Intel using Apple as a Whip for PC Manufacturers?

I had two interesting conversations this past week. One was with some Intel mid-range folks, who were pushing really hard for my organization to embrace the new Intel Macs. We’re currently freezing all Apple purchases, because some of our key software doesn’t work on the new platforms (and, no, it’s not a ‘Mac Classic mode’ issue).

They were keen to tell me all about the cool features of their dual-core processor, and made appropriately sexy-sounding noises about upcoming ‘multi-core’ boards. This compared to Steve Jobs’ folks, who don’t know themselves when their sales lives are about to change.

They were especially interested in talking with me about their onboard desktop management and enterprise management tools, which, for me, is a major stumbling block in deploying yet more unmanageable machines. (Okay, okay, they _are_ manageable, they just don’t play with any of the same sets of tools we use for our PC-based systems.)

Today I met the Apple SE, a breath of fresh air when dealing with vendors. Call’s ’em as he sees ’em. I asked him whether Apple was going to do anything with all the neat, new tools their platform now affords. Being a Jobbite, of course, he had no roadmap. But, he pointed out, it would sure be funny to see how this played out with the PC makers. After all, he said, Intel didn’t dedicate over a thousand folks to get Apple, a tiny market player, retooled for their chipset; there had to be more to it.

Imagine the scramble if Intel popped Microsoft out of the desktop management business, just like popping a CPU out of a board. What’s better, hardware-level management regardless of operating system, or hoping that booting and loading all those gajillions of layers of drivers succeeds before updating a computer?

I think Microsoft has a lot of changes in store. Not counting, of course, getting Vista out the door and into the market. I’m still not seeing the value of bloated operating systems.