commentary Apple's announcement of Boot Camp, software that will allow you to install and run Windows XP on its recent Intel-based Macs, has predictably sent analysts and the blogosphere into a tizzy.
I'm not particularly convinced that most consumers will find the idea of a machine that can boot into two separate operating systems appealing, especially since when running Windows you apparently can't access any of your Mac-generated files. But I'm even less convinced that it's going to make the slightest difference to Apple's virtually non-existent enterprise penetration.
Not everyone is so sceptical. Endpoint Technologies analyst Roger Kay told the Wall Street Journal that the new software might make Apple more appealing to corporate accounts. I doubt he's talked to any IT administrators. It's difficult enough trying to maintain an effective system image for one corporate desktop. What's the incentive to double the workload?
Indeed, Apple's announcement raises lots of questions which have no satisfactory answers. How many business-critical applications are there that run on Macs but don't run on Windows? And why would you switch from a model that lets you choose between multiple hardware suppliers to one that lets you choose from just one, especially when that supplier is not exactly known for being forthcoming about its future plans?
Apple enthusiasts have long talked about the "halo effect", the notion that iPod sales will ultimately see more consumers buy Macs rather than PCs. To date, market share data has failed to bear that notion out, and I can't imagine the sudden availability of Windows on a Mac is going to create a corporate 'halo effect' either.