Wow, this is a bit of a shocker: Apple to Use Intel Microprocessors Beginning in 2006. This rumor has been floating around the web for a while now and thus far I’ve chosen to ignore it since I, mistakenly, thought that it was false. But Steve just confirmed it at his WWDC keynote. Personally, I’m not too happy about the switch, but if Leander Kahney is right then this could be a good thing for Apple. Now that I think of it, more folks with Mac OS X installed will be much better for all of us — though with Apple presenting a bigger target to the virus writers and haxors, they’ll need to continue to focus on security. Obviously, Apple doesn’t want to see their HW revenues dry-up, so I suspect that Mac OS X86 will only run on Apple HW (it’s just that the Apple HW will have an Intel CPU inside instead of a PowerPC one). Thanks to NextStep’s support for fat binaries (the executables for multiple platforms stored in a single bundle), Mac OS X applications will have a single instance which runs on both PPC and x86, making it easier on Apple’s current customers (not sure yet how troublesome this will be for developers — Steve says that XCode will take care of it). Overall, this could be a monumental mistake or an amazing (and risky) gamble for Apple. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Interestingly enough, Apple’s stock is only slightly down after the announcement; atleast the investors aren’t spooked by the switch.