of the industry combinedNo other CPU partner can make it less likely that Apple will ever again face a CPU shortage.

(插入“为什么不是AMD?”问题:I’ve seen numerous arguments that Apple has somehow made a terrible mistake by choosing Intel rather than AMD, mostly on the grounds that AMD processors currently have a slight edge over Intel’s, performance-wiseThat’s nonsenseIf you assume that Apple negotiated with AMD as well — and it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t have — Intel must have offered a better dealBetter prices, better roadmap, better power consumption — we don’t know what, because only Apple’s and Intel’s executives know the details of the deal, but it must have been better or more appealingAnd most importantly, a few years down the road, once the Mac OS X software transition to the x86 instruction set is complete, Apple can switch to (or add to their mix) AMD processors just as easily as they currently use PowerPC processors from both Freescale (née Motorola) and IBM.)

We don’t yet know exactly what Apple’s product plans are for their upcoming Intel-based systems, but it seems likely that Intel will be supplying more than just the processorsWhat I expect is that internally, Intel-based Macs will be largely designed and engineered by IntelInternally, they’ll be more similar than different to standard PCs考虑Phil Schiller的声明that it will likely be possible, albeit not sanctioned by Apple, to boot these Macs using Windows — this wouldn’t be feasible if Apple weren’t planning to use a similar internal architecture to standard PCs.

There is a certain contingent of Mac nerd for whom this is depressing. These are people who get off on the idea that Apple should blaze its own trails, and who hold out hope that Apple would eventually do something that left the rest of the PC industry in the dustThere were flashes of this potential with each new leap of the PowerPC — when the first wave of PowerMacs hit in the 90’s; when the first PowerPC PowerBooks arrived; when the G4 debuted; and most recently, with the debut of the PowerMac G5With these surges, Apple could occasionally leapfrog the rest of the PC industry.

问题是,他们从未停留在那里Steadily but surely, every time Apple was able to surge ahead performance-wise, Intel and AMD would catch up and then overtake the leadIt was an enticing thought that Apple might one day surge ahead and stay there, but it never amounted to more than that: a nice thought.

By switching to a mostly industry-standard Intel architecture, Apple obviously has no chance of ever surpassing the PC industry in performanceBut the other side of that argument is equally true: they’ll never again fall behind, either.

Many people, including Cringely, have asked what this news means regarding Apple’s previous touting of the PowerPC versus Intel CPUs. Cringely writes:

Apple loved to pull Phil Schiller onstage to do side-by-side speed tests showing how much faster in real life the G4s and G5s were than their Pentium equivalentsWas that so much BS? Did Apple not really mean it? And why was the question totally ignored in this week’s presentation?

从来就不是废话它是什么,是选择性的时机Apple didn’t perform on-stage benchmarks during every keynote — they did so only during the periods when their computers had surged ahead in the performance warThat’s not say they’ve now fallen dramatically behind — it’s just that those demos were only worth performing when they were dramatically ahead, and those opportunities were few and far between.

If, however, you were left with the impression that Power Macs had remained as far ahead of the latest-and-greatest from Dell as they were the last time Schiller did his Photoshop race on-stage, well, Apple didn’t mindIf you want to call that “bullshit”, go ahead, but it’s rather unrealistic to expect Apple to bring your attention to benchmarks that don’t make its products look good.

As for why it was ignored during the presentation, that’s quite obviousUntil they start shipping Intel-based Macs, Apple is walking a tightrope: building demand for the upcoming new machines, but while still selling as many existing PowerPC-based Macs as they can.

Second, Jobs’s point of emphasis in the keynote was the metric of power-for-performance, not raw performanceHe emphasized that Apple’s decision to switch was based on a desire to make better computers, not just faster ones.

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专注于他们最擅长的事情

Here’s another way to look at this deal: what Darwin is to Mac OS X, Intel will supply for Mac hardware.

What I mean by this is that by basing Mac OS X around the open-source Unix-derived Darwin core, Apple essentially gave up on the idea of creating their own OS software from scratchIs Unix ideal? NoIs Unix good enough? YesAnd it allowed Apple to move forward and put their effort into the parts of the OS that separate them from everyone else: Cocoa, Carbon, QuickTime, and their own applications.

With this Intel partnership, Apple is doing the same thing for their hardware单干,设计整个套件With a core architecture designed by Intel, Apple will be free to concentrate their own engineering on what they do best: the user experienceNot just how the case looks, but how it feelsIn the end, it’s the product that matters, not the underlying technologyMac OS X established that for their operating system, and this Intel deal will do the same for the hardware.

This doesn’t mean Mac hardware will simply be “a PC with a pretty case” any more than that Mac OS X is merely “Unix with a pretty UI”. It just means that both Apple and Intel get to concentrate on the things that they do best.

所以苹果和英特尔非常互补的合作伙伴Other than the software transition and sales hit Apple is going to take in the interim, it ought to work out well for both companies.

而且,如果它去了真的well, it’s easy to see how this could perhaps lead to a significant uptick in the market share of PCs running Mac OS XFor one thing, it’s easy to see how this partnership with Intel could open doors to the corporate enterprise market that have remained closed to AppleIs it likely that Apple will eventually start licensing Mac OS X to other PC makers? I say noBut I’d be a fool to say it isn’t at least a little more likely now than it was a week ago. And, maybe it’s now a lot more likely.

So Cringely is right, in that if you start thinking big thoughts, this could be the start of a very powerful alliance, in both direct and oblique confrontation with MicrosoftNot just in terms of the existing PC market, but in the escalating fusion of the PC and consumer electronics industriesOr as the subtitle to Cringely’s column states, “Apple’s Decision to Use Intel Processors Is Nothing Less Than an Attempt to Dethrone Microsoft真。”

也许。

If this week’s news proved anything, it’s that Apple is unafraid to act boldly但这并不意味着英特尔对它有意义苹果What advantage would be gained by merging rather than developing a symbiotic partnership? A buyout would add nothing of benefit, but would incur all sorts of other problemsFor one thing, it would obviously antagonize all of Intel’s existing customers for CPUsAnd as stated at the outset, it defies belief to think that Steve Jobs wants to cede control of Apple Computer.

Cringely, as he often does, started with a good idea but took it one click too far, turning the pundit dial to 11 when 10 would have done just fine, and remained within the realm of plausibility.

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