I did some traveling yesterday. At one point, I was waiting for a flight and tappity-tapping on my Powerbook 12”. A guy with a Windows laptop sat down next to me and asked if it was a MacBook or MacBook Pro. I told him it wasn’t and babbled on for several minutes about the fact that its form factor wasn’t available in Intel form.

You’d think that would have been enough to scare him away, but instead he told me about his experiences with a MacBook Pro. He loved the machine, but a very mandatory part of its functionality was compatibility with his work. He didn’t go into a lot of detail, but the software he used was Windows based. He put some effort into Parallels and Boot Camp. Now, keep in mind, I don’t know when he tried it, nor do I know if his issues could have been resolved with an update. However, in his experience, the USB support was buggy. Boot Camp was better, but required a reboot.

If he has to reboot into Windows to really do his work, he might as well use a Windows laptop, which is what he was doing. When he was having his issues, he visited Apple for support. Any good Apple fan knows that Apple’s stance on Windows in Parallels and otherwise is strictly hands off. The reasons are fairly obvious, one solution being a third-party product and the other a beta software package without even an implied level of support.

This can be frustrating for a switcher with continuing Windows needs. It can be off-putting and even put a permanent bad taste in their mouths. Also, this support situation could be temporary. Boot Camp will be a final release, supported part of Leopard. The implication is then that Apple must support Windows on some level. That level is unclear and a real point of curiosity for myself. I can see the already overcrowded Genius Bars being choked with the woes of Windows using Mac owners. I personally don’t see myself handling taking a backseat to a Windows problem in a rational manner.

This blog first appeared in our sister site Mac User (US)