square wrote:a friend of mine way more into computers than i was telling me that apple has or will have a computer that allows either osx or vista to run at startup. anyone more familiar with this than i?
On edit: ^^^ What juanton said. If you want more info, read on:
Every Mac in Apple's current
product line runs on an Intel processor, and since they have Intel processors, they can run Windows, too.
The approach you described - choosing at startup - can be done with a utility from Apple. It's called Boot Camp:
The utility is free - so, of course, Windows isn't included. You'll have to buy that separately.
I haven't tried installing Boot Camp, but I know that in its current beta status, it's not the most intuitive thing in the world. It's rumored to be more seamlessly integrated into the next major revision of the Mac OS.
An alternative to Boot Camp - the one I favor - is an application called Parallels Desktop. It's about $80 (not including the copy of Windows, which you will have to ante up for in this scenario too).
Taking advantage of the Intel Core processor's virtualization capabilities, it runs a virtual Windows PC in an application window on your Mac desktop. Using it, I literally have a Windows XP desktop running on my Mac while I compose this message in a Mac Web browser.
Which is better for you?
Use Boot Camp if you're a gamer. You'll need maximum performance, and you can't get it by dividing your Mac's processing power by running OS X and Windows simultaneously.
If you like to go back and forth between the two OSes, use Parallels. I design Web sites, so it lets me make changes to a Web page and immediately test the changes in several Windows and Mac browsers. I need that more than I need raw speed running either OS.