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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Ed Bott on Apple’s new Boot Camp: virtualization would be better – April 06, 2006
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40 Comments

  1. theloniousMac, a class action lawsuit is a bit harsh, particularly at this point. So what if a bunch of people come and buy a Mac and put Windows on it. Do you really think everyone one of those people is going to strip off OS X and only put Windows on it? This is Apple’s way of letting people try out OS X. If they don’t like it, even after comparing them, then oh well. Many others will like OS X better. A die hard MS fan in my lab came up to me yesterday and said: “So, uh, I’m thinking about getting a MacBook.” He’s made fun of Apple for years. He said he’ll put Windows on it because SolidWorks doesn’t run on the Mac, but he said he’ll give OS X a try and see which one he likes better.

    There are so many people that are debating getting a Mac and Boot Camp will give them a no risk opportunity to try it. If even half of these people use OS X more than half the time, the number of people using OS X and any instant will increase and that is good for the Mac community since there will be more users which will lead to more developers writing apps for the Mac.

    This isn’t forcing me to move to Windows – it’s allowing more people to try OS X. There will be several companies that will state: “Just run Windows on your Mac.” But, these are the same companies that currently say they aren’t going to support Mac’s anyway. They are just going to change their reasons. As the market share increases, that will change. It is a very bold move by Apple – it could backfire, but I’m pretty sure they have weighed the risks and found it to be worth it. Only time will tell though….

  2. IMPORTANT NOTE..

    Morty is MacDude! Just found out yesterday that MacDude is a former Apple employee who was fired… This explains a lot about MacDude..

    Continue to ignore him… He is just trolling…

  3. If Windows users buy a Mac just to run Windows – well, who cares. Microsoft has been making money off Mac OS X users with their Office suite, now it’s time for Apple to make money off of Windows users with their hardware.

    The ONLY concern I have is if developers stop developing for OS X and just say, “Boot to Windows.”

    But, that is a risk Apple had to take. And as long as Apple keeps coming out with great Applications and features along with OS X, then that will likely not be a problem. The minute Apple ports any of their great applications (besides iTunes) to Windows, then we can kiss it all good-bye. We should NEVER see iLife for Windows and we should never see any of their studio apps for Windows. Period. Never.

  4. If you see the screen shots of Vista booted on an iMac, it’s frightening how similar the whole thing looks to OS X (Microsoft ripping Apple off again).

    My guess is Jobs knows the two OS’s will dramatically converge in appearance with the release of Vista. So he’s playing it to Apple’s advantage. If OS X doesn’t look that different to Vista and Windows users have to adapt to the new Vista appearance anyway, then why not give OS X a go? This impulse will be cazupled when everyone discovers Vista is a pretty-looking pile of buggy crap.

    I think Apple will scrap the Macintosh/Mac name with the release of Leopard and the availability of true universal binaries (ie one app runs on any OS). ‘Mac’ and ‘Macintosh’ has long been a real albatross for Apple, and the many shock changes the company have sprung over the past few years all point towards a final letting go of this historic brand. An ‘iMac’ is now just as much a Windows PC as it is an Apple Mac, and BootCamp is the first step towards getting both current Windows AND Mac users used to the coming reality that future Apple PCs will be (and already are) platform independent. By dumping all ‘Mac/Macintosh” naming conventions, Apple will be free of the historical negative associations and cult status the brand attracts. The playing field will then be truly levelled and Apple are 100% confident ‘Apple OS X’ will blow Vista out of the water.

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  6. re: twenty benson

    why would apple drop the mac name within the same year that steve jobs said the company WANTS “mac” in the names of their products, ie macbook pro?

    anyhow, boot camp is a great idea, and if i hadn’t wanted an intel mac already, it would have been the arm twist i needed, because i do (unfortunately) still need windows for a few apps and games.

  7. I can’t wait until Microsoft unveil their version of ‘Boot Camp’ to run OS-X on a HP, Dell or other PC boxes.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you ‘Concentration Camp’ – with all the functionality and ease-of-use of a Nazi death camp…

  8. I hope you guys are right. For me, this doesn’t bode well. The whole reason Windows dominates the world is because it’s insidious. It’s everywhere and it’s simple for the average person to just accept what appears to be good enough.

    I see people with Macs, having to go into Windows, and now the ease with which they can do so will once again override the vast benefits of OS X.

    Personally I’ve invested a great deal in developing and cultivating OS X expertise. It’s how I make my living, as a Mac consultant.

    I see clients that are annoyed with all the little incompatibilities all the time. “Why can’t I use this website?” etc.

    Apple has shot itself in the foot this time.

    OS X is doomed.

  9. When Apple rolled out the first iMac very few people were using USB other than for games. Firewire had been out for a couple of years but was used primarily for Video cameras. Once Apple annoucned that they were supporting these two formats third party vendors fell over themselves to annouce that they had or were working on hardware for these standards. Apple had 6 percent of the market and still turned heads. iPod and iTunes were the same thing. Even though market share has shrunk, we all have been amazed at the resiliency and the ingenuity of Apple. I hated the idea of an iPod, until I was in the store the day they launched. I actually bought one with only half an idea of what it would do. That next year I bought one for each of my three daughters to use at college. My wife has had two, I’ve had three.

    I don’t understand Boot Camp fully, but I’m ready to be amaxed yet again!

  10. the way i read the Boot Camp move is different…I think Apple is positioning OSX as a replacement for Vista. Apple’s biggest gain will not come from now until Jan BUT rather after the release of Vista…

    If it isn’t revolutionary it will be seen as a ‘service pack’ for XP and fail to create a new market as consumers & businesses will stay with XP… There is enormous pressure on Microsoft to make it miles ahead of XP (or more like OS X in every way possible). But as pointed out by many… the need for backward compatibility will make MS’s goal near impossible… They can’t scrap the old and build anew and yet the old is filled with too many holes to patch…

    Microsoft is in an extremely tight corner and keeping the status quo of
    XP with minimally profit being more attractive than the nightmare scenario of another ME blunder because this time Linux and Mac will take over the market as the new secure road for PCers…

    Apple is in essence betting that Vista will be crap and that many will see it as such upon it’s release– especially in comparison the the bar Leopard sets… Apple will gain the most if Vista falters…

    It is in it’s best interest NOT to allow Vista to work on Leopard…
    That will help “kill” Vista’s chances of gaining another XP like market share… XP is already out there and that battle is lost… Apple is gearing up for the match with Vista…Making XP->OS X a much smoother/secure/modern experience than the XP->Vista jump which will not be smooth if history and memory proves correct… It’s another disaster waiting to happen again…And when it does companies will consider an upgrade to Apple hardware and OS X the ticket out of that mess and into the next millenium (for many companies are still stuck in the last century). The 1984 commercial rings as true today as back then…

  11. I hate to admit it, but I agree with theloniousMac.

    At the very least it’s a massive gamble, and the stakes are high.

    I’m not sure that enough ‘potential’ switchers will embrace Mac OSX to offset the damage caused by the loss of software developers. I fear in trying to open up Apple might have sidelined themselves. To your average window user Apple has just joined the club – nothing more.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  12. after using windows for a while on intel Macs, the windows side of the partition will be infested by viruses and malware and spyware and all kinds of mailicious crap you can get on the net. and by then, most people who are not savvy with protecting and fixing their computers wil have no choice but to boot in OS X because the windows partition will be rendered unusable in no time!!!

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