WSJ.com - Apple Explores Use Of Chips From Intel For Macintosh Line: "Apple Computer Inc. has always blazed its own trail, a tack that has helped turn the company into a stock-market darling lately. But a pivotal step toward the mainstream could be in the offing.
The computer maker has been in talks that could lead to a decision soon to use Intel Corp. chips in its Macintosh computer line, industry executives say, a prospect that may shake up the world of computers and software.
The idea that Apple Computer might use Intel-based products, which provide processing power for personal computers that use Microsoft Corp. software, has long been the subject of industry speculation and off-and-on negotiations between Apple and Intel. Two industry executives with knowledge of recent discussions between the companies said Apple will agree to use Intel chips.
The idea of creating a version of the Macintosh operating system for Intel chips -- a vital step in introducing Intel-based hardware -- goes back more than a decade. Engineers from software maker Novell Inc. and Apple collaborated on a secret effort, code-named Project Star Trek, that was designed to create a product that Apple could sell to rival PC makers. They completed a prototype in 1992, but Apple chose not to release it for fear of hurting its hardware business.
Apple has subsequently created, but not released, versions of its operating systems that work on Intel chips, former Apple engineers say. That work has been aided by the fact that Mac OS X descended from software that Apple purchased from Next Computer Inc., Mr. Jobs's former company, which had already created a version for Intel-based computers."