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Wednesday, November 28, 2007, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

Apple to halt Boot Camp access for non-Leopard users

Apple said Wednesday that come the new year it will no longer allow customers to make changes to their Boot Camp dual boot partition unless they upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

The software, which allows owners of Intel based Macs to also install and run versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system, made its debut in April of 2006 as beta software for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger users.

In the 18 months that followed, the Mac maker utilized its Tiger user base to help test and debug the software, adding support for several services and features in addition to the new Windows Vista. It stated, however, that Boot Camp was a Leopard-bound feature and that versions for Tiger would eventually expire.

"We hope you've enjoyed the opportunity to preview an exciting new feature of Mac OS X Leopard," Apple said in e-mail to current Boot Camp beta testers on Wednesday. "With the introduction of Leopard, the Boot Camp Beta program has ended."

The Boot Camp Beta software will officially expire on December 31, and at that time the company will stop offering further updates of the beta for Tiger.

Apple thanked users for participating in the program and recommended that they upgrade to Leopard if they wish to continue using Boot Camp.