Apple Exec: "We’re Seeing a High Level of Interest in Boot Camp"

| Reports

Apple Computer executives told financial analysts Wednesday that the company has seen a "high level of interest" in Boot Camp following the release of a beta version of the software earlier in April. The company refused, however, to give specific download numbers, citing the fact that it was beta software intended to gain customer feedback.

Boot Camp allows users to boot into either Mac OS X or Windows XP on Intel-powered Macintosh systems, and Apple execs repeated the company line that the software was released in response to customer interest in that ability.

"You know, the response has been written about a lot," said Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer. "We did this because we were getting a lot of customer requests for this, as many Windows users were considering switching to the Mac. We think that it makes the Mac even more appealing to them."

Itis known that Apple will include Boot Camp in Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard," but it is not known what form that support will take. For instance, Apple could simply include the functionality inherent in the beta version of Boot Camp that would continue to allow users to choose Windows or Mac OS X. The company could also take it in a different direction, such as allowing Fast User Switching between the OSes or virtualization that allows both OSes to be run at the same time.

Analysts sought clarification for Appleis plans, but none was forthcoming. Instead, Mr. Oppenheimer and COO Tim Cook both retreated to the default line that Boot Camp is beta software intended to gain customer feedback.

"It is a beta," stressed Mr. Oppenheimer, "so we have put it out to get feedback, and we are just two weeks into that."

Apple did make it clear, however, that it had no (public) plans for becoming a Windows OEM, as has been suggested by curmudgeon John C. Dvorak and Apple Death Knell Counter hall-of-famer Rob Enderle.

"We have no desire and no plan to sell or support Windows," said Mr. Oppenheimer, "but we do think that boot camp makes the Mac even more appealing to Windows users considering making the switch. And thatis the reason we put it out."

Only time will tell, however, whether or not that is actually the case, or if it will go the way of the "Itis about the music, stupid" insistence that Apple was not looking at releasing a video-capable iPod. That comment was made by Apple CEO Steve Jobs on April 28th, 2004. Appleis first video-capable iPod was announced October 12th, 2005.

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