Wednesday, 5 April 2006
|0944 - From the "but why would anyone want to do that?!" department...|
Apple has announced Boot Camp, software that allows installing and running Windows XP on an Intel-based Mac without jumping through fancy hoops. It's available now in beta form, and will be a standard feature of OS X 10.5 (Leopard).
I was amused at Apple's "Word to the wise":
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.
(Yes, the link was there in the original.)
Personally, I can't see anyone buying a Mac just to run Windows on it. To me, the big advantage of the Mac is OS X. It blows Windows into the weeds. For folks who have software that they have to run under Windows, though, it's a viable solution. It looks like it's got the standard Apple ease of use, including a clear graphical disk repartition utility, and automatic generation and burning of a CD with drivers for the Apple hardware. Since my company is about to start using a package that's only available for Windows to run its entire business on, I'll probably wind up having to use it.
current mood: geeky
current music: ZZ Top - Antenna Head
My XP installation disc predates SP2, so I can't do this yet, and I'm really not even that interested in doing it at this point.
But what I'm really hoping is that this means OS X 10.5 will include the capability to run XP apps, provided you have XP installed.
I don't think it will. I think it would be great, but I don't see Apple integrating Xen (or some other virtual machine software) into Leopard, which is what that would require.
Unfortunately, Virtual PC isn't a viable solution on an Intel Mac. I haven't tried it, as the idea of emulating an x86 in a program that emulates a PowerPC on an x86 (Rosetta) does nothing at all for me.
What I really want is Virtual PC or VMware or something similar for Intel Macs that will allow running other OSes in a window, just as Virtual PC does, while not doing any more instruction emulation than is absolutely necessary.
Amen to the last paragraph. The core issue here is that dual-booting a computer requires the user to stop everything and make sure all data can be accessed from whichever OS it's required in, and is thus somewhat of a PITA. For businessy applicaitons (as opposed to graphics-intensive stuff), I'd sooner buy a cheapass PC to devote to Windows; on the other hand, that Intel Mac would ideally be running VMWare Workstation or Server. Give me VMWare hosted on Solaris and MacOS/x86_64 (plus a native Mac fat-binary VMWare client), and things are totally happy.
On the gripping hand, if Apple went a step further and ported Solaris Containers to OS X, that would kick butt like a Nimitz-class CVN.
The blanket statements Mac enthusiasts make about Windows used to be true; however, I use Windows 2000 Professional, which is an extremely stable operating system, and with a relatively small amount of care and upkeep I can keep my computer running for months without any crashes or needing to restart. I use free antivirus and firewall software, and it keeps my computer completely protected. Couple that with the fact that the hardware is far less expensive than Mac hardware, and the fact that I can use the PC-only software that I want, it's really the best possible solution for my needs. I realize that different people have different tastes in computer platforms, and that's fine, but it's not good to make assumptions about the intelligence or tech-savviness of other users based on what their tastes are.
I used to use Windows 2000 Professional. I could reliably BSOD it on the laptop I carried by opening Opera's Bookmarks menu.
No OS should be that fragile.
It's significant to me that a big chunk of the folks switching to OS X are techies. A good, hard, honest look at Unix vs. Windows will show just how deficient Windows is, technically.
To me, the best way to use Windows is in a virtual machine you can scrub off and reinstall the moment some bit of malware the virus scanner authors haven't heard of yet gets into the box. Anything else is just asking for problems.
With all that said, I did install XP on the MacBook Pro. I'll scrub it off of the dedicated partition the moment someone comes out with a virtual machine lackage for it; rebooting is a pain, especially for just one package that I must run under Windows. (The development manager for the company suggested I just use Windows Remote Client to a Windows box to use it, but that doesn't get me out of the business of running Windows, either.)
I've been wanting to get a Mac for years just so I can try out OSX, but I'm a gamer, so I haven't been willing to make the switch... this may just be enough to get me to try it out, assuming the games are compatible with the video hardware on the mac.