Originally posted by Matsu
I don't think it's that big. Apple almost certainly will buy/sell more desktop PPC than IBM. The seeds of discontent are already planted even if no one wants to see it.
... ah, but this state of affairs was before the 'kelp' of the computer age (or Grapefruit, whichever geologically very new lifeform you prefer) came onto the stage: THE BLADE.
Blades seem to be taking over many a niche, more than a fad, less than a breakthru (well, a little), but definitely more than just another form factor ... where-ever they got the idea from (perhaps dial-up modem racks of the mid 90's?) it seems to fit in perfecty with many things, especially as a bridge point between both IBM's and Apple's plans ...
In short, blades aren't going to go away, they're definitely back office (IBM country) and the competition keeps making them since everybody seems to want them; thus, it behooves (I love that word) ... yes, it behooves IBM to keep making chips to handle that niche ... ok, mebbe 'behooves' is a little strong, but let's just say that IBM has an advantage with the 970 in this ever expanding niche with a chip that is very powerful, low power consumption and runs (relatively) cool ...
The next battle for the back office shall be fought with blades, and IBM plans to make their own from the ground up (with a litte Xeon thrown in for ass covering) ...
And into this fray comes Apple, who needs a chip that pretty much perfectly matches the blade spec ... admittedly, asking an embedded chip company (moto) to cough up energy to make a desktop is a bit of a leap, but asking a behemoth (laviathan, hey, it's your call) to schwinge the design of a BLADE chip, somethng that sits nicely between a heat-honkin' x86 desktop and a coy embedded thing, a tad more in the desktop direction ain't asking much ... which is why Apple shouldn't worry too much about IBM orphaning the 9X0 series, especially considering the POWER5 derivative coming down the pipe.
Anything's possible - David Hume and all that - but we're put on this earth to choose between realistic options, so while it's still somewhat possible that IBM might roll their eyes in a mighty WTF? in a year or so and orphan the 970, considering the blade scenario (and the upcoming POWER5 derivative at 4x the speed of the 970 - apparently) this seems rather unlikely: but most importantly ... you don't get to go on the same ride twice, and the ride that brought us a 200Mhz 604e workstation just doesn't seem to be around anymore.
Summing up: mitigated realism says we shouldn't be too concerned about getting run over by it.
(that's enough sentiments for today)