Gartner analyst Michael Silver has dismissed concerns that running Windows XP on a Mac will open up the Mac OS to viruses.

Some reports have speculated that users employing Apple's Boot Camp software to run Windows XP on a Mac may place themselves at risk of catching Windows viruses.

But Silver dismissed such fears. "All users should ignore any hype about the possibility of exposing the Mac OS to more viruses or worms," he said. "The Mac software will be located on another partition within a different file system; running Windows on a Mac will not expose the Mac software to more malware."

He dismissed such concerns as "hype", but suggested that if the move makes any significant market-share gains for Apple, then the platform could attract more hackers.

Silver also said that companies that allow employees to buy their own computers should expect more Macs to enter their environments.

It should be noted, however, that Apple does warn that those people who install Boot Camp should beware of viruses. On its Boot Camp website, the company states: "Windows running on a Mac is like Windows running on a PC. That means itÂ’ll be subject to the same attacks that plague the Windows world. So be sure to keep it updated with the latest Microsoft Windows security fixes."