Forget fringe-group hacks that let you run Windows XP on your Intel-based Macs, now Apple is offering a legitimate alternative. New beta-release software, called Boot Camp, lets you pop a Microsoft Windows XP installation disc into your Intel-based Mac and install Windows XP as a dual-boot option.
Boot Camp will be a full feature in the next major revision of OS X, Leopard, which is scheduled for release in August.
"Apple has no desire or plan to sell or support Windows, but many customers have expressed their interest to run Windows on Apple's superior hardware now that we use Intel processors," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in a statement. "We think Boot Camp makes the Mac even more appealing to Windows users considering making the switch."
Boot Camp offers a step-by-step assistant application that creates a second partition on your hard drive for Windows to occupy. Once it's all installed, you can decide whether to run either Mac OS X or Windows when you restart your computer.
So, finally Apple has turned to the dark side. Or has it? Some pundits suspect that Apple may have a very strategic reason for allowing their machines to boot Windows. Some users who are frustrated by Windows stick with it because they use a specialised application that is Windows-only. Now those users may be tempted to use OS X for most tasks, and switch to Windows for a single application.
There's also the issue of gamers -- the Mac has been long berated for its lack of current game titles. The argument against switching to the Mac looks all the more unstable now you can switch to Windows XP for gaming. -CS