AirMagnet has taken Apple's MacBook Pro one step further towards becoming a full-fledged enterprise tool with support for the laptop's hardware in the popular AirMagnet Laptop Analyzer.

Laptop Analyzer is one of the most widely used and highly regarded field tools for auditing and troubleshooting wireless enterprise networks, but until now the software has only supported network gear found in Windows laptops.

This is despite the fact that since the introduction of the MacBook line, Apple laptops have run on Intel hardware, and support Windows via Apple's Boot Camp or virtualisation software such as Parallels Desktop.

The software now works with Windows XP Professional running on Mac OS X Leopard using Boot Camp, AirMagnet said.

The software now provides dual-band (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) monitoring of 802.11n networks, and Apple users will get access to functions such as compliance report generation, live network testing and the ability to automatically detect and defend the network from rogues, hackers and other threats, the company said.

The software exposes all wireless channels, devices, conversations and speeds, so network managers can sort out interference issues and examine the RF spectrum (Techworld reviewed an earlier version three years ago).

AirMagnet said the reasoning behind the move was purely economic: Apple is now the third largest US computer maker overall, according to IDC, and as of June 2007 Apple had 17.6 percent of the laptop market. Apple's laptop sales grew 42 percent in the most recent quarter, according to AirMagnet.

"Apple is gaining significant momentum in the market and we've definitely seen an increase in customer requests to support the MacBook Pro," stated an AirMagnet spokesman.