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Remember that Boot Camp is Beta

Before we get into the options and issues involved in doing dual-platform deployments, here is a word of caution. Apple’s Boot Camp is still a public beta. Apple has made it available, but does not provide support for deploying Windows on Mac hardware. The terms of the Boot Camp beta also state that it will be available in its current form for an unspecified limited time. No one is certain where Boot Camp development is eventually headed (although the general belief is that Apple will eventually use Intel’s virtualization technology to enable Windows to be run from within Mac OS X).

Before deploying Boot Camp in a live environment, I suggest ample testing on any hardware models that you will be using. If possible, test each workstation after deployment because there have been some known boot issues that appear to be more machine-specific than model-specific. You might also want to make sure that your users understand that this is new ground you are breaking and that there might be some bumps in the road.

Also, be sure that you have updated the firmware of each machine before beginning deployment. This firmware update is what makes Boot Camp possible because it extends the EFI firmware used in Intel Mac so that they can simulate the legacy BIOS functions used in PC motherboards. However, this step alone takes away some of the ease of deploying dual-boot Macs because it requires manual installation at each machine from a local install of Mac OS X. However, integrating this into the initial unpacking of your computers can ease the process slightly.

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