Windows is the new “Classic” after all.

In a previous blog entry written just after the introduction of the first version of Boot Camp by Apple and of Parallels Desktop, I was wondering if Windows could actually, looking at a potential future roadmap of Mac OS, become the new Classic for Intel based Macs, just like MacOS 9 was for PowerPC based machines. Since then, Apple continued to release updates to the Beta of Boot Camp and Parallels continued improvements to its virtual machine software.

Yesterday, version 3.0 of Parallels Desktop got released, introducing many new improvements such as 3D support (for the gamers out there) as well as even closer integration with the Mac through a method called “Coherence”. This enables users to hide the Windows desktop and have applications made for Microsoft’s operating system run side by side with those for MacOS X. From a user experience, it’s really very similar to the Classic mode on PowerPC based computers from Apple. So yes, in my mind, Windows is the new Classic after all.

In an even more interesting move, Apple chose to release the new beta version of Boot Camp yesterday. The latest version has improved drivers for Windows XP and Windows Vista. But what surprised me is the fact that both Parallels 3.0 and Boot Camp 1.3 Beta got out the same day, just a few days before WWDC. Now, how likely is it that two companies release updates to products that work together (you can use a Boot Camp partition in Parallels) on the same day? I haven’t seen any mention that Parallels requires the latest version of Boot Camp, but part from that, for those who believe in conspiracy theory and love rumors that are made out of nowhere, what if Apple and Parallels where working together for one of the top secret features of Leopard that will potentially get announced next week… :-)

Update: There might actually be nothing between Parallels and Apple, except a big coincidence… If you have Boot Camp 1.3 Beta drivers installed on Vista, you won’t be able to use that partition in Parallels as it freezes your machine.

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