You know, Apple’s announcement of Boot Camp, a tool to make it easy to install Windows XP on Intel-based Macs, was a stroke of strategic genius. Not everyone is happy with it, but that doesn’t matter. None of the unhappy people are going to refuse to buy Macs because they don’t like it. They’re Mac users who will stick with just OS X or Windows users who aren’t going to switch. And there is a significant set of people who will like and who will buy Macs who otherwise wouldn’t. Here’s a short list:
- People who love Apple hardware but want to run Windows. They can just use an iMac or a MacBook Pro as a Windows box.
- People who want to use OS X for work but Windows for games. Dual booting doesn’t make much sense to get work done, but rebooting so you can play PC games is something many people will do.
- People who wanted to switch to the Mac but can’t completely wean themselves from Windows software. Yes, some people need to run Windows apps all the time and will have to wait for virtualization, but for others this is an OK solution. If I use a Mac but have to debug a Visual Basic application once every few weeks, dual booting could be a perfectly acceptable solution.
Those are three examples that immediately come to mind. This project must have been very little work for Apple and will move a significant amount of hardware. Plus it puts them on the front page yet again. Well played.