By Carl HoweApple surprised everyone today by posting a freely downloadable tool called Boot Camp that allows the new Intel-based Apple Macs to dual boot Mac OS X and Windows. It is no coincidence that it is snowing outside here in Massachusetts, since we are now hearing reports of similar weather in hell.
Seriously, this is actually just smart marketing on Apple's part. Good marketers remove buyer objections to their products. Some prospective customers for Apple Computers still fear that they won't be able to get software for their computers or have applications that they simply must run on Windows. This tool reassures those customers that they can always boot Windows on their machines if they must and run those applications. Don't worry; be happy.
The official press release also notes that this feature will be standard in Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard." It further notes that Leopard will be the star of the show at its Worldwide Developer Forum in August, a point that had been speculated, but not confirmed until now.
And also to Apple's credit, they waited long enough after April 1 that no one can claim that this is an April Fool's joke.
But Apple also used its Boot Camp download page to do a little differentiation from Microsoft as well. From the sidebar, check out these two little bits of text:
EFI and BIOS
Macs use an ultra-modern industry standard technology called EFI to handle booting. Sadly, Windows XP, and even the upcoming Vista, are stuck in the 1980s with old-fashioned BIOS. But with Boot Camp, the Mac can operate smoothly in both centuries.
Word to the Wise
Windows running on a Mac is like Windows running on a PC. That means it’ll be subject to the same attacks that plague the Windows world. So be sure to keep it updated with the latest Microsoft Windows security fixes.
Ah, I love the smell of differentiation in the morning.