Apple Now Does Windows

Apple is making it easier to run Windows on Macs:

Turning a decades-long rivalry on its head, Apple Computer introduced software today that it says will easily allow users to install Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system on Apple’s newest computers. The software, Boot Camp, is available as a free download on Apple’s Web site and will be part of the next version of Apple’s operating system, Leopard. It works on Apple’s three lines of computer that run on Intel chips — the Mac mini, the iMac and the MacBook Pro.

Apple’s move is a recognition of the growing interest among some users in running Windows on Macintosh computers now that they are using Intel processors, which power the majority of Windows-based personal computers. Many technology enthusiasts have already been sharing software and tricks on the Internet to allow Mac users to add Windows to their new machines, though those approaches involve a far more complicated installation than Apple’s new software does.

In a statement today, Apple said it does not intend to support Windows for customers who install Boot Camp and run Windows XP on their machines. Still, the company said it is providing the software because it recognizes a sizeable demand — and opportunity.

Smart move by Apple. One wonders, though, how they would react if Microsoft did something similar?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I have been out of the mac world, but does Apple sell their OS as a separate item? From my understanding, this is files that takes something that Microsoft sells standalone that with the special sauce software from Apple can now be installed and run on the Mac.
    Unless Apple sells their OS separately, I don’t see how they could do the reverse.

  2. How would Windows “do something similar”? They sell software, not hardware.

    As for the “Apple special sauce”: that’s just drivers for the video-card etc. of the iMac/mac mini/MacBook Pro etc. and a little help for Windows XP to boot on modern EFI-hardware (Microsoft is still stuck in last century’s BIOS except for the 64bit Win-server-version).

    Damn smart move on Apple’s part — takes the risk out of “switching”. And it’s my experience that once people relize, that most (if not all) the software they need runs (even better) on a Mac (or at least without the constant spyware/virus-hassle) they stay with the Mac. And for that one critical application that only runs on Win? Or games? Well, Apple just answered that.

  3. Stevely says:

    yetanother: Apple does sell its OS separately.

    johnsen: I switched two years ago, the whole process began with an iBook living side by side with a PC. Pretty soon, I played games on the PC and did everything else on the Mac. Eventually, I got rid of the PC, got an Xbox, and have an iMac in addition to the iBook. Now with Boot Camp, I can play the old PC games again.

    It’ll be time to replace the iBook with a MacBook Pro soon.

  4. joy says:


    Uh, no Apple *does not* sell it’s OS separately. What it does sell is copies of their OS to be installed on Mac hardware.

    Also, the premise of the “What if Microsoft did something similar” question is quite…bewildering. What are you proposing that Microsoft do? You can install Windows on Intel PCs and now Intel based Mac hardware with the Apple Boot Camp software. The PPC based Mac hardware cannot be double booted with Windows.

    The only reason why Mac OS X is not seen on generic Intel based PCs is because Apple does not want to sell their operating system separately, mostly because of the cost of dealing with hundreds (instead of just a handful) of hardware vendors (motherboard, soundcard, videocard, other peripherals).

  5. PJens says:

    I am no computer “geek”. I have an old PC with Windows ME and last May was sold an Apple G5. I thought it looked nice and would be easier to use. The Expensive Apple is a dust collector now. (My main problem is that in my area I can only get dial up internet service. Apple updates (downloads)are so big time that it time limits out.) I can not see anybody buying an Apple OS with the belief it is better than Windows. It looks nicer to some, but offers no advantage to the common user.

  6. Attila Girl says:

    PJens–just ask the people at the Mac shop to do your upgrades for you. Or buy the software at the store.

    And pressure your cable company to get you some broadband action.

  7. Stevely says:

    joy –

    Split hairs all you like. Fact: you can go to the Apple store and buy Mac OS X separate of an Apple computer. That’s all I claimed. I never claimed that it would run on a generic Intel PC or any sort of non-Mac hardware.