Apple has finally entered the consumer mainstream, thanks to the Mac mini.

Business Week's Stephen Wildstrom explains the attractions of the new low-cost computer. Firstly: "It is utterly unlike anything else on the market," by which he means it isn't an ugly "metal box with the style and grace of a gym locker".

He also notes: "The mini overcomes the twin barriers that have kept Apple out of many homes: cost and lack of design flexibility."

But it is the software that Wildstrom believes is the more compelling reason to buy. "Mac OS X offers the best combination of elegance and stability of any operating system. And Apple bundles some very good software, including the iPhoto picture-management program, iMovie video editing, and GarageBand music-creation software," he explains.