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Apple Officially Releases Beta Dual Boot Loader 909

Slippy Douglas writes "Apparently, Apple has made good on one of the 30th anniversary product rumours. Apple today announced the Boot Camp Public Beta, which allows Intel Macs to easily and legally multi-boot. Boot Camp will be a standard feature in Mac OS X 10.5."
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Apple Officially Releases Beta Dual Boot Loader

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  • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:46AM (#15065802) Homepage
    So Boot Camp will be standard with Leopard...great. What about the thing that a lot of us actually want, virtualization from Apple, rumored to be in Leopard []?

    In my opinion, the existance of this tool only strengthens the rumour. If you're going to run a virtual Windows, you still need to have an actual installation of it lying around somewhere. Windows won't run from an HFS+ drive, it will need its own NTFS set-up somewhere - this tool will let you create such a set-up, ready to be dual-booted today and virtualised tomorrow.


  • by minginqunt ( 225413 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:46AM (#15065803) Homepage Journal
    When Intel's Merom/Conroe Core Duos start hitting Macs with Intel VT support, expect Leopard's BootCamp to grow a hypervisor.

    Being able to run MacOS X and Windows, at native speeds, will rock my Jesus.

    No more apologising for a Mac's inability to play games. W00t.

  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:46AM (#15065812) Homepage Journal
    which allows Intel Macs to easily and legally multi-boot.

    If you buy an Intel-based Mac, what is illegal about dual-booting another OS on it in the first place, hmmmm?
  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:48AM (#15065827)
    No, OS X is not going "bye bye". (And no, Dvorak wasn't "right".)

    This is a move specifically calculated to appeal to Windows users, and to increase Mac OS X marketshare and usage (and thus Mac OS X software development), period.

    This isn't about Apple "switching to Windows" or becoming yet another Windows PC manufacturer. In fact, it's the furthest thing from it.
  • Re:FP? and Why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by DerGeist ( 956018 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:53AM (#15065869)
    People love macs. They are sexy. The powerbook is the hottest laptop to exist on this PLANET. Everybody wants one. Everybody talks about how amazing they are, with all their kickass features and whatnot. But, no one buys them because:

    * They are expensive.
    * They run MacOS, which doesn't run many of the programs they want/need to use.

    Running Windows is the best thing that could ever happen to a Mac. Now people don't have an excuse, they can buy that hot mini they've wanted or grab a powerbook, and never lose all their favorite programs and games. Brilliant.

  • by yardbird ( 165009 ) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:55AM (#15065888) Homepage
    I love the lukewarm condescension towards XP:

    "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, in a voice dripping with disdain.

    Also eyebrow-raising, Apple's take on the XP logo: tition20060405.gif []
  • Re:FP? and Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Steve525 ( 236741 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:59AM (#15065927)
    What I don't get is WHY apple would do this.

    One possibility is that there are many people who might be interested in switching to Apple, but won't, because they have a few pieces of software they aren't willing to give up in order to make the switch. This allows those users to switch, but still have access to those pieces of software. (I personally feel that virtuallization is a better route for this, since who wants to have to have to reboot? Still, this at least gives the user an option).

    How this actually plays out is anyone's guess. Clearly, Apple doesn't want to become just another Windows hardware vendor. They therefore must position this as a value added to their OS, not the other way around.
  • by Dead Chicken ( 125539 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:02AM (#15065961) Homepage
    While yes they are harder to upgrade then most.

    The new Intel Macs + even the G5s have had some pretty powerful + near top of the line vid cards in them.

  • Re:and when (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Angostura ( 703910 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:03AM (#15065977)
    Because any smart business knows that the key to success is giving the customer what they want. In this case, Apple knows that a proportion of their customer base and potential customer base would like to be able to boot into Windows. Letting them do so easily has the potential to sell more boxes, full stop.

    The only reason for Apple not allowing XP booting would be if Apple were truly scared. If it thought that OS X wasn't up to snuff and the OS X applications (iLife, iWork et al) were lame, then it should shy away from Windows booting. Instead it is trusting its technology and giving its users more options.

    People who like OS X will continue to buy Macs. People who like Windows *may* now buy a Mac, and learn about OS X

    The only real potential downside I see is that app writers get one more excuse not to write Mac apps, but to be honest, I don't see a substantial shift in that from today; views are already well entrenched.
  • by Have Blue ( 616 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:05AM (#15065998) Homepage
    Isn't this a disincentive to make Mac-native software? Why develop for a tiny fraction of the market when you can develop for the other 95% and wait for the remaining holdouts to install Windows on their Macs?
  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:10AM (#15066062)
    No, actually it won't be going bye-bye. Mac OS X is central to many of Apple's markets, and those markets have no interest in Windows. And I'm not talking about "graphics" markets. I'm talking about academia (not "K-12"), research, scientific areas (particularly life and biosciences), and so on. Also, the Linux market isn't getting smaller, it's getting bigger. As is the market for a commercial UNIX.

    Will OS X go away someday? Yep. As will Windows. But it won't be in 18-20 months, or even 5 years. Apple has a lot invested in Mac OS X/Mac OS X Server, and it will be around for a long, long, time. Apple's consumer media offerings are utterly separate from the OS realm, but Apple is looking to EXPAND Mac OS X adoption, not curtail it or eliminate it.

    Nice troll, though...the whole "watch at the slowdown in the coming months" thing. There won't be any slowdown. Mac OS X marketshare will GROW in the coming months, as it has in the previous months and years to now. I love that people are still using a variant of the "Macs have no software" market over 22 years later.
  • by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:11AM (#15066069) Journal
    Now that you'll be able to play Windows versions of games on the Mac, what incentive is there for anybody to port games over to the Mac, or even make Mac native games in the first place? I'm sure that gaming is probably pretty low-priority for Apple, but still all the same this is going to probably hurt a few companies that have been supporting the Mac gaming community through all the hard times.
  • by ceeam ( 39911 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:12AM (#15066077)
    Cooorpoooraaaateee peeeneeetraaatiooon!

    I hope this goes too. Now one can safely "sneak" Macs into workplace. And when people see that MacOSX is equally suitable for developing/running business software, i.e. when "Macs are for graphic designers" meme starts dying... That could be valuable. Especially since I guess MacOSX will run circles around Vista on same hardware regarding speed, capability and general well-builtness.
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:15AM (#15066113) Journal
    This isn't about Apple "switching to Windows" or becoming yet another Windows PC manufacturer. In fact, it's the furthest thing from it.

    Exactly. It's all about dropping a barrier to entry, just like when Apple shipped X11 a couple of years ago.

    This move will get Apple many more hardware sales by removing a bludgeon that IT departments routinely use to veto Mac purchases.


  • by vitaboy ( 610992 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:19AM (#15066144)
    Quite the opposite. The ability to boot Windows makes Mac hardware more relevant, not less. They will go from selling 4 million boxes a year to selling 8 or 10 million. Apple is betting that most of those people will use OS X more and more, and Windows less and less. After all, the Intel Macs come chock full of very nice software (iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, etc) which still has no equal in the Windows world.

    The Machavellian aspect is this: a significant fraction of those dual-boot Macs will get their Windows partitions infected by some nasty malware or virus, thus FORCING USERS TO BOOT INTO LOVING AND SENSUOUS ARMS OF MAC OS X. And as we all know, once you go Mac, you DON'T GO BACK.
  • by gentlemen_loser ( 817960 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:20AM (#15066161) Homepage
    IBM killed OS/2 by making it VERY easy to run Windows apps under it. As a direct result of that, noone bothered developing applications for the OS/2 platform.

    Fucking companies never learn from their mistakes. This is going to result in the same "success" for Apple. People will be excited to be able to dual boot OS/X and Windows. Except all of their applications will be in Windows. So everytime they need to "use" the computer they will boot in Windows. Everytime the want to "play" with it they may boot into OS X. This will result in people spending 90% of their time in Windows and 10% (if even that) in OS X. This will result in Apple just being an "expensive" PC maker that will eventually kill them or knock them back into their niche.

    I know alot of people disagree with me - but before you just immediately jump down my throat I BEG you to look at the history of OS/2. If that is too old for your taste, look at Linux now. Please do not get me wrong - I AM a fan of Linux. However, why do you suppose it has failed to catch on so far? Its a better platform, drivers are finally available (in most cases, not all), and where is the software? No major companies are developing because people just "boot" into Windows to get work done and switch to Linux to play. I know, YOU (or I) do not. But your joe-sixpack typical user does.

    I've said it before (and been modded down) and will say it again: Worst. Idea. Ever.

    So, before you mod me down or immediately jump down my throat and you tell me how this now allows you to run Photoshop, I offer you this: I provided you two instances (OS/2 and Linux) where this approach (with allowing Windows to remain an "easy" out) has failed. Please explain to me why I am wrong - or better yet. Show me another example where this worked.
  • Re:FP? and Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by johnpaul191 ( 240105 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:22AM (#15066190) Homepage
    i agree that Apple is probably doing it to make potential switchers feel safer after taking the plunge, or those people that "need" windows for work or school, but want to use a Mac when they can.

    remember the iPod timeline. iTunes for the Mac existed for a while before the iPod was released. i forget how long it was, but for a while Apple did not make software for it to work with MS Windows, they suggested a 3rd party app. they eventually released iTunes for MS Windows, and the public theory was that they thought it would help sell a lot more iPods, and possibly show MS users how nice Apple software can be. anyone running Windows can download and use iTunes for free if they own an iPod or not.

    maybe they learned from the iPod experience that some people are really tied to windows for one reason or another (at least some of the time). there are people out there that would buy a Mac for the hardware, and run MS Windows 99% of the time. not too many i am sure, but there are some. the rumor sites had some mentions of Apple hooking up with some hardware benchmarking people that previously did stuff for windows. maybe Apple wants to try to run MS Windows faster than some Dell or whatever AND be able to boot the Mac OS. it really is the end of the "Apples to oranges" argument of PPC vs x86.

    i also don't see why this boot loader can't support some form of Linux, though i don't see Apple going out on a limb for it. holding down the option (alt) key during startup boot loader has been in the Mac OS for years. it would show you all the partitions with a valid OS install. i used to use it a lot when i had to bounce between OS 9 and OS X. it's easier than opening system prefs, selecting a startup disk just to do something for an hour in OS 9 then reverse the situation to go back to OS X.
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:29AM (#15066261) Journal
    But the question then is - does Apple continue to pour money into OS X, or could Gates and Ballmer be ameanable to making the modifications needed to make Windows Vista the next Macintosh OS?

    The better question is: having blown about ten billion dollars in direct costs (and maybe as much as fifty billion in opportunity costs) on the biggest failed development project in history, and having had to try to save face by hastily throwing together XP SP4 and pretending that it's actually Longhorn, despite having dropped all the features that were supposed to make it worth a six-year wait, does it make any sense for MS to do it all again, or should they buy a working OS from a vendor who can actually ship updates on a schedule?

    Longwind was MS's answer to the Copland project, only it's been far, far worse. They've only got one viable alternative to a rerun of the disaster of the last six years, and that's to swallow their pride (which they never had in the first place), and cough up about five billion dollars to license OS X. That's a bargain, compared to letting their horiffically incompetent management screw the pooch again. They could hire InfoSys to get .NET going on it, so as not to outrage all the suckers who've bought into their half-assed Java knock-off to date. Then, they just need to run XP in a penalty box which they could call "windows classic", and ship it. For the first time in their history, they'll be able to offer a reliable, securable OS. (They could have done it with Cutler's Last VMS, but their managment fucked that up beyond all hope of repair.)


  • by bokmann ( 323771 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:30AM (#15066266) Homepage
    I don't want to have to dual-boot... I want VMWare on OS X. I could run several sifferent machines with windows, linux, etc all at the same time. I do it now on windows - the only one missing is OS X. Having that as a host would be enough for me.
  • Converse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MisterSquid ( 231834 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:30AM (#15066271)
    If you can't beat them, join them!

    Actually, I think what's being said around Apple is "If you can't join them, beat them." Many people here are focused on the "war" between Mac OS and Microsoft, forgetting that Apple is mostly a hardware company and Microsoft is mostly a software company. Recall that Microsoft developed software for Macintosh first (MS Word) before porting it to MS DOS/Windows.

    Apple's Boot Camp is a knife in the hearts of other hardware makers: Dell, Gateway, HP, Sony. The belief (warranted or not) that Apple has the best computer hardware bar none is widespread and even formerly independent Alienware is going to have a hard time competing with a top-of-the-line quad core Intel machine from Apple.

    With Apple Boot Camp, Microsoft will keep making the money from Windows bundling and sales it always has (Apple Boot Camp also solidifies Microsoft's Office stronghold), and Apple will continue making money from hardware sales. The possible change under Apple Boot Camp is that Microsoft may increase its sales, especially among Mac OS diehards who won't touch PCs. I worked in a PC shop from 1997-2001 and I cannot stand Microsoft Windows. However, I would purchase a university-provided license to dual boot Windows Vista. I'm betting there are at least a few hundred thousand Mac users just like me.

    Dell now has real reason to be worried as they can't survive on that razor-thin margin without huge volume, and I'm betting sales of Apple hardware are going to spike very soon.

  • Re:FP? and Why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:30AM (#15066275)
    Well, for one thing the apps in Adobe Creative Suite 2 are not Universal Binaries, and won't be until the release of CS3 later this year (or next). Many graphics shops (historically Apple's core market)are holding off until then to buy any Intel-based Macs because while Rosetta can run Photoshop CS2, it's just painfully slow. My guess is that Apple is releasing this Boot Camp deal to 'sweeten the pot' for those who are waiting for Universal releases of their favorite multi-platform software.
  • Few Quick Notes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by catwh0re ( 540371 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:33AM (#15066303)
    It's a mixture of a few aspects, but in short I'd probably say no.

    First if you run OSX & XP side by side, OSX highlights windows short comings, like people b i t c h about finder, but they've never really had to use explorer in a pressured environment.

    Also when booting to XP, a magnitude of features aren't supported, IR remote, backlit keyboards, usb modems, bluetooth mice+keyboard, etc heck the brightness keys will stop responding if you just change keyboards.

    Finally in OSX you can as a minimum read your windows files(can't write to NTFS, but can write to FAT), in Windows you can't see any of your mac files. This becomes tiresome quickly.

    The idea is that people who really need to run that occassional windows app are able to, which fills a nice void as Virtual PC doesn't run under Intel macs at the moment.

    I suppose the best target market are laptop users who hate the s h i t PC laptops out there but still have to use windows at work. They can buy their mac, enjoy their photos, music and web stuff by night aka front row and the iLife suite. Then their bozo IT manager at work in the day can work with the machine like it's just another windows box.

    It's sorta like batman, all boring in the day at work. Then at night he's off in the cool car, with the toys/gadgets saving lives.

  • Re:Linux? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:37AM (#15066335) Homepage Journal
    but also wait until you can buy copies of OS X tiger that are not tied to the new macbook or iMacs & install that on your generic hardware.

    Don't hold your breath.

    Apple software has become more closely tied to the hardware as of late, not less. Nobody has seemed to make a big deal out of it (that I've seen) but Frontrow is the first piece of Apple software that I've ever seen that's intentionally designed to only run on one particular model Mac, even though other models are perfectly capable of running it.

    Apple doesn't sell computers and operating systems, they sell devices that do stuff.
  • by mmeister ( 862972 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:45AM (#15066406)
    Apple markets their products to real users, not ultra-geeks. Ultra geeks have already figured out how to boot into Linux. If you haven't, then you probably shouldn't be running Linux. Apple isn't looking to add support costs to some schmuck that doesn't under Linux.

    What advantage to Mac users have by running Linux on their Mac? And is that advantage a real world, mom & dad advantage?

    With Boot Camp, Apple is able to truly work as a replacement for your PC.

    I'm still holding out for what I think is a much more elegant solution (running Windows Virtually) because I like staying in Mac OS X and visiting Windows only when I have to.
  • Re:Linux? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fred_A ( 10934 ) <fred@fredsh o m> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:55AM (#15066497) Homepage
    In my experience, most Unix/Linux users aren't all that fond of the "nicer" Apple interface. The ones I've seen bought one for the same reason I did, because it was a cheap Unix laptop that "just works" and is of decent quality. Which is currently harder to do with Linux because of the exotic hardware.

    Why a Unix user would buy a Mac desktop machine is beyond me though. Unless he has a need for some piece of software that is bound to Mac OS (the photo management thing that was recently released looks nice).

    Of course there are exceptions everywhere :)
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bobdinkel ( 530885 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:04AM (#15066580)

    You touched on some of this already, but I think it boils down to these three things:

    • Dual booting makes getting a mac for the first time practically risk free for a windows user. Getting a mac isn't some huge commitment to OS X.
    • You got it: Games. I know several folks that won't get a mac because they still have to keep a windows box around for games. They won't anymore
    • Being able to boot into another platform makes a mac that much more compelling of a choice for developers.
  • Re:Look... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by feranick ( 858651 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:16AM (#15066709)
    You are right, it's a definite win for you, as you are already a Mac user. I think this is where this initiative will succeed.

    However, I am skeptical this will win over current windows user. It appear as a waste to me to buy a Mac and run windows on it. You buy good hardware, but the average windows user is more price-conscious than quality-conscious. If one wanted to switch, I think he/she sould have done it even without this dual boot initiative.

  • by Schwarzchild ( 225794 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:18AM (#15066737)
    I don't agree with your thesis. True, OS/2 was probably marginalized by its ability to run Windows apps, but you had to BUY OS/2 separately. When you buy a Mac you get OS X for free and guess what? It's a lot nicer than Microsoft Windows. Also most people that buy Macs do so because they like high quality products with style. Microsoft Windows has neither of these qualities. Anyone who is constrained to using Windows applications probably wouldn't even bother buying a Mac.
  • Re:Linux? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArbitraryConstant ( 763964 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:27AM (#15066816) Homepage
    "I can understand how someone might want to escape Windows for Linux, but I don't understand craving that Linux experience when you have a Mac."

    Performance: Linux has significant performance advantages covered in more detail in another post. This isn't necessarily a raw speed issue, you might be trying to profile your code and want results from a system that's similar to where the code will run in production.

    Software availability: This doesn't mean Macs have less software (as they have stuff Linux doesn't as well), only that they have different software. There are plenty of things that are only available or better available on Linux. The big example is Java, the Apple version on OS X isn't 100% compatible with the official version (has some extra bugs and stuff), and the Apple implementation typically releases new versions late and only for updated OS versions.

    Compatibility: MacOS isn't binary compatible or source compatible with Linux. If you're doing development for Linux, you usually need Linux. Even though it's possible to port software between the two, there's different platform-specific APIs (eg kqueue vs epoll) that make it impossible to move development entirely to the other platform.

    Features: Linux and Linux specific software has powerful features that MacOS doesn't. One is LVMs, which allow dynamic resizing and snapshots for filesystems. Apparently commercial virtualization software will be available in the future for MacOS, but at the moment there's nothing to match Xen or VMWare.

    None of this means Linux is "better", only that it's useful for different things. If you do the things where Linux is better suited, but want to retain the ability to do things for which MacOS is better suited, then that's a very compelling reason to dual-boot.
  • by timster ( 32400 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:28AM (#15066839)
    1) A change of CPU does not change what market you are in, any more than a change in graphics card, memory type, or keyboard layout.
    2) Apple is the only computer manufacturer with enough control over the OS to distinguish themselves in the market. Apple is currently experiencing tremendous growth in Mac shipments because of this.
    4) Stock prices are a fun game, but not a strong indicator of corporate strategy. Apple still makes more revenue from Macs than iPods.
    5) All Mac software development firms of any importance are migrating their products to Intel.
  • I doubt it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:31AM (#15066868) Homepage Journal

    Isn't this a disincentive to make Mac-native software? Why develop for a tiny fraction of the market when you can develop for the other 95% and wait for the remaining holdouts to install Windows on their Macs?

    I know many, many regular computer users (not the Slashdot demographic, but regular folks) who would love to be rid of Redmond if they could. However, many of them feel that the transition would simply be too painful. This makes the transition much, much easier for those afraid to take the leap into unfamiliar terrain. The hardware is excellent, OS X sounds spiffy, and the machine boots natively into XP just in case you need to use a particular app, or in case OS X simply scares you.

    My take on it is that when people have the chance to run OS X and Windows on the same machine, they may initially use some Windows apps they are familiar with, but the virtues of OS X will win them over. Eventually they'll find existing OS X software that does what their old Windows software did, but better. I find that in direct comparison, generally OS X apps simply function better than Windows counterparts.

    Over time, switchers will stop buying as much Windows software, and they'll stop running XP except for occasionally. Once Windows-only vendors start realizing that their marketshare is being eaten up by Mac software developers, they'll move more vigorously into the OS X market in order to compete.

    This is all obviously conjecture, but I think Apple is making a smart move here. They're confident enough that most customers, when given the opportunity, will choose OS X over XP. I think Apple is right about that.

  • Re:Nope. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fatted ( 777789 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:32AM (#15066887) Homepage
    If you want to run Linux, you're still on your own.
    Why would you actually want to run Linux, if you've already got a *nix operating system?
  • by vought ( 160908 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:47AM (#15067081)
    I think most people are missing the point; Apple is positioning bootcamp as software that "fixes" beoken down shitty old Windows so it'll work on your "special" Intel Mac.

    Read the Apple Bootcamp [] page. Phrases like:

    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.

    clearly indicate how Apple will be "bringing it" against Vista with Leopard. Apple is positioning Windows as the broken down, patched up, late again has-been with too many promises and too few benefits - but we'll do what Microsoft can't - get Windows running on new, nicer hardware in very little time. Apple makes Microsoft look like fools, especially by touting EFI and the fact that Windows STILL won't support it in Vista.

    It's gonna be an awfully exciting year for Apple watchers.
  • by Uncle Kadigan ( 839922 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:50AM (#15067111)
    I just swapped email with a friend about this topic, which includes some thoughts worth sharing:

    > Also, just heard a rumor that XCode is going to be able to create winders binaries.

    Yeah, I heard that rumor of the yellow-box's revival as well. I haven't yet digested the implications fully.

    > Why buy a Mac for $3k to run winders when they can buy a dull for a lot less.

    Now, let's be fair. You know perfectly well you can buy a decent new Intel Mac with the latest OS, lots of free software, a warranty and support for only $600. No, it's not ideal for everyone, but it's a very reasonable low-end solution.

    > To run Mac apps? Why should a developer write for Mac OS X when Macs can run winders now?

    Well, if you can write one program in Xcode and it runs automagically under both windoze and OS X (given YB compatability), you've added support for a popular and growing platform at little additional cost. That assumes you've moved your windows development environment over to Xcode, which is a pretty huge (and presently inaccurate) assumption. However, Apple has mindshare and really pretty apps, and from what I hear, Xcode is pretty slick. It might very well be worth the while of small-to-midsized developers to jump over if it becomes available.

    Here's another consideration. There are A LOT of potential switchers who currently must also keep windows around for one or two pieces of legacy SW, or for driver flashing, or for occasional compatability with clients/collegues/etc., or for GAMING, or for whatever. Now they can consolidate to one computer and simplify their lives. Significantly, only Apple sells such a computer.

    > I see this as a dangerous gamble. The rewards could be great, but it could further marginalize Apple.

    A gamble, yes, but I'm pretty sure this has been Apple's mid-term strategy for quite a while. People with much better business sense than you and I have surely been considering all the implications for longer than we have.

    This is a much different situation than IBM had with OS/2. People frequently don't like windows as much as they like OS X (once they've used both). There are many very good apps (some included free) for OS X, and it can also run almost any of the now-ubiquitous FOSS that's available for Unix/BSD/Linux. OS X has an arguably better user experience than windows, and it's "teh pretty". As mentioned above, Apple provides a very good free cross-platform (soon to include YB?) development environment. The HW that Apple sells is comparatively high quality and reasonably priced for what is included. Also, OS X tends to feel as fast or faster than windows on the same (currently shipping) HW. None of this was true for IBM at the time.

    > Besides, I wonder what m$ thinks of this. They may like it as it opens up a new client base. Or not.

    If they're smart, I suspect they are wetting themselves right about now. Although this is potentially good for them in the short term, it is another clear signal that Apple is engaging in a stealth campaign to take market share from windows. Once people get used to the idea that something should Just Work(TM), they tend to quickly tire of substandard products. With a big enough market penetration for OS X PLUS Unix/BSD/Linux (could be anywhere from 10-25%), microsoft effectively loses its desktop monopoly, and has to compete ON QUALITY. This is something they are both organizationally and technologically ill-equipped to do. If they manage to do so anyway, everybody wins.

    The future looks very promising indeed if you look at the situation through that lense.

  • Re:Converse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by massysett ( 910130 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:03PM (#15067282) Homepage
    Dell now has real reason to be worried as they can't survive on that razor-thin margin without huge volume, and I'm betting sales of Apple hardware are going to spike very soon.

    Naa, Dell's got nothing to worry about. Their bread and butter is enterprise accounts; home sales make up a very small percentage of their business. Enterprises won't start using Apple hardware just because it looks cool or runs Mac OS X. They'll take the boring black box every time, because it's cheaper. Apple's home sales might spike, but that hurts Dell very little.

    Alienware is a more interesting question; maybe gamers would go for a slick Mac that also runs Windows, just because the Mac looks good.

  • Re:Converse (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Greg_D ( 138979 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:03PM (#15067290)
    I'd be willing to bet that 90% of the populace would either disagree with the assertion that Apple provides the best hardware or not have a clue either way.

    The vast majority of people are going to look at the prices, see that Windows is what they're familiar with, and go with it. Switching from Windows to Apple is downright freaking annoying with all the differences in the UI, and that's going to trump whatever minor improvements in hardware that Apple has made, especially when you factor cost.

    You're right. Apple IS a hardware company. But their hardware comes at a premium and their OS is incompatible with most of the software available on the internet or in stores. By the time you get through purchasing a Mac comparable to the big vendors' offerings and purchasing Windows, you've spent the money that could have bought some very nice peripherals instead.
  • Sheesh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by a_peckover ( 228357 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:04PM (#15067309)
    Apple add a feature that lots of people asked for, make it really easy to do, give it away for free and still people complain.
  • by ArbitraryConstant ( 763964 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:15PM (#15067475) Homepage
    It is a disincentive to make Mac-native software, but that pressure does not exist in isolation. Balancing against that are the increased sales that will result, increasing the number of people running MacOS and therefore the incentive to produce native software.

    A useful example to consider is Linux. It has always been able to dual-boot with Windows, VMWare has allowed Windows to run in a VM for some time, and Wine allows Windows apps to run transparently. Yet, in the last few years it has reached the point where companies have started to produce native software anyway.

    Apple has always been at that point, and if they're going to make signficant gains this year (early indications are that they already have) then it will strengthen that position. There will be apps that don't make it (eg games), but I don't think the net impact will be a problem.
  • by peacefinder ( 469349 ) * <{alan.dewitt} {at} {}> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:26PM (#15067601) Journal
    I'm not a graphic designer, but even I can tell that the Boot Camp Windows logo is effing brilliant.

    First, it's a very nifty dodge for the copyright and trademark issue. While MS would be nuts to sue them over use of Microsoft logos in this context, Apple has completely dodged the issue. (They've generally been very careful to avoid any potential copyright issues in the whole process, especially by emphasizing the need for a legal, non-upgrade XP CD.) Microsoft is left with no grounds to complain.

    Secondly, the MacOS logo is still color in Boot Camp, but the other logo is greyscale. One is the new hotness, the other is old and busted. Graphic design messages don't get more clear.

    Apple has just totally counted coup on Microsoft. I bet the entire Apple marketing department will be useless for the rest of the week... none of them will be able to stop laughing.
  • by AHumbleOpinion ( 546848 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:46PM (#15067840) Homepage
    I doubt we're going to see Linux support form Apple any time soon--they are currently in the denial phase

    Apple *is* the largest desktop Unix vendor, they are not in denial, they are merely not bothering to support #2. That's a normal thing for #1 to do. The vast majority of open source software is not Linux specific, it builds for manny Unix environment including Mac OS X.
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:55PM (#15067945) Journal
    If a formerly Apple-hostile IT department did permit Mac purchases because the Mac could run Windows, it would also insist that the Mac only be used to run Windows - it would probably insist on having OS X removed entirely, in fact.

    Once the machine's in the user's posession, it's a different story. Anyone running Linux at work, for example, is typically running it on a box that came with Windows.

  • by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:33PM (#15068393)
    Now with a virtualization solution, Apple would really be in trouble. OS/2 trouble, that is. People switching mac-win-mac all the time really removes any incentive to port an app to the mac.

    I've highlighted the two errors people keep making on this topic.

    OS X is not OS/2. OS X is a well-established OS, with a large user base, and has a very healthy ISV ecosystem. OS/2 had its fanatics, and it had its corporate success stories, but it never did very well in the home, and it had a very limited/specialized commercial software market.

    The other error is that I keep hearing that there will be "no incentive" to write software for OS X if Mac users can run Windows programs directly. People will still prefer OS X native apps over Windows apps under virtualization. That preference equates to demand and demand equates to incentive.

    If the user was satisfied with Windows and Windows apps, they would have just bought a Dell. But the Mac user isn't satisfied with Windows and Windows apps. Now that Macs can run Windows (and probably do so better than most Windows PC's), expect a lot of gamers and corporate users to switch, further increasing demand for OS X apps.
  • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:53PM (#15068638) Homepage
    Game developers turned to be right on not coding for OS X.

    If they hired coders knowing OpenGL, OpenAL etc and Cocoa, paid them for 3 years, today they would check slashdot and see these news.

    As a PowerPC G5 owner, I can only respect their wise decision not trusting to an ex computer company which turned out to be an iPod manufacturer.
  • by WinDoze ( 52234 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:58PM (#15068699)
    Microsoft is left with no grounds to complain.

    Why would they compain at all? They're a software company. If you buy a copy of XP Pro why would they care if you install it on Apple hardware? MS doesn't make hardware (aside from peripherals).
  • by glesga_kiss ( 596639 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @02:14PM (#15068890)
    Macs use an ultra-modern industry standard technology called EFI to handle booting. []

    How can something be both "ultra-modern" and "industry standard". It's the old "new and improved" quandry; you can't have both. To become an "industry standard", you have to be around a while.

    The whole right sidebar on the official Apple page you linked to is not really the behaviour I would expect from a large company that has a "friendly" image. Wasn't there a discussion here on slashdot just yesterday regarding CEO and other workers posting as anon cowards on various sites to spread dirt about competitors? Some pointed out that many companies also openly did it, but I didn't expect Apple to be amoung them. Witness this little cherry:

    Windows running on a Mac is like Windows running on a PC. That means it'll be subject to the same attacks that plague the Windows world.

    Sure, Windows does have a piss-poor security history, but the language here is a little bit off.

  • by glesga_kiss ( 596639 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @02:27PM (#15069009)
    To me it looks as though Apple have been working on this for a while. The first XP boot on a mac/intel box was only a few weeks ago, right? And in that time they've done this:

    - built a drive repartitioner and tested the hell out of it. A bug here, bye bye personal documents and OS.

    - added a bootloader keyboard hook and a system for specifying multiple bootloaders. (may have already existed?)

    - compiled a complete set of XP drivers for the hardware

    - writen an installer application to take you through the process.

    That's quite a lot of work. This is definately a part of Apple's road map in my opinion, but even if I'm wrong, it shows Apple have the ability to adapt and that they aren't scared of just diving in at the deep end when the inevitable (dual boot) happened. Many companies would have languished, others would have sued. Apple said "nah, we can do better". Good job Apple!

  • by NetFu ( 155538 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @02:54PM (#15069296) Homepage Journal
    The appeal of Linux to students and scientists I'll believe, because it's CHEAP for students, and scientists have very specific veritical market needs and can make Linux work for their uses.

    Linux companies (except possibly Novell/SuSE in the past 6 months) do NOT market to desktop and home users. Ask an average desktop/home user if they know what Linux is -- 90% of the time, they've never heard the word. The other 10% have heard the word, but don't have a clue what it is.

    Linux companies do not market to business users for anything other than servers. I know, because I'm an I.T. Director heading up the move of our company's entry-level desktops and laptops from Windows and Office to SuSE Linux 10 and OpenOffice. The migration is an uphill battle just from a technical point of view, and I've used Linux for about 12 years at work. No Linux company ever did any marketing to get me to make that decision.

    What software runs natively in Linux that does not run natively in Mac OS X? And I'm talking about the average user, not techies. I run Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux everywhere, and I honestly have more mainstream software available to me in Mac OS X than I do in Linux. What isn't is not mainstream, runs in Windows, or runs in Mac OS X or Linux using the same OSS -- WINE. There is very, very little OSS that compiles and runs in Linux that I can't compile and run in Mac OS X with similar ease. Most OSS that I compile and run in Mac OS X and Linux already auto-configures for Mac OS X/Darwin automatically to ease the compile process.

    I don't know of any non-server software that runs natively in Windows and Linux, but not OS X -- maybe you can list some?

    On Linux dev support from Apple, how many people buy a UNIX-based Mac to run Linux??? Do you think it makes sense for Apple to support that very limited number of users?

    The fact is that Intel Macs running Macs OS X UNIX and Windows XP in a dual boot setup really divides the *NIX community. Why? Because if you can dual boot Windows XP with your favorite *NIX OS, why would you triple boot Windows XP, Linux, and UNIX (unless, of course, you're a developer)?

    Most people like me who use Mac OS X and Linux and appreciate both, will choose one or the other to dual boot with Windows XP. And guess which *NIX OS people like me who already own a Mac will choose? Hint: I won't run Linux on my Macs, and I have no desire to. And, I'm very sure that people who really want Linux (and aren't just using Linux like me because we have to dual-boot Windows for work) have no desire to use Mac OS X, and won't buy a Mac to dual-boot Windows XP and Linux.

    To me, and I'm sure to Apple execs, this makes the Linux on Mac question very clear...
  • by Captain Perspicuous ( 899892 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:09PM (#15069466)
    Well, if a third party releases some virtualization solution, Apple is not in trouble, as software houses cannot rely on the fact that they are installed in most machines. Now with Apple itself releasing such a solution, things are different. Devs will go "my app already runs on those boxes" and stop porting. That's the difference. Well actually I hope not, but I see it very likely.
  • Well, considering that EFI is now 6 years old, why shouldn't it be both ultra modern and industry standard?

    Just because you haven't heard of it until now doesn't mean it isn't established. It's been running in Itanium and a handful of x86 systems for over 5 years now.

    The only real issue is calling it an "industry standard". More like a "good idea made real", but Apple is known for hyperbole.

    Besides regarding Windows, isn't it true that, "running on a Mac is like Windows running on a PC. That means it'll be subject to the same attacks that plague the Windows world?" I would call it due diligence, warning prospective Mac users installing Windows XP that they will be opening their Windows PC to a whole world of vulnerabilities virtually unheard of on a Mac.

    "Warning, consumption of alcohol by pregnant women can contribute to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome."

    Would you say this statement is off because it is critical of alcohol manufacturers? Apple is stating a known truth and issuing a fair warning. It may not be nice or friendly, but it is true and it is useful for those Mac users who have never had to deal with spyware, viruses, or malware before.
  • Re:Linux? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AgNO3 ( 878843 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:37PM (#15069749) Homepage
    Uh OS X will not be running on Generic hardware for a long long time to come. Apple makes all its money selling Hardware not OS's So until they can sell A WHOLE LOT of OS's they can not afford to not sell the hardware Thus..... No Mac OS X for gerneric hardware.
  • by Onan ( 25162 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:44PM (#15069808)
    How can something be both "ultra-modern" and "industry standard".
    The phrase "industry standard" could mean a couple of different things. It could, as you suggest, mean something which is the most common thing used in an industry. Or it could, as Apple seems to mean, be something that is a published and finalized standard that's available to the industry as a whole. Probably best characterized as "the industry standard" versus "an industry standard".

    The clearest example that comes to mind is ipv6. Close to no one uses it, and yet it is unquestionably a standard, and could plausibly be described as "ultra-modern."

    I think all they were trying to convey there was "really, this isn't just some shit we made up. This isn't another ADB or LocalTalk; this is a recognized standard that's also used by not-us people."

  • by vought ( 160908 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:56PM (#15069938)
    Apple just makes something up, and proclaims it's "Better" then the competition. The BIOS works fine, why change it just to be "Cool" and break 20 years of backwards compatability?

    Here, here. BIOS works just fine! Why muddy the waters with a more modern, extensible, secure and flexible firmware layer?

    It's people like you who have helped us keep the super-useful parallel port on the back of our zero-configuration USB desktop printers. Why shouldn't someone with a 286 and Windows 3.1 miss out on the superlative experience of today's inkjets?

  • Re:captive NTFS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Suddenly_Dead ( 656421 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:15PM (#15070130)
    If you've installed Windows on your Mac already (where a "Captive"-like solution would get the driver), it's probably safe to assume that you either have the license or have a pirated copy of Windows and don't care about the legality.

    WINE is LGPL too, which should make this idea even more attractive...
  • by tsm_sf ( 545316 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:21PM (#15070864) Journal
    I call it "fanboys in a slapfight" he said, while adjusting the frame slightly to the left.
  • ewwww (Score:3, Insightful)

    by snuf23 ( 182335 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @08:41PM (#15072293)
    "FORCING USERS TO BOOT INTO LOVING AND SENSUOUS ARMS OF MAC OS X. And as we all know, once you go Mac, you DON'T GO BACK."

    I know you were being funny, but comments like this turn me off of the Mac community. Just gives me unpleasant images of someone in a black turtleneck whacking off while they bring the dashboard up and down.
    This retarded view that it's not just an operating system, it's some wonder of the modern world, a thing of true beauty in a wasteland of mediocrity. Whatever. I use OS X every day and it has it has it's warts just like any other OS. I wish it always "Just Worked" because it doesn't.
  • by Calroth ( 310516 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:26PM (#15072518)
    People will always find something to complain about.

    1. Someone finds a way to boot a totally new environment on a Mac, allowing people to run applications they couldn't otherwise. Although this is an amazing technical achievement, people complain that you have to dual-boot.

    2. Someone finds a way to avoid dual-booting by getting that totally new environment at the same time as the Mac (e.g. virtualisation). People complain that they have to keep switching between the two, and it would be better to integrate the two environments, for example, having the windows from both environments sharing the same desktop.

    3. Someone finds a way to integrate the two environments. People complain that the totally new environment isn't "Mac-like" enough, although by definition it can't be. Short of porting things to Mac OS X (defeating the purpose of this), it's an intractable problem.

    With Windows XP, we're up to stage 1 - dual booting.

    With X11, we're up to stage 3. Stage 1 was dual booting into a Linux environment; stage 2 was XDarwin; stage 3 is Apple's current X11 and window manager. but instead of basking in the glow that is thousands of cool free software apps, people complain that things like or Evolution or GAIM, running in X11, is terrible and un-Mac-like. (That's a generalisation; I'm not saying that you're complaining.)

    All those complaints about Apple not providing a virtualisation solution, are just complaining that we're not yet at stage 2. Once Apple provides that, those people may be satisfied; but a whole different group of people will start complaining that we're not at stage 3. And once we get there, yet another group of people will complain that we are at stage 3.

    Of course, this is all worthwhile; I'm not saying otherwise. In fact, I'm hugely grateful just to get stage 1. But no matter what you do, people will always find something to complain about. (Hmm, that's nowhere as insightful as I thought it was.)
  • Re:Few Quick Notes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by catwh0re ( 540371 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:59PM (#15073256)
    While I'd definitely clarify your post as flame-bait. I'd just like to clarify that my system is neither broken nor unpatched. These errors have been tested across numerous systems, in fact the US army had to ship powerbooks to the middle east for this exact problem that I'm detailing, for example read this wired article,2125,57961,00.html []

    Now as you would realise Apple's hardware is not magical, in fact it's mostly standard components that everyone can purchase. Instead it's the operating system that is different.

  • Re:Linux? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @07:50AM (#15074751)
    ait until you can buy copies of OS X tiger that are not tied to the new macbook or iMacs & install that on your generic hardware

    Not gonna happen, sorry. Wait as long as you want, OS X isn't coming out for generic PCs.

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