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Wednesday, April 05, 2006, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Analyst says Apple\'s Boot Camp could be \"game changer\"

Software released by Apple Computer today that allows versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system to run natively on Intel-based Macintosh computers is "a big deal," say analysts for American Technology Research.

"Steve Jobs did not disappoint on the 30th anniversary after all," analyst Shaw Wu said to clients in a brief research note on Wednesday. "This morning, Apple announced Boot Camp beta software which allows an Intel-based Mac to run Windows natively."

The software is available as a beta right now and will ship with Mac OS X Leopard, the company's next-generation operating system slated to make its first public appearance in August.

"We believe this is a big deal and potentially could be a significant game changer," Wu worte.  The analyst said a key reason why Apple has not gotten more "switchers" is likely due to a lack of strong Windows compatibility, but now with Intel processors and chipsets, they are able to offer full compatibility with Windows XP on Mac.

"Additionally, with support for both EFI and BIOS for booting, Microsoft Vista will also be supported on a Mac," Wu added. "We view this as an incremental negative for HP, DELL and other PC makers as Apple will be able to garner additional PC market share."

The analyst reiterated his Buy rating on Apple shares with a price target of $101.