Apple Releases Support for XP (updated)

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

bootcamp.jpg Well pigs can fly and Satan is wearing a parka. Apple dropped a huge bomb shell today when it released the Public Beta of Boot Camp for Intel Macs. We now have official support from Apple for running Windows XP. Boot Camp burns a CD with all the Mac-specific drivers for Windows including Graphics, Networking, Audio, AirPort wireless, Bluetooth, The Eject key (on Apple keyboards), Brightness control for built-in displays. It also offers a startup disk control panel for Windows. To run it you will need an Intel Based Mac running OS 10.4.6, the latest firmware update, 10GB of free disk space, a blank CD and a copy of Microsoft Windows XP, Service Pack 2, Home or Professional. The software is available now, but will also be included in the upcoming Mac OS 10.5 Leopard. I am sure we will see a nice little surge in Intel based Mac sales too. Nice job Apple.

Update: I just placed an order for an Intel Mac Mini so I can do a review of Boot Camp. If anyone would like to donate (Use PayPal link on right-hand side.) to the show to help offset some of the cost I would appreciate it :)

Fund status: $498.00 (USD) out of $599.00

Thanks to these donors: David L, Neil F, Samuel C, Mark C, Daniel F, James K, Anthony C, Johnny B, Christopher C, Matthew D, Edgard C, Ron M, Pelican Network, Steve H, Neal G, Marc J, Jeff F, Bradford R, Leigh G, Ricardo H, Bronson E, Richard W, Robert G, Daisuke K, Daedal Design, Christine W, Lydia M, Paul H, Bruno Z, David P, Craig S, Robert W, Jonathan H, Randy H, Tim S, S F PERT, Paul T, Debbie T, Charles H, Joe O, Brian L, Barry C, Michael K, Robert F

Update #2: Looks like there is now a virtualization product called Parallels that will eliminate the need for dual-booting. Once I have the Mini I should be able to install and test this method too. We will compare how each performs.

There are 50 comments on Apple Releases Support for XP (updated):

RSS Feed for these comments
  1. Marc | Apr 05 2006 - 09:22

    Wow! no exactly unexpected, but a bold move by Apple, well done guys, I knew if anyone could do it they could.

    Is this the virtualisation software that was rumored?

  2. yogi | Apr 05 2006 - 09:46

    Well if you need it. But I chose a mac because it fits in my work environment and i’ve ALWAYS found a mac alternative of some windows piece of crap. Even if it took some time. But it’s always there.

  3. Jason | Apr 05 2006 - 09:44

    Nice! Not the virtualization or fast switching we had high hopes for, but you can’t complain about this. Now I can have a Mac and still do .Net and MSSQL development! Hopefully this will bring more Macs into the business and gaming world as well. Good strategy on Apple’s part.

  4. Michael | Apr 05 2006 - 09:18

    Glad to see this. Instead of buying new Dells for my office I’ll start getting mini’s or iMacs and run windows only when I absolutely have to.

  5. Andrew | Apr 05 2006 - 10:12

    This is great. I think that this is the thing that will make me (and a ton of others) officially take the jump to Mac. I wasn’t that interested in it when it was a hack and unsupported, but now that Apple has released this I definitely think that the future is bright. Very bright.


  6. Burnt Chops | Apr 05 2006 - 10:08

    I will still boycot all Microsoft products. I am getting very worried in the direction Apple is heading. $$$

  7. A Posiible ReSwicther | Apr 05 2006 - 10:48

    Windows doesn’t give us the option to boot Mac, why is Apple bowing to a far less superior OS.
    Embrace yourself, this is the demise of the Mac OS.

  8. Burnt Chops | Apr 05 2006 - 10:50

    I agree. Hype, wonder and awe aside. This is spine chilling news.

  9. Bruce | Apr 05 2006 - 11:24

    Wow! Just – wow. It’s a new day for Mac geeks. Who knows what has hit the fan. This is HUGE.

    From The New York Times, “Apple said it does not intend to support Windows for customers who install Boot Camp and run Windows XP on their machines.”

    So I guess that means that Apple will only support Boot Camp but nothing specifically Windows related. Kind of stragne, but understandable. Still, I think it has potential to cause people who use Boot Camp and then experience system problems to get angry with Apple for not giving them all the help they may want.

  10. Burnt Chops | Apr 05 2006 - 11:41

    I don’t mean to forum hog however, there are dangers in sharing needles…infections spread.

  11. Christian | Apr 05 2006 - 11:34

    I keep on wondering why this is (on and elsewhere) hyped as the big thing that’s gonna kill Dell.

    Let’s face the facts: Most of the computers at people’s homes are PCs running Windows. Windows generally constitutes a security risk by itself, especially for not-so-savvy PC owners who don’t know how to protect Windows. Are people aware of Windows’s flaws? YES! Do they buy Macs? No.

    Why would people all of a sudden want to buy Macs just because they can run Windows on them? If people bought Macs for their OS, fine. But then they might have bought them before. And they’re not gonna buy a Mac just to run Windows – simply because a standard PC is still much more affordable than say an iMac or a Mac Mini.

    All in all I can’t see Dell (or HP or any other vendor) dying just because of Boot Camp.

  12. Burnt Chops | Apr 05 2006 - 11:00

    Windows reminds me of my misspent youth. When I switched to Apple, I was able to forget Windows and turn over a new leaf. My concience was clear. Apple restored my faith in computers and software.

    However, like dodgy friends from my past who I occasionally bump into, Windows is coming back to haunt me.

    Genital herpes aside, how soon will we see a merge between OS X and Windows? It is guaranteed that my genital herpes will forever flare and it is guaranteed the deathnell has sounded for a sublime computing experience. RIP OS X

  13. AppleNews | Apr 05 2006 - 11:07

    BurntChops you may be right with the needles post. But here is what interesting. 98% of viriuses out there are written for Windows OS due to the filetypes and whatnot. Yeah it’s still possible to get the virus on the windows side but should have no affect on the macs side. (that is unless Apple starts using same filetypes)

  14. Robin Hood | Apr 05 2006 - 11:31

    Obviously Dell won’t die because of this, however it does resolve one issue that has been holding back potential switchers: that one last application that only runs on Windows, and isn’t available for Mac (and even if there is a Mac alternative, they might not be aware of it).

  15. Marc | Apr 05 2006 - 11:21

    Thisll have its advantages for those like Adam who code on windows during the day and come home to the mac, now they only need the one machine.

    Apple will not use exe file types, does this spell the end of Darwine?

  16. cavanaughphoto | Apr 05 2006 - 12:10

    This is awesome! We have three Macs and an old Dell for our photography biz. We have the Dell to run two apps that we cannot run on Mac. Way to go Apple!

    Now I have a good excuse to buy that Intel iMac. :)

  17. Jason | Apr 05 2006 - 12:13

    Who is going to want to hold down the option key every time they boot the computer so they can now run Windows on a Mac ALL of the time? This boot option is mainly for that market who would otherwise have to buy two separate computers to meet their needs (and usually picking the PC because they can’t afford to buy 2 computers but still need to run that one windows-only app). And, yes, that means a few more people will now buy a Mac instead of a Dell/HP/Lenovo when faced with that decision – enough people to make it worthwhile for Apple to officially support and advertise this feature. It certainly does not mean the demise of Dell/HP/Lenovo, but if I were them, I would seriously be looking at trying to buy a stake in Apple to at least hedge this.

  18. Stephen | Apr 05 2006 - 12:11

    When I get my mac, that is one thing I won’t plan on using. This seems to me to be not just a booster for mac hardware sales (if someone didn’t want to leave gaming behind, for example) but this will also mean an increase in Microsoft sales… isn’t this something of a double edged sword here?

  19. Walafrid | Apr 05 2006 - 12:12

    If this is Apple’s birthday surprise, then it certainly seems to have made something of an impact. Besides opening up the ususal banter between Mac and Windows users, this news has caused very mixed reactions. Some are saying that it could be the beginning of the demise of Mac OS X – I very much hope that this won’t be the case.

    For one thing, the reason I switched to the Mac was not really the hardware (though tests will surely reveal how much better Apple hardware performs running Windows), but the OS, and I’m sure many would be sad to see its demise. Besides, Apple has invested far too much time and money in OS X to abandon it. At least Apple aren’t saying they’ll ship Windows with their computers (yet?).

    But Apple’s performance in the past couple of years has always suggested that they’ve got some shrewd plans waiting in the wings. The move to Intel was always going to be a gamble, and we’re still waiting to tell whether it’ll pay off. There is a double-edged sword, but will Apple be looking out for its own bottom-line (i.e. encouraging people to buy Apple hardware even if it means letting them run Windows), or for its loyal supporters, who have been won over by the hardware and the operating system? Ultimately, we will have to wait to see what Apple does next – a move to a more fast-switching-type virtualisation system would confirm the primacy of OS X in this dual-boot situation – to be sure what its intentions are.

    Sorry this was such a long post!

  20. Walafrid | Apr 05 2006 - 01:24

    Sorry, I’ve just re-read my post, and it’s a bit cynical. This could prove to be a really smart move on Apple’s part, and it just shows how committed Apple is to making an impact on its computer sales, and almost running rings round Microsoft in its ability to provide a complete computer experience, from hardware through to software.

  21. Alex Santos | Apr 05 2006 - 01:08

    This is MASSIVE, the biggest most powerful announcement yet! Holy smoke. My friend who works at the stock market let me in on this one! Freakintastic.

    Who cares about Windows BUT, there is NO REASON to not switch to a MAC now. I love it.

    This is GREAT news. Way to go Apple! Apple stock of course is up today on the news. I can’t imagine what Leopard will be like.

  22. Marc | Apr 05 2006 - 01:53

    Leopards gonna be amazing! Adam I’ll be sending you $10 as soon as i can

  23. g0rdo | Apr 05 2006 - 01:30


    B00T CAMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. David | Apr 05 2006 - 01:52

    Hey Adam,

    Tell us how that all works out, I got several games and othe Windows software that I have to end up using a PC simple because I can’t find software to do what I need to do for the Mac, Mostly scanning software. Scriptwriting software, and Financial software.

    I wonder how Microsoft is going to feel about all this. Either they’ll be overjoyed to be selling more copies of Windows XP or there will be a law suit against Apple. We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.

  25. Joe Dowdell | Apr 05 2006 - 02:23

    ok, so i see it includes the apple specific drivers.. does that include the built in isight?

  26. Thorsten | Apr 05 2006 - 02:02

    Wao this is awesome now I can actually dump my Windows machine.
    I still kept it around to do my moms homepage with Frontpage and run some vocabulary software.
    Of course you could buy software for the mac which do the same.
    But this softwar ekept me from making the complete switch as I didn’t want to buy and learn new software at themoment.
    Really awesome.
    I think Microsoft feels fine about it.
    I only hope that they don’t take this asa a reason to dump Office and only make it for Windows.

    I also love this because now I have an awesome iMac with a really cools graphics card which gives me the chance to play some really cool games on the iMac awesome ‘I am loving it’ :D

  27. James “Psy” Kocsis | Apr 05 2006 - 02:09

    OK Adam, you got my $50. GET TO IT!!

    Good luck!!

  28. winestooge | Apr 05 2006 - 04:11

    Here it is, the very same day of the announcement about Apple officially supporting installation of XP on Intel Macs, and already on various blogs sundry curmudgeons are ready to call Cupertino’s undertaker. ROTFL, ‘k? My prediction: On the next TWiT or in one of his columns the Great Bloviator Dvorak will claim, falsely, that this proves OS X is deceased. Or nearly so, in an unspecified number of years. Meanwhile, Apple will slowly, quietly increase market share as grownups learn to do away with their Microsoft security blanket. All it takes is a few percent of total market share and Apple could double its installed base in five years. Dvorak, more and more of your base are belong to us.

  29. Nick Circosta | Apr 05 2006 - 06:41

    Just so you know, if you had teh XOM solution you have to completly reformat the entire computer and reinstall OS X,

    after that the firmware update will work

  30. Mike | Apr 05 2006 - 06:29

    I wonder, could Dvorak have been right?

    I have very mixed feelings about this…

  31. BruceG | Apr 05 2006 - 09:02

    As the owner of both a Windows XP desktop and a G4 Powerbook running OSX Tiger, I have no plans to mount Windows on my Mac.
    Just out of curiosity, what’s the buzz on running Windows Vista when/if it is launched?

  32. Sam | Apr 05 2006 - 10:18

    A very smart move on Apple’s behalf. I hate microsoft but some people cant live without it due to work demands finally there is no excuse not to switch!

  33. Conrad | Apr 05 2006 - 11:23

    How do we donate – i can’t see a credit card link?

  34. Marc | Apr 06 2006 - 02:21

    Using Paypal its on the right of the site

  35. NICKO | Apr 06 2006 - 03:44


  36. The Hatter | Apr 06 2006 - 04:21

    Sad though it is, this is extremely bleak news for the Mac OS. All that Boot Camp does is dish out Windows as a boot alternative – a competitor – to OS X, and that is a hugely dangerous move for Apple. How long will it be until every Mac will have to run Windows to use applications that will drop OS X support? How long will it be until Mac OS X becomes simply an unsupported, inferior novelty? And how long will it be before there really is nothing to distinguish the Macintosh from the unreliable, virus-ridden ‘dull little boxes’ that ‘dutifully perform dull little tasks’?

    Apple has made the horrible mistake of infecting its computers with the very reason why this podcast exists – why we all decided to use Macs in the first place. And unless they can invent some sort of technology that would allow certain Windows applications/file extensions to run securely and natively INSIDE OS X (therefore causing switchers to buy a Mac in order to run THE MAC OS *$$$*), Windows is going to creep up on Apple with devastating consequences.


  37. Andrew | Apr 06 2006 - 06:25

    I don’t see how this can be anything but good news. C’mon people, do you really think that Apple is going to let OS X die? That’s Steve’s baby – no way he kills it now. This is great news for everyone. (I do predict though that Apple will start shipping computers with Windows and OS X installed to help it gain more momentum in the workplace) Maybe that’s just a dream though.

  38. Bob | Apr 06 2006 - 07:19

    Time for a maccast I think!

  39. Burnt Chops | Apr 06 2006 - 11:18

    I agree fully with the hatter.

  40. maccast | Apr 06 2006 - 12:28

    I think Bob is right. :)

  41. Debbie | Apr 06 2006 - 01:00

    I don’t know why some folks are fighting this…thinking it’s a bad idea. I am very happy about it. Some think this isn’t going to impact sales? I beg to differ. How many people want to buy that mac but don’t because there is one piece of software they must be able to run (like my husband needing to use gotomypc software to access his office computer while travelling). This takes away the barrier. In the past we’ve had to have 2 computers with us…..because my cycling gps software won’t run on the mac or something else like that….and I know many people aren’t fortunately enough to have both. Now you don’t NEED both. This is fantastic! I am running it on a macbook Pro and it’s seemless and fast. Just GREAT!

  42. Burnt Chops | Apr 06 2006 - 11:56

    If my comments are not good enough for this site then i will unsubscribe to MacCast. Pity.

  43. R S | Apr 07 2006 - 03:58

    Yes its true. Woke up this morning thinking “Oh God it was all a nightmare” but its not. We are stuck with it. What a total sell out. Steve Jobs you are an idiot.

  44. Awake | Apr 07 2006 - 05:27

    “I am a PC user. I have lots of (sometimes very expensive) PC software. I wouldn’t mind using a Mac, but I just can’t afford re-buying all that software. Just Photoshop plus Office is over $1000. I also use some programs that just do not have Mac equivalents (QImage and my accounting software as examples).”
    The above may be one of the most important reasons why people that would like to use a Mac probably would never do so… the transition cost and the loss of access to business mandatory software.
    The dual boot of ‘Boot Camp’ is nice, but inconvenient. ‘Parallels’ seems to solve that whole problem, and really opens up the Mac to the rest of the world.
    In the long run, if Apple were able to fully integrate Windows-in-a-window, with full cut and paste functionality, it would be a real home run.
    I know that it is heresy to say so in this forum, but there are prgrams that run on the PC that are not matched on the Mac, and support for those programs (via a Windows-window) is essential to the growth of the Mac community.

  45. Nick | Apr 07 2006 - 09:17

    Unfortunately agree with the Hatter.

    Short term it is great for me, I was about to be forced to dump my mac at work (on-going Powerpoint compatibility problems not fun at 2 in the morning!). I can now get a macbook instead of a wintel box.

    Long-term bad for Apple. If Adobe do release a MacOS version of Photoshop than I may be wrong, but why should they now. I expect this version of Office for Mac will be the last version.

    Once the major developers stop the rest will follow.

    This was inevitable once they switched to Intel

  46. Craig Patchett | Apr 07 2006 - 04:50

    It surprises me how sometimes Apple users (and I’ve been one since 1984) can be some of the most narrow-minded people out there. (Yes, even more so than Windows users, and I’ve been one of these since 1989.) The ability for Windows to run without performance compromises on Mac hardware does not spell the demise of the Mac OS but rather offers the first legitimate crossover machine for hardcore Windows users. Add virtualization software like Parallels and you have the most seductive switching environment created to date (assuming it works as advertised).

    The ability to run a high-performance XP environment with the option to dual-boot into OS X on demand is appealing to any Windows user who is even remotely curious about the Mac and offers a full safety net in that they can run their machine as a Windows-only device if they so choose. Running XP in virtualization mode, however, they get to slowly transition over to the OS X environment without paying the performance penalty previously imposed by products such as Virtual PC that makes the Mac unusable as a Windows environment.

    If Mac owners are so protective of their OS that they are unable to see the value of inviting the rest of the computing world to mingle before joining the party then the Mac truly is destined to languish as one of computing’s elite rather than provide the power for the people it was originally designed for.

  47. Alex Santos | Apr 08 2006 - 02:51

    I got to leave one more comment.

    Re: Predictions, Dvorak will love the news – bah.

    The firmware update would be interesting to examine as it may reveal what’s up with Leopard

    Also, I think Leopard must run windows apps without rebooting and without emulation, it has to just open windows apps transparently via a double click (wonder how viruses might work in this sort of scenario though)

    The reason I say the above about Leopard is simply that if people begin to use the internet within XP on a DBMac (DB=Dual Boot) then they will continue to use XP, yes Apple will still have sold you the hardware and software but not the experience which is the key to a Mac, it is the experience. Personally if I boot into XP (but wouldn’t even bother unless games work well – I’m a MAME fan) to work with some app available only in XP I most likely would setup my email app and browser app on windows to make my workflow less cumbersome. That being said I would rarely use OSX in such a case, making the whole case to buy an intel mac redundant – but of course I love my mac but I am trying to play devil’s advocate here.

    Although Boot Camp is cool for the curious it is not a real solution. So if Apple mentioned that this is going be part of Leopard I can only assume XP or windows apps will run right inside OSX. If this is not the case when Leopard comes out then I can only assume Dvorak is right about Apple dropping OSX. Dual boot systems are too cumbersome to work seriously especially if the involve email and web activity.

    By the way, Dvorak Lost his mind of TWiT 42.

  48. PHAT ROB | Apr 09 2006 - 05:07

    Sharing needles is dangerous. But I must say, A Apple that runs both OSX and XP will be a very versitile machine. Let’s do it. Besides, how long do these machines last. The faster I buy these computers, the faster they come up with new developments to keep you comming back. THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS YEARS AGO. They had this years ago, They just had to sell off old technology. I’ll get it with the monster hard drive so I can partition OSX, Linux, XP. The get a nice portable HD to hold all my files. Please Reply

  49. Peter | Apr 11 2006 - 10:04

    “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.”

    Apple always looks for an opportunity to bag windows. Stuck in the 1980s. Good job apple.

    I wonder if M$ knew this was going to happen when they pledged to develop M$ office for 5 more years.

  50. showland | Apr 14 2006 - 07:48

    If we look back at the history of the railroads, they all started out with different proprietary track widths so that their competitors could not run on their railroads. Eventually this proved a bad idea and a common track width was decided on.

    Inevitably the same commonality is likely to come to computers. Mac is the only software OS positioning itself to be that common interface. If an intel Mac can run software written for Mac, PC, and Unix then it could easily become the default standard operating system in computing.

    I have one program that I need a windows box for in my busines – UPS worldship. This would be a much better program if it was written for Mac OS of course, but it isn’t likely to happen. I run it through a headless windows box using RDC on the office Macs so that we can easily copy and paste shipping information into the bookkeeping software (MYOB Account Edge). I look forward to the day I can get rid of the PC and just boot up worldship directly on my Macs through virtualization.

    Once again Apple raises the bar on what computers can do. Yeah!