I had this all typed up as a response to another users Journal when I found that they had made their Journal read-only. Grrrr.
Apple refuses to compete on price and maybe in the long run this will prove to be a strategy that works. What they have to be careful about though is not even being in the same price-ballpark with PC systems as they have in the past. My guess is that they might be making $200 each on these things in the long run, if not more. While I'd love to see them crush the Wintel competition, such a move might actually be risky for them... ramping up production ten-fold, all the support costs that go with it.
They recently recalled a bunch of iBooks (including mine) as I understand it, in response to a lawsuit. I wonder how much of the total profit margin on that whole line was eaten away by that move.
The good news for me is that the recall got Apple back into my good graces. I just loved using the machine (when it worked) so I'll be very tempted to get one, or maybe even two of these new Mini machines. I'll probably wait a month or two for the early evaluations on them. I'd like to know how much noise they make and whether they tend to overheat etc. But that tiny footprint and clean look will be a joy.
I'm also torn between using OS X and Linux. I REALLY prefer Linux since there are so many tools I'm already used to (and free ones at that) that still don't run on the Apple desktop. I ran both Yellowdog Linux and Debian on the iBook though with some limitations (couldn't burn CDs or watch DVDs) however I think those limitations are gradually being resolved. I'm not even tempted to write my own OS.