Apple launches software to help load Microsoft's Windows XP on Intel-based Macs

Shares in Apple Computer Inc. surged Wednesday after the computer maker unveiled software to help owners of its new Intel-based Macs run not only its own operating system but also Microsoft Corp.'s rival Windows XP system.

Wall Street is betting the move will help Apple grow its current worldwide market share beyond the current range of 3 percent to 4 percent by attracting more business and home users.

"It makes the Mac the most versatile computer on the market," said Tim Bajarin, a tech industry consultant at Creative Strategies.

Apple's new "Boot Camp" software, a "beta" test version available as a free download, lets computer users with a Windows XP installation disk load that system on the Mac. Users could then switch between the two operating systems using only one at a time by rebooting, a process that could take a few minutes.

Apple shares rose more than 8 percent in early afternoon trading.

Bajarin said the move should lure Windows users who "had their eye on a Mac but knew they could not run their favorite Windows programs on an Apple-based computer," reports AP.

According to PC Magazine, Apple told us that they think Bootcamp will help make the Mac more appealing to those thinking about switching platforms and that it will provide - especially when it becomes part of the Leopard OSX upgrade later this year or next- a safety net for people who switch but still want their Windows and Windows apps.

There's already considerable proof that dual-booting can work (we proved it here in our labs), and I have every expectation that this utility will work as promised. Actually, does any one else find it odd that Apple rolled out such a utility so quickly? This obviously shows some forethought and planning. The Borg were known to plan too.

Bootcamp means we'll see more and more Macintoshes in the workplace and at home and more end users will come in contact with what is the only truly unique family of PCs in the industry. Apple industrial design is consistently breathtaking and makes other Intel-based PCs look dull by comparison. People who might never have experienced a Mac or come in contact with one will be turned on—Apple knows this.

Bootcamp marks the beginning of the end for Apple as the renegade for the design set and the beginning of Apple as a dominant player in the global desktop PC game. It will become absorbed.


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