So there’s buzz that Apple may charge for Boot Camp functionality in 10.5/Leopard. I’ll be slightly surprised if this turns out to be true. Mainly because it’s currently an option that’s freely available which makes Apple Computers fly higher than their beige-box brethren in being the only machines capable of natively running OS X and Windows. I don’t think Apple would start charging folks for something that easily helps them stand out to the waves of Switchers that are coming to the platform each day.
On the other hand, Boot Camp is slightly more advanced in use than the likes of Parallels, which makes the process much more streamlined and more easily accessible for the user. Being more of a ‘Pro’ option – this is just opinion here – it very well could go the way of Quicktime, requiring an upgrade fee each new OS launch. (I just assume I’ll have to pay $29.95 to upgrade to QT Pro 8 when Leopard pounces.) Granted there’s not currently a basic and pro version of Boot Camp, but who knows what may come with Leopard – it’s not like any of us have heard anything about it in months!
Leaving Boot Camp to be freely available with the future operating system gives Apple an edge over the competition, and I don’t think they’ll make things harder on themselves – and their customers – by charging an extra fee for the dual boot capability. With so much momentum in Apple’s corner, I believe it’s the smarter move to bundle it, rather than charge. But Apple’s none to opposed to the yearly Apple Taxes (OS 10.x, iLife, iWork, QT Pro x) either. So rumor or truth? I tend to believe the former, but I suppose we’ll find out soon.