On Apple’s Move to Intel

Christina Warren wrote a great piece for Mashable about the transition Apple made to Intel processors. A platform shift that took place ten years ago and something that no other computer company has been able to successfully perform in history.

I especially enjoyed this bit, which brought back memories of my decision to switch to the Mac in 2006, the very same year Apple moved to Intel.

Thanks to the iPod, Mac usage was on the rise. But by moving to Intel and gaining support for Windows via Boot Camp or a virtualization program, millions of people who wanted a Mac — but couldn’t commit to giving up Windows — could finally have both.

Nowhere was this more evident than with the MacBook: the 13.3-inch Intel notebook Apple first released in May 2006.

The MacBook wasn’t the first Intel-based Mac (an Intel iMac as well as 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros were released in early 2006), but it was the most important.

The first Mac I ever owned was that 13.3-inch MacBook with a 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo processor. Apple’s switch to Intel was the reason why I stopped using Windows and moved to macOS.

I remember a neighborhood friend suggesting that I purchase an iBook a couple of years prior and I laughed at the idea. I was a major PC enthusiast that liked building my own machines, overclocking, and tweaking the system to get the best performance possible. How was I going to do that with a Mac? It wasn’t going to happen.

All that changed, though, when Apple announced the switch to Intel and, of course, Boot Camp. I was months away from graduating high school and was in search of a laptop that I could bring with me to classes when I started attending college that fall.

And Apple was offering me a crutch to lean on — if I didn’t like macOS, I could always install Windows and run that instead. I was still clinging to my home-built desktop PC, but a laptop was an entirely different story. It’s not like I was going to build my own laptop.

After mulling over the decision for a few months, I decided to buy the lowest-end Apple notebook and upgrade the machine’s RAM and hard drive. The aftermarket components were much cheaper than buying upgrades from Apple and it gave me an opportunity to get my hands dirty and take the machine apart.

I never did install Windows on that MacBook. Or any of the other five Macs I’ve owned throughout the years. Hell, I’m not sure I’ve ever even launched the Boot Camp utility. The last Windows box I ever owned was that same home-built PC that I had when I purchased my MacBook. And I don’t expect that’ll ever change.