Ed Bott on Apple’s new Boot Camp: virtualization would be better

“Apple has formally introduced a utility called Boot Camp that lets owners of Intel-based Macs run Windows XP,” Ed Bott blogs for ZDNet. “I’m not a big fan of dual-booting, which represents a crude solution to compatibility problems. If you own a Mac, you bought it because you want to use your Mac applications. It’s an enormous hassle to shut everything down and boot into an alien operating system to perform a task that can’t be accomplished in the native environment. And while you’re running Windows on your Mac, you’ve lost all access to your familiar Mac desktop and programs. I’m also skeptical that drivers written for Windows XP will work seamlessly on this unfamiliar hardware platform. When you add it all up, this is a feature that diehard enthusiasts might experiment with, but it won’t be particularly useful in the real world.”

“Now, what would really be interesting is if Apple or a third-party software maker could create a virtualization layer that allowed Windows and native Windows programs to run in an alternate process under the Mac OS. If I knew I could install a software layer like VMWare or Virtual PC and toggle instantly between the Windows environment and the Mac OS, with the ability to share data files and a Clipboard, I’d be sorely tempted to buy an Intel-based Mac,” Bott writes. “Want to take bets on how soon it will happen?”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: As Bott notes in an update below his blog entry, “a Virginia-based company called Parallels, Inc. will release a beta version of its Windows VM package for Macs later this week. Mossberg says the program will be called Parallels Workstation for OS X and will cost $49, plus the cost of Windows itself.” See related article about Parallels below.

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Related articles:
Parallels releases first virtualization solution for Intel-powered Apple Intel-based Macs – April 05, 2006
Apple introduces Boot Camp: public beta software enables Intel-based Macs to run Windows XP – April 05, 2006

31 Comments

  1. The ultimate solution would as states so many times before, to be able to run windowsapps in mac os x.
    Correct me if i’m wrong but wouldn’t it be easier to emulate the windows32 api than to emulate a whole computer..that way it would leave a smaller memoryfootprint and you would be able to run your windows programs just like you run ppc code under rosetta?

    (and if you do correct me, don’t just state that it wouldn’t ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” /> provide some info pretty please)

  2. “I’m also skeptical that drivers written for Windows XP will work seamlessly on this unfamiliar hardware platform.”

    I thought Apple solved this problem by buringing you a disk of XP drivers during the Boot Camp installation process. Am I confused? Also, what’s unfamiliar about the hardware platform? Aren’t all the internals the same as every beige box? Does XP somehow know there’s an Apple logo on the outside?

  3. Hey, all you tech heads out there, I pose a question?

    Is it possible for Apple to eventaully have windoze available on the MAc like user switching and also have the UNIX bottom line protect it from Viruse’s.

    If apple can do that and offer all the protection we have as OS X users and give the Windoze world the same experience would they then not control the computing world???????

    Food for thought, is it possible?

    Leo

  4. Emil, I agree implementing Windows 32 API would be the best solution for the users. However, it probably is not right solution for Apple in long term. Win32 API on OSX may give some dual platforms application developers, like Adobe, an execuse to stop developing for OSX. Better solution for Apple may be license Cocoa for Windows to the application developer, so they stop developing application using Win32 API (I’m not sure if Apple has kept a copy of Cocoa for Windows up to date or not).

    VM solution should run almost as fast as native Windows on Intel Mac. It just require more memory (hard disk and RAM).

  5. I think the point being missed here, is that this is not a finished product. Maybe the first step is a dual boot, and the next step is a windows environment a la classic? Everyone seems to be going off on how bad a dual boot is, but let’s just calm down and see what Apple has in store. Come on folks, relax.

  6. Both environments are important.

    Making computer dual boot, turns Apple into a high end hardware vendor to all companies that use wintel. Also provides an entrypoint into the OS X environment for potential “switchers” including both companies and individuals

    Virtual environment is good for Mac users that need to run an occasional windows application without having to shutdown their primary operating system.

    Great news for computer users. Not sure how it will play out for Apple. It will be interesting to see. Apparently many analysts think its a good thing.

    -jl

  7. I smell a rat!

    Is it possible that Apple has done a deal with M$ and this is why they are recompiling VISTA to make it fully compatible with Apple hardware and the new Intel technology. M$ don’t care where they sell Windoze as long as they sell, sell, sell. Remember they are strictly a software company.

    Apple might just be the vehicle for them to make the break from the backward compatabilty bullshit they have been stuck with. They already have a plethora of systems for every dog, why not make their corporate special available for the Mac only and nothing to do with BIOS.

    Stranger things have happened.

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