“Windows users beset by computer viruses and spyware are hungry for alternatives. And, with impeccable timing, Apple Computer has released its first truly affordable Macintosh machine in a major bid to woo the PC-using masses. The Mac mini, like other Apple products such as its iPod music players, is a design triumph. A full-featured Mac that is only about the size of a cigar box, it is a compelling competitor to hulking entry-level Windows machines… the Mac mini is a convincing shot across Bill Gates’ bow,” Julio Ojeda-Zapata writes for The St. Paul Pioneer Press.

“And what really counts resides on the Mac mini’s hard drive. This includes the elegant, stable and secure Mac OS X operating system, along with the just-upgraded iLife ’05. That suite is made up of the iTunes music-jukebox program along with GarageBand for making your own music, iPhoto for organizing and fine-tuning digital pictures, iMovie for editing digital-camcorder footage and iDVD for burning the home-movie masterpieces onto blank DVDs,” Ojeda-Zapata writes. “Too bad Apple didn’t throw in its new iWork ’05 suite. It includes an upgraded version of its Keynote presentation program, along with the all-new Pages word processor. The new Pages isn’t as feature-rich as Microsoft Word but makes up for it with snappy performance, typographical elegance and powerful page-design controls (with gobs of templates.)”

Ojeda-Zapata writes, “Even so, Apple’s top-flight software makes the Mac mini enticing even to those who have no intention of ditching their Windows machines (at least for now). I know of several people who are mulling whether to move multimedia tasks to minis and iLife while keeping their PCs for more mundane e-mail, Web surfing, word processing and the like.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Weird. The first thing we’d do, if we were afflicted with a Windows box, would be to take it offline to avoid the rampant Windows adware, spyware, viruses, and worms. We’d use the Mac mini to surf the Web and do email. We have no idea what we’d need to keep the Windows PC around for besides laughs, except that one good use would be to use it run a Windows-only application like, for a random example, AutoCAD, via Microsoft’s free Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac. This would allow us to connect from our Mac to the Windows box and work with programs and files on the Windows computer without leaving the Mac; no KVM switch needed. Think of Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac + your PC and connected to your Mac as a Virtual PC that’s actually usable; also better known as an “Actual PC.” You can even hide the physical Windows box somewhere out of sight, so its physical ugliness and fan noise won’t ruin your workspace’s Feng Shui. That way your sensibilities are only assaulted with the Windows UI and only when you’re forced to use it. So, if you’re stuck with a Windows-only application, consider the set up we’ve described above, it may serve your needs very well – and don’t forget to email those Windows-only developers and ask them when the Mac OS X version of their application will be released.