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Macmadant was not at all happy about Apple Computer's decision to team up with Intel, the world' largest semiconductor group. A self-professed “newbie” on the MacRumors website, he decried Apple's betrayal of its faithful customers and pledged never again to use a Macintosh.

He was not the only MacRumor visitor who expressed shock that Apple had joined forces with Intel, which has long provided microprocessors for mainstream PCs that run Microsoft's Windows operating system.

There were also the inevitable grumbles that Apple, which played up its unique technology and style, had gone over to the “dark side”.

But then a remarkable thing started to happen. Other MacRumor visitors began to stick up for Apple, with some even attacking Macmadant's myopia. Over time, it became more apparent that many Apple users were prepared to give the company the benefit of the doubt. Many suggested they had been assuaged by Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder and chief executive, who on Monday took to the stage to explain his decision.

Mr Jobs argued that the performance of Intel's new chips would be superior to those from IBM, which currently supplies microprocessors for Apple's desktops. He said high-performance but low-power chips would enable Apple to build “exciting products” in the future. He also laid out a two-year transition plan, announced special kits for third-party software developers and unveiled software that will enable programs from old IBM-based systems to run on Intel-based Macs.

Mr Jobs' presentation to software developers in San Francisco seems to have done the trick. The mood was upbeat and many developers even managed to cheer a far cry from the boos some expected.

The reaction soon filtered on to the internet. “I just finished watching the [Steve Jobs] webcast and have had some time to think about it. I think this is going to be really great for Apple,” wrote Fender 2112 on MacRumors.

Others were more emphatic, arguing that the OSX operating system was the heart and soul of the Apple experience and moving to Intel chips would only make that experience better.

It was clear Apple must still convince many customers whose faith has been shaken. But, so far, it seems many more are willing to give Steve Jobs a chance to prove shifting to Intel was the right choice.

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