“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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