Apple Misses Windows 7 Bootcamp Deadline, Apparently Everyone Except Me Really Cares

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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.

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