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  • Stop panicking about Apple's rumored switch from Intel to its own chips in the Mac

    Typical consumers should not and will not care nor understand what you are even writing about here. They will just buy a Mac and use it.

    People who are concerned have vested interests in things continuing the same way.

    Things are not that simple if you are a software engineer. Transition from PPC to Intel wasn't as smooth as some like to believe. PPC was big endian and Intel is little endian.  If you had C/C++ or ObjC code that did low level bit twiddling and assumed byte order, you could not just recompile the code for new CPU arch. You had to re-write the some code in architecture portable way. People use and compile code from decades ago (I know I do), and having to re-comple everything again to get my tooling right is non-trivial task (that is if I can even find source repos for some of the things I use).

    There is also issue of virtualization. These days pretty much all software deployed to production is virtualized, even things like Node.js (JavaScript source code), and if you cannot install say Docker on your machine and test software as it will run in production (production is usually Linux on x86_64), then Mac becomes unviable software development option. 

    Considering that today majority of code committed on is from Macs, this would impact quite a few people.

    Another issue is performance. High end Apple chips (which are by the way using 5 W TDP) are getting close to low power Intel CPUs, but currently there are no Apple CPUs that can compete with desktop Core i7 or i9 or Xeons. Not that Apple could not make one, but as it is now you will not get much faster CPU to emulate a slower one. It will be slower CPU emulating a faster one. Intel code on arm64 will run much slower, leading to poorer performance and use experience during transition.