An astonishing one in four Macworld Online readers already own an Intel-powered Mac, with another third of readers planning to buy one within a year.

A recent online reader poll asked visitor's when they planned to get an Intel Mac. An impressive 2,491 votes were received. 29 per cent of those who voted already own an Intel Mac (711 readers).

Mac user's Intel Mac migration

Another 116 readers (5 per cent) plan to buy one within a month; with 149 more (6 per cent) intending to buy a new Intel Mac within two to three months. 198 more readers (8 per cent) revealed they plan to buy one of these new Macs within the next four to six months. An additional 383 (15 per cent) of readers intend buying one within the year.

That means a sizeable 34 per cent chunk of the Macworld Online readership plan to buy an Intel Mac within the next 12 months.

Some readers are holding out because they don't feel the new MacBooks are adequate upgrades to the previous-generation 12-inch PowerBooks. "I'm very happy with my Powerbook 12-inch, but if Apple were to bring out something smaller/lighter it might force me to reconsider."

Another successful transition?

The significance of the pace of the migration to the new Mac architecture won't be lost on Apple's management. Our survey shows that 63 per cent of 2,491 readers will be using the new hardware within 12 months, with 29 per cent of the sample group already there.

For other readers a Mac purchase isn't so trivial. 19 per cent (483 readers) intend migrating to the new Macs within one to two years; 164 readers (7 per cent) will wait up to five years. Just 45 readers (2 per cent) plan to wait for over five years.

Apple also faces pent-up demand among its professional Mac users. Five per cent of the sample group, or 122 readers, won't migrate to an Intel Mac until the Mac Pro (the Power Mac replacement) ships; and another 5 per cent (120 readers) await the release of Universal versions of XPress 7 and/or Adobe CS3 before they'll consider making the move.

Power Mac blues

Some readers are waiting for WWDC 2006 in August before making a major commitment to spend their hard-won cash on a new super-charged Mac: "I will order mine after WWDC. I've been waiting to see what's inside the new Mac Pro and what is better," a reader wrote.

For some readers, the move to Intel processors is slightly alarming: "If Macs hadn't gone the Intel way, my next purchase would have been straightforward: another Mac (because Macs are unique, will remain a no-Windows zone, and so on). I'm still unsure about this whole Intel/Boot Camp business and its potential long-term impact on future software development for OS X."

That worried writer fears a future in which Intel Macs may one day be sold with Windows pre-loaded.

But another reader - an engineering student - welcomes the move to Intel processors and the debut of solutions such as Boot Camp, as much of the specialised software available within that industry is Windows only.

The reader added: "I'm still hoping that some day Apple will release a 12-inch MacBook Pro with a tablet screen."

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