Windows:新经典

“Holy shit!” seemed to be the consensus reaction to训练营’s debut yesterday; it was我的反应,至少But like many seemingly shocking announcements from Apple in recent years, after just a few hours, it now seems so…明显的

As of just two days ago, though, it certainly didn’t seem like an obvious move for Apple to officially or semi-officially support dual-booting between Mac OS X and Windows on Mac hardwareIt was just a few weeks ago thatOnMac.net获得超过13000美元for a completely unofficial not-for-the-faint-of-heart hack to get Windows XP running on Intel-based Macs(I’m guessing many people who pitched money into that prize pot regret it now.) And it brings me no small amount of glee to point out that coverage of Boot Camp at认为秘密AppleInsider只有出现苹果公司宣布,Waiting for the press release is certainly one way to raise the accuracy of their rumor coverage.

If Apple had released Boot Camp a few days earlier on April 1, I suspect most people would have thought it to be a gag,一个拉谷歌的2004年4月1日宣布Gmail(“1 GB of email storage for free? This is a gag, right? Right?”)。

But now that it’s here, Boot Camp does seem like an obvious move for Apple, no? It’s a low-risk, no-lose proposition for them, and but the potential upside is huge.

The old equation — decades old — is that most computers ran Windows (or, if you go back far enough, DOS) and some other ones, the ones from Apple, ran Mac OSAs of today, the new equation is that all computers can run Windows, but some, the special ones from Apple, also run Mac OS X(Including other PC operating systems like the various Linux distributions doesn’t really change the equation.)

The distinction between these two equations may strike you as subtle, but the difference is potentially momentousThe point is that it recasts Macs from being “different” to being “special”. Instead of occupying a separate universe from that of PC hardware, it’s now a superset of PC hardwareInstead of choosing between a Windows PC or a Mac — which decision,正如我最近写的, for most people is more accurately stated as “choosing between a familiar Windows PC or an unfamiliar Mac” — you now get to choose between a computer that can only run Windows or a computer that can run这两个Windows和Mac OS X。

即anything a regular PC can do a Mac can do, plus a Mac can do something regular PCs can’t: run Mac OS X properly and legitimately.

This move extinguishes several of the qualms that prevent many would-be switchers from actually getting off the fence and buying their first MacNamely, the “I’m not comfortable switching to a computer I’m wholly unfamiliar with” rationaleBoot Camp gives switchers a comfortable out if they wind up not liking or in any way regretting their switch to Mac OS X: they can use their Mac as a bona fide first-class Windows box.

训练营的目标市场

Boot Camp is not about world domination or a direct frontal assault on Microsoft’s Windows monopoly.1No matter how cool Boot Camp is, it’s not even going to make sense to most people out there, let alone actually get them to buy a Mac. You try explaining “boot loaders” to your mom.

But Boot Camp is inordinately appealing to the higher end of the market, the enthusiasts典型的平民(即non-enthusiast) has no need — or at least看到没有必要——双重启动They use email, they use a web browser, they want something useful to happen when they plug a digital camera into their USB port. Whichever OS comes on their computer is good enough for this.

但也有各种各样的用途为书呆子训练营Any sort of Windows-only software, for example, is no longer an excuse not to buy a Mac比如说,游戏And for many of these people (i.ethe enthusiast/nerd/”into computers” market) using Boot Camp is免费的because they already have Windows XP installation discs sitting around.

All Apple needs to do to be spectacularly successful with its computer business in the next few years is to take just a few single digits of market share away from WindowsWhatever market share number you peg the Mac at — 2 percent, 5 percent, or anywhere in between — you must keep in mind that it (that is, the Mac user base) is not comprised of a random sample of just任何2-5 percent of computer users in generalIt’s a very specific self-selecting segment of the market: people who care about their computers, and who are willing to pay more for something better.

So even if Apple only has 2 percent of the total market today, it’s 2 percent from the最好的部分市场And if they add another percentage point or two or three, that’s going to come from the juicy part of the market as well(I’d wager a large sum that Apple’s share of the profits in the total PC industry are significantly higher than their share of units sales.)

For people in the market for a new laptop and who are at least somewhat curious about Mac OS X, what reasons are there nowto buy a MacBook? (Feel free to use your imagination to fast-forward a few months to a time where Apple has a range of MacBook models available.) The primary reason (not to buy a MacBook) that comes to mind is “Well, I can save a few bucks with another brand,” but Apple doesn’t really want customers like that anyway — people who shop primarily based on price are generally lousy customers.

我想起了这段代码John Siracusa’s lovely essay marking the fifth anniversary of Mac OS X 10.0:

After spending half my life watching smart, talented people ignore the Mac for reasons of circumstance or prejudice, it’s incredibly gratifying to live in a post-Mac OS X worldWhen I encounter a tech-world luminary or up-and-coming geek today, I just assume that he or she uses a Mac大多数时候,我是正确的Even those with a conflicting affiliation (e.g., Linux enthusiasts) often use Apple laptops, if not the OS.

That’s the momentum and the market that Boot Camp will help keep growing.

有味地对比

让我们来看看苹果公司做了什么:

  • Updated the firmware for Intel-based Macs, presumably to emulate BIOS苹果公司表示,在训练营产品页面:

    EFI BIOS和
    苹果电脑使用一个超现代的行业标准技术EFI处理启动Sadly, Windows XP, and even the upcoming Vista, are stuck in the 1980s with old-fashioned BIOS. But with Boot Camp, the Mac can operate smoothly in both centuries.

  • An in-place disk partitioning utility that allows you to create a FAT-32 or NTFS disk partition on your startup drive没有重新格式化整个硬盘The utility carves out 10 GB or more from your existing HFS+ partition (assuming you have enough free space) and leaves your existing data intactThis sounds obvious — if you had to wipe your entire startup drive as part of the partitioning process it’d keep a lot of people from even trying Boot Camp — but this has proven to be a very difficult problemThere are other third-party utilities that can do this, but I’m not aware of any that come free with an OS.

    (更新:Several readers have complained that this just isn’t so, that numerous — perhaps even most — Linux distributions now ship with in-place disk partitioning tools.]

  • A new boot chooser that appears when you boot your machine while holding down the Option key, which boot chooser sports a nifty OS X-ish visual appearance (as opposed to the decidedly OS 9-ish appearance of the old “which startup folder/disk do you want to use?” chooser)(更新:A couple of readers have emailed to point out that the new startup boot chooser appearance has been there all along with the Intel-based Macs, and isn’t new to Boot Camp or yesterday’s firmware updatesThat’s what I get for not having an Intel-based Mac.]

  • An updated Startup Disk system prefs panel that allows you to select your Windows partition as your default system, as well as a Windows version of the Startup Disk prefs panel so you can do the same from Windows.

  • A slew of Windows drivers for the hardware in these Macs. Judging from first-day accounts, AirPort, audio, and Mac-specific keyboard features like the eject key all “just work”.

I point all this out to emphasize that despite the fact that the entirety of Boot Camp, including the new firmware, has been clearly labeled “beta” and not officially supported, Apple has gone out of its way to make running Windows XP on Intel-based Macs a nice experience他们想让人们尝试这个。

Right now, it’s a dual-boot situation, which is obviously less than idealIt’s not hard to imagine, though, that the version of Boot Camp Apple is building into the upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 (a.k.a. Leopard) will be a concurrent virtualization tool — i.ethat Windows (and perhaps any other PC OS) could be hosted within a running Mac OS X session, obviating the rather annoying need to reboot to switch between OSes.

Do I know this? NoBut it certainly seems like the obvious direction for Boot Camp to take, and it’s certainly technically possible如earlier today, their hand presumably forced by Apple’s release of Boot Camp yesterday,Parallels released a public beta of their $50 Workstationvirtualization system for Intel-based MacsIt’s like Virtual PC except, because there’s no need to translate between the PowerPC and x86 instruction sets, it executes the hosted virtual system at native speedI think it’s a safe bet that Apple plans to include something like this with Mac OS X 10.5, for免费的

And this points to the rather delicious conclusion that Apple is casting Windows, including Vista, as the new Classic.

Boot Camp portends Apple’s intention to become a Windows-only PC manufacturer no more than Classic served as a hedge against Apple’s commitment to Mac OS X — that is, not at all.

The fear that Windows-on-Mac-hardware implies the eventual death or marginalization of Mac OS X is baselessSure, third party developers可以start using “Just boot into Windows” as their answer to questions regarding Mac support, but this is no more likely to be popular or successful than it was for developers whose OS X strategy was “Just use Classic”.

This is a move of supreme confidence — Apple relishes the comparison between Mac OS X and Windows XP, and Microsoft has shown enough of Vista via its widely-available beta seeds that Apple quite obviously isn’t afraid of that comparison, either.

Windows is so ubiquitous that the vast majority of Mac users are already quite familiar with it; I see no chance that Boot Camp is going to cause any Mac users to realize that they’ve been missing out on something betterBut from the other side, Apple is confident that most Windows users who give Mac OS X a shot are going to prefer it — again, much in the same way that most long-time Mac users preferred Mac OS X to the old Mac OS.

In the same way that Mac users found themselves in a race to go Classic-free after switching to OS X, and that running apps through Classic was viewed from the get-go as something to be done while holding one’s nose, so too will Windows be viewed in the post-Boot Camp world.

Microsoft can’t act like they care — Apple is doing nothing even vaguely sketchy or wrong here, and while Apple isn’t paying Microsoft a dime, anyone using Boot Camp legitimately is doing so by way of a paid-for Windows license.

But everything about Boot Camp is calibrated to position Windows-on-Mac as the next Classic-style ghetto — a compatibility layer that you might need but that you wish you didn’tTake Apple’s “Word to the Wise” warning regarding Windows security:

词的明智的
Windows上运行Mac就像Windows PC上运行That means it’ll be subject to the same attacks that plague the Windows worldSo be sure to keep it updated with the latest Microsoft Windows security fixes.

甚至训练营的标志:

苹果的新兵训练营的标志

强调了这一点It’s a bastardized variant of Microsoft’s Windows logo, sans color, and with the whitespace between the four panels forming a hidden “X”,一个拉hidden arrow in FedEx’s logo2

They (Microsoft, that is) are stuck with the fact that in a fair shoot-out, Mac OS X is betterIt looks better, it’s better designed, it’s more exciting, more intriguing, more satisfyingCf。这个笑话来自一个匿名的海报in the comments at Mini-Microsoft’s weblog (attached to a post where Mini-Microsoft rails against the current Microsoft leadership regime):

OS X和Vista的区别是什么?

Microsoft employees are excited about OS X…

那个笑话正在变得越来越有趣。


  1. 是多余的吗?↩︎

  2. 克雷格你的信用IconFactory通过电子邮件为我指出来。↩︎