Run Windows on your Mac (if you must)

On your Intel-based Mac, that is. Bootcamp is old news by now, but I just read some insightful commentary on the subject over on Daring Fireball
Instead of occupying a separate universe from that of PC hardware, it's now a superset of PC hardware. Instead of choosing between a Windows PC or a Mac … you now get to choose between a computer that can only run Windows or a computer that can run both Windows and Mac OS X. I.e. anything a regular PC can do a Mac can do, plus a Mac can do something regular PCs can't: run Mac OS X properly and legitimately.
This is an important point. When I first heard this announcement I, like most people, was surprised. My surprise faded after just a few minutes thought though - of course Apple wants people to be able to run Windows on their Macs. They said from the beginning that they wouldn't do anything to prevent people running Windows on their Intel-based Macs. This is not the same as officially supporting it of course, but makes a lot of sense to. I didn't think this was a really big deal at first but I've changed my mind. The barrier to switching to OS X is much lower than it was now that Windows users can fall back to their old familiar OS if (unlikely as it may be) they find they don't like OS X.

My original position was that dual-booting is not really very useful compared to virtualization. For my purposes, it still isn't, but it's a great way for new switchers to have the aforementioned fall-back operating system. It doesn't solve the problem of irreplaceable Windows-only software, but I don't think it's meant to. It's just too much trouble to keep rebooting to go back and forth, people doing this will likely end up spending most of their time in Windows where they can do everything they need. I experienced this myself back when I was first learning to use Linux; I dual-booted Windows NT 4 and Redhat but, predictably, didn't end up using Linux much.

This is exactly the problem virtualization solves. Need to use your Windows app? Fire up Windows from inside OS X and you can continue what you were doing without interruption. The Daring Fireball article mentions the recently announced Parallels Workstation, which is the first of what promises to be a long line of virtualization applications for Intel OS X. VMware is sure to follow, and who knows what else will pop up, especially from Apple themselves. Microsoft never had any real competition with Virtual PC on PowerPC, but they had better get used to it now that everything is running on the same architecture. If even one other company can make something that handles multi-user Macs better than Virtual PC does (or doesn't, as the case may be), VPC may just be relegated to the antiquated software graveyard.