Nevertheless, these observers report that Apple has been serious enough about its ace in the hole to seed a few lucky civilians with prototype boxes – delivered heavily swaddled in layers of cloak-and-dagger security, natch. Specifically, recent testers report taking delivery of Athlon-powered boxes that Apple had assiduously welded shut to prevent prying eyes from ogling whatever other gremlins might be lurking inside these nondescript beige chassis.Apparently, Apple is shipping Athlon-based tests systems with versions of OS X, Final Cut Pro, and other OS X applications. As you might expect, the article reports that Final Cut Pro is much faster with an Athlon than on a Mac.
The idea of OS X on x86 hardware is an interesting one, and it certainly doesn't seem too farfetched that Apple would have a skunk project keeping OS X and various applications compatible with something like the Athlon to hedge against disaster with Motorola and IBM. That disaster seems unlikely, especially with IBM, but Apple has more than a couple of quarters to get through before the new Power4 pops up. What will they do to keep the Mac aficionados happy until then?