For applications which cannot be recompiled this way, Apple will leverage "Rosetta" which will translate PPC binaries on the fly to function on x86 machines.
I am truly shocked.
Both Adobe and Microsoft have committed to creating universal x86 and PPC Mac OS X binaries for their apps. Steve Jobs also demonstrated Adobe Photoshop CS2 running under Rosetta with no modification whatsoever. And Wolfram Research states it took only 2 hours of work, including modifying just 20 lines of code, to port Mathematica 5 to Mac OS X x86.
Here is Apple's press release:
Apple to Use Intel Microprocessors Beginning in 2006What's this world coming to? Microsoft is on PowerPC with the Xbox 360, and Apple is on x86 with Macs. Whatever the case, I look forward to a new PowerBook Pentium M, in 2006.
WWDC 2005, SAN FRANCISCO—June 6, 2005—At its Worldwide Developer Conference today, Apple® announced plans to deliver models of its Macintosh® computers using Intel® microprocessors by this time next year, and to transition all of its Macs to using Intel microprocessors by the end of 2007. Apple previewed a version of its critically acclaimed operating system, Mac OS® X Tiger, running on an Intel-based Mac® to the over 3,800 developers attending CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote address. Apple also announced the availability of a Developer Transition Kit, consisting of an Intel-based Mac development system along with preview versions of Apple’s software, which will allow developers to prepare versions of their applications which will run on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.
“Our goal is to provide our customers with the best personal computers in the world, and looking ahead Intel has the strongest processor roadmap by far,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “It’s been ten years since our transition to the PowerPC, and we think Intel’s technology will help us create the best personal computers for the next ten years.”
“We are thrilled to have the world’s most innovative personal computer company as a customer,” said Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel. “Apple helped found the PC industry and throughout the years has been known for fresh ideas and new approaches. We look forward to providing advanced chip technologies, and to collaborating on new initiatives, to help Apple continue to deliver innovative products for years to come.”
“We plan to create future versions of Microsoft Office for the Mac that support both PowerPC and Intel processors,” said Roz Ho, general manager of Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit. “We have a strong relationship with Apple and will work closely with them to continue our long tradition of making great applications for a great platform.”
“We think this is a really smart move on Apple’s part and plan to create future versions of our Creative Suite for Macintosh that support both PowerPC and Intel processors,” said Bruce Chizen, CEO of Adobe.
The Developer Transition Kit is available starting today for $999 to all Apple Developer Connection Select and Premier members. Further information for Apple Developer Connection members is available at developer.apple.com. Intel plans to provide industry leading development tools support for Apple later this year, including the Intel C/C++ Compiler for Apple, Intel Fortran Compiler for Apple, Intel Math Kernel Libraries for Apple and Intel Integrated Performance Primitives for Apple.