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Apple Releases Boot Camp For Dual-Booting Windows On Mac

Apple has released a free public beta of Boot Camp, software that lets you install Windows XP on a Mac. The 83 megabyte download lets Intel-based Macs run Windows XP SP2, Home or Professional editions. Boot Camp burns a CD with all the drivers Windows needs for your computer, creates a new partition for it, and then you reboot and install Windows to the new partition. Once you’re done, you can choose which OS to boot by holding down the option key at startup.

Yes, Boot Camp is limited to Windows XP Home and Pro SP2, and no other versions of Windows. No installing Windows 2003, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, or, especially, Windows XP Media Center Edition. Considering that XP Home and XP MCE are virtually identical, minus the Media Center software, I don’t think its a stretch to say Apple doesn’t want to support Media Center on their systems, since it’d hrt Front Row.

You have to bring your own copy of Windows (and it must have Service Pack 2 on disk), so I’d be interested in seeing if Boot Camp actually prevents installation of other versions of Windows, or if they just aren’t supported. Good luck, dual-booters, and let me know if you can get a real media center on a Mac.

If you are creating a partition under 32 gigabytes, I suggest not using NTFS, since Mac OS can read and write FAT, but can only read NTFS. Over 32 gigs, forget it.

Features that don’t work under XP:

the Apple Remote Control (IR), Apple Wireless (Bluetooth) keyboard or mouse, Apple USB Modem, MacBook Pro’s sudden motion sensor, MacBook Pro’s ambient light sensor, and built-in iSight camera, as well as turning off the speakers when headphones are plugged in

New feature in XP: More display resolutions! Reason: Mac OS limits your resolutions; XP does not. Classic Mac vs. Windows philosophy difference.

The page copy insists on poking fun at Windows (and the program icon is a fake version of the Windows logo). For example:

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.

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.

So, the big questions for hackers to figure out:

  • Which versions of Windows can really run?
  • Can they fix the annoying headphone bug?
  • Can they get the other hardware to work?

Although I’m sure there are more issues to work out. I’m thinking everyone who chipped in $13,000 for the much harder XP Mac hack must be feeling like they overpaid. The real big question: Will Microsoft release their own opposite program? Will Dell?

More at AppleWatch

April 5th, 2006 Posted by | Apple, General, Windows, XP | 3 comments

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  1. When I installed Media Center, it came on more than one disk. Isn’t the inability to run MCE just a consequence of the “unable to swap disks” thingie, which in turn is caused by … the fact that Windows needs to be installed before it can recognize the Apple eject key on the keyboard. Which would ultimately mean Macs cannot run MCE because they wouldn’t look as cool if they had a proper eject button … Vanitas Vanitatum, Omnia Vanitas.

    Comment by Vyper | April 5, 2006

  2. Which version of MCE was this? My OEM MCE 2005 was single disk, although it may have been a DVD. Still, Boot Camp supports DVD OSes.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | April 5, 2006

  3. I’ve been running Windows Server 2003 on my iMac just fine. Most of the drivers work fine too that Apple suppied. You have to extract them from the MSI, but after that, networking, enhanced video, sound, etc. work fine.

    Comment by Jason | April 19, 2006

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