Apple releases Windows XP dual-boot solution

Following the onmac.net project’s early
attempts
at getting Windows XP to boot on Intel Macs, Apple has
announced Boot Camp,
its own fully supported solution to the problem. Booting Windows on
Intel Macs isn’t entirely straightforward, as the machines use Intel’s
Extensible Firmware Interface instead of a BIOS, which Windows XP
doesn’t support. The onmac.net project successfully booted the OS on
several Intel Macs, but there were still lingering problems, including a
lack of drivers and missing functionality. Boot Camp features an
easy-to-use installer with a non-destructive partition manager, and lets
users burn a driver CD with the missing Windows drivers for their Macs.
Once Windows is installed, the user can pick between Windows XP and
MacOS X by holding down the option key at startup.

Boot Camp will be integrated in the next version of MacOS X, code-named
Leopard, which is expected at the end of this year or perhaps in early
2007. In the meantime, Apple supplies a public beta of Boot Camp on its
site, in the form of a hefty 83MB download with a set of detailed
instructions
(PDF). Users need a fully patched MacOS X 10.4.6
operating system, the latest firmware update for their Intel Mac, a
Windows XP Home or Professional Service Pack 2 CD, a blank CD, and 10GB
of free space. There is no mention of future Windows Vista compatibility
on the Boot Camp page for the time being, although Apple could very well
update the software for Vista once the new Microsoft OS is released in
January 2007.

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