One of the things Steve Jobs really trumpeted when he announced the Macbook Air at MacWorld was the customized Intel Core 2 Duo processor used in the computer. Because of the small size of the Macbook Air, Apple worked with Intel to develop a very small version of the Core 2 Duo. The chip is 60% smaller than the normal die size and runs at either 1.6 GHz or 1.8 GHz.

This is very innovative, and now PCs will be able to benefit as well. This reduced-size chip is going to be used in sub-compact Windows and Linux based laptop computers, according to a story on PC Advisor.

image Of course, I wouldn’t expect any Windows-based machines to come out anytime soon that really compete with MacBook Air. While many argue that Air is more of a toy than a real laptop, it remains that Air is very innovative. The design of the machine is unique and there is more to it than simply the reduced-size Core 2 Duo. Besides, the Air runs on OS X and that is going to whip the hell out of any sub-compact trying to run on Vista.

This is a natural progression of technology, and I applaud Apple for being on the cutting edge. Apple, while only used by a minority of the computer world, is fairly consistent about being in front of the pack. The Iphone, for example, represents a tidal shift in the mobile phone market. We will soon be seeing similar phones in other non-Apple packages, perhaps powered by the Google-backed Android platform. The MacBook Air is, too, on the front lines of small form-factor notebooks. And Apple’s lead in working with Intel to develop this reduced processor is going to help the market for machines powered by other operating systems.

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This is all good for you and me.