Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Now that's what I'm talking about...

Apple announces Boot Camp (check out the download at to officially enable dual booting of Intel-based macs in to Windows or Mac OS X. This is an interesting development from Apple that legitimizes use of Windows on the Mac. However, I still maintain that most people would prefer an environment where Windows and Mac OS X run alongside each other - simultaneously. Boot Camp will be a kludge for users that exist in both the Windows and Mac worlds. I can see it now where the solution to copying files between the Windows partition and the Mac partition will be most easily addressed by purchasing an extra Mac Mini and using it as a local file store. We may not have long to wait for the ideal solution. It may arrive this week from a company called Parallels. Parallels Workstation is promising a virtualization solution for Intel-based Macs. This will allow Windows, Linux, Solaris or other OSes to be run alongside Mac OS X. The company already supports FreeBSD as a guest OS. We will have to see if they will enable support for Mac OS X as both Host and Guest OS. Boot Camp is a necessary step for Apple on two fronts: 1. To preserve their position in the education market when competing agonst PC vendors. They can now offer hardware that provides the best of both worlds 2. When they release an Intel-based XServe they can pitch the product in to environments that may already be running Windows or Linux servers. Both of these situations address the needs of the user that works in a single environment. It does not address the challenges facing the professional user that needs or wants to run applications in one environment (Windows or OS X) but has the on going need to dip in to the other world and run a specific application, or suite of applications, such as AutoCAD, Visio or Project. Virtualization is an essential technology for this class of cross-platform user. If Parallels can deliver this capability for the Intel-based Mac community then they will only help to ease the switching of users from PCs to Macs. I wish them well with their endeavors.

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