In a stunning move, Apple on Wednesday officially sanctioned the running of the Windows XP operating system on Intel-based Macs through the release of a software package. Called Boot Camp, the 86MB beta product provides a dual-boot sequence and the drivers necessary to run Windows.
"Apple has no desire or plan to sell or support Windows, but many customers have expressed their interest to run Windows on Apple's superior hardware now that we use Intel processors," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.
"We think Boot Camp makes the Mac even more appealing to Windows users considering making the switch."
I have been saying for quite a while now that the number one thing that is keeping Apple down is it’s all or none approach to everything. Apple runs proprietary software on proprietary hardware that requires third party software/hardware that won’t work on anything but Apple products. By increasing the risk associated with buying into Apple they lock some users out.
I’m hoping that this initial move is a test for wider availability across the board. I would love to have the option to run Macintosh on my existing hardware, I would also love to play my existing MP3s on iPod – but I won’t do it unless the stuff that I buy from iTunes can also be played on my other MP3 players.
When Apple finally learns that consumers like choice generally more than they like features they may actually hit the big time. When they do we will finally see what innovation really is as Apple and Microsoft actively start competing for customers.