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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK
Apple makes Macs run Windows XP
Screenshot of Boot Camp, Apple
The software walks users through the installation process
Apple has released software that lets users run Microsoft's operating system on its computers that use Intel chips.

Called Boot Camp the program lets Mac owners run both Apple's OSX and Microsoft's Windows XP.

A trial version of the software is now available so users can install it. Future versions of Apple's OSX software will include the program.

The release follows efforts by hackers to get Windows XP booting up on Macs that use Intel chips.

Core war

Apple said it had no plans to sell or support Windows but added that many Mac owners have said they want to run the operating system on their Intel-using machine.

"We think Boot Camp makes the Mac even more appealing to Windows users considering making the switch," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing in a statement.

Apple first announced a series of Mac machines that would use Intel chips in June 2005 and the first computers started shipping in January 2006.

When Boot Camp is run it takes users through a series of steps that shows them how to split their hard drive so the two operating systems can sit side-by-side.

It also shows how to make a boot disk to install the Windows XP operating system.

When a machine with the two operating systems is turned on, Boot Camp gives them the option to start either OSX or Windows XP.

Apple said it was only releasing a trial version of Boot Camp available for a limited amount of time. Finished versions of Boot Camp will be available in the next version of OSX, called Leopard, that is due to be previewed in August.

Basic requirements for an Intel-based Mac that can run Windows XP are: OSX version 10.4.6 or later, latest firmware updates, 10GB of hard disk space, blank recordable CD or DVD and a single disc edition of Windows XP Home or Professional.

By releasing Boot Camp, Apple is hoping to cash in on the interest generated by its iconic iPod music player. The dual booting system could let users run Windows to play games but use Mac applications for everything else.

The release of Boot Camp comes only weeks after two hackers managed to get Windows XP running on an Intel-based Mac themselves. The pair won a $13,000 (7,405) prize for their trouble.

What do you think of the new software? Are you a PC user thinking of switching to a Mac? Would this make a difference to you?

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