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When Apple announced its Boot Camp software that allows Intel processors-based Macintosh computers to run Windows XP operating system it said that it would neither sell, nor support the operating system (OS) from Microsoft Corp. Nevertheless, its partners among online stores have already begun to ship Macs with pre-installed Windows XP.

MacMall web-store, which calls itself “#1 Apple direct reseller”, has recently started to offer Apple Mac mini, Apple MacBook Pro and Apple iMac computers with Intel processors inside that come with Mac OS X and Windows XP Professional or Home edition operating systems pre-installed.

Depending on the version of Windows and computer model, price difference between similarly configured Macintosh computers with and without Windows may be up to $255, which is still lower compared to the retail price of Microsoft Windows XP Professional edition ($299), but considerably higher compared to Windows XP Pro price for computer builders (around $129).

While end-users may install Windows XP operating systems on Mac computer themselves, selling of Macintosh systems with installed OS indicates that there is demand towards Macintosh computers with operating system from Microsoft, something which has never been supported by their maker Apple Computer.

Boot Camp allows users with a Microsoft Windows XP installation disc to install Windows XP on an Intel-based Mac, and once installation is complete, users can restart their computer to run either Mac OS X or Windows XP. Boot Camp will be a feature in “Leopard,” Apple’s next major release of Mac OS X, that will be previewed at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in August.

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