XP on Mac
They just released a public beta of Boot Camp, which will be included by default in OS X Leopard. This 83mb application allows XP to run easily on those new Intel-based Macs. This is really a coup. Windows and Apple have done everything they can to discourage running OS X on Intel or AMD-based PCs (but some have still done it), yet here is Apple openly and freely promoting the dual-boot configuration.
It certainly works as a marketing tool to sell more hardware. What I don't quite understand is how this affects the long-requested and rumored open market sale of Apple's OS X operating system. It seems to me that dream is still only a dream and that this news changes nothing on that front. Does it make sense for Apple to sell hardware for Windows-based machines? Not really, and this doesn't lead down that path. Judging from the available information, you would still have to run Mac OS X to enable XP as a boot option. There doesn't seem to be a way, with this software, to only run XP on an Intel-based Mac.
What does this do for Vista? Well, I think Apple answers that question with these two blurbs from the site for Boot Camp:
EFI and BIOS
Macs use an ultra-modern industry standard technology called EFI to handle booting. 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.
Word to the Wise
Windows running on a Mac is like Windows running on a PC. That means it’ll be subject to the same attacks that plague the Windows world. So be sure to keep it updated with the latest Microsoft Windows security fixes.
This makes the upcoming release of Vista very interesting. Will Apple finally get a serious toe-hold in the market? Or is this just one more blow to the dreams of the *Nix-ites and their "free OS" world?