Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Intel Macs, no open firmware, no Windows XP installs.

The new Macs based on Intel Core Duo processors (the iMac Core Duo and MacBook Pro) will no longer make use of Open Firmware, which has been standard on all shipping Macs in recent memory.

Instead, the new Macs make use of Intel's Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI), which proviedes an interface between Mac OS X and the computer firmware.

Traditionally, booting into Open Firmware has allowed users to reset PRAM, NVRAM and other boot variables.

What this also means is that Windows XP or any other version of Windows can not be booted on the new Macs as a stand alone operating system. Microsoft is said to be adding support for the EFI boot up in Windows Vista, although support for the new macs is unknown.