Windows on a Mac
I've heard that Apple is now making Mac computers with Intel chips, which power Windows PCs. Does this mean I can now install Windows on a Mac?
Installing Windows on a Mac
Yes, Apple recently announced new software called Boot Camp, which helps you install and run Windows XP on your Mac. And no, you don't have to give up your beloved Mac OS X operating system and files. You can have both Windows and OS X on your Intel-based Mac computer . It'll cost you a few hours of your time, about a hundred bucks for the Windows software, and a chunk of your Mac's hard drive.
"Heresy! Why would anyone want to install Windows on a Mac?" Well, without wanting to fan the flames of a holy war, I'll simply say it's a Windows world. Ninety percent of all personal computers run Microsoft Windows, so most software and website developers focus their efforts on the Windows platform. As a result, there are many websites that are not accessible to Mac users, and many software packages that have no equivalent Mac version.
If you're a gamer, or if you're into digital music and videos, you know this already... a lot of the cool new stuff is Windows-only. And many Windows software packages ported to the Mac lag or lack in features. So given the alternatives -- buy a second computer to run Windows, or install Windows on your Mac -- the choice is clear. If you have an Intel-based Mac (Mini, iMac, or MacBook Pro) and the latest version of Mac OS X (Tiger v10.4.6 or higher), you're ready to report to Boot Camp.
Surviving Boot Camp
Before downloading the Boot Camp software, make sure you have the latest firmware updates (see http://www.apple.com/support/downloads), a minimum of 10GB free hard disk space, a blank recordable CD, and the Microsoft Windows XP (SP2) install disk. You can use XP Home or Pro, but not an upgrade or Media Center version.)
Leopard, the next release of Mac OS X, will fully support the installation of Windows XP. But for now, you'll need to download Boot Camp at http://www.apple.com/bootcamp to make it happen. Start Boot Camp and it will help you create a new partition on your hard drive for the Windows system. For most users a 10GB Windows partition will be fine. But if you plan to install lots of space-hungry games or other software, bump it up to 20 or 30GB. Remember, your Mac OS and personal files stay right where they are. Your Windows OS and files will be completely separate, in the new hard drive partition.
Next, Boot Camp will create a CDROM with the software drivers that Windows needs to work with your Mac hardware. When you finish burning the driver CD, you'll be prompted to insert your Windows installation disc. After installing Windows you’ll insert the CD you burned and install the Mac drivers.
Running Windows on a Mac
Congratulations, you've finished Boot Camp! Now when you start your Mac, hold down the OPTION key to choose between Mac OS X and Windows. If you boot up with Windows, you can just restart to come back to OS X. But remember, this is "real" Windows (not a simulation or emulation) with all its splendor, and all its gotchas. So be sure to run Windows Update and download all the latest patches and security fixes. And of course you'll need good anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
Is Mac OS on a Windows Box Next?
Now that Apple has made it possible to run Mac OS on Intel hardware, do you think they will sell the operating system separately and allow you to install it on an off-the-shelf Windows PC? Post your comments about running Windows on a Mac, or the idea of running Mac OS on a Windows PC below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 11 Apr 2006
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Windows on a Mac (Posted: 11 Apr 2006)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved