Microsoft Windows XP on an Apple Intel Processor Based Mac Computer Now Possible

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Apple today announced availability of a download feature named Boot Camp that will allow Apple MacBook and other Apple Intel platform owners to run Windows XP on their computers.  This is big news for those that were considering Apple, but hesitated at losing the ability to run certain Windows based programs they needed and is likely to make Apple notebooks (the MacBook Pro and upcoming iBook) much more appealing.


Boot Camp promotion image displayed on Apple website

At the moment Boot Camp is classified as a Beta release and can be downloaded here: http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/.  Requirements for this download to work are:

  • Mac OS X Tiger v10.4.6 (check Software Update)
  • The latest Firmware update (check Support Downloads)
  • 10GB free hard disk space
  • An Intel-based Mac
  • A blank recordable CD
  • A printer for the instructions (You’ll want to print them before installing Windows, really.)
  • A bona fide installation disc for Microsoft Windows XP, Service Pack 2, Home or Professional (No multi-disc, upgrade or Media Center versions.)

According to the Apple website, “Boot Camp lets you install Windows XP without moving your Mac data, though you will need to bring your own copy to the table, as Apple Computer does not sell or support Microsoft Windows. Boot Camp will burn a CD of all the required drivers for Windows so you don’t have to scrounge around the Internet looking for them.”

Once Boot Camp is installed, upon bootup you will be prompted to choose between booting to either Mac OS X or Windows:

The Boot Camp bootup screen

Apple will include this feature in its Fall release of the Leopard OS X operating system.  They will be demonstrating it more at that time, but for now this is Beta and as such could be prone to bugs and is undergoing development still, it is not an absolute final release.  Apple did not say whether this will support the upcoming Vista OS from Microsoft.  According to Apple’s Senior VP Philip Schiller: “Apple has no desire or plan to sell or support Windows, but many customers have expressed their interest to run Windows on Apple’s superior hardware, now that we use Intel processors.  We think Boot Camp makes the Mac even more appealing to Windows users considering making the switch.”

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