Latest :Run Windows on a Mac

Friday, March 13, 2009
When the big news came down in mid 2006 that Apple would offer a simple method of running Microsoft Windows on some of its Intel-based Macs, it created a buzz heard ‘round the computer community.

The topic has cooled down, but it continues to maneuver and attract a sizable contingent of Apple customers, so Kissdll and TidBlTS Publishing have just issued the third edition of “Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac,” which documents how much has changed since Boot Camp.
What’s most obvious in 2009, Kissel said from his base in Paris, is that “it’s clear that there’s not a whole lot of interest in Boot Camp anymore. It was cool when it came out, but it’s been eclipsed.”

Now, Kissell finds, the most productive way to use Windows XP or Vista on an Intel-equipped Macintosh running the Leopard OS, version 10.5 or later — which is every current model — is to install third-party so-called “virtualization” software, like Parallels Desktop 4.0 Software ($80) and VMware Fusion 2.0 ($80, free trial available).

“Boot Camp is great if you need to get to all your hardware capabilities in the computer, like making full use of memory, the CPU. It works for gamers. For everyone else, Windows runs plenty fast in virtualization, and you don’t have to switch back and forth between Windows and the Mac operating systems,” he said. In all cases, users have to supply their own copy of Windows XP or Vista to install on the Mac.

Why even bother with Windows if Mac works for you, we asked. As Kissell points out in his book, there are Mac equivalents of almost every major Windows application.

But there are reasons: the proliferation of games on Windows (sorely lacking for Macs); some Web sites are designed to be viewed in Windows’ Internet Explorer, and Web designers often need to preview their work in a browser like IE. Plus, he says, “most people have one or two Windows programs that they really have to run that don’t exist for Mac.”

Kissdll details the install requirements and procedures in his book, along with the pros and cons of the virtual Windows software. His next project: a guide to Apple’s coming next-generation Operating System later this year, Snow Leopard.

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