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Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh 236

dcblogs (1096431) writes "Apple and IBM, which just announced partnership to bring iOS and cloud services to enterprises, have helped each other before. IBM played a key role in turning the Macintosh into a successful hardware platform at a point when it — and the company itself — were struggling. Nearly 25 years ago, IBM was a part of an alliance that gave Apple access to PowerPC chips for Macintosh systems that were competitive, if not better performing in some benchmarks, than the processors Intel was producing at the time for Windows PCs. In 1991, Apple was looking for a RISC-based processor to replace the Motorola 68K it had been using in its Macintosh line. "The PCs of the era were definitely outperforming the Macintoshes that were based on the 68K," he said. "Apple was definitely behind the power, performance curve," said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64. The PowerPC processor that emerged from that earlier pairing changed that. PowerPC processors were used in Macintoshes for more than a decade, until 2006, when Apple switched to Intel chips.
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Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

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  • Intel (Score:1, Insightful)

    by countach (534280) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @08:15AM (#47473681)

    Errr, yeah, but they could have just used Intel chips like everyone else. Ultimately it would have given better performance, saved themselves a lot of pain in switch over, and put themselves ahead of the curve selling to people who wanted to dual boot. So did IBM save them or cripple them?

  • by Crashmarik (635988) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @08:45AM (#47473835)

    A much more elegant architecture than x86. Still have to give Intel credit their manufacturing prowess gave them the edge.

  • Re:Pairing? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Arker (91948) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @10:03AM (#47474441) Homepage
    "Too bad the PowerPC machines *couldn't run the damn games* or the requisite MS Office suites for students and business people to use them."

    Too bad people insist on relying on brittle opaque binaries instead of real software. Real software can be ported and recompiled, allowing its users to migrate freely between architectures - from MIPS to Alpha to PPC to x86, for example - quite freely.

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller