Other shoe still hasn't dropped for Boot Camp

Summary:There were some interesting responses to my analysis piece last week about Apple's new Boot Camp Windows-on-Mac software, but all the evidence still points in one direction...Boot Camp is potentially handy for the existing Mac market, but it's not going to make a difference to the 95 percent of the world that doesn't use Macs, especially in the enterprise space.

There were some interesting responses to my analysis piece last week about Apple's new Boot Camp Windows-on-Mac software, but all the evidence still points in one direction...

Boot Camp is potentially handy for the existing Mac market, but it's not going to make a difference to the 95 percent of the world that doesn't use Macs, especially in the enterprise space.

Dave Hanks noted that the emergence of Boot Camp meant he could dump a couple of Windows machines being used to serve specific corporate applications and move to an all-Mac environment. Nice for Dave, but hardly a new win for Apple.

Hanks also suggested that many people "would love to use the same computer they do at home" in the office. The market data indicates that most of them already do -- they have a Windows box in both places.

Dan Warne expands on that point, suggesting that people who want a salary-sacrificed notebook now had the option of considering a Mac.

Possibly, though I suspect many corporate IT departments would use the presence of a Mac to wipe their hands of any support responsibilities, even if it was running Windows.

An anonymous poster notes that future plans for Leopard, the next version of Mac OS, include using the virtualisation capabilities of Intel's chips to run multiple operating systems (Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS) side-by-side.

Of course, that's not exclusively true for Macs; any OS taking advantage of the virtualisation layer will have the same capabilities. The only unique feature of the Mac version in this regard will be running Mac OS, since Apple's willingness to be 'open' has clearly defined limits when it comes to its own software. Yet again, it'll keep the existing users happy, but it's not much of a transition case.

George Bray points out, rightly, that Boot Camp is still beta software, and that the final version will be more fully integrated into Leopard and will probably allow direct access to both Windows and Mac data.

However, the fact that it's beta software tends to make a mockery of his suggestion that Apple dealers will be swamped with calls by companies ready to make the switch immediately. 'Never use a version 1 product' remains an important rule for all sensible enterprise tech planning.

In any event, companies work on long budgetary cycles. If there is a sudden rush to buy dual-OS Macs -- and I'm anything but convinced there will be -- it is not going to happen before July at the earliest, when the new financial year kicks in, and only then if the budgets haven't already been set for 2006/2007.

Topics: Apple, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

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