Just got into the office and saw the press release, and will be talking to Apple about this shortly.
Apple today introduced a Beta version of a news software program called Boot Camp which it says will enable Mac users with Intel-based Macs to run Microsoft's Windows XP. Its available for download today here.
The crux of the product is this: Create a Windows partition, install Windows, and when you want to run Windows you restart and boot to Windows.
Apple says this will be a feature in Leopard, aka Mac OS X version 10.5 when its released later this year.
Key quote from the press release comes from Apple's senior vp of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller: "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 ... We think Boot Camp makes the Mac even more appealing to Windows users considering making the switch.”
Here's a quick comment from the Yankee Group's Nitin Gupta: "This is going to have ramifications for how Apple goes to market with its machines. There are a lot of people who are tied to Windows because of the applictions that they use. This increases the possibility of where those machines can be used, and this brings down some of those barriers."
I've been calling for this sort of feature in the Mac OS for awhile, and thankfully I'm not alone.
One other interesting line of text from the press release: "Apple does not provide support for installing or running Boot Camp and does not sell or support Microsoft Windows software." The selling part I get. The support part -- less so -- except maybe that's just standard procedure with Beta software.
Either way, its a good day for the Mac.