Apple <3 WinXP dual-boot (and pig olympics)

Blimey, guvnah! It's IT Blogwatch, in which Apple officially allows Windows to boot on the new Intel Macs. Not to mention the 2006 Pig Olympics...

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but does that still work if you boot Windows? Ken Mingis reports: "Apple Computer Inc. today unveiled a public beta of Boot Camp, software that allows its latest Intel-based Macintosh desktop and laptop machines to run Windows XP natively (see 'FAQ: Macs running Windows, what you should know') ... included in the next major version of Mac OS ... Boot Camp simplifies Windows installation on an Intel-based Mac by providing a graphical step-by-step assistant ... Apple is moving to Intel processors, Windows XP on new Macs runs just as it would on laptops and desktop computers built by Dell, Hewlett-Packard Co. and a host of other hardware manufacturers. It does not run in emulation mode using software such as Virtual PC."

» Martin MC Brown: "In case you missed it, this month is Apple's 30th Anniversary ... Apple fans and watchers among us are expecting big things ...  comparatively subtle announcement: Boot Camp ... an 83MB download, available right now ... even incorporates the bulk of the drivers you will need to get the best out of your XP on Mac installation ... Apple, openly inviting, and even helping and encouraging you to dual-boot Microsoft's operating system on your Intel Mac. That's huge ... native dual-boot support, with support from Apple, will make using multiple operating systems very easy ... And once you have a foot in the door with a Windows-capable Mac computer, the potential for migrating people to Mac OS X increases. I'll be testing this out in the next 24 hours, and I'll let you know how I get on." Which brought about a mass of comments including Ollapodrida: "They've tried this before, and I guarantee, Intel chip or no, that this will be a something that's buggy at best with minimal support from the Apple folks. Maybe I'm just an ape, but I'll stick with my Dell hardware, thanks." Plus this from GeorgeWClueless: "I use both Macs and a SONY XP in my business. Now when I travel I can leave the SONY home. It is always interesting when people who have no real experience with Macs rip on them. Sure they are high priced, but you get what you pay for in life. Everytime I add a new device to my XP/Mac network it takes 2-5 times longer than the Macs to get the Wintel to plug and play. Life is short, why waste it on tech support?"

» Douglas Schweitzer: "Apple does put the 'hard' in hardware. That said; I simply don't have any desire to run Windows on my cast iron Apple. My reason is simple. What I love most about my Apple isn't the rock solid hardware but that digital, work of art operating system they call OS X. More importantly, running Windows on my Apple will subject me to the same types of attacks that plague my Windows only brethren. Apparently my feelings on this are not the norm. Apple stock rose nearly 10 percent on the news."

» Scoble, R.: "You know, it seems to me that Apple gets blogging even though they don't encourage most of their employees to blog. They see bloggers ask for things and they deliver. Bloggers then go wild ... On the other hand there are some at Microsoft who are listening too ... Does Apple need blogs? Not if it keeps responding to what bloggers want." Comment from PXLated: "It's like having your suit/tie for work, then changing into something more relaxing and comfortable when you get home."

» Macworld's Jason Snell: "Last month, when a few enterprising hackers won a contest by enabling Windows booting on Intel-based Macs, one of the first comments I read in our forums was: 'How long until Apple cripples this hack with a system software update?' ... Unlike the winning hack, which required some seriously geeky tricks, Boot Camp walks you through the process: it dynamically resizes your startup disk’s partitions to create a new one for XP (no reformatting required), automatically burns you a CD full of Windows drivers for Intel-based Mac hardware, and then reboots you into Windows to start the installation procedure ... The big problem in getting Intel-based Macs to boot into Windows is that they use EFI, a start-up technology that isn't supported by Windows. Boot Camp allows EFI to communicate with Windows in a language that Windows understand ... Just as with the hackers' method, installing Windows still requires you to actually buy a copy of Windows. Boot Camp will work with Windows XP Service Pack 2, either Home or Professional editions ... rebooting into Windows solves numerous compatibility issues, it also means that you can’t run Mac OS X while you're in Windows. If you need to switch back and forth between Mac and Windows applications, a dual-boot system will not boost your productivity ... In the meantime, though, the ability to run Windows natively on Mac hardware opens up a lot of possibilities. Switchers will be reassured. Mac users won’t have to clutter their offices with PCs just to run a couple of mandatory tasks."

» Nathan Weinberg: "Yes, Boot Camp is limited to Windows XP Home and Pro SP2, and no other versions of Windows. No installing Windows 2003, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, or, especially, Windows XP Media Center Edition. Considering that XP Home and XP MCE are virtually identical, minus the Media Center software, I don’t think its a stretch to say Apple doesn't want to support Media Center on their systems, since it'd hurt Front Row ... so I’d be interested in seeing if Boot Camp actually prevents installation of other versions of Windows, or if they just aren't supported ... The real big question: Will Microsoft release their own opposite program? Will Dell?"

» Martin McKeay: "I guess since someone else already figured out how to dual-boot a new Intel Mac mini, Apple figured they'd better create an official way to do the same thing ... That might be enough for me to overcome my wife's resistance to me getting a new computer."

Buffer overflow:

And finally... April sees the 2006 Pig Olympics hosted in Moscow [hat tip: Popb*tch]

Richi Jennings is an independent technology and marketing consultant, specializing in email, blogging, Linux, and computer security. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. Contact Richi at Also contributing to today's post: Judi Dey, our very own Antipodean.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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