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Apple Does Windows with New Intel Machines

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

The business news starts with a change in the computer business.

Apple Computer changed its approach to Microsoft this week. Apple says it will allow the users of its Macintosh computers to run the Microsoft Windows operating system. That means that dedicated Macintosh users can run the games and other programs that dominate the rest of the computer world.

New York Times columnist David Pogue has been writing about this subject and joins us as he often does.

David, good morning.

Mr. DAVID POGUE (Columnist, New York Times): Thank you.

INSKEEP: Thanks for getting up early.

Why is this a big deal?

Mr. POGUE: Well, because now when you buy a Macintosh you get a Windows PC free! Two for the price of one!

It's going to be great for Mac fans who want to run an occasional Windows program or all those Windows games, or for switchers who don't want to go cold turkey. And the irony is that these Macs run Windows really, really fast.

INSKEEP: And I suppose we should explain why this affects the choices of consumers. If you're sitting there wondering whether you should get a Macintosh or a PC, why wouldn't it just be an easy choice all along, and if you liked Windows you'd just buy a PC?

Mr. POGUE: Well, I would think that it would make the Mac that much more attractive. The Mac is famous not only for being essentially free of viruses, but it's great at all the typical stuff, e-mail, web, word processing, and the creative stuff, like photos, videos and music. So you'll get all that. But when you need it, you can still run the Microsoft Access and the essential Windows-only software.

INSKEEP: You're a long-time Mac user. Is this changing your life?

Mr. POGUE: Two words: Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I know it sounds like three words, but they spell it without a space. It's this dictation program that I use to write all my books. So from now on I'm traveling with one laptop instead of two.

INSKEEP: Now, I do have to ask if this is going to harm Macintosh in some way, because they have this product that's seen as very unique. It's got its niche in the market; people are obsessed with it. But it now uses the same Intel chips that PC's do, it runs Windows software. How far away are we from just seeing this as another computer?

Mr. POGUE: That's an interesting question. There is a lot of fear among the Mac faithful that Apple is stepping closer and closer into the dark side. Apple swears up and down it's just doing this for the people who want it. They will never pre-install Windows; they will never sell Windows boxes. They believe in the Mac, so they say there's nothing to worry about.

INSKEEP: Can I ask about one other thing very briefly? You mention that Macintosh has good virus protection. Will the Windows software have good virus protection if you install it?

Mr. POGUE: No, if you install Windows it's every bit as susceptible, and you'll still have to get virus software and spyware software. But the good thing is, if it gets infected, you just restart the thing as a Macintosh and you're clean again.

INSKEEP: Well, you can't have everything.

David, thanks very much.

Mr. POGUE: My pleasure.

INSKEEP: David Pogue is a personal technology columnist for the New York Times. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.