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Apple Becomes Windows PC Platform, Launches Boot Camp

It doesn’t get much more clever. You’ve flogged consumers an expensive Intel PC, with OS X, and then let them pay for the privilege of running Windows XP on it. Welcome to 21st century Apple, and say hello to their latest software offering called Boot Camp.

“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. “ We think Boot Camp makes the Mac even more appealing to Windows users considering making the switch.”

Despite the sickening smugness, Schiller is right. Apple’s boxes amazingly seem to run Windows rather fast, making it a very attractive choice for end users. The software makes Microsoft, and frankly, its OEM PC partners, look decidedly dated – as their product page attests. ” 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.”

Boot Camp will simplify what has hitherto been a rather difficult and risky process of installing Windows, by creating a partition and creating a driver disk to make sure everything works. Previous efforts had been community driven, and involved raising a significant prize fund eventually won by two coders. But it’s not just about making life easier for these users. It’s about making the switch decision a lot easier. With Vista delayed, the much hyped Apple re-birth as more than just an iPod maker seems clear and solid.

Boot Camp will be fully available in the next version of OS X, code named ‘Leopard’, but a beta is available online now. It requires 10GB of free space on your hard drive, and a copy of Windows XP with SP2. Note that Apple makes it very clear it does not support users who install Windows XP on their Intel Macs. Just encourages it, and enjoys it.

Download: Boot Camp
View: Boot Camp FAQ