Chicago Tribune: Apple’s new Intel-based Mac mini might make you switch from Windows

“Now that Apple’s newest Mac Mini sports a super fast Intel chip, Windows users may be thinking again about switching. The chip, coupled with the sleek Mac OSX Tiger operating system, will win you over if all you do is surf the Web, check your e-mail, download music and write Microsoft Word reports,” Eric Gwinn writes for The Chicago Tribune. “The Mac is great for making your own music, movies and visual art, but steer clear if you play games and do a lot of business-y stuff with Windows computers. Most computer programs are aimed at the huge PC market, with versions for the Mac coming as cobbled-together afterthoughts, if at all.”

“For most people, the well-behaved, low-maintenance Mac Mini will run circles around a Windows-based system. Setting up a home Wi-Fi network is a breeze with the included Airport Extreme card; getting pictures off your camera and camcorder is a cakewalk; and a ton of software on the Mac makes life easier. Safari ensures speedy Web surfing; “Office for Mac” is like Microsoft Office for the PC. The Mini includes a program that helps you copy Windows files to the Mac… Switching from a Windows computer to a Mac Mini is a cinch, and Apple hopes its $799 dual-core computer gives PC users more reasons than ever to boot the PC.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For the vast majority of personal computer users, the processor brand/type/architecture that Apple chooses to use in their Macs is absolutely meaningless. However, it seems that some, at least, think it means something to them and that the Mac is “better” now that Apple now has “Intel Inside.” Such is the power of marketing; Intel’s in this case. Apple uses Intel in Macs! Now we can seriously think about switching! Hey, whatever floats their boat. If, because of familiarity, they like the name of the new hamster running on he wheel inside todays Apple iMac, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro models and it makes them feel more inclined to buy a Mac, by all means, that’s a Good Thing™, even if it’s an unimportant thing for them. The important thing is the software and how it treats the user. Apple offered the same excellent experience for the end-user with PowerPC chips as they do with Intel chips ( and still do in half of their models using PowerPC processors). Nothing has changed and yet everything has changed. Interesting.

As for business software for Macs, you certainly shouldn’t take Gwinn’s word for Macs and “business-y stuff.” Windows users pay good money to be Mac users’ beta testers. You just might be very surprised at the quality and amount of business (and other) software for Macs. Find out more about what Apple Macintosh can do to help your business save money and increase productivity:
The Apple Store for Business

Mac OS X Business Software
Accounting & Finance
Accounting & Bookkeeping
Payroll & Customizable Finance
General Productivity
Calendar & Contact Management
Cross-Platform Compatibility
Communication Tools
Office Productivity Tools
Office Suites & Word Processing
Project Management
Spreadsheets & Databases
Marketing & Sales
Design, Layout & Publishing
CRM & Direct Mail
Data & Network Management
Remote Access
Server Management
Storage & Backup
Online Business
Online Collaboration
Content Creation & Selling
Web Development

At an Apple Retail Store near you, special presentations and demos for business professionals are held every Wednesday. More info about Business Day here.

Apple’s brand new iPod Hi-Fi speaker system. Home stereo. Reinvented. Available now for $349 with free shipping.
Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
MacBook Pro. The first Mac notebook built upon Intel Core Duo with iLife ’06, Front Row and built-in iSight. Starting at $1999. Free shipping.
iMac. Twice as amazing — Intel Core Duo, iLife ’06, Front Row media experience, Apple Remote, built-in iSight. Starting at $1299. Free shipping.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.

Related articles:
Small enterprise, home office should migrate completely to Mac to save money, increase security – March 06, 2006
Apple takes No. 1 spot in western Europe education; next step: overcome corporate IT ‘mistrust’ – March 05, 2006
Windows to Mac switchers: recommendations and Total Cost of Ownership analysis – September 29, 2005
Switching to Mac after 15 years of Windows, security expert says he’s ‘too stupid to use Macs’ – September 06, 2005
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs – June 15, 2005
Security expert sums up first month with Mac: ‘much safer, more secure, more productive than Wintel’ – June 02, 2005
Windows PC security company’s switch to Apple Mac causes overwhelming reaction – May 28, 2005
Mad as hell Windows PC security company finally just gives up, switches to Apple Mac OS X – May 25, 2005


  1. Most computer programs are aimed at the huge PC market, with versions for the Mac coming as cobbled-together afterthoughts, if at all.

    WTF? He neglects to mention that most of the great mass of PC software is complete crap to begin with. My experience is that the titles that ARE ported to Mac are generally better than their PC counterparts.

    And while we’re talking about cobbled-together afterthoughts…a little bit of code called “Windows” comes to mind.

  2. “Most computer programs are aimed at the huge PC market, with versions for the Mac coming as cobbled-together afterthoughts, if at all.”

    as opposed to:

    The Windows PC market has the most computer programs but it also has by far the biggest number of shit in your mouth awful programs, spywayre, viruses et el. Windows PC’s don’t have iLife, OSX or the myriad of kick ass amazing apps available for Macs. Many apps have windows and Mac versions, often the Mac versions are not as good but occasionally they are better or just have far better alternatives in the first place.
    If your work forces you to use a crappy piece of proprietary software – then you probably envy the dead.

    That’s how I read it.

  3. MacDragon…

    Absolutely. He also fails to mention that most important of the “standard” applications ALL began on the Mac:

    Office, Adobe CS, Flash, Freehand, Dreamweaver, FileMaker Pro, etc., etc., etc.. Plus, Apple applications tend to adhere to true standards, rather than trying to dictate how everything should work according to low standards.

    Unintuitive, poorly programmed applications DIE in the Mac universe. Whereas in the Windows world, being as large as it is, a piece of crap can be bought by a tiny minority and still make it.

  4. “”Now that Apple’s newest Mac Mini sports a super fast Intel chip, Windows users may be thinking again about switching.”

    The older G5 systems were plenty fast for most people’s needs. If you are planning on switching, do it for the OS experience, not just that is has a faster processor.

  5. The move to Intel is about more than processors, much more. Intel has a complete buffet of chip products and technologies to support the needs of hardware manufacturers (like Apple).

    By off-loading the heavy-lifting of chip engineering to Intel, Apple will be able to focus inhouse engineering efforts on improving OS-X and their software applications, while maintaining tight control of their hardware platform.

    This approach will help Apple continue to deliver the reliability, predictability and quality user experience that has spawned legions of dedicated Mac users.

    Firewire is dead! Long live USB…… wireless 480Mbps USB that is!

    Intel will be announcing availability of 3.4GHz dual-core Xeon chips this week, they’ve got a fast front side bus too. Don’t be surprised to see a pair of these driving a new MacPro desktop soon.

    MW: need (I need a new and more powerful MacPro)

  6. I have only a few friends that have Macs the rest have PC’s and apart from my brother who is a financial advisor and uses specific Window’s only software the rest of them use their PC’s for exactly the same things I often use my Mac for. Music with iTunes, Pics with iPhoto, iMovie, Photoshop elements, email and stuff like that, including MS Office:Mac, which I use all the time.

    The big difference is that the Mac does all these things much better and is much easier to use. The iLife suite is just huge and there is nothing anywhere near the horizon that can offer what we have.

    When my PC friends watch a slide show in iPhoto they ask where they can get the software and then wonder why something as slick as that isn’t available for them. My bro in law is an Excel guru and asked if he could play with my Mac to get a feel for the same programme. He loved the experience and said it was easier to use on the Mac and looked a lot better on screen as well. The 23″ Apple monster might have had something to do with it?

    Will any of them change to Mac? I doubt it even after I give them the big spruke. They are frightened of change and scared to learn something new or move outside their comfort zone. There are millions of them out there and they are all frightened. It will take a long time to convince them and some will just keep their heads in the sand until they die.


  7. The timing of an Apple-Intel marriage is brilliant. They both NEED each other. The generic PC market is saturated, word processing and spreadsheets don’t need higher performance chips. To drive sales of new high performance products, Intel needs a forward thinking partner like Apple.

    Apple has taken a humiliating public flogging due to their insistance on being tied to Motorola and IBM. Where are those partners now? Oh that’s right, Motorola almost went down the crapper and had to spin off their loser chip unit.

    Meanwhile IBM has made lots of big announcements (they’re really good at that) about supposed breakthroughs (yea yea yea, where are the breakthrough products?).

    Is anyone else wondering if the delay of the PS-3 is due to IBM inability to deliver working processors?

    While the transition to Intel is confusing and painful to long-time Mac enthusiasts the net long term gains will be worth it. Look beyond the performance penalties of Rosetta executing PowerPC code and see the performance gains of native applications running on Intel chips.

    If Apple had not made the painful decision to change out their engine manufacturer, what chips would we have to look forward to in new Mac products?

  8. PC’s have more software (quantity vs. quality)? more business-y (plenty of mac users make money)?

    oh well, at least the article is positive, if not completely accurate.

  9. My new mini arrived yesterday and it is indeed pretty fast. I switched last year to the original 1.42GHz model with 1GB and later upgraded to 5400rpm 100GB disk. The new one is Core Duo w/ 2GB. Everything is very quick and snappy, and it’s nice to have Core Video support, even if it is shared mem.

    The mini does come with an Office:mac trial, but one big disappointment (not Apple’s fault) is no native NeoOffice/J yet (and PPC version won’t run in Rosetta). This could be an obstacle to budget minded switchers.

    Fortunately, OOo 2.0 (requires X11) is available in a native version (Alpha but works fine so far). I use X11 to run programs from my FreeBSD box anyway, so I have it run at login. To set up X11, pop in the first DVD, scroll down and choose Optional Installs.

  10. In the same paragraph he mentions MS Word and states that you should steer clear if you do “business-y” stuff. I wonder if it ever occured to him that Word is the world’s #1 “business-y” software, or that for the overwhelming majority of Windoze boxes the only “business-y” software installed is MS Office?

    This guy obviously did no research on OS X software. He might have liked the mini, but he made it sound like the only people that would be happy with the mini are 16-year kids.

  11. There’s something scary to most people about walking on an unfamiliar path.

    This guy just can’t cut loose of the the Windows umbilical cord fully; he has to fall back on old misconceptions about “Mac’s are great for artsy stuff, just not business”.

    The amount of half-truths and outright lies about technology and particular Macintosh computing published in journals small and large, has made me extremely skeptical about anything newspapers print.

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