So in case you were sleeping today, Apple announced that, over the next two years, it will swap the chips inside the Mac.Source: MacCentral
Since I really do not have the time to elaborate on this subject a lot, I figured I would point you to Rob Griffiths's (who just made Senior Editor, congratulations) column over at Macworld.
He and I talked a bit this afternoon, and we have very similar thoughts.
First off I think everyone who is now holding there breath about Apple just needs to exhale and take a chill. And all those people who just love to say that Apple is going under (for the 9,864th time) - just keep on saying it.
Sure the list of things that Rosetta will not do is substantial, (sorry, I am not going to sugar coat it) but if you are running, today, carbon and cocoa software I think you will be OK in two years or so when you decide to upgrade to an Intel-based Mac.
Being able to run Windows natively, or near native like WINE does it, is very appealing to me. And I bet I am not the only one. If Apple develops a WINE like environment for Windows software, I would not have to reboot to use Windows. Even if I did, it would be so much better then using Virtual PC or Guest PC today.
I don't think the price of Apple hardware will drop drastically. Apple still needs to either make, or partner with a motherboard manufacturer (which could be Intel) so that it can protect is ROM, and 'clone wars' do not erupt again.
Apple has a peticular loathing for cheap PC parts - and who can blame them - so don't think you are going to build your own Mac. What will happen, however, is that Apple now has by default access to a whole slew of better technology: graphics cards, controller cards, hard drives, etc, etc. This is the big win for Apple loyalists.
I can't wait for the Macworld when we can do a Photoshop speed test with OS X and Windows on Intel chips. Will it matter? Not one bit. But we will finally be able to compare Apples to "apples."