Apple has released beta software that allows Macs to boot into Windows.
The software, called Boot Camp
, works with the latest range of Intel based Macs. The 83MB download, currently in beta, contains Windows drivers for the Mac hardware and partitioning software.
After burning the CD, the Boot Camp installation allows you to create a NTFS partition on your Mac's hard drive without altering your OSX install, assuming you have the room. A reboot allows you to boot from a Windows XP CD - although it must be an installation disc that already has Service Pack 2 integrated.
The software is designed to win over would-be Apple users who just can't manage without that one piece of Windows software they need. For many people, it will solve one of the Mac's major problems - the lack of games. Now it will be possible to use OSX for your everyday tasks, then boot into XP for a quick game of Counter-Strike.
Apple is planning to integrate the software into the next version of OSX, codenamed Leopard, due out later this year. There are, of course, possibilities for further integration. Intel's latest chips include support for Virtualisation technology, which allows a processor to run two operating systems simultaneously
. The option to flick back and forth between OSX and Windows at the touch of a button could be compelling. There is also the possibility that Microsoft's next release of Virtual PC for the Mac could allow users to run Windows, natively, as a window
Have you tried Boot Camp? Might this encourage you to switch to Mac? Let us know your thoughts over in the forums.