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Apple's move to Windows - it's getting closer!

Just a couple of weeks ago the idea that Apple could move to the Windows operating system seemed preposterous. But now, things are changing...

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How things change. When I put forward the idea that Apple might move to the Windows platform, I was shot down in a hail of bullets, arrows, nuclear and biological weapons. Not to mention the flame thrower. I further covered the possibility here.

Anyone who is familiar with Audio Masterclass will know that no idea is 'out of the box'. While, at the time of the original articles, I was far from convinced that the shift would happen, it seemed well worthy of taking a moment to think about. Successful companies like Apple examine every idea, preposterous or not, before deciding on the best way forward.

But now there is considerably more flesh on the bones of this story. Firstly, the competition to get a Mac to dual boot in either Windows or OS X - this has apparently now been achieved. Yes indeed, a Mac can run Windows.

But also yes indeed, a dog with three legs can walk and run, but it isn't going to be the one that fetches the stick. The mere fact that Windows can run on a Mac doesn't mean that it is going to work as a practical operating system, capable of getting real work done.

For one thing, just because a hacker (using the term in its ethical sense) has found a way to get Windows to run on a current Macintosh model doesn't mean that Apple won't prevent this from happening by a hardware modification to their future models.

But Apple have said that it's OK to run Windows, or any other operating system, for that matter. Apple VP Philip Schiller said that Apple has no problem with anyone who wants to install the Microsoft OS on an iMac or MacBook Pro.

"That's fine with us," said Schiller. "We don't mind. If there are people who love our hardware but are forced to put up with a Windows world, then that's OK."

Well well - Windows on Macintosh is now official!

However, this doesn't mean that Apple is changing to Windows and abandoning OS X. The statement says that you can run Windows if you want to. That is a big difference.

If you really did want to run Windows on your Mac (I'd love to know why!) then you would have to be prepared for many drivers not to work and alternatives to be unavailable. And to expect audio software to work without problems would be a fantasy.

But ultimately, we are now in a position where the market can decide. If the ethical hacking community, or a commercial enterprise, can provide us with the means to run Windows, or Linux, effectively on a Mac, then we are free to choose.

Clearly, when OS X comes free with a Mac, and Windows needs to be paid for, OS X is at an advantage. But Microsoft could easily cut Mac users an attractive deal.

I'm not going to predict the outcome of this. But it's certainly going to be interesting.

Need more convincing that this is a reality? Check here, and here...

By David Mellor Monday March 27, 2006
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