Jobs and Co. Do Windows
By George Anderson
Who’d a thunk it? Windows users will now be able to run their programs on Macintosh computers.
Apple Computer, which has long positioned itself as the anti-Microsoft, rolled out a new public beta software program known as Boot Camp that allows consumers to load the Windows XP operating system on their Intel-based Macs.
Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said in a released statement, “Apple has no desire or plan to sell or support Windows, but many customers have expressed their interest to run Windows on Apple’s superior hardware now that we use Intel processors. We think Boot Camp makes the Mac even more appealing to Windows users considering making the switch.
Ted Schadler, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, spoke to The Boston Globe and called Apple’s announcement, “a huge departure.”
Still, Mr. Schadler points out, even with this new development, Apple is focused on their core business. “It’s tied to their business model: Apple is a hardware company,” he said.
Apple’s new Intel-based computers will continue to run Apple’s OS X but will now enable users to load Windows XP and choose which of the operating systems they prefer to use. Boot Camp will be available in its public beta form until 2007. A final version will be included in Apple’s upcoming 10.5 (Leopard) OS release.
Boot Camp is seen by many as Apple’s move to get more consumers to switch first to its computers and then its operating system. Walt Mossberg, personal technology columnist with The Wall Street Journal, gave the public beta a strong endorsement. “I’ve been testing Windows on a new iMac for several days and except for a couple of trifling annoyances, it runs perfectly, just like a stand-alone Windows PC. I was able to install Boot Camp and Windows XP Pro on the Mac in under an hour. After that, I installed 15 Windows programs, most unavailable in Mac versions, and all ran properly.”
Apple, which currently holds about five percent of the personal computer market, is looking to expand that share with its news Intel-based Macs and MacBook Pro laptops.
“Not being able to run Windows programs has created a hurdle for them in trying to attract Windows users who might want to move to a Mac,” said Nitin Guptal, media and entertainment analyst for Yankee Group. “The popularity of the iPod has brought people into the Apple stores, and they see these really nice looking computers. But it’s too much of a jump for them because they have to learn a whole new operating system.”
In the short run, at least, Apple opening up their computers to Windows XP should benefit Microsoft with added sales of its OS.
Kevin Kutz, director of Microsoft’s Windows Client division, said, ‘Windows is a great operating system. We’re pleased that Apple customers are excited about running it, and that Apple is responding to meet the demand.”
Moderator’s Comment: What will Boot Camp mean for Apple’s share of the personal computer market? –
George Anderson – Moderator
- Apple will allow Windows to run on
machines – The Boston Globe (free reg. required)
- Apple Introduces Boot Camp – Apple Computer
- Boot Camp Turns Your Mac Into a Reliable Windows PC – The Wall Street Journal