A quick look back at the history of Intel's Celeron shows that the transition from Socket 370 to Socket mPGA478 was the only logical step. Now that the battle between Intel and AMD is becoming increasingly fierce, grabbing market shares becomes more important than ever before.
By adopting the Celeron as a member of the Pentium 4 family, it can now make use of the installed base and even help to increase the number of Socket 478 systems that are sold.
While the Celeron cannot keep apace with its older brother or the Duron at the same clock speeds, it has to run much faster by default - so it not only offers fast performance, but it fits perfectly into Intel's "clock speed sells" strategy.
In the end, it seems to work out: The Celeron Willamette 1.7 GHz is currently the fastest budget CPU. At $83, it is even slightly cheaper than AMD's Duron 1300 ($84).
The 1.8 GHz Celeron should be available within few weeks, as AMD plans to phase out the current Duron in favor of the slower Athlon versions with the launch of the Thoroughbred core.