Apple’s Boot Camp is first step towards Mac OS X Leopard’s inevitable support for virtualization

“Clearly, Boot Camp is cool… but it’s a trial balloon: Apple is wading into the Windows ocean, one step at a time. Boot Camp does one big thing: it lets you reboot your Intel Mac into the Windows environment,” Gavin Shearer writes for gavinshearer.com. “If you wanted to be a bit snarky, you could even say that Apple’s announcement is ho-hum, because Boot Camp does nothing fundamentally different than the hack ‘narf’ and ‘blanka’ published about two weeks ago (and received about $13K for their trouble). The difference, of course, is that this isn’t a solution from two guys named ‘narf’ and ‘blanka’. This is, instead, from Apple, which changes things substantially.”

“Where is this going? Well, Apple candidly admits that Boot Camp is a prelude of Things To Come: “To make this choice simply irresistible, Apple will include technology in the next major release of Mac OS X, Leopard, that lets you install and run the Windows XP operating system on your Mac. Called Boot Camp (for now), you can download a public beta today.” Of course, the final form of ‘letting you install and run the Windows XP operating system on your Mac’ is yet to be announced. My bet is that the reboot-to-use-Windows strategy is just a temporary solution, one that gives guys like Keith and Will the ability to buy a new iMac and still play their PC games. But rebooting sucks, and so it’s not a good solution for the mass market. Virtualization is what’s needed, but Leopard – and its inevitable support for virtualization – isn’t out yet. So for today, you reboot. Tomorrow, it’ll be, well, more Apple-like,” Shearer writes.

“Boot Camp is basically nine months of free marketing for Apple. Between now and January (when Leopard finally comes out) the public is going to hear nothing except ‘Macs can run Windows!’ from the popular press, the blogosphere, and their geek friends. And guess what? By the time Christmas rolls around, a lot of those people who are in the market for a new PC are (finally) going to consider an Apple computer instead of one from HP, Dell, Toshiba or Sony,” Shearer writes. “So if I’m a consumer, and I see a Sony laptop for $2000 that runs Windows alongside an Apple laptop for $2000 that runs Windows and Mac OS X, well, which is the better value? The Mac is. No question. It’s the no-compromise choice. In one fell swoop, Apple has just captured all of the value of its rival PC makers, while continuing to provide the same great stuff (iLife, OS X) that comes with their own machines. If I were Sony, or Toshiba, or HP, I’d be freaking out right now.”

Full article here.

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40 Comments

  1. I really hope Leopard has a virtualization solution. I do not want my precious Mac to be jeopordized with all the Windows infestations out there, nor do I fancy rebooting. Cutting and pasting, and dropping stuff from one OS to the other is what I’m waiting for. I’ll buy software to do it if Apple doesn’t come out with one.

  2. Do yourselves a favor and bookmark Shearer’s blog. He’s a Mac fanatic and Microsoft employee, and I put him right up there with John Gruber of Daring Fireball when it comes to insightful comments. The guy’s also extremely funny.

  3. I DON”T WANT VIRTUALIZATION!!

    I want to run Windows apps, including Vista apps, in Mac OS X at native speeds.

    FSCKING DO IT APPLE!!!

    You don’t need VPC anymore and you don’t need to sell that worthless OfficeMac POS in apple Stores neither.

    Get with the program, kick M$ in the nutz!!

  4. When I’m not playing World of Warcrack I’ve been thinking about Boot Camp. From my perspective it’s the biggest mistake Apple has ever made.

    Bottom line is that it will likely marginalize the Mac OS even more than it already has.

    Right about the time a measurable portion of the computer using public was beginning to see that Windows was nothing but trouble, (what with MS actually coming out and saying you can’t fix it, just re-install), along comes Apple to legitimize and bless it as an option on the Mac.

    There are lots of people out there who have always coveted a Mac, but don’t buy it just because they need to run Windows. These people will now buy Macs because they can run Windows. They won’t enven experiment with OS X.

    Developers, who’ve always had issues with developing for multiple platforms, now have a built in excuse. “Just run Windows on your Mac.”

    Website developers who create stupid sites that require Windows will also lean on Boot Camp as the solution to their ineptitude, further pushing the idea that WINDOWS IS THE STANDARD.

    Sure Microsoft supports it, because you have to purchase a copy of Windows for your Mac.

    I already have clients asking me about this. I have attorneys that want to know if they purchase new Machines then want to migrate to Windows, will the new Macs allow this?

    Real estate people are asking me similar questions.

    People are starting to compare Apple to Dell as a box maker, one that just makes prettier boxes.

    Allowing Windows to boot on the Mac is insane. OS X’s spread will not only suffer, it will be reversed and when it comes down to it, I never bought a Mac because of the box, I bought it because of the OS.

    If I find I’m being forced more often into Windows, as I think this move will make happen, I won’t spend $3000 on a Mac laptop or desktop when I can get the same thing, I.E. a fricking Windows machine, from every other manufacturer for next to nothing.

    If OS X falls by the wayside, as I think this could very well make happen, I will finally be one of those considering a class action law suit against Apple.

    Boot Camp sucks.

  5. Thelonious, I must respectfull disagree with you.

    First, the whole Boot Camp thing has been EXCELLENT FREE PUBLICITY. The Mac is back in the public eye, just when everyone had virtually forgotten that Apple made anything but iPods. (As I think SteveJack wrote, I too am so sick of overhearing mall shoppers say “Let’s go to the iPod store!”)

    Second, people want to try OS X. A lot of people. Even anti-Mac people are curious. Proof? I was just talking to a buddy of mine via Skype. He’s been a PC user all his life. He’s been very anti-Apple because of the iTunes Music Store and its “world domination” and “closed DRM”. I’ve been round the debate with him about this stuff.

    So today, he asks about my opinion on an Apple laptop through the refurbs. Are they good quality, how much, and what options would I recommend. I was floored! I asked him what he wanted to do with the laptop. He said “Sound, audio stuff. I need a new toy to play with”

    He then asked what software was included. So I gave him a one line synopsis of each item – from the iLife components, to Mail, Quicken, etc.

    After 10 or 11 items, he simply replied:

    “Is that all? (sarcasm)”

    “So why isn’t Apple dominating the world?”

    And I told him the answer, honestly. People are afraid OS X is “too different” and they need a safety net with Windows and their Windows software and their Windows games. Now he isn’t interested in games, but he’s very interested in audio. And the Garageband component alone is enough to pique his interest in spending $800 or $900 on a “new toy” from a company he purportedly dislikes. And this would be for a PPC iBook that won’t even boot Windows.

    *****

    People DO want to try OS X. But many of them want a safety net.

    It’s gonna work this time. I really think the combination is magical. Steve really is a genius sometimes.

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