Apple said it will update its Boot Camp utility before the end of the year to support Microsoft's just-launched Windows 7.

In a short support document posted to the Apple website, the company said it would soon revise Boot Camp, a utility that lets users run Windows and its applications in a separate disk partition on an Intel-based Mac.

"Apple will support Microsoft Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate) with Boot Camp in Mac OS X Snow Leopard before the end of the year," the document said. "This support will require a software update to Boot Camp."

The document also listed nine older iMac, MacBook Pro and Mac Pro models that will not be able to run Windows 7 in Boot Camp. Although all the machines use an Intel processor, Apple did not elaborate on why they would not support Microsoft's new operating system.

On the list were four iMacs, including the 17-inch and 20-inch models from 2006; four MacBook Pros, including 15-inch and 17-inch notebooks released that same year; and the mid-2006 Mac Pro workstation powered by an Intel Xeon Dual-core running at 2.66GHz or 3GHz.

Owners of those machines have an alternative to Boot Camp in VMware's Fusion 3.0 , the virtualisation technology set to launch 27 October Fusion 3.0, works on any Intel-based Mac, according to VMware.

Fusion 3.0 will run all editions of Windows 7, including Starter, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. It requires an Intel Mac with Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later, or Snow Leopard, also known as Mac OS X 10.6.

Apple did not set a ship date for the Boot Camp update.