"... it appears to me that they will have a much easier time of switching to the Cell processor than Microsoft, since they already seem to be moving towards a processor-independent development environment."
-- Absolutely. Any Unix-based operating system, Mac OS X included, will be easier to port to Cell than MS Windows.
"As far as the Cell chip goes...there is one and only one question that has any bearing on whether or not Apple will need to worry about and/or begin using the chip in its computers:
"Does it run Windows?" "
-- Not necessarily. The Cell appears to offer video performance vastly superior to anything else, and the new Nvidia GPU isn't even available for it yet. Photoshop power-users can definitely benefit from such video performance. For the casual Photoshop user, it shouldn't make much of a difference.
"The best part of the Intel switch is that it ends the "megahertz wars" once and for all. No longer will Mac users have to suffer all of the ill-informed "dOOd, Mac sux. Mac has only 1.25 GHZ? My P4 has 3 GHZ!!!"
-- Definitely. The PowerMac-Intel comparisons were not very useful anyway, because Power is a RISC architecture and Intel is CISC. AMD was the first company to work at educating the public about the fallacy of MHz comparisons.