Windows expert’s hands on with Apple’s Boot Camp

“A long-held dream of experienced computer users and IT departments was finally fulfilled last week by Apple Computer Inc. with the beta release of its Boot Camp software. Apple has given Windows and Mac users the first realistic way to run both OS X Tiger and Windows XP on a Macintosh computer. Although other products, including Microsoft’s $130 Virtual PC for Mac, have employed different means to accomplish the deed, in real-world use they’ve been less than satisfactory,” Scot Finnie writes for Computerworld.

“Apple has dramatically improved on the Windows-on-a-Mac experience over emulation-based solutions. After completing Boot Camp, Windows XP runs extremely fast on the Mac with very few quirks or issues — so fast and well, in fact, that the notion of having your cake and eating it too comes to mind. That decades-old fork in the road between being forced to choose either the Mac for its superior design or Windows for its wealth of available software has disappeared. With a recent-model Mac, a large hard-drive — and for the cost of a full-install version of Windows XP — you can have both operating systems on the same computer — the best of both worlds,” Finnie writes.

“The first thing you’ll notice about running Windows XP on an Intel-based Macintosh is how very fast it is. This is the way Windows XP was meant to perform. It may not sound like a good thing to some people, but after only a few minutes of working with Boot Camp-installed XP, you may entirely forget that you’re using a Mac. Windows XP works exactly like it should when Boot Camp installs it,” Finnie writes. “Apple has done a great job with drivers it has supplied for the video, audio, wireless networking, Ethernet, Bluetooth, the eject button,and others. The mission critical hardware works well under XP. Although this is beta software, Apple hasn’t publicly committed to further hardware support, and was cagey on this point when I asked about it in an interview. In case it’s not clear: Windows users would like more hardware driver support from Apple with Boot Camp. A MacBook Pro TrackPad driver is required, and the ability to use the wireless input devices, iSight, motion sensor and so forth is highly desirable.”

“Apple has also done good work on the process of initiating a switch between the two operating systems… By comparison, the Windows way of managing multiple-boot options is inelegant. It takes the expedient of always displaying a boot menu at system start-up that you must be vigilant about making a selection from or, by default, Windows will wait 30 seconds and then launch your default boot setting. Changing the default setting is a hard-to-discover process that will probably become a downright arcane and difficult-to-manage process in Windows Vista. Apple’s solution is far better,” Finnie writes. “What’s Apple’s next step? The company certainly has my attention.”

Much more in the full article here.

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  1. And so it begins…

    As more and more IT managers get their hands on the new Mac, they will realize that they can get the most options from one source, while still justifying their Windows-based bloat in the department. CFOs will eventually realize that the folks who run the Mac OS have far fewer problems, and that a great deal of wasted money could be saved by having more employees learn and use OS X, booting into Windows only when necessary.

    It’s an awesome ploy and one of the Apple decisions that will make history.

  2. When I bought Virtual PC (a few years back) it came with a copy of Windows. (Separate Windows OS cd).

    Is it cheaper to buy Virtual PC, take the Windows OS disk and install it then go buy a separate copy of Windows? Or does Virutal PC still have a separae Windows OS cd?

  3. I like the way this guy talks. He’s no dummy, he speaks with purpose. There are all of these articles that come in and people sound like 6th graders….I think that’s what windows users need to hear because it’s not as critical, just informative.

  4. “Another change Apple should make is to build cheaper hardware. The company’s industrial design has always been first class. On the MacBook Pro, the Apple logo is made of a translucent material that glows because it allows light from the LCD’s backlight to pass through. The LCD cover and bezel comprise the thinnest computer LCD I’ve ever seen. Engineering and manufacturing hardware with these aesthetics costs a lot of money — money that enterprises and small businesses just aren’t willing to have passed along to them. Apple is building a Maserati instead of a Ford Model T. But what if the company set its sights on building a low-cost “Business Mac”? I’m not talking about the ubiquitous white box computer, because that wouldn’t be a Mac. But isn’t Apple smart enough to engineer something with a modicum of style that doesn’t cost that much to build?”

    Right on.

  5. I don’t agree with his every point. I get SO SICK of the “Windows has all the applications, Mac has very few” crap!!

    I’ve been using Macs for over 20 years for my multi-million dollar business. With the exception of one little program that we use for 2 minutes a day that our bank requires we use which is Windows only, we have ZERO need for Windoze or Microsoft. Period.

    Over the years I’ve blown away most all of my business competition BECAUSE we all use Macs here and certainly not because of some supposed dearth of available apps. That’s complete and utter B.S. and I wish the media would stop poisoning the minds of the public with this garbage!

  6. Me Likey MDN – there´s a zillion gamers out there that have to own a windows PC to run the newest computer games. (Will they buy a Mac to run Windows – I doubt it. But a Mac owner will upgrade to an Intel Mac just to put Windows on it to play games.)

    More money is spent on computer/video games each year than on movie tickets.


    u wrote: “Over the years I’ve blown away most all of my business competition BECAUSE we all use Macs here”
    So its just the Macs, not any talent or expertise on your part???
    LOL – computers are a tool, not a talent.

  7. Just think of all the school boards that have parents saying their kids need to learn windows. These school can purchase new Mac and give the teachers the discretion as to which OS to work in on a class by class basis. One class might be on keeping Windows safe, a lucrative career choice, or creating exciting movies & music in iLife, also lucrative and far less frustrating.

  8. Scot Finnie is one of the best tech gurus out there for Doze. I read his columns for years before I switched. He is very knowlegeble and fair in his reviews.

    It’s guys like Finnie that Apple to needs to get on board; the fair, open-minded tech types, not the ones that are obviously anti-Apple and allways will be.

    This is much better news than anything positive from Thurott with his seeming love-hate relationship for Apple will ever be.

  9. @ I agree>

    Two words: Mac Mini.

    The only things Apple needs to do to make these units acceptable to business is to provide lockdown capabilities for Bluetooth and (although I suspect this is already there) Wi-Fi.

  10. Saying XP is fast compared to OSX is like saying that living on a diet MacDonalds is good for you because you don’t spend some much time eating.

    For me, I’ll stick with a gourmet diet of OS X, enjoyed at leisure and with far greater productivity.

    You Win users can have your bloat, your viruses and your carcass of Longhorn…

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