Macs that run Windows: The New Trojan Wars

Yesterday, before Apple’s announcement and release of Boot Camp, John Kheit was “trying to make some sense of Apple’s joining BAPCo, a Windows benchmarking group” in an article for The Mac Observer that has quickly been proved quite prescient.

“I’m not of the mind, like some, that believe Apple joined BAPCo just so it could benchmark the Windows support that is rumored to be built into OS X 10.5 through some sort of virtualization. Nor am I on the same page with my favorite pundit bad ass, cranky geek John C. Dvorak, in his thought exercise that Apple could abandon OS X and sell Windows. But I do think there is another option, namely, that there is some likelihood that Apple will start selling Windows boxes in addition to Macs. Perhaps not much of a likelihood (say a 5-10% chance). The idea is that, in addition to selling Macs that run OS X, Apple would sell Macs with Windows pre-loaded and a bunch of nice drivers to make it all work well,” Kheit wrote.

MacDailyNews Note: Well, that didn’t happen quite as Kheit outlined, but Boot Camp effectively allows users with an Intel-based Mac and a Windows XP disk to arrive at the same place.

Kheit wrote, “Such a move would let Apple fit into the purchasing calculus of a lot more IT departments. Further, Apple might reason that this will not cut into their sales of Macs or adoption of OS X. In fact, it would increase adoption rates… So the questions are, how bad does Apple want to get back what is rightfully theirs, i.e., the desktop? And how “out there” is it willing to go to get it back? How much is it worth to Apple to get a back door right onto the desktops of corporate America (and world-wide for that matter)? I’d say the potential rewards might make such a move worth a shot. With many requisitioning Macs running Windows, you know a fair number of users would take the opportunity to start using Mac OS X right in the heart of the corporate world. At first they would dual boot in secret, and with time, many of them would start using Mac OS X regularly… The brilliance of this risky move would be that Apple actually buddies up to Microsoft. After all, Apple would be selling a fair number of Windows licenses for Microsoft. Getting up nice and close to its ‘partner’ waiting for its chance to sink the dagger deep. And all the sudden, when there are enough Macs out there, with enough ‘soldiers’ laying in wait, there may come a time when Apple flips out the hatch and starts licensing OS X to others.”

Full article, an interesting read given what we know today, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Kudos to Kheit for exploring these ideas a day before Apple revealed Boot Camp.

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Related articles:
Boot Camp: Apple’s Trojan horse into the enterprise market? – April 05, 2006
How to run Microsoft Windows XP on an Intel-based Macintosh with Boot Camp – April 05, 2006
Apple’s ‘Boot Camp’ a watershed, could dramatically expand Mac market share – April 05, 2006
Apple’s ‘Boot Camp’ is bad news for Windows-only PC box assemblers – April 05, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006
Reuters: Apple’s new ‘Boot Camp’ could draw millions of new Mac buyers – April 05, 2006
Apple shares surge over 6-percent in early trading on ‘Boot Camp’ news – April 05, 2006
Apple introduces Boot Camp: public beta software enables Intel-based Macs to run Windows XP – April 05, 2006


  1. anyone else think that apple release this beta (a very non apple thing to do) because of the vista delay, would make sense, a vista ready machine with its own next gen os – people who wanna hedge theire bets cant lose. very smart not waiting for this is leopard only!

  2. You’re right, it’s not an Apple thing to release beta software. And for something like this, I thought they’d have some sort of press gathering….

    This really isn’t Apple like…but heck, I’ve been a Mac user for 4 years now and Apple’s changed quite a bit.

    Exciting times ahead! Can’t wait for WWDC!!

  3. It’s a cool idea, I absolutely love the principle of Boot Camp, but I am just not prepared to risk the security of my OS X. If they’re sharing a hard drive surely they can see each other’s files & folders.

    Boot Windows off an external hard drive, maybe, if I absolutely had to. But I’d never use it on the internet.

  4. ” there is some likelihood that Apple will start selling Windows boxes in addition to Macs”

    Ain’t gonna happen.

    “The brilliance of this risky move would be that Apple actually buddies up to Microsoft”

    That ain’t gonna happen either.

    “Apple would be selling a fair number of Windows licenses for Microsoft”

    Not until Heaven Catches Fire (vs Hell Freezing Over)

    ” there may come a time when Apple flips out the hatch and starts licensing OS X to others”

    Now that just MIGHT happen one day, but it sure won’t be to your generic PC maker (a la Dell).

    This BootCamp stuff is all part of Steve’s plan to stick it to the man (Bill) in a serious way, but Apple will never have any part in a Windows licensing scheme.

  5. Note from corporate IT:

    To the fashionista VP who just has to have a Mac.

    Apple has heeded your call. When their dual-boot software has gone out of Beta we will approve your MacBook purchase. It will come pre-loaded with Windows XP SP2. Please remember that Windows XP SP2 is the corporate standard and we will remove the factory-installed OS X from the system.

    Thank you for your kind cooperation.

  6. I think Apple will change it so that you can switch on the fly (like changing users). Then when people can run them two side by side, they will see which is better, crashes less, is more fun and productive. Of course osX wins at every turn (pun).

  7. I watched the keynote from ’97 the other day (where Gates was on the big screen) and Steve Jobs said something that is more interesting after today’s announcement. When talking about what Apple had to do to survive (remember, this was early 1997), one of the things he said was we (Apple and the Apple community) need to get away from the idea that for Apple to win, Microsoft needs to lose. I don’t think MS is going to really die, as in, go out of business, but I do believe that Apple has an opportunity to become a much bigger player and take away a significant share of the market. Time will tell, but I think the switch to Intel and now Bootcamp are the first steps in that direction.

    Fascinating to go back and watch that keynote, BTW. If you’d like to see it, here’s the link:

  8. All this talk of Apple abandoing Mac OS for windows is rubbish. Mac OS IS the Mac experience. Apple is about setting the standard, not following or lowering them.

    Nope, this is about using Windows as a classic-like environment in order to ween people away from Windows. The strategy is brilliant and Apple with their music strategy and now this OS strategy have many companies right in their sights.

    The next 5 years are gonna be fun to watch both as an Apple fan and stockholder. Woot!

  9. “anyone else think that apple release this beta (a very non apple thing to do)”

    Apple beta non-releases???? Try this list:

    OSX, iChat AV, Safari, iSynch, X11, Boot Camp….

    Might want to rethink that statement andy.

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