A couple of years ago, I thought I would never have seen an "Intel Inside" sticker on Apple hardware. Looking at the news today, I was surprised at the revelation that Intel Macintosh hardware can now run Win XP SP 2!

Somebody please check if hell froze over.


Go look for yourself: http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/

Apple has made it so easy! You need to make sure your firmware is up to date, some hard drive space, updated OS software, a blank recordable CD, and a legal copy of Windows XP.

What is really the easy part of all of this is that Apple has taken the hard part out of running Windows by automating the following things:

* The blank CD that the instructions call for is used to store drivers needed in the Windows XP world. Bootcamp supplies all the necessary drivers -- your Windows friends often have to hunt them down on the internet from a variety of places. Your drivers are right where they are needed -- in your hand.

* Hard drive partitioning is an easy step. Windows XP is going to run in a different area of the hard drive (called a partition) than your Mac OS X. Reading through the online documentation, you can access your XP partition from OS X, but if you made XP use NTFS, the drive will be read-only from OS X. Also remember that Intel Macs will not run Classic, so questions about OS 9 reading XP are moot.

Bear in mind that you will need to make a data backup of your hard drive before doing Boot Camp. Anytime you modify the partitions, your data is at risk. Also, if doing this on a MacBook, make sure you are installing with the power cord plugged in and not from battery -- you do not want to exhaust the battery and corrupt the installation.

Also, you need to have handy a legal copy of Windows XP. This means the full install disk, not a "restore" disk or "rescue" disk that may have came with your machine. Due to licensing restrictions, you cannot use the same license key that you have on your present machine, either. If you are going to do this, you need to do it legally correct.

Finally, your XP installation will treat your laptop just like a Dell or HP or Gateway. This means that you can be inflicted with Windows Viruses, spyware, adware, and the other baggage that plagues the platform.

What's my opinion? I think this is a great option for someone who needs to live in both worlds (Mac / Unix & Windows). Personally for me, however, who has been exposed to open source software (Open Office & GIMP), I have to seriously think on why I would want to invite Windows into my MacBook.



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That's just crazy! When I first started reading this blog entry, I was expecting for you to send me to some hacker's website - not an official Apple site!

You know, I predicted this in the mid-90s, that if Apple wanted to survive in the PC market and not just be a niche, it would have to eventually port to the x86 compatible market. Just like the move from the god-awful closed-off Mac OS operating environment to the great Unix world is also showing that Stevie baby is finally listening to some reason. I remember a year ago when this was announced having an 'I told you so' moment with some colleagues.

Not that I'm trying to start an OS flame war, but...

if a person wants to run a *nix environment, with Linux coming into its own as a really great operating environment for the desktop and Solaris 10 a very good offering-both which are free, I'm not sure who would want to run Max OS on their PC. I think Apple really missed the boat by being so stubborn and not at least porting a version to x86 years ago.

My real question is: what compelling reason is there for someone to give up their current Intel compatible Operating Environment and buy a Mac? XP is more stable than ever. I haven't seen the BSOD is years. Linux is rock solid, of course. No, I think it is too little too late. Even recording studios and movie studios have drastically reduced the amount of Mac workstations in that once Mac-only niche. One professional recording software, ProTools had an upgrade that went to XP before the Mac since so many were using it on XP.

As far as viruses, trojan horses, malware, adware, etc., Macs have been and will continue to be infected with these (http://www.securemac.com/). Remember, since all software has bugs and security holes, becoming infected with a virus or some other malware, is a user problem, not a system problem. It means that either a firewall was not present (worms), or anti-virus was not turned on, or general safe computing practices were not followed. Those of you who still run your browser with Administrator rights are crazy. I use psexec.exe to launch many programs including IE or Firefox with standard user rights. Those of you who run *nix should be running as a standard user and not root, otherwise, you are just as vulnerable. Had Windows versions followed the *nix standard of least priviledge from the get go, many problems would have been avoided. I think they are fixing that with Vista.

One really cool thing, though, is running Mac OS X in a VM using VMware on either a Linux or XP system! Very cool.

Also, my understanding is you STILL have to buy the stinkin' hardware from Apple to get an Intel version of Mac OS X! So today's Apple hasn't fallen very from the tree after all.

So to sum up, cool news for my Intel and AMD stock, but yawn...

In contrast to Apple Microsoft has never told people they can't run their products except on hardware of brand X :)

As is well known Apple does just that, they explicitly state that their operating system is not allowed to be used on any hardware not supplied by them (which is what killed the plans to create Mac clones in the early/mid 1990s quite effectively).

Apple still holds to that policy, so you indeed need to buy an Intel powered Mac to get Mac OS/X for Intel and are then not allowed to use it on any other Intel powered computer (if it would even work, I rather think it will be hardwired to run only on very specific motherboards and other hardware components which Apple won't license to anyone else).

"Remember, since all software has bugs and security holes, becoming infected with a virus or some other malware, is a user problem, not a system problem"

Well said. I've been using PCs for something like 15 years now and only ever had a virus infection once that wasn't caught by my anti virus software, and that was because I'd failed to keep my virus definitions up to date (this was in the days when you had to buy a floppy with updated definitions regularly and manually install those, something almost noone did more than once every few months).
Out of those years I've been on the internet for almost a decade, and using floppies (and other mediums) in and out of other computers all the time.

"In contrast to Apple Microsoft has never told people they can't run their products except on hardware of brand X"

Well, it needs to be x86 but I see what you are saying as they pulled support for MIPS, PowerPC, and Alpha years ago, but you can use AMD/Intel/Cyrix(still around?) and any motherboard or brand you want which is what I was getting at.

Also, you *can* run Mac OSX86 on non-Mac hardware-but you need to choose a compatible motherboard, similiar to what is in the x86 hardware that Mac sells. I believe that many folks have been successful using ASRock 775Dual-915GL Micro ATX Intel Motherboard (~$50.00-see what I mean about clones?) and a CPU that supports SSE3. There is a fair amount of tweaking just like you must do when running it in VMware.

Of course all of this violates the Mac EULA...but none of us has ever done that for any software, right? :-)

Just to comment a little,

"I thought I would never have seen an "Intel Inside" sticker on Apple hardware. "

Well the Intel Inside sticker is a promotion, Intel offers a discount on the chip if they put the sticker on the computer. Apple as opted out of this program so you won't see that intel inside sticker on a MAC.

This is nothing innovative. Its a MAC endorced Dual Boot. running windows on MAC has been around for a long time. From the First Virtual Machine for MAC, to Dell once made a PC board for a MAC that you could run windows on Intel hardware inside your MAC. Now that the hardware platform is the same they can offer a Dual Boot.

I still think using Virtual PC is the way to run windows inside MAC.

I totally agree Apple and Steve Jobs have been very heavy handed with there OS and hardware more so than Microsoft. Don't forget microsoft fources hardware requirments for the big boys like Dell and HP. They make them run there machines quieter and boot faster. Bill has his hand in the hardware as well, just a lot more subtle than Steve Jobs.

All in all, its just a fancy boot loader. Don't get excited until you can switch back and forth in real time from MAC to Windows with no performace hit on either system.

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