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Comment on "Implications of Adobe's Intel-Only Soundbooth"
by Ben — Oct 30
This move makes a lot of sense to me, economically and strategically for Adobe. An earlier commenter noted that some "only 30%" of Mac users are on Intel. This is a HUGE percentage in such a short time span. Apple is increasing share aggresively, and doing it only with Intel machines now. Nack is not spinning the truth when he says that PPC is now a defunct, legacy platform, certainly for Apple.

Machine-level optimizations are hard, and most certainly do not come for free. Developing PPC -specific code from scratch buys Adobe no value in the (much) larger Windows market, but x86 code is a win all-round. Within 2 years, any Mac that matters will have an Intel chip inside it, and by next summer, most serious creative professionals will already have one. The worst case for a user is that if you have a real business critical need for an Intel-only app, it will just force your hardware upgrade cycle to happen a little sooner. This is not about abandoning the Mac platform; this is about Adobe resource tradeoffs. They're not abandoning Macs, they're abandoning *old* Macs, because it would be significantly more costly to support them. If Soundbooth were written entirely in generic C++, and they could get a PPC build out of it for free (or very cheaply), they surely would do so. As he says, the CS apps already have PPC stuff that just needs tweaking/updating-- the PPC wizards at Adobe are surely working on the CS apps, where the mileage is much better.

To Scott's point about making apps architecture independent, rather than moving to a new, specific architecture: this might be what we all learned in school about design elegance, but it's really only an academic argument here. Apple won't incur the cost of another complete architecture change for at least another decade, if ever again. In the long run, we're all dead (users, computers, products, and software companies). There's no use doing any more planning than is reasonably necessary for future events that are unforseeable and unknowable.
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