Apple, VMware update Mac software for XP SP3

Apple releases Boot Camp 2.1.1, VMware updates its Fusion virtualization software to version 1.1.2

Apple and VMware have updated software designed to let Mac owners run Microsoft's Windows, amending it to accommodate the newest version of Windows XP.

Apple released Boot Camp 2.1.1, the program included with its Leopard operating system that allows Intel-based Macs to run Windows in a separate disk partition. The company posted three downloads -- one each for Windows XP, Windows Vista 32-bit and Windows Vista 64-bit -- to its Web site.

A typically terse note accompanying the update said only that it "addresses issues and improves compatibility." Apple made clear, however, that Boot Camp 2.1.1 is necessary to run Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) on a Mac; SP3, a collection of patches and enhancements was completed last week, and will be offered to users starting next Tuesday, April 29, via Windows Update.

VMware also updated its Fusion virtualization software to version 1.1.2, adding support for Windows XP SP3 Boot Camp partitions when they're run as virtual machines (VMs), and fixing bugs when Fusion is used on the MacBook Air, Apple's newest notebook.

Fusion 1.1.2 also adds support for Time Machine, Leopard's built-in backup and restore program, and patches half a dozen other bugs. To back up VMs with Time Machine, Mac owners must be running Mac OS 10.5.2.

The update is free for registered users, and can be downloaded from the VMware site.

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