macintosh - Computer Definition
A family of personal computers from Apple and the first to popularize the graphical user interface (GUI). The combination of Mac hardware and software has provided an ease of use that Mac users have very much enjoyed over the years. Since the mid-1980s, it has been essentially a Mac vs. PC world for personal computers. However, starting in 2011, Google's Chrome OS has steadily gained market share, especially in the education market (see Chromebook). See Windows vs. Mac. Because Macintoshes were commonly called "Macs," Apple later changed the brand officially to "Mac." For an overview of the line, see Macintosh models. To learn about the Mac's origins, see Macintosh history. Hardware Evolution The first Macs were powered by Motorola's 32-bit 68K family of CPUs. In 1994, Apple introduced the Power Macs, which used the higher-performance PowerPC chip designed by Apple, Motorola and IBM. Power Macs ran native PowerPC applications and emulated traditional Mac 68K applications. Over the years, PowerPC chips provided substantial increases in performance. In 2006, Apple began to switch the Mac line to Intel's x86 CPUs with the iMac desktop and MacBook Pro laptop the first to use them (see Mactel). As a result, Macs can run Windows natively or simultaneously (see Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion). Prior to the Intel switch, Windows and DOS applications could run in a Mac using an emulator (see Virtual PC for Mac). See Macintosh clone, Mac OS X, G3, G4, G5, HFS and Apple.