Apple introduces Boot Camp: public beta software enables Intel-based Macs to run Windows XP

Apple today introduced Boot Camp, public beta software that enables Intel-based Macs to run Windows XP. Available as a download beginning today, Boot Camp allows users with a Microsoft Windows XP installation disc to install Windows XP on an Intel-based Mac, and once installation is complete, users can restart their computer to run either Mac OS X or Windows XP. Boot Camp will be a feature in “Leopard,” Apple’s next major release of Mac OS X, that will be previewed at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in August.

“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 the press release. “We think Boot Camp makes the Mac even more appealing to Windows users considering making the switch.”

Boot Camp simplifies Windows installation on an Intel-based Mac by providing a simple graphical step-by-step assistant application to dynamically create a second partition on the hard drive for Windows, to burn a CD with all the necessary Windows drivers, and to install Windows from a Windows XP installation CD. After installation is complete, users can choose to run either Mac OS X or Windows when they restart their computer.

Funny Apple notes on the Boot Camp web page include:
EFI and BIOS – 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.

Word to the Wise – 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. So be sure to keep it updated with the latest Microsoft Windows security fixes.

The public beta of Boot Camp is available immediately as a download, and is preview software licensed for use on a trial basis for a limited time. The final version of Boot Camp will be available as a feature in the upcoming Mac OS X version 10.5 “Leopard.” Apple does not provide support for installing or running Boot Camp and does not sell or support Microsoft Windows software. Apple welcomes user feedback on Boot Camp at:

Boot Camp requires an Intel-based Mac with a USB keyboard and mouse, or a built-in keyboard and TrackPad; Mac OS X version 10.4.6 or later; the latest firmware update; at least 10GB of free space on the startup disk; a blank recordable CD or DVD; and single-disc version of Windows XP Home Edition or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later.

More info about Apple’s Boot Camp public beta and download link here.

MacDailyNews Take: Welcome to “Embrace and extinguish,” Apple-style. The war ain’t over, folks. It never was. Now, a new chapter begins and today’s shot will be heard around the world! Don’t you just love the smell of napalm in the morning?

This doesn’t hurt Microsoft (yet), but it absolutely puts Dell, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, etc. into a world of pain.

Why buy a Dell when Apple’s Intel-based Macs will run both Mac OS X and Windows? As we wrote way back on June 8, 2005: Oh, so one could buy a Mac and run both Windows and Mac OS X or buy a Dell and only be able to run Windows. Muahahahahah! So, can anyone explain why would anyone in their right mind would buy a Dell or any other Wintel box assembler’s kit again? This is shaping up to become a “license Mac OS X or die” problem for the Dells of the world. But, what if Steve Jobs doesn’t feel like licensing Mac OS X? Checkmate. Is it too early to suggest that Michael Dell shut down the company and give the money back to shareholders?

Wait until Wall Street figures this one out.

As we wrote in a MacDailyNews Take on May 9, 2005:“The war isn’t over until there’s a surrender. Apple’s still here and the Mac platform is growing and advancing, not shrinking and retreating. As long as Apple makes Macs, as Yogi said, ‘It ain’t over ’til it’s over.’ PCs are turned over every few years; all it would take is for the average user to choose a Mac for their next computer and things would quickly change drastically. With Windows in disarray and Longhorn looking more like Stillborn, right now is Apple’s best time to strike and strike hard.”

Our own SteveJack wrote on December 28, 2005, “Could Steve Jobs be preparing to drop just such a bomb on the Windows box assemblers at Macworld Expo or sometime in 2006? Would he first drop just a moderately destructive atomic bomb on the likes of Dell, HP, Lenovo, Gateway, etc., leaving out the ‘Windows apps on Mac without Windows’ threat to Microsoft? Or could Jobs actually be boldly planning to drop the industry-devastating hydrogen bomb on both the Windows box assemblers and Microsoft all in one fell swoop? If a Mac could run Mac OS X and Windows, who would buy a Dell, HP, etc.? If a Mac could run Mac OS X and Windows applications without Windows, who would buy a Dell or a copy of Windows from Microsoft? And what would Microsoft be able to do about it? Drop Internet Explorer for Mac (LOL)? Drop Office for Mac? Big deal, we’ll run the Windows versions on our Macs then, if need be. Is this why Jobs has been building a world-class library of Mac-only software titles for years? Does Jobs still harbor the desire to take back the personal computer industry from Microsoft? Could that be the real reason why Jobs is undertaking the massive switch to Intel-based Macs? Or do you really think the switch to Intel-based Macs is just to get better performance per watt CPUs for Apple iBooks and PowerBooks?”

As Windows-only users buy Macs that will provide them their “comfort” of Windows, they will experience Mac OS X and use it for the excellent Mac-only applications. We all know what happens when people are given the chance to really use Macs for longer than five minutes, they usually want to buy a Mac. These new Apple Mac hardware users will start out using Windows more than Mac OS X and end up using Mac OS X exclusively. Watch and see.

While dual-booting is okay for those that need to use Windows apps, we’d still like to eventually see a solution like Darwine that runs Windows apps without Windows directly in Mac OS X. When that happens, the revenue going to Microsoft dries up and Windows’ death accelerates dramatically.

For those worried about Mac developers leaving the Mac OS X platform and just writing for Windows, we do not think that’s a real worry. Mac developers write for Mac OS X because of the numerous advantages it offers both to them and to the end user. The largest Mac developer, by the way, happens to be Apple, with many best-in-class Mac-only applications (the iLife suite, for just one example). You can’t run these on Windows and Apple isn’t about to abandon Mac OS X for Windows. Oh, sure, maybe a few smaller developers will try it, but most of the shaky Mac developers have already been weeded out during the Mac OS X transition anyway. Mac OS X is strong and getting stronger. Don’t worry about developers leaving the Mac platform for Windows; it’s not going to happen.

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Related articles:
Dude, you bought a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006
Intel-based Apple Mac runs Windows XP ‘fast, extremely well’ – March 16, 2006
Needham: Apple’s Mac market share could rocket to 9-percent if Intel-based Macs ran Windows apps – March 08, 2006
Is Steve Jobs prepping ‘The Cupertino Project’ – Intel-based Macs that will run Windows apps, too? – December 28, 2005
Apple patent application describes Intel-based Macs that run Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows – November 05, 2005
Is Apple morphing Mac into the ultimate PC capable of running Mac OS X, Windows, Linux? – June 20, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ ultimate goal: ‘to take back the computer business from Microsoft’ – June 16, 2005
Why buy a Dell when Apple’s Intel-based computers will run both Mac OS X and Windows? – June 08, 2005
Windows users who try Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger might not want to go back – June 07, 2005
Microsoft and Dell must have a lot of bricks lying around today – June 07, 2005
Microsoft CEO Ballmer: Apple’s moved to Intel? Ho hum – June 07, 2005
Apple about to resurrect its Switch campaign? Are the ‘OS wars’ really over? – May 09, 2005
Apple Macs are less expensive, more secure, longer-lasting than Windows PCs – April 21, 2005


  1. Look at it this way. Apple knows they have the superior OS. What better way to demonstrate that fact than allowing people to do a side-by-side comparison for themselves. No suspicious benchmarks, shady zealots, marketing excrement, or sales monkeys to wade through.

    Heck, this is pretty what got me to switch. I had a 200MHz HP Vectra and a 75Mhz Performa 7200CD on my desk. My job required me to use both. It wasn’t long until I figured out that if I wanted to actually get work done, I used the Mac. Period.

  2. This is great, now i can get the powerbook i wanted. as it can run all the programs i need.

    (try convincing someone to spend twice as much, and still not have acssess to all the programs you need)

  3. unix, theyre giving people an option.

    an option that doesnt exist on any other platform.

    anyone with a brain would use mac os over windows, but sometimes there maybe a application that you need to run, ie alot of people cant use a mac at work because of some damned internal application. These people can now take their macs to work and use windows when they need to.

    this solution has already been solved, apple are just trying to get people to have a better user experience should they want to do it.

  4. Paul Thurrott sold his new Macintel iMac the other week. He must be feeling a complete ninny today. Snigger… I bet he’s off to buy a MacBook Pro this afternoon. Resistance is Futile! You will be assimilated!

  5. I don’t see this as being quite such a big story as some comments suggest. It’s an interesting story, but not earth shattering.

    For those who need to occasionally run a Windows application, Boot Camp will mean that they don’t have to have a PC any more, but for anybody wanting to frequently work on a Windows application AND work on Mac applications, dual booting will be a pain as you’d have to shut down and restart to go from PC mode to OS X mode.

    I unreservedly welcome the news, even though I have no reason to run Windows myself, but I think that the real breakthrough is going to be when virtualisation becomes possible and users can copy & paste between Windows and OS X.

    When virtualisation is an option, users can choose between booting into Windows alone, or booting into OS X with a virtual version of Windows running alongside it. That should then offer solutions for most users.

    Those who’ve used OS X since the early days will recall the difference between Classic mode and booting into OS 9. Superficially, the two appeared to be similar, but Classic mode didn’t support all the extensions that booting into OS 9 allowed. However, it was a pain to have to shut down and re-boot, so it wasn’t something I did unless I really had to. Those wanting to run Windows on Macs will be having to make similar trade-offs.

  6. Apple is a software company. They are making their own Pro Apps that define and set the standard for quality and ease of use.

    The threat to end Mac support (by developers like Adobe and MS) has been defanged.

    If Adobes Photoshop codebase has become so bloated and antique that they can’t get a revised edition out the door in a timely manner, Apple will blow them out of the water with another (skunkworks) revelation, Aperture can do it all, better, faster, easier and cheaper.

    If the MS BU can’t get a decent Office package out, then Apples Pages software will suddenly sport the (skunkworks) spreadsheet module. And, let us not forget, Pages is $79 compared to MS Office bloatware starting at $149 for Student/Teacher edition.

    For folks who want to run legacy applications, there will be Windhoes!

    For the rest of us, there’s OS-X!

    Checkmate for Apple in a few more moves!

    PS: This crap about developers not creating software for OS-X is total bunk! Developers will want to author for OS-X because it’s where innovation lives and it’s where sales opportunities abound.

    MS is the Virus!

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