Wednesday, January 11, 2006

MacBook Pro: Not My Holy Grail...Yet

The main reason I would have placed an order yesterday for a MacBook Pro was the ability to run both Mac and Windows on it. If your a new reader, you don't know that I bring home the bacon being a Microsoft .NET C# developer by day. I was looking to the Intel-based Macs to allow me to consolidate down to a single laptop that I could use for either my day job, or whatever else. But word is that Windows XP will not boot on Intel Macs because XP can't boot using EFI, the replacement for the ancient BIOS standard. Only Windows Vista will be able to boot from EFI with a 32-bit processor. This doesn't mean that some enterprising person or group won't figure out a way to get XP loaded, but it's not as simple as popping in the XP install CD. I will certainly wait until other people figure this out and it's easy to do before I plunk down the cash for a new system. Dual-boot was my minimum acceptable level, what I was really hoping for was something like Darwine built-in to OS X 10.4.4 to run Windows apps side-by-side with OS X applications. Darwine may be what I am looking for, version 0.9.5 has been released, but it's ppc only right now, now x86. This obviously needs to get sorted out first. Also, I don't know how Darwine is going to run Vista native apps, so might need a combination of dual-booting and Win32 API implementation. Darwine is not emulation, like VMWare, its an implementation of Win32 on *nix for anyone that hasn't even periperally followed Wine. Then there is the Microsoft Wild Card. When will they ship a Virtual PC for MacTels? Will it be pure emulation, or built from scratch to use the virtulization capabilities of the Intel Core Duo to run 2 OSes at the same time. Microsoft has committed to Virtual PC for MacTels but we will just have to wait until more information is available. Until these issues are sorted out, I think a lot of people are going to be sitting waiting to place orders. I keep seeing people in forums asking why would you want to run Windows on a MacTel, and I think the answer is pretty clear, there just might be an application you need to run on Windows, and consolidated hardware is now just *that* close.