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Macs play Windows

Macs play Windows

Apple has released a beta of Boot Camp, software that lets a new Intel-powered Mac boot into Windows. Too bad they are too late to collect the $14,000 prize for the first team to make that happen.

Seriously, this is big news. The dual-boot capability means that Apple hardware might eventually start getting judged on its own merits (separate from the operating system) when compared to built-for-Windows hardware. Depending on the quality of the Windows experience on a Mac, this could mean a huge boost for Apple hardware sales, although I would hate to be the advertising person responsible for unwinding 20 years of buzz building around the Mac hardware/software marriage.

In the short term, it means that people who want the best of both worlds--say, a Mac for personal use and a Windows PC for their small business--will now be able to run all their apps at full speed on one computer, with no emulator required. This is very good news for prospective Mac buyers.

See coverage. A CNET review is forthcoming.