Boot Camp

13Apr06

I haven’t been writing for this blog for more than a month now. During this time a lot of things happened in the tech-world but one thing struck me the most. The release of Apples Boot Camp Software.

bootcamp

About the Boot Camp logo: It’s a bastardized variant of Microsoft’s Windows logo, sans color, and with the whitespace between the four panels forming a hidden “X”

But let’s start at the beginning: When Apple announced their switch from PPC (IBM) to x86 (Intel) it was obvious that Apple got a step closer to the PC world.

A lot of people craved for having a Windows capable Intel-Mac and narf2006 won the race for the first “Windows on an Intel-Mac hack”. He eventually got some ten-thousand dollars from all the people who had given their money for this contest.

Now Apple has broug ht their own solution complete with the hardware drivers and a partitioning tool which creates a FAT32 or NTFS partition on your HD.

Big deal? I don’t think so either and this article gives a whole new spin to Boot Camp and Apple’s strategy for the forthcoming years.

Actually there are three different scenarios for the implementation of Boot Camp in the next version of OS X. (OS 10.5 aka. Cheeta)

Dual Boot, or Boot whatever OS you want.

In this scenario you’ll be able to boot not a only OS X but also Windows or Linux if you like to. This follows the thoughts of the article mentioned above where the user is free in choosing his OS but is going to be convinced that OS X is superior to the other OSes.

Run OS X and Windows at the same time

This one is a little bit more complicated. Imagine your operating system being OS X but you’re also able to run Windows applications. Just like in the days where you could open a “classic” app with OS X. Windows would become the OS that “I need to be running for my games”. Of course Apple wouldn’t be selling copies of Windows.

Virtualization

The third scenario is the most difficult one, from a technological and from a legal point of view. The idea would be that you’d be able to run any Windows application in OS X just like any other program. This implies a strong virtualization tool since Windows and OS X apps are completely different. On the other hand PPC-Mac users are already able to run Windows/Windows apps. They can use programs like Virtual PC or Wine to emulate Windows. The problem with these applications is that they are extremely inefficient and slow. That’s quite normal because these programs need to “translate” code in a whole different language and this is done by your CPU. Anyways, it looks like Intel is going to implement hardware virtualization to it’s upcoming Core Duo Chips and this may be the solution to the efficiency problem. The Intel-Mac runs OS X like it is supposed to be. Then you open a Windows program. The OS X tells the CPU what’s going on and the CPU “boots” Windows on one core. That’s how you might be able to run any Windows Application in OS X.
I have to admit that I have no idea what the legal situation with this scenario would be. I can guess that Microsoft wouldn’t be happy at all seeing people buying Macs because they can run Windows apps on them (withou paying for a Windows license that is…).

At the moment Boot Camp is just a beta and nobody knows what it’s role is going to be in the next release of OS X. However it seems like Apple has a clear idea how they are going to compete with Microsoft. The least plausible scenario I could imagine is John Dvorak’s in which he claims that Apple is going to give up OS X for Windows. By the way, his blog can be found at www.dvorak.org/blog 😉 (TWiT joke only)

Please give me a feedback with you opinion on this subject!

yanis

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