Boot Camp

No, I’m not joining the military or anything. The boot camp I’m talking about is Apple’s new tool and firmware for booting windows natively on a new Intel Mac. Boot Camp itself is a selection of appropriate drivers for Apple hardware coupled with partition resizing and setup help software. This provides for a friendly user interface for getting things set up. In addition to this is a firmware update that adds BIOS support, allowing windows to boot on an EFI Mac. In reality, it’s the firmware that’s giving one the ability to boot windows, but Boot Camp makes it easy.Now, there’s been more than a flurry of commentary about this in the past couple of days. Actually, I think deluge would be the appropriate term. Many have been supportive (Ryan’s post is quite good, and I pretty much agree with his sentiments), with some speculative statements about what this means for the future of whatever, but there are a few people out there who, I really think, just don’t get it. One of which is the following, from CNET. The article pretty much chalks Boot Camp up to a solution for existing Mac users to run games. He also discounts that any people will be coming over that are Windows users because of dual boot functionality. While I personally wouldn’t expect huge numbers of users to be coming over to the platform, it’ll get a lot more people to consider getting a Mac, which is a large part of the battle. I think the vast majority of Windows users that buy into this though will be the relatively tech savvy folks that kinda like OS X, but have a large base of existing investment in Windows software. These users can continue making use of Windows applications, but start building up a comfortable set of software on the Mac side of things. Couple this with virtualization solutions that are already here, with more to come, and the picture looks even sweeter from both sides of the fence.The bottom line is that Apple is taking a gamble with this venture, but at the same time it puts the ability to run OS X (legally, and in a supported fashion) in conjunction with Windows and Linux all in one box, with virtualization for concurrently running everything at the same time. Where’s the complaint? Apple’s hardware really isn’t more expensive than comparably equipped boxes from top-tier Wintel vendors (you can find cheaper and more expensive versions, but Apple is one company, and in the business of selling quality hardware).

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