AMD CEO Hector Ruiz Digs Apple, Kinda

Arik Hesseldahl

Two days ago I had a long conversation with Hector Ruiz, head of chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices and of course the subject of the Apple-Intel relationship came up. I asked him about the potential for Apple ever becoming an AMD customer, and initially be begged off saying he thinks AMD is doing “okay without Apple as a customer.” That maybe smacked just a bit of sour grapes at not having the chance initially to try and win Apple’s business, or maybe not. However it's clear Ruiz appreciates and admires Apple. Later in the interview he called Apple’s aggressive push into consumer-friendly computing “frightening to so many people.” The commodity computers of the Windows world, he seems to suggest, have been boring and unremarkable, while Apple has been pushing the boundaries. Now PC companies like Dell, Hewlett-Packard and others are forcing themselves to differentiate themselves in the market, in part, Ruiz says, “because Apple is putting pressure on them.” You can read more of our conversation here: “A Chipmaker’s Confidence”.

Another notable line from the interview: Ruiz said he's sure someone somewhere has probably hacked a machine with an AMD chip to run OS X. I don't know if that has happened yet -- if it has please let me know about it in the user comments -- but the folks at Ars Technica compared a new MacBook Pro to a borrowed Dell Inspiron hacked to run OS X, just to see how OS X might perform on non-Apple hardware. The results are here and here, and should be cause for much discussion among Mac users.

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