I purchased a 20" Intel Mac in late January with the optimistic expectation that I would be able to run Windows XP and Apple's OSX music and audio applications on the same machine. Well, my hope has now become reality! Several days ago I wiped my Mac's hard drive, created 2 partitions, and installed XP on one of them (go to Onmac.net for full instructions on how to do this...and use the bootloader program...will save tons of time!). At start-up I can now choose to boot into OSX or XP, and it works like a dream!
I have installed Sound Forge 8, Cubase SX3, Guitar Tracks Pro 3, Style Works 2000, Chicken Systems Translator, many DirectX and VST plugins and instruments...and everythings works just as well as on my Pentium 4 HP notebook but even better...much, much faster because the Intel iMac has a dual-core processor, more memory (2GB), and faster hard drive. Using an application called MacDrive, I can see the drives on my Mac partition and transfer files back and forth between the 2 different operating systems.
I am using the Edirol M-100FX mixer\USB audio interface, which has drivers for both XP and the Intel Mac and the sound is awesome on both systems. Currently, the XP audio drivers for the Intel Mac only output thru the headphone outs and not the speakers but this doesn't impact me because I'm using the Edirol which has a digital output to powered Edirol monitors, or to my regular analog amp\monitor setup.
The XP display resolution is currently fixed at 1680 x 1050 pixels but the ATI drivers should be sorted out soon to allow even full speed gaming using 3d acceleration. Wireless, Ethernet, DVD drive, keyboard, mouse, USB...all work perfectly. Boot time is fast, shutdown works fine...restarting doesn't work yet...I have to hold the power button for 5 seconds until it shuts down, then immediately turn back on...really no problem.
A real kick is that I installed FlyakiteOSX, which turns the XP interface into one nearly identical with Apple's Aqua on OSX! In my opinion, the OSX interface is prettier but I actually prefer the ease of navigating and working with files on XP. Now I can switch back and forth between the 2 setups which now share a common interface...nice! I definitely have installed anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall on my XP partition (and they have already been tested big-time!). I am still awaiting Intel Mac drivers for my M-Audio USB MIDI interface, as well as USB MIDI drivers for my Roland Fantoms (S & X)...but they work fine in my XP partition.
To anybody wanting to run Mac and Windows audio applications on one computer without a performance hit, it really now is possible. The rumour mill has it that Apple will be announcing their own virtualization solution next month but this could all be an April Fool's joke...we shall see!