Apple Gets Windows XP Working on Intel-based Macs
Company beta tests new software that bypasses kludgy emulation software and allows installation of Windows XP directly onto Intel-based Macs.
-- Apple Computer Inc. unveiled software to
help owners of its new Intel-based Macs run Microsoft Corp.'s Windows
XP, despite the computer maker's insistence it won't assist such efforts.
Apple's new "Boot Camp" software, a "beta" test version
available as a free download, lets computer users with a Windows XP installation
disk load that system on the Mac.
"It makes the Mac the most versatile computer on the market,"
said Tim Bajarin, a tech industry consultant at Creative Strategies.
Bajarin said the move should lure Windows users who "had their eye
on a Mac but knew they could not run their favorite Windows programs on
an Apple-based computer."
When Apple introduced its first computer based on Intel Corp. chips in
January, the company said it had no intention of selling or supporting
Windows on its machines, though it has not done anything to preclude people
from doing it themselves.
Apple said Wednesday that stance remains true, yet the new software will
ease Windows installation "by providing a simple graphical step-by-step
"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," Philip Schiller, senior
vice president of worldwide product marketing, said in a statement.
Indeed, for months, hackers have been diligently working on programs
to let users of Intel-based Macs switch between the two competing operating
Apple turned to Intel chips, the same ones used to power most PCs using
Windows, after saying its previous suppliers, IBM Corp. and Motorola Corp.'s
spinoff Freescale Semiconductor Inc., couldn't meet Apple's needs for
faster, more energy-efficient chips.
But the Intel-based Macs continued to run Apple's own proprietary operating
Because Windows is much more dominant, Mac users don't have access to
many software programs written only for Windows. The switch to Intel chips
lets users load Windows onto a Mac computer, without the need for emulation
software that slows performance. But until Wednesday, the user needed
some technical expertise to pull it off.
The Boot Camp software makes it easier to install Windows and lets users
run either Mac OS X or Windows when they restart their computer.
Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore said in a research note that Apple
is likely to grow its worldwide market share beyond the current range
of 3 percent to 4 percent, while American Technology Research analyst
Shaw Wu described the announcement as a "significant game changer."
A final version of Boot Camp will be available as a feature in the upcoming
Mac OS X version 10.5, code-named "Leopard." Apple said it will
preview Leopard in August, but it hasn't yet disclosed a release date
or price for the upgrade.