New Apple software lets Microsoft Windows boot on Macs

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Boot Camp boot screen; in which the user opts for loading under Mac OS or Windows

Last week, Apple Computer released a program for their Mac OS operating system called Boot Camp Assistant, which will allow Macs to boot Microsoft Windows. The software was released as a beta version for Apple computers powered on the Intel architecture, which is also used by Windows. Assistant works by creating a hard drive partition to contain the Windows operating system. Unlike the current method of reformatting, the software will arrange files so that the new partition will not erase existing files. After the partition is created, the user must load a Microsoft Windows install disc.

While Macs will support booting competitors' operating systems with Boot Camp Assistant, Apple will not offer support for them. Infinite Loop reports that this has led to people accidentally permanently installing Windows on their computers. Another concerned party is Microsoft, who claims that their commitment to the Macintosh operating system "has not changed."

One group seen to benefit is gamers, who will no longer be left waiting for delayed releases of Macintosh versions of games. Peter Cohen of Macworld notes that he has been able to play certain games with a moderate level of quality. However, he considers this to be a disadvantage for Mac developers, who are responsible for bringing software already available for Windows to the Macintosh operating system.