Windows XP-on-Mac contest declares winner

Getting the Windows operating system to boot on the new Intel-run machines leads to a nearly $14,000 prize.

A Macintosh enthusiast has apparently managed to load Windows XP on an Intel Mac, nabbing a nearly $14,000 prize.

For some days, there has been discussion that the person who goes by the handle "narf" had managed the technically challenging feat. Photos were posted on Flickr, and much debate ensued. However, narf's method had to prove replicable before the contest was officially ended.

On Thursday, though, the contest ended, and a winner was declared.

"Contest has been won--updates to follow shortly," reads a short message on the contest's Web site.

The contest, which has been running since just after Apple Computer announced the first Intel-based Macs, collected donations from individuals and companies to raise the prize money.

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Colin Nederkoorn talks about why he launched the XP-on-Mac contest.

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Although both Macs and Windows PCs now use Intel chips, the task of loading Windows on the Intel Macs has proved more complicated, in part because both use different means of booting up. There had been hope that the next version of Windows would make things easier, but an Apple executive last week said booting Vista on Macs may not prove that easy, either.

The win comes just ahead of an end-of-month deadline that would have seen the money go instead to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The effort was launched by Colin Nederkoorn, who put up $100 of his own money, hoping his new Intel Mac would be able to replace his Windows PC. According to the rules, his Web site now has the rights to publish the solution. The solution appears to be available for download, though traffic to the site was heavy Thursday.

An Apple representative was not immediately available for comment.

Wil Shipley, who heads Mac software firm Delicious Monster Software, said he was "thrilled to bits" that the goal had been reached. Delicious Monster kicked in $1,000 of the prize fund.

"Although Apple doesn't talk about it, the market share for Intel Macs is going to increase dramatically when they can run legacy Windows apps, especially games," Shipley said in an e-mail interview. "It's truly the best of both worlds."

Shipley said he is pleased with the feat for both personal and business reasons. "As a gamer, I really appreciate not having to have a separate, crappy machine to feed my addiction," he said. "And as a Mac software author, every 0.01 percent market share that Apple gains for the Mac directly nets me thousands of dollars a year."

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