Will Microsoft support Windows on Macs?

A rumor posted Tuesday on a Microsoft enthusiast site suggests that Redmond will support Windows running on Intel-based Macs in BootCamp.

Will Microsoft support Windows on Macs?
A rumor posted Tuesday on a Microsoft enthusiast site suggests that Redmond will support Windows running on Intel-based Macs in BootCamp.

According to poster Sumeeth Evans, "... Papa Microsoft has had a change of heart and is is extending a helping hand to those Mac users who still have a soft spot for Windows."

While you may have to keep a few grains of salt nearby for this one, it appears as though internal emails are going out to Microsoft support techs informing them that the company is going to changing it's stance on issuing support for copies of Windows that are installed on Apple computers using the Bootcamp software available with OS X.

Microsoft press handlers worked all day long to bring me a response on this rumor, but by the end of the day, it seems that the person with the necessary information couldn't be brought to the phone (or to his/her keyboard).

Now, I would guess that this support — if it happens — would fall under Microsoft's usual Windows support organization and not with the Mac Business Unit. Its all about Windows. Still, in many companies whenever the word "Macintosh" is brought up, all questions go to the "Mac guys."

At the same time, this rumor makes a lot of sense, after all, when running under Boot Camp, the Mac isn't really a Mac anymore. The Mac becomes another Intel PC. And the solution does require customers to purchase a legit copy of Windows; Boot Camp currently supports Windows XP and Vista.

In addition, Microsoft could determine which Apple machines it would support and which version of Windows and the Mac OS it would support. For example, it could limit support to Vista instead of Windows XP, or support Leopard and not Tiger.

Of course, this is exactly what Mac users don't want. My guess is that Mac users would want support for Windows XP rather than Vista (like most Windows users) and on both Leopard and Tiger.

If the support is for Windows XP, then Mac users will have to hurry up and buy a copy. There's only 145 days left before Microsoft ends the OEM and shrinkwrap licenses for Windows XP. Infoworld has a Save XP petition drive going. The blog there says that almost 76,000 persons have signed up.

On the other hand, I have a question about Evans' calling Microsoft "Papa." Is the company a daddy or a mommy? Or something much, much different?