Thursday, March 12, 2015

How To Move To A Mac & Still Run You Favorite Windows Programs & Apps

Many IOS users love their Iphone & IPad, but continue to use a Windows PC. Some do this by choice and others because they need specific applications that are only available on the Microsoft Windows Platform. In the early years, this situation was prevalent because of the widespread use of Microsoft Office. When Apple launched Office for Mac in 1989, it was bare bones, but now it is polished and quite usable in most situations. But there are many other reasons that you might want to step into the Apple - Mac world. Fortunately, all of the new Macs have Intel Processors and they are capable of running Windows - just fine.


There are many different ways to accomplish this task - some will not cost you a penny. The free methods work fine, but are generally less convenient. I prefer the paid options that are easy to use and much more flexible. Of course, you will need a licensed copy of Windows 7, 8 etc. for any of these options.

  1. Boot Camp - Comes as part of the Mac OS X operating system - free. Install Boot Camp on your Mac and then install Windows on a separate Partition. When you fire up your Mac you will have a boot option to start OS X or Windows. You can only use one at a time.
  2. VirtualBox - This free option lets you run Windows in a Virtual Environment along with Mac OS X - side by side. The CPU and memory resources are allocated between the two Operating systems. Works well, but more difficult to setup and use than the paid options below.
  3. Parallels Desktop & VMware Fusion - same as Virtual Box, but easy to install, simple and intuitive to use. Both allow you to run Mac OS X and Windows at the same time. Windows can be run within a Single Window or in Full Screen mode. Just click an icon on your Mac's Desktop and the Windows OS (7, 8 etc.) will boot and start normally. My choice, VMware Fusion, runs Windows and all of my software with ease. Keep in mind that you are splitting the computer's hardware resources between two Operating Systems, so you will need a relatively modern Mac. Running both will also require more power than usual, so your MacBook's battery will discharge at almost twice the rate. I have found that Windows 7 & 8 run fine with a 2 GB memory allocation. Parallels & VMware will cost you around $80.