Boot Camp

So… Boot Camp. Wow. Just… wow. From the page:

More and more people are buying and loving Macs. To make this choice simply irresistible, Apple will include technology in the next major release of Mac OS X, Leopard, that lets you install and run the Windows XP operating system on your Mac. Called Boot Camp (for now), you can download a public beta today.

My thoughts: I’m loading this sucker up tonight and giving it a spin.

Your thoughts?

19 thoughts on “Boot Camp

  1. My thoughts? I need a new mac. Or I need a reason to buy a new mac. Currently the g3 iBook still does all I _need_ it to do.

  2. Just go to an Apple Store and play with them for a few minutes. You’ll find a reason. 😉

    Then again, if it’s true that you’re spending less and less time in front of computers (which is I think what I’ve heard from you) then maybe you don’t need anything new at all.

  3. Computer time is pretty much 100% at work now. I use my mac remotely quite a lot but mostly for email and chatting. I have linux doing the more server type stuff. Once I scratch up a little more pocket change I can see myself picking up a couple mac minis. One for the home theater and one for the auto.

  4. i would like to officially welcome apple to the dark side: you have been assimilated.

    bill gates

  5. Oh, heck no! We’re a conduit to the Light Side! First off, no one has to use Windows on their Mac. It costs extra, and it’s totally optional. Secondly, I truly believe that when people use both Mac OS X and Windows, they’ll quickly grow to prefer Mac OS X, and switch over naturally. The may not switch 100%, but they’ll probably use the Mac for almost all of their daily tasks, since it’s just more pleasant to use. They’ll reboot into Windows when they have to do something with a piece of software that isn’t available on the Mac.

    I’ve seen it dozens of times. Apple knows it, and that’s probably why they’re doing this.

    The whole idea is that there’s no longer any reason at all not to buy a Mac. You can still run everything you used to run with just one reboot. That one program you really really need will still be there. But give Mac OS X a try. See what it’s like using a computer and not even thinking about spyware and viruses. You’ll find it surprisingly pleasant.

  6. How did the Bootcamp test drive go?

    The open door to viruses does not seem like a good idea, but having access to lesser non-Mac programs might make up for it. I don’t think I would use something like that on the home front, but maybe at work.

  7. Actually, it went quite well! And… now I feel somewhat dirty. Maybe Steve-o was right.

    I’ll blog about it soon, I hope. I’ve got a few things to say.

  8. I’m smelling a muddying of the Mac waters with all this. First Intel, now this? Think Different is becoming Think Like Them. Jessica linked me to an article a little while back that was looking at Apple’s former stance on its integrated hardware, and how it made it better. Which changed with Intel (I’m not going into the nitty gritty of that article, as I’d be over my head in trying to remember it that well).

    The simple fact of gaming being where it is, and the cost of Mac hardware, and methinks this isn’t going to do much for Apple, rather than losing some of its “different” feel.

  9. Neal: You couldn’t be more wrong. I suggest you go read daringfireball.net, or the article that just showed up on Digg. I see Boot Camp as being a driving force behind more widespread Macintosh adoption. After all, why buy a PC which can only run Windows (or Linux, but that’s not relevant to this discussion), when you can buy a Mac and get a far sexier machine that can run Windows AND Mac OS X? This is an especially attractive prospect for situations like, say, a school computer lab, or an IT technician (who needs to support both Macs and PCs), and more.

  10. Cost. It still comes down to cost. It has always been a driving force in the marketplace. At least the gap is closer now but I can still get an identical spec Lenovo ThinkPad for cheaper than a MacBook Pro. I think the only people that BootCamp will really influence will be home users. Businesses will still buy their beige boxes.

    Personally, I’ve always thought it more useful to run an emulation layer for additional operating systems. Who wants to reboot everytime they need to switch back and forth? It is only slightly more worthwhile if a.)your application only runs well natively (non-emulation) or b.) you’ll be in the application for a long time and the speed gain from running the app in non-emulation balances out the hastle.

    Just so you all know, I use a mac at home and windows and linux at work.

  11. Kevin: your recommendation of daringfireball.net is perfect. Here’s a little reading everyone should do. And by “everyone” I especially mean…

    Neal: integrated hardware? How is an Intel chip less “integrated” than an IBM one or a Motorola one? That makes no sense whatsoever. The brand of the chip doesn’t matter. What the chip gives to the user is what matters. IBM’s and Motorola’s chips couldn’t give Apple a fast, modern laptop without literally starting your lap on fire. Intel could give Apple chips with speed, lower power consumption, and thus lower heat. This has nothing to do with the PPC chip somehow being more “integrated.” Apple doesn’t somehow feel more deeply satisfied building a closed system.

    You’re really maiming the idea of “different.” Apple wasn’t different simply for the sake of being unlike the other guys. Was Apple supposed to make slow computers simply because everyone else was doing the “fast thing” these days, and we had to be “different?” Of course not. Apple made choices that benefitted its users. At the time, the PPC was a better choice overall than the Intel chip. Nowadays, that’s no longer true for several reasons.

    Apple also chose to make its computers distinctive visually, not simply to make them look “different”, but because Apple can make truly beautiful computers, and people prefer them that way. (When’s the last time a Dell was inducted into a modern art museum?) So the “Think Different” thing isn’t simply making an opposing choice for the sake of standing out. It’s about making a smarter choice and outperforming the competition due to that differentiation.

    Which is precisely what Apple is doing with Boot Camp.

    As the article on daringfireball.net says (although that article is better), Macs are now not just “different”, they’re special. They’re the only computers in the world that can not only run Windows, but can legitimately, properly run Mac OS X. That’s the real win. So when someone is considering buying a computer, they can choose to limit themselves to Windows, or they can make a choice that’s a better return on investment, and keep their options open by running both Mac OS X and Windows. And heck, you can triple or quadruple boot and run several flavors of Linux, too. Why not? Go nuts. Every piece of popular (and even semi-popular) software on the dang planet runs on this thing now.

    Which brings me to your comments, Jeff. First off, I agree that most people choose cost as their primary factor in making a computer choice. I also think that these people know nothing about computers, and they’re incredibly short-sighted at that. Buying a product is never primarily about cost if you want to make a smart decision. It’s about return on investment. The initial cost of the computer is a large part of ROI, but it’s not the whole picture; it’s just a small-minded subsection of it. What about the cost of software? (You can skip the purchase of a virus program if you’re running Mac OS X.) What about the cost and quality of support? (AppleCare has received the highest Consumer Reports scores for tech support for years.) What about the quality of hardware? (Apple doesn’t scrimp here. It keeps their computers running well for a long time, and it keeps their resale value high.) What about the ease of use? (If you can’t use it, it’s like you don’t even have it.) How much of my personal time will I spend on upkeep and maintenance? (I spent an hour yesterday just doing security updates and updating the virus protection on my XP partition. Ick.)

    I hope you get my point. I hope Average Joe thinks about these things. And I hope he makes the right decision.

  12. I seem to remember hearing almost identical propoganda coming from Josh, like 6 years ago when we worked together. A few quick comments:

    1) No need for a virus scanner? I might agree with “less need for a virus scanner” (hey, no illusions about Windows security), but it’s not like Macs have some magical “no exploits allowed” field surrounding them. I would guess it’s a combination of a more secure (but not impenetrable) OS and a lack of incentive for virus/spyware writers. Why target macs when it’s so easy to target windows and get a better return on your investment?

    2) Cost as a factor: I don’t know whether to be personally insulted by your comments or not. 🙂 I still hold the opinion that any extra capabilities that the mac offers are not justified by the price difference. If there comes a time that I have enough money to burn, I might consider picking up a mac to supliment my computer collection, but as it stands I can spend a lot less and get a good computer by building it myself from off the shelf parts.

    3) Speaking of which, when mentioning “integrated hardware”, Neal might have been refering to the motherboard more than the processor. For instance, you can buy a computer that has the sound, video, networking, etc built right into the motherboard. This might help cut down on costs if you don’t have any need for highend gear and don’t anticipate upgrading, but a lot of people would prefer to have a base machine with expansion slots that allow them to pick a particular hardware component. While this can be great in that I, as a consumer, can produce a very specific hardware configuration that meets my needs exactly, it does create a nightmare for OS designers in that they have to account for way too many possible configurations and have a very difficult time preventing the user from installing some crappy piece of hardware that destabalizes the whole system. As far as I know, Apple has traditionally chosen the oposite (and valid) tactic of tightly controlling what hardware components get used in their boxes. I suppose it’s unclear whether Apple is backing away from that position (and thus becoming more similar to the traditional beigebox) or not.

  13. All I can say is that I’ve been using an Apple product in my work since Josh was about ten. I have never had any Apple machines die on me at work or at home. They just keep working, and working and working as I expected. Concurrently I have had countless people at the workplace, in the neighborhood and in my circle of friends have PC machines that simply “melt down” and refuse to work anymore. They just lay down and croak. They can’t go on until they get a new computer or hire some very high priced guru to come in and unscramble their mess and recover the data now trapped in their dead horse.

    Never been there. Ever. Lock up once in awhile, yes, but just reboot and get to work again. But I never, ever had to get a NEW computer to get back to work.

    What machines have I had? a 528k “Fat Mac” I got from my brother in law after he no longer needed it. That machine started it all for my family…and for Josh. We beat it to death for years and when I quit using it, one could still use it with no problem.

    What others have I owned and personally used at work and at home: A Performa 400. A Performa 577. A Mac Classic, a 520c Powerbook, a 540c Powerbook, A Mac Color Classic, A Mac Power PC 300 mhz, a 400 mhz iMac, a 1gig mhz eMac, a 1.25 mhz iBook.

    I NEVER moved to a different machine because my old one stopped working. Heck, I’ve probably got half of these in my basement and they still work! What do my PC friends have? PARTS that work, but not the whole system.

    True, I never had a virus, but viruses aren’t your primary problem if your computer turns into nothing more than a desk top paper weight.

    Quality, my friends. I have used Apple for nearly two decades and I am one satisfied customer. I don’t care what Dell or Gateway come up with, as long as they’re made, I’m with Apple.

  14. I agree with you, Josh, that people (especially home users) need to consider more than just straight cost (price). Return on Investment and Total Cost of Ownership (tco) are very important.

    What I was talking about above though was businesses (medium and large) choosing the beige boxes based on cost (price). Small business and home users may be the uniformed masses you spoke of but large businesses have done their research. We (the state of MN) have massive enterprise licenses for everything so currently the cost of software and service is minimized. The tco is much lower as long as we keep using our wintel (windows/intel) and sunix (sun/unix) machines. This is the case for many businesses currently. They can’t change overnight. The nice thing about boot camp (and emulators) though is that they can chip away at this one machine at a time as long as the individual users can demonstrate a need to spend the few hundred dollars more for a mac.

  15. I must say I welcome this only because I NEED both platforms for my job. Depending on how this works (my attention span is too short at the moment to read through all the posts to see if my question would be answered) I go back and forth between the two platforms due to the nature of my job. I work for a small software company whose internal computer environment is Apple, but the software my company creates is for Windows. I need a Mac for the internal system (call logs, DB software) and Windows to run the company’s POS software. Yes, there may be a muddying of the waters, but it is also quite possibly going to take a few dollars out of the hands of Microsuck by not having to buy and run Virtual PC. You also know that when Apple does something they do it better!

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