Charles Cooper at CNet, after an abbreviated history of Apple’s Windows outreach efforts that is similar to one I detailed a few months ago, writes that Boot Camp is a gimmick. I join him in decrying Wall Street’s overreaction. However, he then seems to validate Apple’s reasoning, that is, that Boot Camp is essentially a bridge to allow tire-kickers to run Windows apps or at least postpone painful data conversion. That sounds like something that has real value, not a gimmick.
My colleague Steve Baker also points out that not everyone — and certainly not every Mac user — has a full copy of Windows XP lying around. Macs make for pretty expensive PCs especially after the $200 Microsoft tithe. He argues that Boot Camp will appeal to the lunatic fringe of Apple zealots that can’t stand the notion of buying PCs, and that perhaps that’s how Apple will expand market share.
However, I don’t think there are enough of these fundamentalists to move the needle, and anyone who is that rapidly anti-PC probably has as little interest in running Windows. Particularly for full native performance, the market for this is games; for everyone else, virtualization is a better solution and, if Apple doesn’t provide it, Microsoft will. Indeed, writing at MacinTouch, one of my first mentors in computer journalism, Henry Norr, suggests that Microsoft dub the Intel version of Virtual PC “Actual PC.”
Speaking of Microsoft, word from their PR firm Waggener Edstrom is that there are a few open issues remaining before Microsoft will commit to supporting XP on Apple hardware.