Practical Ecommerce

Will All My Windows Applications Run On A Mac?

This question relates to the new Apple computers that include Intel chips. Since the switch to Intel processors, it has been possible to load Microsoft’s Windows operating system onto Apple hardware. As long as the system requirements for the version of Windows you plan to run are met by your machine, there should be little or no difficulty in using Windows (or at least, not hardware-related problems).

Two options for running Windows

Mac users who want to run Windows have a couple options, the first of which is simply to erase your Mac’s hard drive and install only Windows. This is a pretty rare implementation, as there are few Mac owners who want to run Windows exclusively. However, for the few that do exist, this is an option.

However, Apple provides an alternative for users who prefer OS X, but also want to run Windows periodically. The solution is called Boot Camp, a start-up utility that allows you to choose the operating system you want to run. In this case, both Windows and OS X are installed on the machine, but only one actually boots up. This is the best of both worlds.

Another option is available for those who only want to run Windows applications every now and then, or for owners of pre-Intel chip Macs who want to run Windows. This option requires an emulator, or a program that will mimic an Intel machine. Applications such as Virtual PC and Parallels will allow your OS X system to run Windows in an application window. While it’s not a powerful or efficient option, this can be a time saver if you only need Windows to run for brief periods.

Brian Getting

Brian Getting

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Comments ( 5 )

  1. Legacy User March 8, 2007 Reply

    I went through the process of changing from XP to OS X in October 2006.

    Before I switched, I did a fair amount of research into alternatives for software I used on my PC and what I could use on my new Mac.

    Within a few weeks I have found alternatives that offered nearly everything I had an in some cases new features I previously did not have.

    What I would say is that I doubt I will ever go back to XP for personal use!

    — *Euan*

  2. Legacy User March 8, 2007 Reply

    I, myself, found every application and more for Mac than Windows.. So this is a non issue.. Bootcamp is good for games.. For everything else I would use VMWare's Fusion (still in beta and free at the moment) or Paralells like you mentined. However, benchmarks done with, say, WinRar under Bootcamp and Paralells show less then 1 percent diffrence in speed — many times exactly the same. When dealing with the older PowerPC chips, your going to go slowly with Windows Virtual PC. However, Paralells and better yet, Vmware is exactly the same speed as running Windows native. Vmware even has directX 8.1 support for gaming built in now, so newer versions are not far off.

    — *John*

  3. Legacy User March 8, 2007 Reply

    My first taste of Windows emulation was with my dual G5 (PowerPc) with Windows Virtual PC. It does the job, but it drags it feet. Then we got a dual Intel core duo iMac with Parallels, and boy does it fly. When you run it full screen you have no idea is an 'emulation.' Just as fast as a regular PC.

    — *Shane*

  4. Legacy User March 9, 2007 Reply

    I thought when I bought my iMac I would end up running Windows on it as well… not even thought about it and doubt I ever will.

    — *Euan*

  5. Legacy User March 9, 2007 Reply

    I have long been a loyal Apple enthusiast. I have been EXTREMELY frustrated by QuickBooks on Mac with the lack of solid support and ease of sharing my file with my accountant who of course works on a PC. Intuit has a lame inefficient process for getting PC QuickBooks to read a Mac QuickBooks file.

    I installed Parallels on my Intel MacBook. Loaded up XP and now "switch on the fly" between OS X and XP without rebooting like Apple BootCamp requires. I have QuickBooks working flawlessly in XP and now don't have any problems sharing my file with Accountant. QuickBooks on the PC is by far a more mature product and allows me to interface with many developed plug-ins for the PC product, too.

    I highly recommend Parallels having used the product for several months. I disagree it's for intermitent use as stated in the article. I have experienced no problems and nothing good news. Next I am going to load up BidMaximer. . . . .

    — *Dan*