Antivirus vendors are licking their lips in anticipation of the new business that will come their way now Apple has released BootCamp. The application allows users with Intel-based Macintosh computers to use both Apple’s OSX operating system and Microsoft Windows.
Intel-based Macs have been on sale since early 2006. Apple announced that all new Macs will run on Intel’s technology by the end of the year. Leopard, the next Mac OS, will be previewed in August, and is rumoured to come with BootCamp as standard.
Steve Ford, general manager of the Apple division of Renaissance, is reporting higher sales due to the expanded possibilities. He says it will be of use across the board, from people with gaming interests to small to medium enterprises looking to run Windows applications on Macs.
“We have had a large interest from a number of people, asking how we can run Windows on Macintosh systems,” says Ford.
Until now, Apple has been notoriously free of virus threats. However, that could be set to change as Microsoft’s pre-Vista OS will be in dire need of security.
Oliver Friedrichs, director of emerging technologies at Symantec, says that it does not matter which operating system you use, there will always be a security threat.
“There is, however, a real possibility that when dual booting on two partitions, a virus could jump from one OS to the other,” he says.
Ford, on the other hand, disagrees. He says a virus jumping from one partition to another is not possible.
He believes there are advantages to other companies than just Apple.
“There is no reason for Microsoft not to get behind the latest move. It should benefit them greatly.”
Brent Colbert, Microsoft New Zealand marketing director, says there are no current plans for Microsoft to advertise its operating system to Mac users.
“To date there has been no marketing incentive from us, neither is there an immediate plan to put something in place.”
Colbert says they are watching with interest but that it is too early to predict any jump in sales.
“Our operating system has over 600 million users worldwide and we are pleased that Apple responded to the public demand.”
The issue of support for Windows has not been addressed by either company.
“It is too early for us to say anything about support,” say Colbert. Apple’s position at the moment is to continue support on the Mac OS, but not the Microsoft OS.
There is also a possibility that smaller companies, such as system integrators and tech-specific support companies, will benefit from the move.