It certainly has been an interesting week for the Mac. Coming on the heels of the release of Boot Camp yesterday, which allows for dual-booting an Intel Mac into either Windows or Mac OS, Parallels has released a beta of its virtualization application that allows an Intel Mac to simultaneously run Mac OS as well as Windows, and it supports copying data between operating systems via the clipboard.
Early reports have been extremely positive, with those who have tried the beta noting that Windows runs extremely well and the Parallels application is stable and easily to install. The experiences with Boot Camp haven't been so great, and Boot Camp is a dual-boot tool, it doesn't allow for Windows and Mac OS X to run at the same time.
I still run Quicken on my Mac in Virtual PC (I have an iMac G5 at home, and use a G4 PowerBook in the office). It is excruciatingly slow. If Parallels proves to be a stable solution, it might just speed up the purchase of an Intel Mac Mini that I've been considering. It's worth noting as well that the next release of OS X, Leopard, is rumored to have virtualization capabilities as well.
It will be interesting to see the impact that these capabilities have on the Mac platform, it certainly eliminates the concern that many folks have that they will lose their investment in Windows applications if they switch to the Mac. It also means that Mac users won't be shut out of windows only applications (e.g. Visio, InterWise, GoToMyPC).
I think it is a good thing that we are nearing the end of having to chose between Mac or PC. Buying a PC shouldn't be about sacrifice.