Apple opens a new Window

Months after bringing Intel-based Macs to market, Apple announced public beta software called Boot Camp that allows Intel-based Macs such as the iMac G5 to run Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system platform.

Mark Cohen, vice-president of Divine Mac in Vancouver, said IT wants to be able to use other platforms than Windows in the company’s environment.

“All these IT guys want to use other solutions,” said Cohen. “They don’t want to be tied to Windows. This way they can run multiple OSes on one very well-built box. What happens is Bill (Gates) sells more licences and Steve (Jobs) sells more boxes.”

But Douglas Wegg, a sales and marketing executive at Toronto Apple reseller North Star Computer, said while this is great news for PC users, Mac diehards won’t be switching to Windows anytime soon.

“Mac users don’t seem to be too happy about it,” said Wegg, who has been perusing various message boards to see what the Mac community’s reaction is.

Boot Camp, which is available for download at, allows users to run Windows XP natively on an Intel-based Mac system. By doing this, users don’t lose any of the processor performance benefits they would with an emulation or virtualization model.

Cohen of Divine Mac, however, said while downloading bootcamp was fairly straightforward, there were issues with drivers. “Even though it ran very well there were issues where you had to hunt down drivers from various third-party manufacturers such as the driver to enable the audio chip,” he said.

Likewise, Wegg of North Star Computer also downloaded the beta onto a couple systems at his shop but found that it wasn’t as easy as point, click and you’re done.

“We did two hours of install and we still have to go back and do all of the driver updates because it’s open for the plague of viruses that comes with the PC laptop,” said Wegg, adding that they will have to install an anti-virus software program to help prevent attacks common to the Windows platform.

The Mac and Windows file structure don’t talk to each other, said Tim Bajarin, president of analyst firm Creative Strategies in Campbell, Calif.

This is a potential snag. It means that users might not be able to open up Mac files while in Windows.

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