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Computerized Investing > May/June 2006

Editor's Outlook

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by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

For years the Mac OS has been widely recognized as providing a more stable and “safer” platform than the Windows operating system. Mac systems are less prone to system “crashes” and are the target of far fewer computer viruses. Despite this, Apple has lagged far behind Windows-based systems in market share. As a result, Mac users have had to cope with a woefully small number of software titles relative to the number available for Windows, a problem that is magnified in the realm of investment programs.

Last June, Apple made an announcement that may have signaled a seismic shift in the PC industry. The company announced that it would start using Intel-made processors in its Mac computers, thereby ending its use of PowerPC chips provided first by Motorola and then by IBM. In January, Apple started rolling out its first “Mactel” systems running on Intel processors, several months earlier than expected. At this point, Apple has introduced several Intel-based product lines, including the MacBook Pro, Apple’s high-end laptop; the Mac mini, Apple’s entry-level desktop; and the iMac, Apple’s “all-in-one” mid-level desktop. The company hopes to have Intel chips in all of its systems by year end.

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