Windows on Mac? OEM Windows on Mac to save cash? Triple-booting Intel Linux along with Windows and Mac OS? These are strange days, indeed, so since I’m as confused about the exact details of Apple’s BootCamp, here’s a round-up of the most important details you need to know if you’re taking a shiny silver or white Macintosh into multiple operating system land.
I’m too scared to install BootCamp on my on-loan MacBook Pro, so I’ll leave it to the pros to tell me the whole story. For the most extensive, readable info on this yet, we can turn to the good people at Macworld:
XP-on-Mac benchmarks (Let me give away the ending: Macs running Windows win.)
You’ll want to read Macworld’s FAQ, because there are important caveats, like remapping the keys on your MacBook Pro. But in short, could you Windows users make your next machine a Mac, while still hanging onto Windows-only apps like Audition and Cakewalk SONAR? Absolutely. And could Mac users use this as a way to get access to Windows-only software? For sure.
But we won’t stop there: here are some of the questions intrepid CDMers want to know. First off, we know from Apple that you can’t use upgrade CDs, as are included with many PCs, meaning you could be spending as much as $250 for your copy of Windows. Could you surf over to newegg.com for a fresh OEM copy of Windows XP and save yourself $100 or more? Apparently, though if you really care about legality you might want to contact your lawyer to explain the licensing terms there, because I don’t get it. (Or search your soul. Or just go get it and don’t worry about it — just don’t say I sent you.)
OEM discussion on Ars Technica (which makes the legality as clear as mud, but at least suggests OEM Windows will work)
Now, don’t get me wrong: there’s some Windows software I adore, like the brilliant software from Cakewalk. But the Windows XP OS itself is not exactly on my “Dreamiest Operating Systems” list. So you’ll be happy to know that you can finally install Intel Linux distributions like Gentoo using BootCamp, with some extra effort, as explained here:
Triple Boot Instructions (onmac Wiki)
The buzz on the CDM forums suggests at least some of you are interested in this. It certainly solves the problem for some people of having to have two machines, one Mac and one PC. Apple will certainly want to protect their hardware profits, so I don’t think we’ll ever see Mac OS on PC hardware. But the flexibility here is great news, if you want to take advantage of it.
Me? I’m sticking to separate PCs and Macs for the time being.