Apple: Boot Camp beta expires December 31

Upgrade to Leopard, or forget making changes to the Windows partition

Apple on Wednesday set the expiration date for Boot Camp, the free application that runs Windows XP or Vista on an Intel-based Macintosh, as December 31. Users were notified by e-mail.

"With the introduction of Leopard, the Boot Camp Beta program has ended," the message read. "The Boot Camp Beta software will expire on December 31, and Apple won't offer further updates of Boot Camp Beta for Mac OS X Tiger."

Apple has promised that Windows partitions already installed on Macs running Tiger will remain intact and bootable after the cutoff, but Assistant, the program that creates and manages the XP and Vista partitions, will stop working. Apple has also suspended driver updates for the beta of Boot Camp.

The news shouldn't surprise anyone, since Apple repeatedly told Tiger users that it would terminate Boot Camp support. The program's end-user license agreement (EULA), in fact, set the expiration as when Tiger's successor shipped or on December 31, whichever came first. Leopard, Mac OS X 10.5, debuted October 26, so technically Apple didn't heed its own EULA, opting instead to go with the later date.

To update Boot Camp to the final release Version 2.0, users must upgrade to Leopard. Windows partitions built with the Boot Camp beta do not need to be recreated, nor does XP or Vista need to be reinstalled to run Windows on a Leopard-equipped Intel Mac.

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