I caught up with chip expert Nathan Brookwood of Insight64 after the Jobs keynote to get take on Apple's shift to Intel and whether users will experience any serious bumps in the road, besides having to spend money on new software.
"Apple seems to be doing all of the right things to minimize the pain that customers will experience moving from PowerPC to the Intel Mac platform. The new notion of universal software distribution--with both PowerPC and x86 binaries in the box--allows user to install either version depending on what Macs they have. Apple has been able to do it for their own applications, and it sounds like ISV partners are moving in the same direction."
"For applications that have been ported, Jobs said computational performance should be two to three times faster than the PowerPC Macs, which is a credible. For applications that run in the Rosetta emulator or translator, you will lose performance, but I doubt that you would lose so much performance that the net of a faster platform and slower software wouldn't result in a net performance gain."
"Apple has also come up with commercial terms, called cross-grade, a $49 upgrade for its software if you turn in the original CD of the software. We'll have to see what Adobe and Microsoft do in this area. With Microsoft you wouldn't really need new software, but for Photoshop you would need to upgrade."