Apple's future technology to enable Windows to boot on an Intel-powered Mac seems set to drive market share for the company, according to Piper Jaffray. The analysts expect Mac sales to rise - perhaps by the end of the year, a report claims.

The conclusions are based on chats with 42 future PC shoppers. These talks showed that 8.3 per cent of those in the market for a new machine may turn to Mac - with Boot Camp the deciding factor.

Okay, we've all looked the other way with iPods, in spite of the fact that I imagine 90% of them have some pirated content somewhere on their drives or flash cards. That's really no worse than a mix tape in a Walkman, and I suppose the iTunes Music Store is, in a sense, Apple's way of giving back to the record industry like that surcharge everyone pays on blank tapes. They sell iPods with pirated content and pay for that content by giving the companies a hefty share of the 99¢ iTMS track prices.

Seriously, though, how many people are buying Macs so that they can also go out and spend, what, $200 on WinXP? Okay, a number of people likely are, as the people I've seen in Apple stores are, well, more affluent than your typical Best Buy customer. But many aren't, and they're going to be playing Windows using a "borrowed" registration number.

I imagine when Vista comes out and gaming companies -- or, more likely, DirectX -- stop supporting Win2k and XP, those Mac buyers are going to feel a bit burned. Assuming, of course, that we're talking about the very small window of time Vista isn't cracked.

In any event, once again, Apple hardware sales are going to benefit directly from pirated bytes, and nobody's talking about it.