I have a confession to make. I don’t dual boot. I don’t use Windows on my Mac. I don’t need to. There’s not a single bit of software I need that is Windows-only. And even though I have Office:Mac 2008, I open Word and Excel documents […]


I have a confession to make. I don’t dual boot. I don’t use Windows on my Mac. I don’t need to. There’s not a single bit of software I need that is Windows-only. And even though I have Office:Mac 2008, I open Word and Excel documents in Pages and Numbers. (I don’t hate Office, I just find iWork to be a more rewarding experience!)

But, apparently, I’m in a minority, and every other Mac owner on Earth is simply aching to run Windows 7 on their Apple hardware. Well, you’d be forgiven for thinking as much, given the articles doing the rounds on tech sites this past weekend, most of them tersely reporting how Apple has missed its own deadline for providing official Boot Camp driver support for Microsoft’s latest version of Windows.

Here’s what Apple had to say in a (very short) support note published in October last year:

Apple will support Microsoft Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate) with Boot Camp in Mac OS X Snow Leopard before the end of the year. This support will require a software update to Boot Camp.

The rest of the note was just a list of the nine older models of iMac and MacBook that wouldn’t support the Boot Camp update.

AppleInsider reached out to Apple for comment last week, as 2009 drew to a close. An Apple employee responsible for dealing with Bootcamp enquiries told them:

…it was very unlikely that the update would surface in the next 24 hours, adding that a release sometime early next year would be a safer bet.

MacWorld UK writes a little more dramatically about the missed deadline:

On the same day in October that rival Microsoft launched Windows 7 , Apple promised that it would revise Boot Camp… Apple has still not released a Boot Camp revision to its Software Update service.

Although Microsoft officially unveiled Windows 7 in late October, the company first provided developers with early builds a year before that, and began offering previews to the general public in February 2009.

Apple did not elaborate on why they would not support Microsoft’s newest operating system.

I’m not sure a missed deadline is the same as Apple demonstrating they unequivocally ‘would not’ support Windows 7, but the drama doesn’t end there. Here’s Paul Thurrott’s take, from a blog post entitled “Shame on Apple for not Providing Windows 7 Drivers by Now”:

Previously, Apple promised to provide Windows 7 drivers through its Boot Camp utility […] by the end of 2009. So they’re late. But these drivers can and should have been delivered to customers when Windows 7 shipped, in October. I guess the company was too busy fixing a widely-reported user data deletion issue in Snow Leopard to bother supporting a competing system that just works.

So thanks for nothing Apple. We know you’re scared of Windows 7, but come on.

I might offer a less florid possibility; could it possibly be just a delay? Y’know, like Microsoft experienced when it delayed the release of Windows 95. And Windows 98. And Windows… oh, you get the point. Look, software delays happen and they don’t have to mean anything!

Thurrott’s Apple-fan-baiting aside, I have a serious question; am I so completely out of touch that I’m the only Mac user in the world who doesn’t dual boot? OK, I played with some virtualization tools a while back out of sheer curiosity, and the half-hearted belief that I really might need Microsoft Office (note: I didn’t) but it wasn’t long before they were removed.

A Tad Silly

Mac OS X, iLife and iWork have most my bases covered for personal creativity and productivity. And while I do a lot of online collaboration with a wide circle of colleagues and friends, most of whom are on Windows machines, I’m not exaggerating when I say — it’s simply not an issue. Honestly, there isn’t a single thing I’ve come across in 18 months that absolutely demanded I use Windows.

But apparently, that’s unusual, and most Mac owners in the world not only use Windows, they need Windows and, more than any other version, they absolutely must have Windows 7, so Apple’s missed deadline is nothing short of scandalous.

True? Because if that’s not true, all of that breathless reporting over the weekend about missed deadlines and Apple’s ‘fears’ would prove a tad silly, wouldn’t it?

Actually, I have had one issue since switching to the Mac; my friends don’t use iChat. They’re stuck with Skype or — horror of horrors –Windows Live Messenger for video conferencing and collaboration. I pity them. It’s the one thing I wish Apple would release for Windows. The world would be a better place then, I’m sure.

So, tell me, Mac Majority, is Boot Camp’s (temporarily) absent Windows 7 support really the Big Deal the tech press have made it out to be? Am I truly in some peculiar Mac Minority who don’t install Windows on their Apple hardware? Am I, in fact, missing a far bigger point? Please enlighten me.

  1. I don’t care either!

  2. I’ve been running Windows 7 in Boot Camp for months. Whether it’s supported or not, it sure as hell works. *shrug*

    1. It “almost” works. The biggest issue is the botched audio driver for the new MacBooks (trust me, there’s hacks out there, but none of them restores 100% functionality on ANY version of Windows, not just 7) that has been plaguing macbooks pro since June (only the ones with the Cirrus Logic chip, Realtek chips are unaffected).

      So yeah, for me it’s a big deal because it’s a giant pain in the ass for me not being able to use Skype under windows.

      And guys, the windows world isn’t just Office, there’s a TON of stuff that isn’t available for OSX, or is available but just in a half-assed sort of way (show me a screencapture tool that works just as fine as SnagIt, Axure or MindJet Mindmapper…)

    2. Luca,

      Are there benefits, or compatibility issues with Skype that are addressed with the Windows7 version? I have been using Skype on Mac for ages without any issues. Please share though, I’m curious.

      Also, regarding screen caps: Snapz Pro X is not only a fine screen-capture tool, but in many ways, I find it to be far superior than SnagIt on Windows. I don’t have experience with your other examples, but the fact that Snapz Pro X is built around Quicktime makes a far better professional tool IMHO, and I’m a video professional.

    3. Hi Luca,

      I use LittleSnapper to take screen shots, and it’s a hugely powerful (and essential) addition to my workflow. Couldn’t live without it. (OK, I *could*, but life would be pretty grim!)

    4. Hey Liam,

      Little Snapper is lacking in features and a pain in the butt to use.

      Do yourself a favor and get Skitch.

      You won’t look back…

    5. Never could get a good feel for Skitch… *that* seemed a pain in the butt to me! But I might give it another try.

      What I’d really like is for my screen capture software to maintain a library in sync across my Macs… that would be awesome!

      And the fact I’m so easily excited by that singular prospect tells you the true depths of sadness to which my life plummets! ;-)

    6. Self-correction: LittleSnapper does allow me to sync my library across my Macs. It’s a bit of a “hack”, in the sense that I have to put the library file into my Dropbox folder, but it works. And it works very well!

      In fact, this is the first time in many updates to the software that I’ve gone into the preferences to have a snoop about and a LOT has been added.

      I just love this app more and more every day…

  3. I agree with the author completely. Mac users need to stop complaining that W7 isn’t available yet. You bought an Apple computer so use the Apple software. If you want it so bad go buy a PC. I used W7 for about a month before switching back to Vista because it crashed most of the time. So be grateful and quit whining.

  4. I don’t understand users who have the time to reboot it just to switch to the other world. I use Windows 7 occasionally because need to use MS Project and I’m very happy with the way how VMWare Fusion does it. Why on earth would I reboot just to check where certain milestone was?

  5. I moved from Windows to Ubuntu to Mac in the search of an OS and software that performed right out of the box and allowed me to work the way I wanted to work. I found it with Apple and my Macbook, why would I regress?

  6. The biggest problem I have with it is Parallels will not build a VM based off a Boot Camp partition that Apple does not officially support.

    Windows 7 works fine in BC. It works fine in a self-contained Parallels VM. However, I can’t have a VM based on the Win 7 BC.

    1. That’s odd, I can! Don’t ask me what I’m doing differently though.

  7. first of all I am running win7 right now, even though its “not supported” and I have no problem waiting for official drivers because the only thing i do in win7 is run games, and hardly ever play comp games anymore. But i do run across a bit of software that just needs windows for some reason, but i have a feeling that will change one day…

    My take on windows 7 is this btw, although their improvements have made the OS as easy to use as say tiger, they still have a long way to go if they want to be where mac OS X is. for example try changing your dn. settings in win7.. WTF

  8. The one and only reason I run Windows is to run the geographic information system (GIS) software I need for school, as ArcGIS is Windows only. I tried using Boot Camp for a while (with Windows 7 RC, interestingly) and had no issues, but got tired of rebooting. Recently installed Win7 & ArcGIS in VMWare Fusion, and it seems to be working fine.

  9. Win7 has run flawlessly in boot camp for me since release. I use windows for Steam and Steam alone. If I could kill zombies in os x I wouldn’t care about windows, but 7 is perfect. The tech presses are dead wrong as usual, it is unfortunate they read press releases and don’t actually try using what they write about.

    1. Same here. I’ve been running Win7 in Boot Camp on both a Mac Pro and MacBook Pro for months to play COD: MW2. No issues whatsoever.

  10. Use windows for gaming. Most games are windows only and VM doesn’t cut it for that. That being said, I installed Windows7 with bootcamp anyway and the only thing I couldn’t get to work was the bootcamp control panel plugin for windows (I didn’t try that hard either) so I do dual boot and still don’t care about the missed deadline.


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