Tech Talk

Features - May 19th, 2006

New Windows for the Mac

by Andrew Robinson

Recently, Apple released software that allows Windows XP to run natively on the newly released Intel-based Macintosh computers. For years, the debate has been ‘Macintosh or Windows.’ That has now changed. Ap­ple has done what it does best: found a solution to a fundamental question and then changed the way we think about and use our computers.

Last year, Apple announced that it was changing the technology at the core of its computers from the IBM/Mo­torola PowerPC chip to the Intel chip. This huge announce­ment had many people (including myself) speculating on how this would affect Apple’s place in the compu­ter market. When Apple shipped their first Intel-based Macs this January, people wanted to know if Micro­soft’s Windows Operating System (OS) would be usable on Apple’s new Intel computers.

Apple has made the Macintosh the most flexible
and most compatible computer available today.

A few weeks ago, some enterprising hackers proved that Windows XP could run natively on Intel Macs. How­ever, it was messy and not for the casual user. This week, Apple trumped this by announcing they had been plan­ning on this feature and would now officially support it by releasing software called ‘Boot Camp’ that would make putting Windows XP alongside Apple’s Mac OS X easy and convenient. You still have to buy a full version of Windows XP from Microsoft, and Apple will not sup­port Microsoft’s Operating System products, but reports have shown that Windows XP on a Mac runs the same as it does on other PCs.

There are a lot of iPod customers out there and Ap­ple would love to sell them a Mac the next time they buy a computer. Until now, cus­tomers have had to choose between the Mac OS and Windows. Apple has just side stepped that decision for us — buy a Mac and get both a Mac and a Win­dows PC! With the purchase of Windows XP, there will be no software you cannot use, no feature you need miss. By releasing one piece of software, Apple has made the Macintosh the most flexible and most compatible computer available today.