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 News.com coverage. A CNET review is forthcoming.