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Windows of opportunity

Computer industry watchers are still trying to get a grip on one of the most phenomenal turnarounds in the history of desktop computing.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2006 00:00 IST

Computer industry watchers are still trying to get a grip on one of the most phenomenal turnarounds in the history of desktop computing: Apple’s release last week of software that lets users run Microsoft’s operating system (OS) on computers that use Intel chips. The new program, called Boot Camp, allows Mac owners to run both Apple’s OSX and Microsoft’s Windows XP on their machines. This is great news for users who can now access all those Windows programs they were previously denied by making XP run on Apple hardware. While the envelope has certainly expanded for the users of Macs, albeit at a price, the users of Windows can legitimately ask “What about us?”

Will the users of Windows get a program that’ll enable them to work with the fabled Mac OSX, that is said to be exponentially better than Windows? The ability of OSX e-mail and web browsing programs to withstand security threats appears to have prompted Boot Camp’s release, just weeks after hackers shocked the world by getting Windows XP to run on an Intel-based Mac. Also, Apple probably unveiled Boot Camp to exploit the interest in its iconic iPod music player, since the dual booting system would let users run Windows to play games while using Mac applications for everything else. But users who swear by Apple may wonder what prompted Apple to opt for Windows?

After all, the mere suggestion of this pushed up eyebrows till now. It’s likely that Apple’s tiny share of the world desktop computer market and dearth of developers for making programs for its machines, forced Apple’s hand. A simple case of business eventually trumping sentimentality.