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Apple's influence already felt at Intel

Apple Computer's switch to Intel chips has obviously had a huge impact on the Mac community. But Apple's way of looking at the world is making Intel "think different" about its own business.

"That's really what's interesting about Apple, is they look at our technology in a very Apple way," said Deborah Conrad, vice president and director of Team Apple at Intel, speaking to a group of CNET editors and reporters Thursday at Intel's Santa Clara campus. Conrad's team is helping Apple make the transition to Intel's chips, and meets often with their counterparts just down the road in Cupertino.

As for an Intel chip inside an iPod, "I don't think you're going to see anything soon," Conrad said. But when it comes to future gadgets other than the iPod, "that's where we get very, very excited.

Conrad also weighed in on the recent contest to install Windows XP on the new Intel-based MacBook Pro. "I thought it was pretty funny," she said. "I actually thought it took a lot longer than people expected."

Intel's sales teams have also been impressed with Apple's way of looking at the world. "It's nice to have a customer that pushes us on a technology front," said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's sales and marketing team.