Apple on April 5 began offering a public beta of Boot Camp, software that allows Intel-processor Macs—which now include the iMac and Mac Mini desktops and MacBook Pro notebook—to boot either Mac OS X or Windows XP. After installing Windows XP via Boot Camp, users can select which operating systems theyd like to run at startup.
With the release of Boot Camp, the company is sanctioning the use of Microsofts software on its hardware. Apple has said all along that it wouldnt sell or support Windows, but that it also wouldnt prevent the OS from running on its hardware.
However, it believes the move will make its latest Macs more attractive to customers who might be reluctant to move from a PC to a Mac.
"We think Boot Camp makes the Mac even more appealing to Windows users considering making the switch," Philip Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing at Apple in Cupertino, Calif., said in a statement.
Boot Camp will be a feature in "Leopard," otherwise known as Mac OS X Version 10.5, which is the next major upgrade for Mac OS X. Apple plans to preview the update during its Worldwide Developer Conference in August.
The software, a free download provided via Apples Mac OS X Web site, steps users through the process, which includes creating a second partition on the hard drive for Windows, provided they have a copy of Windows.