Is it just me or has there been a rash of Windows-to-Mac switching going on lately?

On a personal level, one friend switched last fall, plunking down the cash for the last PPC iMac (he’s not bitter at all that his machine was obsoleted in just a couple of months – he’d hoped for at least a half-year before that happened but it was not to be). Another friend is considering purchasing a shiny new MacBook Pro to go along with his career change from government functionary to graphic artist extraordinaire.

Then comes word of a more momentous change: Gabe and Tycho, a.k.a. Mike and Jerry of Penny Arcade, hard-core PC and console gamers, have in the last week purchased their first-ever Mac OS systems, soothed in their decision by the presence of a familiar piece of hardware inside: Intel.

Jerry’s musings on the topic of switching are well worth reading.

Then, prominent political blogger Josh Marshall, of Talking Points Memo, after manfully not complaining bitterly about problems with a Gateway computer, and the company’s support (or lack thereof), initially resisted the siren call of the Mac loyalists but eventually succumbed and appears to be quite happy with his decision.

Even professional attention whore (I mean that in the nicest way, I swear; after all, look what I’m doing right now, only I’m not getting paid for it – pity me!) Heather Armstrong at Dooce found and linked to a post from someone who fought against the mental image she had of a Mac user… and only gave in when she realized that defying the stereotype would be satisfying. Y’know, as opposed to just realizing that the stereotype was incorrect…

And John Gruber at Daring Fireball, after reading about Josh Marshall’s initial resistance to conversion, had some interesting thoughts on the topic, pertaining to why folks might resist switching when, in all likelihood, they would benefit hugely. Somehow, because of the wide choice of commodity hardware, using Windows on top of that cheap hardware is seen as a more cosmopolitan platform? Crazy talk, to me.

Mr. Gruber is a confirmed Mac user, and by his own admission to me in email, never uses any other platform but isn’t evangelical about the platform – unlike someone like, say, me, who is forced to support Windows at work and retreats to the comfort of the Mac OS at home.

So what’s with all the switching lately? My first thought is that it’s because Macs now have Intel inside and that makes them somehow less exotic. But maybe this is a longer-building trend that is only now reaching the point where I start to notice. I had a ex-girlfriend who purchased an iMac two years ago after her home was broken into and her H-P PC was stolen. And my father switched quite happily almost 10 years ago when he became more involved in photography as a hobby. And, of course, my friend mentioned above switched prior to the PPC-to-Intel change-over (and he’s not bitter about the timing of that at all).

I’d like to think it was because of my powers of pursuasion… I’d like to think that…