Take the No Windows-Booting Pledge

by Hadley Stern Apr 07, 2006

Mac users have a lot of strange habits. We are known to have rituals when we unpack our latest machines. We will argue passionatelyabout the virtue of one menu bar item (over whether even using menu bar items is mac like) over another for hours on end. And yes, we will even create websites dedicated to discussing the minutia of the Apple experience.

But perhaps the biggest way that we define ourselves is in what we are not (Beeblebrox, affectionally, is not included in this generalization). We are not Windows users. Adamantly NOT. Everything that Windows represents, bloat-ware, an inconsistent user experience, an unrefined UI is what we Mac users are not.

Which is why the latest obsession to hit the Mac community is one that I find so odd. That being booting Windows natively. I am writing this from a brand new MacBook Pro (just got it today, in fact). It, so far, appears to be a beautiful machine. The screen is bright as heck, the processor is zippy. OS X runs beautifully within its dual core Intel framework.

And yet so many people out there want to boot Windows on this machine? Why oh why, I ask. I can understand, even respect the hackers who want to do it out there to see if it can be done. But the fact that this seems to be so popular (there are sites, wikis, forums dedicated to just this one task) seems to me to bode ill for the Mac experience.

If OS X is so darn freakin’ good why do people want Windows on their Mac. Buy a Dell, at least its ugliness will match the ugliness of Windows. Virtual PC was already enough of a weird thing, but booting Windows on a Mac? Sacrilege, I say.

Sure, I can hear already all the good responses. Like there is the real estate program I want to be able to run that is Windows only, or, look at all the cool games on Windows. But these arguments will lead to a further undermining of the Mac platform. Developers will just think, hey, if a Mac person wants it they can just dual-boot so screw the Mac platform. Not good.

So, everyone out there who is reading this I want you to take the Apple Matters pledge of allegiance to the Mac platform. Pledge that you won’t even think about trying to dual-boot your mac, now and forever. Amen.


  • I take the pledge!!! Although it’s easy for me as I’m on a ppc based mac but you have a very good point and I believe nobody should dual boot their system with windows!!!!

    Habadasher had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 20
  • As much as I want to, I simply cannot sign this pledge.

    I want to dual boot for the same reason why I try to use the browser on my PSP—because it can be done. I want to dual boot because I want to finally be able to buy the cheap computer games in the aisles of Office Max. I want to dual boot because I now can.

    BigMac had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 5
  • Half Life 2 is a pretty solid reason for booting into windows, even if its only occasionally.

    Remember: THINK before POST.

    mungler had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 16
  • You want to dual-boot so you can spend $$$ on overpriced cr*pware games? Wow, that’s a good use of your money.

    Hey, I’m sure he did think before he posted: HalfLife2 is boring. Quake is boring. Doom is boring. Halo is boring. Gamers are degenerates.

    Aurora77 had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 35
  • wholeheartedly take the pledge

    yoharryo had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 9
  • I don’t want to boot into Windows, but I want to run Linux in a VM so I can test my Java ... just like what’s just been released. Parallels’s VM works great by the way.

    The last windows game I bought is now three years old and worked fine on a 1.8GHz P-4, so if I ever get around to installing XP in a VM, it should be playable.

    nilp had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 16
  • The folks crying armageddon over the effect of dual-booting on developers are - I think - really missing the point.  There isn’t a giant, nebulous mass of developers “out there” who feel the “pressure” to develop for that 4% of market share because otherwise that 4% of market share can’t use their wonderful software.  Developers produce software for Mac because - now listen carefully - people want to run their software on Mac.  That’s Mac OS, not just a white box with an Apple logo running Windows.  The big producers like Microsoft and Adobe already say they’ll keep developing, and what about the smaller ones?  There aren’t really that many small developers, other than the open-source community, who develop actively for both Windows and Mac (or Windows and anything else): it tends to be either/or, and that won’t change with the advent of dual booting Macs.

    It’s honestly not much of a leap to take that pledge… I looked with interest at the announcement of Boot Camp, then more or less ignored it.  I never shut down my current Macs, and I never plan to shut down Mac OS X on my Intel-based Macs.  Dual-booting is for people stuck on less flexible hardware who need to go between Windows (for games) and *nix (for a decent OS).  Virtualization, now *that’s* a different ball-game.  That allows some utility use of a near-native speed virtual Windows machine, without having to turn my Mac into another piece of Wintel crapware.  What would I use virtualization for?  Probably just to deal with an Access database for work.

    That’s a perfect example of why the Intel Macs stand to make big gains, and why we can stop wailing about deserting developers: Access has NEVER been developed for Mac, and that’s despite many years of existence with no dual-bootable Mac/Windows hardware.  It’s produced by a major software developer who makes plenty of other Mac software (indeed, Mac software better than its own Windows counterparts - Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, etc).  You say developers won’t port to Mac because now a Mac can dual-boot to Windows to run their software?  Only the developers that never would have ported to Mac regardless.  And guess what: all the developers that already develop BETTER software for Mac, or ONLY for Mac… well, don’t expect them to switch to Windows. grin

    Yes, it’s all a lot of change, and more than a little chaotic, but as J.D. says in Heathers: “chaos is what killed the dinosaurs, darlin’!”  Tigers and leopards… those definitely aren’t dinosaurs.

    Robinhood had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 9
  • I wouldn’t sign this, because I need to run engineering modeling software like Solidworks, and I know that they will never release a mac version. It just isn’t going to happen. So I like the opportunity to be able to run this and a couple programs on my mac, and then the rest of the time use the mac OS that I love.

    brunodog had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 5
  • Hmmm, no reply from beeblebrox ?  Must be busy working or something, I can’t wait to see his post on this one. I enjoy his posts, anyways, lets refraise the pledge people, to…...lets say…..“I pledge that OS X I will never leave”. As far as no dual booting, not running virtualization, your out of your freaking mind ! ! !  I have been a die hard mac fan for years, I hate Windows with more passion than can be imagined. Do I use Windows, yes. Do I have a choice, NO ! !  Do you have any idea what the best part is here people ?  The fact is now, there is nothing a MAC can’t do. I hate having two laptops just so I can enjoy myself and still be able to perform work related tasks that I HAVE to use a Windows machine for. Now, one machine does both. Trust me, it will not see much Windows boote time, but now its there when I need to use it. And when a more powerful way of virtualization comes along, there will be no dual booting of Windows over here.

    Macster2 had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 40
  • I will take the pledge. I was horrified to find out my beloved Apple had released Boot Camp. Its just wrong! I will never dual boot - EVER!

    Iain had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 1
  • The author of this piece is a fricking idiot..  If you don’t want to boot into Windows, THEN DON"T DO IT..  No one is forcing a gun to your head and telling you that you have to run Windows on your Mac, it is simply an OPTION..  And a damn valuable option for the majority of computer users who need to use a specific Windows only app for whatever reason.

    What a stupid moronic idea this pledge is…

    MikeK had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 1
  • I will sign this pledge ONLY when there are Mac version of 3D Studio Max, Alias Studio, Pro-E, and all the mainstream CAD programs available.

    I take the pride of being the Mac owner to the extreme, but there are times I have no choice but to turn on me PC just to get my jobs done. It’s the Windows applications I need, not the OS… well, and games, too.

    When I have the dual boot ready, I will install OS X theme right away anyway…

    TT had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 4
  • I too have wondered why Mac users, traditionally Windows haters who are against everything that is Windows, is so gleeful at now being able to boot Windows.

    This is a strange phenomenon.  4 days ago, before the release of Bootcamp, users were cursing Windows.  Now it seems that the Mac community cannot be excited enough about having Windows on their machines.

    Most of you (I am emphatically not part of the excited group — nor am I of the doom-n-gloom camp) who think you need Windows for “that one program” probably don’t.  I’ve yet to see one thing (with the exception of CAD, and even that is debateable) which can be done on a PC that cannot be done on a Mac.  There may not be the exact same program, but there is undoubtedly a program which does the exact same thing.  It’s just a matter of looking.

    Honestly, I cannot wait to see this whole ‘Windows on a Mac’ craze leave on the horse it rode in on.  Most of use wouldn’t have been caught dead using Windows (unless we use it at work that is) until now when it works on Macs.

    When did our ferver become about the capabilities of the hardware and not the Mac OS experience?  Forget about Windows and come back to reality.  You know . . . the one where Windows sucks.

    e:leaf had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 32
  • This is the kind of mentality that makes Mac users look bad. 

    Regardless if you use or even like Windows, it exists and dominates the market. Sticking your head in the sand won’t change that.

    Many people have to use Windows at work or because an application they *need* to run does not (and never will) exist for Mac OS X. For these users, purchasing a Mac is out of the question unless it can run Windows. Period.

    But now there’s BootCamp, which removes another excuse for Window’s users not to switch. Even Microsoft’s Tech Evangelist Robert Scoble say’s he might buy a MacBook since he can run XP on it.

    And then there’s the education market. Many schools have separate Mac and PC labs. But with an Intel Mac and Boot Camp, you can boot into Mac OS X to run InDesign & Photoshop for a design lab, then boot into Windows to run Autocad & 3D Studio Max for a Architectural lab. Why buy two computers when you can buy one?

    Personally, I’ll be using a virtualization tool like Paralells for web testing rather than dual boot, but it’s nice to know that I can boot natively into XP / Vista if I need to.

    Scott had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 144
  • e:leaf,

    “...think you need Windows for “that one program” probably don’t.”

    You clearly don’t know what you are talking about. But then again, I don’t blame you if you don’t live with a job/company that uses windows version of CAD programs. It’s easy to teach one to learn a new program, but to ask the entire industry to change it’s way of working is another thing.

    Again, people. It’s not Windows that the “dual-boot” camp is falling in love with. NEVER! it’s the programs they need. If Mac can push the software companies making programs for both OS equally, this war will end.

    TT had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 4
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