Posted by: Chris Barylick
Date: Friday, October 23rd, 2009, 03:24
Category: iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Software
In a recent memo to retail partners, Apple has announced that it will deliver support for Windows 7 in Mac OS X Snow Leopard’s Boot Camp utility by the end of the year via a software update, but exclude support for some Macs sold in 2006. Per AppleInsider, the drivers provide native support for Mac-specific hardware under Windows, such as a backlit keyboard, built-in iSight camera, trackpad, Bluetooth, graphics, networking, audio, and so on. Snow Leopard’s Boot Camp 3.0 also installs read-only HFS+ support for viewing Mac volumes under Windows.
According to the announcement, a series of Mac models “will not be supported for use with Windows 7 using Boot Camp,” specifically:
- iMac (17″, Early 2006)
- iMac (17″, Late 2006)
- iMac (20″, Early 2006)
- iMac (20″, Late 2006)
- MacBook Pro (15″, Early 2006)
- MacBook Pro (17″, Late 2006)
- MacBook Pro (15″, Late 2006)
- MacBook Pro (17″, Early 2006)
- Mac Pro (Mid 2006, Intel Xeon Dual-core 2.66GHz or 3GHz)
The reason for not officially supporting these models has not yet been officially stated. Because of how Boot Camp works, the only reason specific Mac models would not be supported is because compatible drivers are not available. This would not prevent Windows 7 from being installed on these machines, but could result in certain devices not working as expected while running Windows.
Third party drivers for the unsupported devices (if they exist) could solve any issues, and Windows 7 may offer to install drivers for devices it recognizes but does not have built in support for; it may even identify and download the drivers automatically.
Of the unsupported machines in the supplied list, the Early 2006 iMacs and MacBook Pro models have 32-bit Core Duo CPUs, but the other models specified feature 64-bit Core 2 Duos or Xeon processors, and no other 32-bit Macs (MacBooks, mini) are excluded. Apple has yet to release any comments about providing support for the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 only, so the support issue does not appear to have anything to do with these models’ CPU or firmware.
The only other common thread between these machines is that they all originally shipped with either no or disabled support for 802.11n wireless networking. However, late 2006 MacBooks also shipped with disabled support for 802.11n, and no Mac minis supported 802.11n until 2009, so this does not appear to be a factor either.
Apple is expected to clarify the issue when it releases the Windows 7 driver update for Boot Camp users.