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No Windows on Macs until Vista

Apple’s unveiling of the first Intel-based Macs (opens in new tab), combined with news that neither it nor Microsoft will block users from loading Windows onto the new machines, has provoked a good deal of interest.

Running Windows on Macs would open the door for Apple users to run software that was previously Windows-only, without the speed drop from using an emulator such as Virtual PC (which interestingly is now owned by Microsoft).

Apple says it won’t ship machines with Windows installed but, according to a leading Apple executive, if there are people that love Apple’s hardware but forced to put up with a Windows world then that’s ok.

Speaking to MSNBC, Scott Erickson, director of product management and marketing for Microsoft's Mac business unit was equally enthusiastic. "Any new machines that are on the market that run Windows are great," he said.

However, blog site enGadget (opens in new tab) is warning users not to get carried away just yet, as the new iMacs and MacBook Pros’ use of new technology from Intel, Extensible Firmware Interface (opens in new tab) (EFI), to control how the machines boot, looks set to throw a spanner in the works.

EFI has been developed by Intel as a replacement for the traditional BIOS but it is not currently supported in the standard 32-bit version of Microsoft’s current operating system, Windows XP.

The good news, however, is that EFI will be supported in Vista, Microsoft’s next version of its desktop operating system, which is due, er….. well your guess is as good and mine but hopefully this decade.

In the meantime, for all you people keen to get a look at Vista, here is an Apple fan’s take on Bill Gate’s strangely familiar Vista demonstration (opens in new tab)at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES).