Thoughts about Boot Camp from boot camp.

16Jul06

It’s just one of those moments I have everyday. Random thoughts that run through my head while I’m doing something mundane like having lunch, malling, or driving (dangerous, I know). More often than not, the things that fill up my head are just silly, crazy things. There are rare instances though that some of my play-thinking comes up with a wonderfully fascinating idea. These ideas makes me go “Woah!” but without anything to record it with, they sometimes just fade away like fog as the sun comes up.

An idea that sort of stuck for the past few days is one that occurred to me while as was headed to the training center in Buendia. I was in Manila last week for traning as a medical lecturer in a soon to be opened medical transcription school here in Davao. I was commuting then and I can’t exactly remember where I was when I had that wonderful thought. I was most probably in in the MRT.

The idea that came to me was about Windows running on Macs. The whole Windows-in-a-Mac frenzy started when a contest was announced wherein anybody who can make Windows run on a Mac can win $14,000. After a couple of weeks, somebody won and Windows can now be installed in a Mac. However, a week or two after the contest was won, Apple surprised the hackers and the Apple fan community in general when they released Boot Camp beta. Apple was then recognized to be unofficially supporting Windows on their Macs. They did disclaim that Boot Camp was beta and they will never offer any technical support for Windows. You have Microsoft for that.

Then a few weeks later, Parallels offered their beta virtualization software that will run Windows on top of the Mac OS X environment. Consumers now have two ways to run Windows on their Intel Macs: dual-boot or virtualize.

Boot camp was seen as a preview on the virtualization capability of Apple’s next OS, Leopard. Apple just wanted to test the waters to see how people would react to making Windows run on Macs.

Then a few weeks back, something strange happened. When Apple was touting that their machines can run Windows, they had Boot Camp as their main arsenal. However, when Parallels offically released Parallels Desktop for Mac, Apple changed their preference from Boot Camp to Parallels Desktop for Mac as the solution for running Windows on Macs. This seemed to be a stab to the idea of Tiger ever doing virtualization. To stick the knife even deeper, Paul Schiller, Apple’s VP, stated that Apple was not into virtualization; dual boot is the way to go for them.

So, Tiger won’t have virtualization. End of story.

Well, for me it’s not.

The thought that came to me was that Apple will not offer the Windows-on-top-of-Mac solution but instead will offer the ability to fast-switch between Mac and Windows. Users will be able to swtich between the two OSes without having to reboot and both operating systems will probably run at 90% or better speeds. As oppposed to a much lower number when running Parallels.

Tiger will allow users to fast-switch between Tiger and XP (or Vista. If it ever comes out) and both operating systems will run fast. 3D games running under XP will run normally, utilizing the graphics card for all its worth. Downside is not being able to share files easily. But if Apple is considering this method, I would think that they will be able to do something about the incompatible file formats between Tiger and Windows. I mean, there are third-party softwares out there that allows Windows users to read and write in HFS, so why can’t Apple make this kind of capability built-in in whatever solution they have for fast-switching between the OSes. Maybe they’ll name it “Fast Switch”. Naaah. That sounds corny.

That’s about it. My moment in the MRT.

(If you want to know more about your options in running Windows on a Mac, go to Apple Matters’ review on the Three Ways to Run Windows on a Mac.)

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