Boot Camp to require Mac OS X Leopard?

Apple's Boot Camp, which allows users to create a dual-boot environment on an Intel Mac so that the computer can boot into either Mac OS X or Windows, may require Mac users to upgrade to Leopard. Boot Camp has been available as a public beta since last spring. Most Mac users have assumed that the free ride wouldn't last forever, but that Apple would eventually make Boot Camp a separate product available at a small fee. In a recent tech note, Apple is now stating the the Boot Camp beta will expire upon the release of Leopard (no actual date is provided). The note also includes the following: "To continue using Boot Camp at that time, upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard." This strongly implies that future Boot Camp releases will be tied to the next generation of Mac OS X. It isn't as clear what will happen to Tiger users of the Boot Camp beta. Since there is no clear expiration date (as there was with previous version of Boot Camp), it is possible that the beta will continue to function indefinitely or for a limited time following Leopard's release. It is also possible that Apple has already included an expiration date in Boot Camp even though no release date for Leopard has been announced. It also isn't clear whether Boot Camp installations will become unusable when the beta expires or whether just the Boot Camp Assistant that allows users to create and remove Boot Camp installations will be disabled. Ideally, Apple would allow Boot Camp Assistant to usable for removing installations even after the expiration date. Hopefully, Apple will give customers at least a few days or weeks to purchase and install Leopard, regardless of the expiration process


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