Boot Camp update released for XP Service Pack 3

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Apple on Thurday released an update to Boot Camp, its software that enables Intel-based Macs to run Windows operating systems in addition to Mac OS X. The update is available for download from Apple’s Web site.

Boot Camp provides a way for Macs to run Windows natively by rebooting and holding down the Option key on restart. Using a full copy of Windows XP or Vista, you can operate Windows applications the same way you could using a regular Windows-compatible computer; once you’re done, you restart again and you can switch back to Mac OS X. Because you’re operating Windows natively using Boot Camp, it’s free of the performance slowdowns and some compatibility issues you face with “virtualization” software such as Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion.

Apple has posted three separate Boot Camp 2.1 updaters — one for Windows XP, one for 32-bit Vista operating systems, and one for 64-bit Vista operating systems.

Apple indicates that each update “addresses issues and improves compatibility” with the version of Windows it is intended for. Apple said that Boot Camp 2.1 is required before installing Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3).

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