In 1998, while I was still working for TIME magazine, Andy Grove stopped by to chat with the editors about the wrenching changes the Internet was going to force on the computer industry. Future PCs, he said, wouldn’t be general purpose computers to which networking has been added as an afterthought, but networking machines that also do computing. “The iMac embodies a lot of the things I’m talking about,” Grove said. “Sometimes what Apple does has an electrifying effect on the rest of us.”
I went back to my desk and banged out a one-graph story for Time.com. “Intel chairman Andy Grove,” I wrote, “has seen the future of computing and it is … a Macintosh.”
The next day I got a call from Intel PR. Grove wasn’t particularly happy about the piece, but he was positively livid about the headline that ran above it — ANDY GROVE LOVES HIS MAC — because it implied that the chairman of Intel (INTC) actually owned an Apple (AAPL) computer. We printed a version of the story in the magazine the next week with a different headline, and Intel was mollified — although the next time I saw Grove he smiled and said if I ever did that again he would sue.
I’m reminded of all this by a Q&A I read yesterday with the current CEO of Intel, Paul Otellini. He’s not ashamed to admit that he uses Apple products. In fact, he says,
Only nine years have passed, but how times have changed.