Microsoft Windows Vista will not support EFI booting (Intel-based Macs only support booting via EFI)

“Microsoft revealed today [at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF)] that it will not support EFI booting for Windows Vista on its launch. The news will be a shock for owners of Intel Macs who had hoped they would be able to dual-boot between Windows Vista and OS X. Intel Macs only support booting via EFI,” Dan Warne reports for apcmag. “Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) is the modern and flexible successor to the 20-year-old PC BIOS. It is responsible for initialising hardware in the PC, and importantly, device drivers are stored in the EFI flash memory rather than being loaded by the operating system. It is a major change for the PC industry and both PC makers and Microsoft have been slow to make the switch. Because the Apple Intel Mac platform is entirely new, it does not have any legacy support concerns. It was hoped that 2006 would be the year PC makers would make the switch. Microsoft’s lack of Windows support is a huge blow to Intel’s hopes, and removes most of the incentive for PC makers to implement it in the short term.”

“That’s terrible news for Intel Mac users who have been hoping that they could dual-boot Windows and Mac OS X on their new Macs: not only are their processors not 64-bit (and thus will never be supported by Windows EFI booting) but Windows Vista won’t boot on EFI anyway,” Warne reports.

Full article and link to unedited recording of Microsoft’s revelations about Vista at IDF. (21.6MB, MP3)here.

“Apple Senior Software Architect Cameron Esfahani said that his understanding is that only 64-bit versions of Vista will support EFI. To this point, all of the Intel Macs have used 32-bit chips,” Ina Fried, reports for CNET News. “‘I don’t think so’ he said, when asked whether Inte Macs should easily run Vista. Esfahani was speaking at the Intel Developer Forum here–to a packed room despite the session being the last of the conference. In addition, while EFI has the prospects for supporting many older types of software and hardware, Apple has not included much of that “legacy” code in its EFI implementation. ‘Windows is a legacy OS,’ he said to laughter and applause from the crowd. ‘We don’t have legacy support.'”

Full article here.

“I’m not sure why Microsoft decided to drop EFI support after having promised up until now that it would be included in Vista. Intel, the creator of EFI, has really been pushing it and with support from both Apple and Microsoft, it wouldn’t be long before it completely replaced the BIOS. There’s no doubt that this announcement has Intel more than a little bit miffed. One would also think Microsoft would realize the great opportunity it has here to make inroads into the Mac market. Apple’s computer sales have been rising recently under the halo effect of the iPod so their marketshare is significant. That also means that a lot of new Mac users are recent Windows converts and I’m sure that many of them wouldn’t mind running both operating systems. In any case, it will be interesting to see how this turns out,” David Johnston writes for RealTechNews.

Full article here.

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46 Comments

  1. <yawn> Whatever..do not now, nor plan to in the future, make any effort to install Windows anything on any Mac I have now or will have in the future.

    MW-going. Macintosh.. going its own way for 22 years

  2. Figures. Vista is just another version of XP in a new tin can. Seriously sad. You’d think with the multiple versions that they are going to make they would at least have ONE version that would suppose EFI.

    MDNews Magic Word: “Alone” as in “Sputnik is alone in thinking that no EFI support is a good thing”

  3. This is irrelevant. Dual booting is fairly pointless when working. What is needed is something like VPC which runs on the Intel Macs so XP/Longhorn can run inside OS X as a separate process. That way it stays as a proper Mac but allows you to slum on the mean streeets of Windows when required.

  4. Why would Microsoft help Mac market share? Of course Microsoft will make it difficult to run Windows natively on Macs. People claiming this would be in Microsoft’s best interests are being silly; Apple is a rival in the digital entertainment space, and increased Mac market share only helps Apple further its goals as well as introduce more people to OS X.

  5. “I’m not sure why Microsoft decided to drop EFI support after having promised up until now that it would be included in Vista.”

    “A promise made is a debt unpaid.” Robert Service

    “A promise is a cloud, fulfillment is rain.” Arabian proverb

    “Promise little and do much.” Hebrew proverb

    “No cause of action arises from a bare promise.” Legal maxim

    “An acre of performance if worth a world of promise.” Red Auerbach

  6. That goes to show you how much progress Microsoft has NOT made with Vista. If Apple were to do the same as Microsoft all the analyst would be up in arms about why keep such an old technology going for 20 years! Stocks would fall like the new years eve ball if Apple came out with something like this in what is supposed to be a new operating system. It seems like everyone was right. Vista is just going to be XP Plus instead of something all new. Get out your virus updates and spyware blockers PC people, you’re going to need them with Vista the all OLD operating system is coming back to haunt you once more.

    It’s not all bad news though, you can choose from seven different versions of Vista that I’m sure will clean out your bank account really well. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

  7. M$ just shot themselves in the foot. More and more folks are going to care less and less about Windoze, and this move just casts that in bronze.

    It’s kinda fun watching the end of M$. Granted, it’s probably a ten year journey, but i’m enjoying it so far. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  8. What? You think anyting we promised for Vist was a sure thing? Ninety percent of what we promisd has already been dropped. I fuigure we got anohter 9 percent to work with and still not be complete liars.

    Steve Jobs wishes he could pull this kidn of crap off and get away with it like we do.

    Yeeeeehhaaaaaaa!!!! I love this company!!!!!!!!

  9. “Why would Microsoft help Mac market share?”

    “Microsoft would slash its own wrists if it thought it would hurt mac sales.”

    Well it would be easy for Microsoft to hurt Mac sales and market share. Just discontinue all Mac applications and support.

    Ain’t gonna happen. Microsoft will be a Mac developer as long as possible because Apple is their R&D Idea Factory.

    And MS makes good money from Mac app sales.

  10. M$ are weak. They’re only using EFI with 64 bit Vista. It’s going to take a long time to bring the whole world to new supporting hardware.

    These are business moves to maximize profit, not innovation. It would have been like Henry Ford building two versions of the Model T: one with rubber wheeels, the other with fastened-on horse shoes.

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