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day permlink Friday, 7 April 2006

permlink Windows on Macs - doin' that dance again

As I often do when something new happens in Apple land, I turn to Ars Technica to find out what some smart techies think about it...

Apple unveils official support for booting Windows
Last month a team of hackers known only by the names of Narf and Blanka successfully won a user-run contest that offered up US$13,000 for the first person who could sucessfully manipulate Windows XP and Apple's new Intel hardware so that users could install the former onto the later. While the contest was technically "won," the process was probably far too complicated for the average user...

...[the simpler Apple Boot Camp] burns a CD for the user, full of Windows devices drivers for your Intel Mac so that you can use all the important parts of the machine (wireless, audio, Bluetooth, networking, brightness controls, and most importantly the eject key). Some of these features were previously unavailable on the hacked together installs of Windows XP. Even though, there are several features which will not currently work with a Boot Camp install of Windows XP:
Even after installling the Macintosh Drivers CD, the Apple Remote Control (IR), Apple Wireless (Bluetooth) keyboard or mouse, Apple USB Modem, MacBook Pro's sudden motion sensor, MacBook Pro's ambient light sensor, and built-in iSight camera will not function correctly when running Windows.
This is a nice surprise from Apple ... and signals that Apple is very open to what users were obviously demanding (users raising a significant amount of money for something should always be a big, honking clue).

...BootCamp makes Apple the only hardware manufacturer that can boast that they support running just about every modern operating system on a single machine. full speed, I would add. (You could do VirtualPC on Macs before, but it was always a few steps behind in speed.)

As I said in my linkstack yesterday, this seems like a game-changing move. With a Mac mini at <$1000, you can run just about anything.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog: The Real Reason Behind Apple's Boot Camp most schools and large organizations ... computer labs and classrooms are designated either a Mac classroom or a Windows classroom, by necessity.

Imagine a school budget that simply replaces all the computers campus-wide with new Intel Macs that can run anything we throw at them. ... Suddenly your rooms are dual-use rooms. The AutoCAD kids can simply boot the computer to Windows to run their software and two hours later, the Graphic Design students can boot the computers to Mac OS X to run their design applications!

... This development is going to allow an organization to achieve the holy grail in computer workstation management--complete standardization on one model computer (e.g. the new Intel iMac). I'm so excited about this possibility that my workchair is spinning. Certainly, I'm not alone.
I'm always a little dubious of such grand claims, but then again Apple's made a mighty interesting play here. This doesn't even include the development work some people are doing on virtualization on the Intel Macs (i.e. you wouldn't even have to reboot to use both, Windows could run inside/at-the-same-time-as OS X).

Cool beans.

TUAW also reminds us that Apple has shipped Windows-capable Macs before, long long ago, but for a lot of extra $$: Windows on a Mac: This isn't the first time
The DOS Compatibility Card was released for the Powermac 6100 series way back in 1995. It actually shipped with an installable version of Windows (3.1) and MS-DOS 6.22. They featured a i80486 processor that cooked along at an astounding 33MHz.

We are standing on the shoulders of DOS compatibility cards.
permlink   Macintosh   1 comment(s)  
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