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Snow Leopard: Great news for Windows 7, too

I'm going to be writing about the Windows 7/Snow Leopard/Boot Camp experience soon as part of my recently revived Mac-to-Windows Switcher Guide, but I see I'm not the only one noticing the improvements in the latest Boot Camp release. Sadly, this particular review, while decent, gets a number of facts wrong. I'd like to correct them here.

As [Snow Leopard] is now a pure 64-bit operating system, expect the application performance to improve over Leopard as you add RAM or use it with a high-end desktop.

Snow Leopard is not a "pure" 64-bit OS. It is a hybrid 32-bit/64-bit OS, and it actually boots into a 32-bit kernel by default. That's a 32-bit OS, folks, even if it does have certain 64-bit capabilities. Imagine the mocking Microsoft would get from the Apple fan base if they advertised a 32-bit OS as a 64-bit OS. And now observe the total pass Apple gets for doing it.

The new Boot Camp includes all the drivers necessary to run both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 smoothly on the Mac hardware.

Sadly, you can only run 64-bit Windows versions, arbitrarily, on certain Macs. My Macbook gets support for 32-bit versions only.

[From within Windows,] Boot Camp 3.0 can be installed from the Snow Leopard DVD. Then, without further ado, you got yourself a great Windows computer.

In this case "without further ado" means 15-20 minutes of driver installs. It takes a shockingly long time. Fortunately, you only need to do it once, of course.

The last major improvement of Boot Camp 3.0 that I am very happy about is the battery life. Windows 7 now has much improved battery life compared with what it had with Boot Camp 2.1. I haven't tried Windows Vista or Windows XP, but Windows 7 now has about the same battery life as Snow Leopard.

This is absolutely not the case on my mid-2008 Macbook. In my experience, Windows is still at about two-thirds the battery life of Snow Leopard.

The MacBook's keyboard doesn't have two separate "Backspace" and "Delete" keys, which come in handy when you want to remove text.

As has been the case since the first beta of Boot Camp, fn + Delete works as "Backspace." Works great, in fact.

There's no separate "tab to click" options for the right and left clicks.

Well, assuming you mean "tap to click," one tap is right click and a two-finger tap is now right-click. I think this works very well.

Overall, I have to say Boot Camp 3.0 takes the Windows experience to a new high on Mac hardware. To me, this is about as exciting as the release of Windows 7 itself.

Settle down. :) Actually, the ability to run Windows 7 on your Mac is pretty exciting. Certainly, it's more exciting than Snow Leopard.

Anyway, it's a good review, I don't mean to be snarky.

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