As anyone reading this has probably heard already, today Apple released a beta version of Boot Camp, a software add-on for its new Intel-based Macs that allows them to run Microsoft Windows XP alongside Mac OS X. Naturally, the Internet’s tech blogs have been ablaze with rampant discussion: There’s the forum, where the story has so far accumulated 786 comments, including exclamations describing the news as “pant-wettingly exciting,” among other choice adverb/adjective phrases; the news has received 4,440 “diggs” (that’s a lot) at, a clearinghouse for cool daily tech stories; and as of this afternoon, the story was the top headline on the New York Times‘s site.

Add to this blazing hubbub a recent column by notable tech pundit John C. Dvorak, in which he forecasts (in heavy, Kennedy-assassination-conspiracy-theory-type language) a complete Apple transition to Windows in the near future, and it’s pretty safe to say that this is one of the larger tech stories of the year. The column is already being breathlessly referred to as “the Dvorak prediction” on

All of this coming less than a month after‘s infamous $13,000-plus prize was awarded to two hackers called “narf” and “blanka” for being the first to successfully boot Windows on an Intel Mac. As Apple fanatics struggle to catch their breath, Apple’s stock price continues to rise. Will the company start moving a lot more shiny Intel computers and up their tiny market share? Or will the new Windows-running machines become too crippled by viruses and spyware to run either OS efficiently? To the geek forums! —John Mahoney