Windows on Mac: Who Wants It and Why?

Opinion: Microsoft Watch asked who out there in Windows land would be interested in running XP on Intel-based Macs. Here's a sampling of who is (and isn't) ready to jump on the bandwagon-and why. (Microsoft Watch)

It wasnt a rhetorical question we posed on April 5, the day Apple Computer announced it was fielding a first beta of "Boot Camp," software that would allow Intel-based Mac users to dual-boot Windows XP and Mac OS X. We really wanted to know who out there in Windows land was interested in Boot Camp and why.

The idea of dual-booting Windows and the Mac OS sounded rather kludgey, to this user. As Microsoft Watch readers know, I admire the Mac OS look and feel.

I think Apple hardware is stunning, compared to my dowdy old ThinkPad. But I am a Windows user, through and through. I cannot get used to the Mac. I dont need any apps that run on the Mac only.

So I was curious who out there was willing to put up with the pain of switching between operating systems in order to run on a spiffier machine.

Why not just rely on virtualization software to run Windows and/or Linux atop the Mac OS?

We got an earful, from enterprise customers, SMB users, educators, geeks, nerds and everyone in between. The feedback ran roughly 90 percent in favor of the Boot Camp approach, and 10 percent against.

Here are just a few of the many responses we received, some of which weve edited for length:

Im an avid user of Windows and have had a lot of success with .Net web development, but recent developments in open source technology (i.e. Ruby on Rails, Python frameworks, etc…) have me curious why I should be so tied to MS. Would I rather shell out for a new version of Visual Studio just to get standards compliant code and other neat little tricks, or spend my money on a great, dual-boot laptop and get awesome tools like TextWrite for $50?

I was very excited about Longhorn/Vista but I lose enthusiasm with every feature thats removed (virtual folders, WinFX) and release delay. It just makes me wonder what Apples got up their sleeve for OS X.5. I bet its something killer…

Todd Boteler

The lack of MS Project and Visio on the Mac are a major stumbling block for many enterprise users. I run Virtual PC just to have access to those apps. There are pretty good alternatives to Visio; however, I havent found an acceptable replacement for Project.

The dual-boot environment is of limited interest, in that I need to run Project at the same time as the rest of my Mac environment, so Ill continue to use Virtual PC, and hope that access to the Intel hardware will improve its performance.

Gregg TeHennepe
Sr. Manager, Systems Administration
Information Technology
The Jackson Laboratory
Bar Harbor, Maine

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