updated 11:45 am EST, Thu January 12, 2006
Mactels can\'t run XP
Looking forward to Intel-based Macs, many hoped that they would be ableo Windows XP and Mac OS X. However this is not the case, according to a report from BetaNews. The report says that Apple's use of the extensible firmware interface (EFI) rather than BIOS, current Windows releases will not run on the new Macs. Limitations in Windows itself will prevent its use on the new Macs, and Apple's vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller said the company would not specifically block the use of Windows on Mac hardware.
Apple's move to Intel processors also meant a switch from Open Firmware to EFI, which is an updated BIOS specification developed by Intel. Advanced EFI offers the ability to boot into an EFI shell to run diagnostics and power up the CPU into a fully functional state immediately. EFI also separates the control of devices from the operating system, allowing it to initialize hardware prior to loading the operating system. This feature allows a system to connect to the internet to download updated drivers before booting up, according to the report.
Microsoft has plans to add EFI support to 32-bit versions of its new Windows Vista operating system, but the final release isn't expected until the end of 2006. Additionally, Microsoft's 64-bit versions of Windows are incompatible with the new Intel-based Macs despite supporting EFI, due to Apple's 32-bit-only Intel platform.
Microsoft on Tuesday announced a formal five-year commitment to develop its Office product for the Mac--offering support for PowerPC Macs as well as Intel-based machines.