Almost half of 1,300 Macworld readers voting in an online poll believe that Apple was right to switch to Intel chips.

Those 43 per cent of readers agree "Intel is the future. IBM has lost the plot".

One fifth (20 per cent) of readers are less happy however. They voted against the move saying: "Intel is the enemy. It will kill the Mac market".

Another 26 per cent are in limbo, unable to decide whether it will be good or bad for the Mac – let's hope that their deliberations are not keeping them awake at night.

Apple's Intel move certainly isn't keeping 12 per cent of Macworld readers awake. They simply "don't care".

Pentium v PowerPC

The switch has left some Macworld readers writing on the forum confused.

One writes: "As a loyal apple customer I've sucked up the 'PPC is best' and 'Intel is crap' diatribe for years and, having no technical background, espoused it to my PC brethren whenever the opportunity arose. Now I am supposed to eat humble pie, concede that Intel is better really and try to understand the THIS time it's true and THIS time I'm not being misled - right up to the next change in course?"

But another explains: "The 'PPC is best' was true for much of recent history - at least with comparable chips in terms of how recent they are. However, in the laptop space, a G4 running at 1.5Ghz (or whatever) is clearly not cutting edge. If you watch Jobs' speech, it's clear that he's largely talking about the future, rather than the past or even the present. Intel wasn't necessarily better in the past, but Jobs is betting it will be in the future."

"I'll miss the 'Intel Inside - Idiot Outside' stuff, of course," reflects another reader.

Jobs claim that Intel has a better road map has confused one reader who writes: "My one nagging concern is IBM's recent core 'breakthroughs' that have brought the likes of Sony on board."

Some suggest that the reason for the switch is not so much that Apple has gone to a supplier that makes faster chips, but that their current supplier has refused to come up with the goods.

IBM forces Apple's hand

"One can perhaps surmise that it's IBM that's lost interest in Apple, forcing its hand. With Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft as new clients, Apple is suddenly a very distant fourth," writes one reader.

But another notes that Apple was prepared to make the move. "Apple could well have been hit badly if IBM was the only option for Apple. But since the introduction of OS X, they have secretly ensured that all their software to be able to run on alternative processors. That was the work of a visionary genius and as a result, all Apple software (and other's too) will be trivially easy to convert for Intel."

Another reader looks to the future wondering whether this spells the end of the Mac, not because the transition won't be successful, but because it might mean other computers would be able to run the Mac OS. "It's the end of the (Mac)world as we know it. Sooner or later someone will get OS X to run on PCs, and then apple won't sell any more Macs. In other words Apple has committed suicide," is his dim view of the future.

Another concern is that Classic applications will no longer work – and that current applications that will require the Rosetta emulator will run slower on the new chips.

Now we are seven

One reader notes: "By the time the full Mac range is Intel most Classic apps will be over seven years old."

Another concern is that "software companies will not develop versions for G5 much beyond 2007, and if they do they may contain bugs that won't be given top priority to fix."

What the timeline for the transition does mean is that some Mac users – and people considering moving to the platform thanks to the iPod's halo effect and the hype around Mac OS X Tiger – may put off their buying decision.

"Why should I go ahead with buying another Mac before the change to Intel," asks one. "As a home user/worker, I do not have loads of money to throw away, and buying now 'could' mean that it becomes redundant well before it's time. I need to stay fairly current with software, and I am sure software will not support both chipsets in the future."

Some readers think that Jobs wouldn't have made the decision if he felt that the risk wasn't worth loosing a few sales along the way. One writes: "I have faith in Apple over this. It will be a bumpy ride for a while but I really feel that Apple CEO Steve Jobs wouldn't have made this decision if he wasn't aware of what's coming."