I must admit that the first thing I thought of when the big Apple-Intel announcement came out was: “Great — now maybe I can have an Intel machine that will dual boot Windows and OS X!” Obviously I’m not alone, since one of the big debates after Macworld has been whether you will be able to run Windows on those new Mac-Intel machines.
Hopes were raised when an Apple spokesman said that Apple wouldn’t do anything to stop someone from loading Windows, but then Betanews said it wouldn’t work because Apple’s machines use the new EFI standard, which replaces the BIOS (the thing that runs before Windows), and Windows doesn’t support EFI. But now it looks like they might, since Intel says it ships a widget that lets older systems run with EFI, so if Apple uses that it would work.
Why the interest in dual-booting Windows and OS X? From my point of view it’s simple. There are things I like doing with Macs — mostly involving images and music — and there are things I like doing with Windows, mostly involving games and things my work forces me to do with Internet Explorer. I’d love to be able to do both. Admittedly, dual-booting is cumbersome (as mentioned here), but I already do it with Linux and it’s not a big deal.
Ideally, there would be an emulator you could run that would allow Windows apps to run on Mac or vice versa. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
A reader mentioned Virtual PC, which I have used but found incredibly slow, even on a fast laptop. It also won’t work on the new Macs, although Microsoft and Apple have said they are committed to making it work.