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How to Run Windows on a Mac

I really don’t think you need a PC to be a successful Internet marketer but I am not anti-Windows!

I think that competition is a good thing. I would not necessarily want the world to have a choice of only one operating system, even if it happened to be the one I prefer.

Of course, in a perfect world, the market share of the main competitors would be closer to 50-50, but of course, we don’t live in a perfect world. (Actually, in a perfect world, market share should be divided by about 33% among the top three competitors, Windows, Mac, and Linux, with the remaining 1% share available just to give someone else a bit of a chance to break through with a new OS!)

Admittedly, in some specialized fields, it is easier to find software for the PC than for the Mac; it’s just that Internet marketing is not one of them. I saved this chapter for last because I really know of no Windows-only program that is essential for the Internet marketer.

However, if you are a switcher who is migrating to the Mac from the Windows platform, you might want to take along with you a favorite pet application that you have grown accustomed to using. Or, as a Mac user, you may not be able to resist trying out one of the shiny Internet marketing baubles that are available only for Windows.

It really is true, however, that the Windows side of the Internet marketing world is littered with junk. There are hundreds of free, cheap, and expensive, overhyped products that are not worth wasting your time with. It is true that there are fewer applications that run natively on the Mac, but those that do tend to be the cream of the crop.

But if you really feel you need to run Windows programs on your Mac, you can.

When Steve Jobs announced that the Macintosh world was switching over from PowerPC to Intel chips some years ago, I was shocked. Maybe I was bamboozled by the marketing hype machine, but I really did think that PowerPC was superior. I also wondered if Windows apps being able to run on the Mac would mean that developers would stop creating software for the Mac platform.

I needn’t have worried. There are enough rabid fans of the Mac that Mac’s place in the computing universe is assured.

In reality, the switch over to Intel processors gives Mac users a wonderful flexibility in being able to run Windows programs if they need to while staying with the Mac platform they prefer. Intel on Macs means that Macs can run Windows and Windows applications natively, without the speed sapping emulation that was necessary for the days of PowerPC. In short, that means that Windows and Windows applications can run just as fast on the Mac as they can on an HP or Dell box.

Boot Camp

In fact, Apple makes this easy with its own software utility called Boot Camp. Included with every Macintosh over the past few years, it allows you to run Windows and Windows applications right on your Macintosh (of course, you also have to buy and install a copy of Windows for your Mac as well).

Simply run Boot Camp Assistant, which you will find in the Utility folder, and you will be able to partition your Mac’s hard drive and allocate a certain amount of space for the Windows operating system. That done, you simply insert your Windows disk and click Start Installation in the Boot Camp assistant. Then you can boot to Windows simply by holding down the option key at startup. Your Mac will start up running Windows and you will, for all practical purposes, be using a PC.

Parallels Desktop for Mac and VMWare Fusion

If you would like to run Windows and Mac applications side-by-side, without the need for a restart, along with a copy of Windows you will need to purchase Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMWare Fusion. If you are in the market for a new Mac, some resellers (such as MacMall) often throw in a copy of Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMWare Fusion along with it for free (but you will still need to buy a copy of Windows). Of course, you’ll want to have a decent amount of our RAM installed on your computer since you will be running two operating systems at the same time.

This is not as clunky as it may sound. For example, Parallels adds the ability to switch from a Mac application to a Windows program simply by clicking the appropriate application window. You can even set the software so that the Windows OS is hidden: all you see is the application windows of the Windows programs you’re running. The windows are resizable and their icons even appear in the Mac OS Dock.

The Windows taskbar can appear on any edge of the screen, just as when running Windows natively, although you will, of course, want to move the Mac OS Dock to a different edge. This “Windows as a taskbar only” mode is called “Coherence Mode” and in using it, it’s easy to forget that you’re even running Windows on your Mac. Alternatively, you can make your Mac look like a Windows machine by switching to full Windows mode.

On the other hand, If you only need to run one or two Windows programs, you may not need to buy a copy of Windows at all.

CrossOver for Mac

CrossOver for Mac (CodeWeaver Software) allows you to run many Windows applications on your Mac without needing to install Windows! It does this by installing Windows native libraries, which tricks Windows programs into thinking that they’re running on a real Windows operating system.

There are some limitations, of course, the main one being that not all Windows applications are compatible with it. CodeWeaver offers a 30-day trial so you can find out if your favorite application is.

Crossover Mac comes in two versions: Standard ($40) and Professional ($70). The professional version offers support for games, multiple users, volume and educational discounts, and longer and better support.

My recommendation: get CrossOver Mac if you need to run only one or two Windows applications and your testing with the trial version indicates that they will run properly; or install Windows and use Apple’s Boot Camp if you don’t mind restarting your Mac to run your Windows applications; otherwise, invest in Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion.

About sujoydhar

Sujoy Dhar is a business and technology and blogger. He is driven by the need to be creative and says that writing for various web properties allows him to stay up to date on one of the most rapidly evolving industries around. Each day provides Dhar with a new opportunity to educate readers about tech news and advances that help change the world for the better.

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