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Wednesday, April 05, 2006, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)

Apple\'s \"Boot Camp\" beta runs Windows XP on Macs

Apple on Tuesday drew excitement from its Intel Mac customers as it introduced Boot Camp, public beta software that enables Intel-based Macs to also run Windows XP natively.

The software, which is available as a download beginning today, allows users with a Microsoft Windows XP installation disc to install Windows XP on an Intel-based Mac, and once installation is complete, users can restart their computer to run either Mac OS X or Windows XP.

Boot Camp will be a feature in “Leopard,” Apple’s next major release of Mac OS X, that will be previewed at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in August, the company also confirmed for the first time.

“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,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “We think Boot Camp makes the Mac even more appealing to Windows users considering making the switch.”

Boot Camp simplifies Windows installation on an Intel-based Mac by providing a simple graphical step-by-step assistant application to dynamically create a second partition on the hard drive for Windows, to burn a CD with all the necessary Windows drivers, and to install Windows from a Windows XP installation CD. After installation is complete, users can choose to run either Mac OS X or Windows when they restart their computer.

Pricing & Availability

The public beta of Boot Camp is available immediately as a download at Apple's Boot Camp Web page, and is preview software licensed for use on a trial basis for a limited time. The final version of Boot Camp will be available as a feature in the upcoming Mac OS X version 10.5 "Leopard."

Apple will not provide support for installing or running Boot Camp and does not sell or support Microsoft Windows software. Apple, hwoever, is welcoming user feedback on Boot Camp at bootcamp@apple.com.

System Requirements

Boot Camp requires an Intel-based Mac with a USB keyboard and mouse, or a built-in keyboard and TrackPad; Mac OS X version 10.4.6 or later; the latest firmware update; at least 10GB of free space on the startup disk; a blank recordable CD or DVD; and single-disc version of Windows XP Home Edition or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later.