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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Apple has released Boot Camp 1.3 beta :: Do more of your Windows in Mac

Ever since Apple announced that Boot Camp will be an integral part of Leopard, many have speculated that the company intends to take things further and even provide a way for Windows applications to run natively without the need for additional software, including Windows.

The latest version of Boot Camp, 1.3 beta, contains several updates and is intended for all new and previous Boot Camp beta users. Boot Camp allows users to install and run Windows and Windows applications on Intel-powered Macs.

The latest improvements in Boot Camp 1.3 beta include:
  • Support for keyboard backlighting (MacBook Pro only).
  • Apple Remote pairing.
  • Updated graphics drivers.
  • Improved Boot Camp driver installer.
  • Improved international keyboard support.
  • Localization fixes.
  • Updated Windows Help for Boot Camp.

Interestingly enough, right after the updated software from Apple, both Parallels and VMware have released updated versions of their virtualization software. Unlike Boot Camp, both Parallels and VMware solutions let you have windows applications right in OS X without the need to dual boot.

While the timing of the releases is strange, it is unlikely to be more than just coincidence. Apple has repeatedly said that its solution is dual boot and will not be offering anything else, but they have made similar statements before, only to do the exact opposite. So far, Apple has actively encouraged users to use virtualization software, even recommending it instead of their own Boot Camp.

If Apple does have some sort of secret plan regarding Windows applications in OS X, they won’t keep it a secret for much longer. And if they don’t, there will likely be enough interesting new things in Leopard to make us forget.