I was just thinking about Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen’s comments on c|net.com where he was quoted, “Steve (Jobs) likes to trivialize the process and make it seem easy, but moving the apps over is not that easy…”. Although Chizen remarked that “in the long run it’s going to be great,” his overall tone was not exactly optimistic.
A week earlier, I had read a compelling argument by Rich Siegel, CEO and founder of Bare Bones Software. In his piece, Siegel said, “…it’s much easier to adapt your code for a new CPU architecture because the OS really protects you from all that. I think if they had tried to switch from PPC to Intel back in the [Mac OS] 8 or 9 days, it would have been a much bigger challenge for a lot of people.”
When I was being interviewed by Gene Steinberg on The Tech Night Owl, he asked me, “which is it — easy or not?”
This is the beginning of what will be a long discussion. But the short answer is: “That depends on your code now.” Developers who were able to merge on to Apple’s Cocoa/Xcode roadmap will probably make the transition with a minimum of hair loss. So, much of the recent software for Mac OS X should be ready for the first MacTel machines. Other legacy apps, such as Photoshop, face a much steeper hill. And Chizen’s points should be viewed in the light that Photoshop was a Mac app long before Xcode was a twinkle in Apple’s eye.
It’s something to keep in mind as you read the back and forth discussions about the transition to the Intel processor.