Apple doesn’t always get it right but damn if they hit one out of the park today. By releasing software that allows customers to install Windows XP on the new Intel based hardware they increased their market capitalization by $5B (stock shot up 10%) and created new reasons for buying a Mac.

The real victory was this morning — at the Apple Store — where a long time friend and avid Microsoft fan stood in line to purchase a shinny new, top-of-the-line MacBook Pro — to become his primary machine. Yesterday this guy would not have dared step foot in the Apple Store for any other reason than to buy an iPod or related accessory. Today he could not wait to walk in and buy one of their most expensive computers.

While his first task was to download and install Bootcamp it’s only a matter of time before he starts to tinker with the Mac OS X “side” of his new laptop and find greener pastures without the need for fifty firewalls and anti-spyware apps.

The irony of today’s switcher story is that it took less than four minutes to get the Mac configured and downloading software from the Internet while it’s taking four hours to find the right CD key for Windows XP Service Pack 2 from his Microsoft Developer Kit.

Go figure, buy the Bentley of computers and install a Hyndai (tsk, tsk) but if that’s what it takes, this new tipping point in purchase behavior, then so be it.

Also interesting to note from today’s sideshow: From here on out, a person buying a Macintosh doesn’t mean they’ll be using a Macintosh.