Thursday, April 06, 2006

Boot Camp – Windows comes to the Intel Mac

Apple surprised a lot of folks yesterday with the public beta release of Boot Camp – a software app that allows the Intel Mac to boot and run Windows XP natively. Yes, you heard correct – boot and run Windows XP natively. So now you can choose at startup which OS you would like to work in.

I applaud Apple for taking this first step, though others on state that this is the end of Apple. I find that hard to believe for one very simple point. Mac users run Macs because they love the Mac UI and OS X. I’m your standard white-collar guy who does most of his work in MS Office and a browser so I can easily work on either platform. I choose to work on the Mac. Why? Because when I work on the Mac I don’t think about the OS. It just simply works. Apple’s fundamental approach is to take the complexity and worry out of computing. Apple places the burden on the developer, not the user.

Is a dual bootable Mac the ideal solution? No. I would prefer to work in both environments simultaneously, e.g., run Windows XP as an app in OS X.

What I really want is what Ian Blanton of Tech Superpowers suggested at a BMAC meeting – Have Windows applications run natively on the Mac without the need for the Windows environment. Now that would be great.

As I previously mentioned, there are those nay sayers that state that this is the end of Apple. The fear is that application developers will now only write for the Windows platform. This would depend on the cost of developing for both platforms. Simply put, the easier it is to port to the Mac, the better. I am not a developer so I can’t comment further on this but would love to from those who are.

I know I would benefit from a dual OS Mac. I work in the field of accounting and virtually no one uses Mac accounting software. Yes, I know, there are a few of you out there but it’s not enough. A significant percentage of small businesses run QuickBooks for Windows and QuickBooks for the Mac is not the same. Most notably, it is not multi-user.

I have been looking forward to using Windows apps on a Mac and plan to take advantage of it when I buy my next Mac in about a year. I don’t see it as a threat and believe it will make my job easier.