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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Mac fans sign up for Boot Camp

That could explain the Macintosh community's surprisingly upbeat reaction to Apple Computer's announcement of software enabling the running of Windows on Macs.

Normally, of course, Mac addicts are as likely to sneer at anything having to do with Microsoft's operating system as they are to breathe.

But when Apple announced Boot Camp on Wednesday--software currently in beta that will make it possible to run Windows XP on Intel-based Macs and that will be incorporated in the next major upgrade to Mac OS X--the Mac community went against type, filling Mac forums with optimistic praise for the new software.

"As a Macintosh user for more than two decades, the announcement about Boot Camp is reassuring," Ishan Bhattacharya, a doctor in Timonium, Md., told CNET News.com. "I do not like the Windows (graphical user interface), but there are applications available on that platform I would like to use at home without (having) to buy a dull beige box. Now I can do that, and so (I) have ordered an (Intel-based) iMac."

Others who already have Intel Macs want to wait no longer, particularly because they think that by bringing Windows video drivers to their Macs, they will be able to run graphics-intensive, Windows-only games on them.

"I love the way (Boot Camp) is so simple to use," Jamie Harris of London said. "I also like the idea of proper video drivers--as this opens up a whole catalog of games."

To Colin Cornaby, a Seattle student who develops OS X software, Boot Camp provides a bridge for people who have been scared to migrate to Macs after years of using Windows.

"Apple hasn't really provided much of a migration path to get from Mac OS X to Windows," Cornaby said. "Now they have provided a way to run existing software and work in a familiar environment while they get to know OS X."

Of course, not all Mac fans are so sure that Apple's move is smart. Some worry that Boot Camp might discourage makers of software like Adobe Systems' Photoshop from developing Mac-only software.

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