Created on: February 18, 2013
Running Windows software on your Apple computer is sometimes a “necessary evil” for Mac users. There are some software applications, like the Microsoft Access data base program, that cannot be run on a Mac. Also, one major reason that Mac users need to maintain contact with the world of Windows is that Bill Gates’ operating system still runs about 90 per cent of the world’s personal computers.
So how do you run the Windows operating system and give your beloved Mac the equivalent of a frontal lobotomy? Mac uses two approaches in running the Windows operating system: The so-called “Boot Camp,” a disk-partition allowing the user to select the Windows operating system when logging on; or through Mac-based programs (Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion) that will run Windows side by side with Mac.
Boot Camp runs, but blocks out the Mac OS (and vice versa)
If you want to run Windows through Mac’s Boot Camp, you need a legal copy of Windows and nerves of steel as you wade through the loading and start up. Boot Camp is a good choice for running Windows gaming software if you need 3D screen resolution that actually works. This process is not for the faint of heart, and you should read up a bit before you begin.
The downside of Boot Camp
The good news is that once Windows Boot Camp is up and running, your Mac becomes a total Windows clone. The bad news is that you have to choose which operating system – Mac or Windows – each time the computer boots up. When you choose Windows, your Mac is essentially disabled. Both systems run independently and you have to boot back and forth.
Try virtualization software instead
Whichever your choice – VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop – virtualization software offers a totally integrated Mac to Windows experience. You need to purchase a copy of the software (around $50-$80 for each) and have a legal copy of Windows. (Each runs Windows 8.) Once you have the virtual software up and running, you own the equivalent of two desktop computers that have all the elegance of a Mac and seamlessly run your Windows software.
Unlike Boot Camp, you can use both the Mac and Windows files and operating systems at the same time, even working on active windows (screens) supported by each. For example, you can cut and paste text and graphics between Microsoft Word for Windows and any Mac application that can support the Windows data.
The virtual software integrates all the peripherals (printers, mouse, keyboard USB devices) as well as any networking. If your devices are configured correctly on your Mac, they will run normally without special settings or setup on your “virtual” Windows program.
Learn more about this author, Jerry Curtis.
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