Apple has released a public beta of a product they're calling Boot Camp that will let you boot an Intel-based Mac into Windows XP. According to the public beta Web site "Boot Camp lets you install Windows XP without moving your Mac data, though you will need to bring your own copy (of Windows)... Boot Camp will burn a CD of all the required drivers for Windows so you don't have to scrounge around the Internet looking for them." Boot Camp was originally slated to be included in Mac OS 10.5 (code-named "Leopard") but Apple probably released it early after seeing the incredible amount of interest in installing Windows on Intel-based Macs. In addition to the Boot Camp download, you'll need Mac OS 10.4.6 and and Intel Mac (duh!) and at least 10Gb of free HDD space. See the Installation & Setup Guide for more details. Once you've downloaded the 83MB installer you can burn a CD that will prepare your Mac for running Windows including adding a Startup Disk control panel for Windows. The Boot Camp CD includes all the Mac-specific drivers that you'll need for Windows, including: - Graphics - Networking - Audio - AirPort wireless - Bluetooth - The Eject key (on Apple keyboards) - Brightness control for built-in displays And finally, there's this parting shot at Microsloth on the Boot Camp page:
Macs use an ultra-modern industry standard technology called EFI to handle booting. Sadly, Windows XP, and even the upcoming Vista, are stuck in the 1980s with old-fashioned BIOS. But with Boot Camp, the Mac can operate smoothly in both centuries.
I'd prefer to run Darwine (a.k.a. Wine for OX) because it will allow me to run just the Windows applications that I want without Windows, but in the mean time Boot Camp will suit me just fine. Boot Camp will certainly be a boon for Intel Mac customers and is sure to drive sales of Apple's newest iron. I'll be interested to see what people experience is with this exciting new development for Apple. I'm especially in hearing about the performance of Boot Camp from PC gamers. Post your comments in the TalkBack section below.