Apple announced this morning the immediate availability of software that allows users to boot the Windows XP operating system - or the Mac OS X operating system - on their new Intel-based computers.
Bold statement: this effectively ushers a new era of choice in desktop computing, especially for home users.
The new Boot Camp software doesn't come with a copy of the Windows XP OS - you have to buy that separately (for about USD $140 or so). And they're not going to provide support for the Windows OS. But if you want to install WinXP on one of their new machines, this makes it possible.
Boot Camp is currently a public beta - you can download a copy here. Apple goes on to mention that they will be building the capabilities of Boot Camp into Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard".
Apple stock was up $4 or so early in trading today. This is truly good news for Apple, and good news for folks like me who have a huge investment in software that they don't want to replace, but who want to become part of the "apple fanily".
Look forward to even larger hard drives on new Mac hardware to support customers who want to run in a dual-boot configuration.
And I wonder if this will cause an even longer delay in the Windows Vista consumer edition launch as the bright folks in Cupertino and Redmond test this OS on MacTel hardware.
Well done, Apple.
(End of day edit: The New York Times reported that shares of Apple jumped $6.04, or 9.9 percent, to close at $67.21 this afternoon in Nasdaq trading. Shares of Microsoft rose 10 10 cents, to $27.74.)