Macintosh users have long waited for the day when Windows-only applications such as AutoCAD, Microsoft Project and Microsoft Visio would run on an Apple machine.
"Those are really the three big applications … that are missing on the Mac," said Scott Michaels, director of professional services for Atimi Software, a cross-platform development company based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
But while Apple is explicitly endorsing the use of Windows with its Boot Camp software, the company wont be supporting the software. And it looks like major creative software vendors dont yet have plans to test their software on Intel-based Macs running Boot Camp. Microsoft officials declined to comment, except to say they are pleased Apple customers are excited about running Windows and that there are no plans to test software on Boot Camp.
A spokesperson at Autodesk, in San Rafael, Calif., said that support questions havent been settled. "This just happened the other day; its too soon to tell," the spokesperson said.
Kevin Lynch, vice president and chief software architect for Adobe Systems platform business unit, said Boot Camp doesnt affect the companys development efforts. Adobe will continue to develop software for both the Mac OS and Windows operating systems.
Atimis Michaels said the reason vendors arent yet testing applications is to avoid support costs. "If, for some reason, those apps dont work, it would increase their support costs," he said.
That leaves users wondering who theyll call if they have problems. "Can I really run SolidWorks on the Core Duo? Do they have the drivers worked out for full OpenGL support that I need for 3-D modeling?" asked Thomas Harvey, a mechanical designer in Madison, Wis.
There is one ray of hope, though. Users who purchase a copy of Windows are entitled to some form of support, said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at New York-based Jupiter Research. So, at the very least, Windows users on a Mac should be able to call Microsoft for basic operating system help.