Apple Opens the Window on the Mac

Written by Dual Boot Wistreich on . Posted in Equipment

Mac Windows LogoApple Computer has announced today (04/05/06) that it will support running Windows XP on its Macintosh computers, via a dual boot method where at startup the user can chose if they want to run windows or OS X.

For any PC user keen to get stuck into Final Cut Pro or the virus free Macintosh environment, yet doesn't want to give up the superior games or irrational crashes of the Windows platform, the announcement provides a message of hope. To some Mac users it is simply confirmation that the freezing over of hell is complete.

Mac Windows Dual Boot IconIt also opens the question whether the suprise departure of Apple's Chief Technical Officer Avadis "Avie" Tevanian, former head of Apple's software business, at the end of March was a related incident. Mr Tevanian, 44, joined Apple in February 1997 from NeXT, which the company purchased that same year. He spearheaded the development of the Mac OS X operating system, which debuted in 2001. It has undergone numerous revisions, but is still Apple's only operating system and was until today, Appls only supported operating system.

How it will work

Anyone wanting to run Windows on the Mac will first need to make sure they are use an Intel based Mac. They will next to upgrade their system software and firmware drivers to the latest versions. They can then download the BootCamp software from apple's site (link - www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/ ) which will create a CD with all the correct Windows friendly drivers for the Mac hardware. Users partition their hard drive (split it in to seperate virtual drives) and install Windows XP (they must own the disc) on the remaining partion. The process seems to be managed through a typically user-centric interface.

Using Windows on a Mac

Mac hardware operates differently from PCs, and this public beta does not support all features of the Mac in Windows. 

EFI and BIOS

Macs use an ultra-modern industry standard technology called EFI to handle booting. Sadly, Windows XP, and even the upcoming Vista, are stuck in the 1980s with old-fashioned BIOS. But with Boot Camp, the Mac can operate smoothly in both centuries.

Leopard starts to prowl

Rumours have been floating across the net that Apple would soon include a virtualised version of Windows in its next version of OS X (10.5 - codename Leopard). The launch of bootcamp along with the announcement that the name is probably temporary and the feature would be an integeral part of Leopard almost guarantees the inclusion of an easy Mac/Windows interface. Whether this option will extend to GNU/Linux, remains to be seen (but if so would create the Holy Trinity of computing - offering a chioce of the three leading operating systems under one hood.)

Developers can learn all about the sixth major release of Mac OS X this century at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, to be held August 7-11 in San Francisco. Apple trackers will be able to watch Jobs next scheduled keynote via the website.

A New Business Machine?

The move first to Intel and now to Windows should encourage greater adoption of the Mac platform by businesses who are already attracted by lower support costs and fewer security problems. Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal reported that a Japanese bank planned to switch its 2,300 PCs to Macs.

 


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