Up until recently the official word from Apple was that it was doing nothing to support the installation of Windows based product (namely XP) on its new range of Intel based machines. Of course this was something of a challenge to the software hacking community and despite the insurmountable odds of getting an “enemy” OS to boot on these new machines (due to significant differences in the way the two different systems actually boot). Some smart bugger actually managed to get XP up and running on a Macbook Pro (and incidentally netted himself a little under $14k as a result, courtesy of a cumulative pot donated by the resident software community).

Yet still Apple looked down from on high and lo they said we still don’t condone or support the booting or running of Windows XP on our shiny Intel based Macs.

That was until now…

Enter Boot Camp, the latest beta release from Apple that enables the MacIntel community to install Windows XP Home or Professional (with Service Pack 2 of course) on their shiny new machines. The software essentially creates a partition on the hard drive for Windows to sit. Then Boot Camp allows you to create a CD of specialised drivers that account for the Mac’s hardware that Windows of course needs to know about during installation.

Once this is all complete by holding down the option key at startup your Mac suddenly presents you with the choice between XP or OS X and it’s like the last twenty odd years of computer rivalry and backbiting never happened.

Of course this is a beta release so the odds are not everything under Windows will necessarily work to perfection (nothing new there right?…just kidding, no flames please). However for now it does mark a potentially interesting new chapter in Apple’s efforts to grab market share.

Join us next week as Steve Jobs reconciles different religious faiths and ends all wars, poverty and hunger.

Boot Camp : Requires any Intel based Macintosh (Macbook Pro, Mini, iMac), 83Mb for installation, a blank CD and of course a legitimate copy of Windows XP.