Apple has quietly dropped Boot Camp support from its line of servers including the Mac mini server, Xserve and any Mac Pro pre installed with Snow Leopard Server.

Boot Camp is software included with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard that lets users run compatible versions of Microsoft Windows, including Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows-based applications on an Intel-based Mac.

An Apple support document - Article: HT3307 - dated 24 August 2010 offers the following information.

"Boot Camp is not included with Macs that ship with Mac OS X Server pre-installed. This includes all Xserves as well as Mac mini and Mac Pro configurations that include Mac OS X Server. Products Affected: Xserve, Boot Camp, Mac OS X Server 10.5, Mac OS X Server 10.6 , Mac mini (Mac OS X Server)."

Customers will still be able to install other operating systems on the Mac servers using the server versions of VMware Fusion and Parallels. 

Parallels Senior Director of Global Communications John Uppendahl highlighted his company's solutions: "Parallels provides Mac server solutions. Parallels Server for Mac 4 enables customers install and run multiple server operating systems simultaneously on their Mac OS X server and is the only server virtualization solution optimized for Apple hardware. Additionally, Parallels Server 4.0 for Mac Bare Metal Edition utilizes Parallels' advanced hypervisor technology to enable all operating systems to get maximum performance from Apple hardware; it is a fully supported server virtualization solution that is certified to run on bare Apple Xserve."

Parallels explains that it's solutions give users access to a multi-purpose platform capable of running Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Linux environments side by side, thereby reducing the need for different hardware platforms and allowing users to consolidate their efforts on Apple hardware saving space, power and administration time. "Easily add new services for your organization without the need to increase the budget for additional hardware purchases," claims the company. 

Virtualization is a buzz word right now because of the money and power savings it allows. 

Apple relaxed its licensing rules relating to its server software back in November 2007, allowing users to run multiple versions of Mac OS Server in virtual machines, at the time this was seen as a sign that the company might focus more attention on the business market. The change to the EULA was a green light to the virtualization software companies. 

"This is the first time they've changed their EULA to allow virtualization," said Ben Rudolph, who was director of communications at Parallels at the time. "We've known for a long time that it was technically feasible to implement OS X in a VM." But Parallels - like its rival in the Mac virtualization market, VMware - was concerned about entering the market without a green light from Apple.

Apple unveiled a redesigned Mac mini and Mac mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server in June this year, priced at £649 and £929 respectively. According to Apple, Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server is designed to help you communicate, collaborate and share information, ideally suited for any small business or group - retail shops, medical and law offices, classrooms and design studios.

Apple Mac mini Server