Apple announced today at Mac OS X 10.5, codenamed Leopard, will feature a dual-boot mode to enable users to switch between Mac OS X and Windows XP SP2.
Yesterday the company already launched Boot Camp, a tool to let users run Windows XP on their Intel-based Mac systems.
What a user does with his Mac once it's running Windows is entirely up to him, from Apple's point of view. Rather than a virtualization system or "virtual PC" that would run Windows on the Mac desktop (a feature that Microsoft already makes available to Mac users), Boot Camp enables a true dual-boot system using a logically-partitioned hard disk. Apple recommends a 10 GB partition, though the minimum is 5 GB, with at least 5 GB left over for the Mac OS partition. Once installed, the user will see a startup screen featuring two panels that lets him simply choose between Mac OS and Windows. After Windows is booted, Mac OS exits the picture and lets Windows take over. From Windows' perspective, it's running on an Intel-based system with a 10 GB (or larger) hard drive. For the duration of the session - until the user reboots - he's running a Windows machine.