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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 daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:37AM (#15065706)
    But, some notes:

    - Even the existing [] solution wasn't "illegal" or against any Apple or Microsoft license agreement - not saying the summary said that, but it kind of implied it might be

    - The HUGE difference with Boot Camp is that it includes Windows XP driver profiles for Apple-specific hardware - including video drivers! Hello games and video intensive Windows software!

    - Another big difference is that it includes a live repartitioning tool so the drive doesn't have to be reformatted to install Windows as the current solution requires

    - And, it wraps everything up in a nice "setup assistant"-like interface

    - It does burn a custom Windows XP installation disc (no, this does not violate any Microsoft or Windows license agreement, as making custom Windows installation discs has been routine in IT shops for years)

    - Currently, it looks like it supports only Windows XP SP2, not any multi-disc XP-based installations (or other non-Windows OSes), but since Media Center is already working with the other solution by making a custom installation disc, I have no doubts that it could work with this as well

    It's pretty incredible that Apple has decided to do this, to say the least.

    However, the true benefit for many people won't come from dual-booting, but from running Windows (or any other x86 OS) in a virtualization environment alongside OS X with no dual booting or rebooting needed.

    Virtualization company Parallels [] announced that it will be bringing its Parallels Workstation virtualization product to Intel-based Macs []. Parallels is a hypervisor-based (with a kernel module) virtual machine solution already shipping for Windows and Linux, and is the first desktop virtualization product to support Intel VT/Vanderpool CPU "partitioning". It's also only $50. Parallels also has a long list of officially supported guest OSes [], and that's just the ones that are *officially* supported. So either way, we'll have a nice dual boot solution AND a nice virtualization solution!

    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 []? And not just virtualization to run x86 OSes, but to also run multiple instances of Intel-variants of Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server (*as well* as any other x86 OS)? Now THAT would be the holy grail. Desktop virtualization for things like Windows and Linux/BSD environments, and server virtualization for multiple Mac OS X/Mac OS X Server instances on a single box.

    Since Apple has shown it's been officially willing to acknowledge the alternate OS/Windows universe on Intel-based Macs, I actually have a lot more hope for native, integrated virtualization in Leopard as well!
    • by jcr ( 53032 ) < .ta. .rcj.> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:41AM (#15065751) Journal
      It does burn a custom Windows XP installation disc

      No, it burns a drivers disk. You still install from the MS install disk.

    • 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.


      • so, you never used vmware, did you ?

        there's something called "virtual disk", a huge file siting on top of the host OS native filesystem (HFS+, ext3, ufs, etc) that the virtual machines maps to the guest OS as an IDE/SCSI disk.

    • by statusbar ( 314703 ) <> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:08AM (#15066040) Homepage Journal
      Betcha the 'catch line' for leopard will be something like "This leopard CAN change its spots"... :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:38AM (#15065726)
    You get the stability of Windows with the value-of-money of Apple hardware. Sign me up.
    • EDUCATION MARKET (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vwjeff ( 709903 )
      Why bother? Windows has basically taken over Apple's former monopoly, the Education Market. I am a computer technician for the local public school district. We have two choices and only two choices; Windows or Mac. Linux is not an option because we have applications which are required by the department of public instruction and they only run on Windows or OS 8.1-9.2.2. That's right, no OSX support. Before these education programs were a requirement, most of our computers we Macs. The ability to dualb
    • Too bad Apple is shipping network drivers. If they didn't, this would be the most secure Windows box ever. :-)
  • by Comics ( 464489 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:38AM (#15065728) Homepage
    A bit late for April Fools isn't it? Hell is freezing over...
  • Doh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:39AM (#15065739) Homepage
    Steve Jobs just missed out on winning $12,000 in the boot XP on a Mac contest!!! And you know the dude needs the cash since he is only paid $1 a year as Apple's CEO. I bet he is just kicking himself right now.
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:39AM (#15065741) Journal
    Damn. We were almost lucky enough to lose a CNET columnist []. Oh well, I guess the life insurance policy I took out on him will never come to fruition ...
  • by drrck ( 959788 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:41AM (#15065747)
    If Apple had really been thinking they would have released this sooner to get all that sweet prize money...
  • weird (Score:5, Funny)

    by trybywrench ( 584843 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:44AM (#15065783)
    I'm not sure how i'd feel about having xp boot on my mac. It's like making out with your 2nd cousin, yeah sure you're making out with someone but it just doesn't feel right.
  • by sdpurns ( 877396 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:45AM (#15065797)
    What I find hilarious is that Apple's interpretation of the Windows logo is the first time it's ever looked good. This is the ultimate switch campaign. It is so on.
  • 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 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 []
    • by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:28AM (#15066244)
      Also eyebrow-raising, Apple's take on the XP logo:

      Yeah, it's a black diamond.

      Leave it to Apple to re-stylize the Windows logo to look better and be more informative.
      • by peacefinder ( 469349 ) * <> 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 swschrad ( 312009 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:55AM (#15065895) Homepage Journal
    seems I remember that even back in the Copeland days, Apple had tightly held code that allowed winslows to run on the PPC macs. I strongly suspect it's not really a skunk-works operation, but a calculated "black team" Apple has maintained to keep the MacOS folks' feet to the fire. and a Plan B in case they needed allies and/or money fast.

    "hey, genius, I can run Windows under two layers of emulation faster than your freakin' routine runs native. optimize or die! I got Pagemaker running without panics and you don't!"

    so since there are enterprising uber-nerds with vista alphas running on the Intel macs now, Apple probably figured it was time to protect their kernel and boot loader from hacks and put their own flexible one out.
  • 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 Captain Perspicuous ( 899892 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:25AM (#15066213)
      That's probably the reason why Apple won't release a virtualization solution, ever: Make it possible to run Windows, but make it complicated enough (having windows a save-everything-and-reboot away kinda works, but it's not for regular use), so people will mostly stay inside OS X.

      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.

      Well, we'll see...
    • I doubt it (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Infonaut ( 96956 )

      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 int

    • 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
  • by Anonymous Meoward ( 665631 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:05AM (#15066001)

    Excuse me while I burn a little karma. I loved this bit from the web page:

    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.

  • by alexhs ( 877055 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:09AM (#15066047) Homepage Journal
    ... to create an alternative ms-windows logo better than the original ! :)
  • In a lab setting... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dr. Blue ( 63477 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:23AM (#15066194)
    The ability to easily (and "officially santioned") multiboot is fantastic for me. Especially if it worked with free OS loaders for Linux and the BSDs as well.

    My own situation: I'm a faculty member with both research and teaching labs in computer security, where we often muck about with various settings and try different combinations of machines on a network. If I could have one piece of hardware which would boot (without fighting with it too much) Mac OS X, different Windows flavors, Linux, the BSD's, and Solaris x86, that would be fantastic. Right now I have separate (and seriously aging) hardware for Apple stuff. Stick a 300 gig drive on that baby and have a bunch of partitions.... hmmmm...

    When it's time for a lab upgrade, this will be something I have to look at very seriously. The "official blessing" does mean something to me -- I wouldn't want to invest in 15 machines for a lab and then have Apple come back later and throw in incompatibilities because they decide they don't like the unofficial multiboot solutions (think about what they've done with the iPod and Real as far as incompatibilities).

    Now if that hardware would just support virtualization (Xen or something) to make this even easier, I'd be one seriously happy camper.
  • by Deslock ( 86955 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:23AM (#15066195)
    I read through the setup guide [] and it appears that bootcamp doesn't address the file system incompatibilities (not that I expected it to). It's like this:

    HFS+: OS X uses it; XP doesn't recognize it

    FAT32: Both OS X and XP can read and write to it, but it has limits in partition size and doesn't allow for files larger than 4GB (no DVD backup for you!)

    NTFS: Both OS X and XP can read it, but OS X can't write to it

    One solution is MacDrive [], which allows Windows to read and write to HFS+. But I'd rather that OS X be able to write to NTFS.

    Virtual PC lets you move stuff back and forth, but it has inferior performance and some software doesn't work with it (Thayer's guide to birds of North America [] doesn't run under VPC, for example). And of course VPC doesn't work on the Intel Macs at all.

    Still, being able to run Windows is *excellent* news for Apple and for OS X. It means more people will buy Macs because many need to run Windows for specific applications but would rather use OS X for everything else. If they can address the filesystem incompatibility and get the OSs to run concurrently [] without any performance hit, Apple's market share will skyrocket.

  • 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.
    • I totally agree with you on this; it'd be great if VMWare makes an OS X version or if Apple uses something like Xen themselves; I'll take what I can get, but what I want is to not have to actually reboot out of OS X just to run one crummy Windows-only app and lose all my other apps, like email, chat, etc....
  • Look... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wandazulu ( 265281 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:35AM (#15066321)
    To all the people thinking that this is the end of OS X, the end of gaming, "just like OS/2", etc., the difference is that, to me, this changes nothing...I use OS X as my native environment 95% of the time. The other 5% is using specific Windows software that will not ever see a Mac port.

    That I can use my Mac to boot natively into XP to use that app is a huge win; I don't need to keep a POS Dell around just for that one app on Windows. Plus, assuming the MacBook is built like my PowerBook, it'll work for me for years as a war horse that can take the punishment I have inflicted on it (hello round-the-world photo shoot, using the PB as my darkroom and portfolio case)

    Remember, Apple is a hardware company...they make real stuff that comes in padded boxes. That they can make both kick-ass hardware, *and* a kick-ass operating system doesn't change the fact that, rightly or wrongly, Windows and Dell are still the kings of the hill. Apple has saved me from having to buy a new PC *and* a new copy of Windows with it. That's less money for Microsoft and Dell, and more for Apple (when I get my MacBook).

    Seems like a pretty smart move to me.
  • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:40AM (#15066357) Journal
    It just occured to me that software vendors could write OS X software designed to access the windows drive and clean it of viruses, spyware and other nasty stuff. Definitely a money maker.
  • by klubar ( 591384 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:41AM (#15066368) Homepage
    This is great news for Microsoft, they now have another wintel manufacturer in the stable -- some customers buy the cheapest machines available, while others go for the faster and other now have a choice of an attractive design. Apple is just another wintel box assembler. Buy the mac, through away the free OS included and run windows.

    And why should MS continue to develop Mac Office? For $125 (student/teacher) you can buy the Windows OS and then run the PC version of Office. The same is true for all the other "fringe" software; just add $200 to cost and bundle it with the Windows OS, then every software vendor can claim Mac compatibility.

    In the end this will just increase MS share of the OS market and decrease the availability of Mac OS software.
  • by AugstWest ( 79042 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:48AM (#15066437)
    I've never seen it go this fast, it told me "Setup will complete in approximately: 36 minutes, and then 2 minutes later it was down to 19.

    I need to run Cakewalk's Sonar to deal with some projects I'm recording. I generally use Ableton Live in OSX, but I need to be able to open Cakewalk bundles too. Hey look, now I can....

    Thank you, Apple.
  • In the last few days (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Shnizzzle ( 652228 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:13AM (#15066679)
    In the last two days we've had microsoft releasing support for running virtual OSes like Linux and Apple releasing support for dual booting windows. So now, you could run a virtual linux server, through windows running natively, on a mac -- with the 'blessings' of both Apple and Microsoft. I know it's obvious but seeing it like in print like this is still pretty incredible.
  • 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.

  • by linebackn ( 131821 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:28PM (#15067638)
    I can hear it now. Software vendors just love to support only the "one true operating system". I think the main thing keeping people porting software at all to MacOS was that it was very hard to tell users that they spent megabucks on a fancy system and it won't run their software. They can't just tell them to trash their Mac and get a PC so if money permits you port it Mac.

    Well, now vendors are just going to tell these people "Please install Windows" and they won't feel guilty about it. After all the users don't have to throw anything away and are actually ADDING something to their system. And if they could afford that expensive Mac then they surly can afford a copy of Microsoft Windows. And with Apple fully supporting this now there is no excuse to defend against having to install Windows.

    I hear all the folks that think this is cool because now they can run all of their Windows only games - but they should have been demanding that companies port to MacOS X. Now they will likely never see another game for MacOS X again now that they can be expected to "Just install Windows".

    And I don't even want to think how this will affect the Web now that Macs can run that old obsolete piece of trash IE browser that so many moron web designers seem to expect people to have. "You want to browse our site using a Mac? Please install Windows and use IE 6!"

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