If making users switch is part of the plan, Apple's new Mac mini is accomplishing its mission.

USA Today reports fast sales of the new Mac (and iPod shuffle) in the US on Saturday, with some Windows users describing the affordable Mac mini as the catalyst to switch.

With the debut of the Mac mini, Walt Mossberg is getting a lot of email from Windows users considering switching to Mac. They are fed up with viruses and spyware, love their iPods and have held back until now because Macs seem expensive.

Windows users ready to switch

"If my email from readers is any indication, more Windows users are thinking of switching to Apple's Macs than at any time in a decade," Mossberg writes, calling Mac mini, "a good choice for Windows users on a budget who are tempted to switch. It's not a technological breakthrough, but it may just be one of Apple's smartest business moves."

Analysts agree: "I believe the Mac mini is actually going to have more of an impact on Apple's market share position than their digital music efforts have so far," said IDC analyst Roger Kay told Reuters.

Windows-using South African journalist Allan Jackson agrees: "I have written articles which some construed as being critical of Apple," but concedes, "The Mac mini is quite simply the cutest and most adorable young computer you have ever seen."

"The minute I saw a picture of the Mac mini I wanted one. I'm a PC user and I can't think why I would want one, but I do, they're that cute."

Mac mini means long wait

It appears Apple has another hit on its hands, with the online Apple Store orders already seeing a three to four week wait, both in the US and the UK.

Tim Deal, an analyst with Technology Business Research.It's a good sign; obviously people are excited about it,

Describing "incredible" demand, Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris gave TheStreet.com the company's usual new product launch line: "Demand is difficult to predict," she said, "we're working very hard to ramp production of both new products as fast as we can."

Shrewd Apple acumen makes dangerous beast

Success threatens Apple's competition, suggests eWeek: "Apple has long been highly profitable with only a two per cent to three per cent market share. Should the company boost this to four or even five per cent, its profits - and thus its ability to increase its spending on marketing and development - would also be significantly increased, raising the prospect of the company simply being able to blow away its less profitable rivals."