20th August 2007

Running Windows on a Mac

I received an email from a friend who is new to Macs, and he asked me for my opinion on using Parallels virtualization software to run Windows on a Mac (which doesn’t require rebooting) versus Boot Camp, which does.

I wasn’t able to give him an opinion, because I won’t put the Windows OS on any of my Macs (however, in case you’re interested, here is a very well written review of Parallels from MacWorld magazine), but I thought the question would make an interesting topic to write about. Of the 6 or 7 other Mac users I know, only 2 run Windows on their Macs, both using Parallels.

My day job is web design and development, as well as some general [Windows] tech support for other members of my team. In general I have not run into any software needs that were not fully met with applications available for the Mac, with only ONE exception – a superb auto-responder application from Xtreeme.com that we love SO much we call it “Otto”. Unfortunately, while there are plenty of made-for-Mac auto responder programs, Xtreeme does not have a Mac version, so Otto lives all by himself on a Windows PC that sits in the corner of my office. We have coffee together every morning. Otto runs so well and reliably that he stays behind when I travel, just keeps chugging along all “mr. dependable”-like, and keeps an eye on things for me too. 😉

My point, however, is that I don’t need Windows for anything (aside from Otto), so I don’t use it. Oh sure I have a few PCs around, running various Windows OS’ and versions of IE, that I test my web designs on, but none run any mission critical apps (just Otto). So even though I think the concept of both Boot Camp and Parallels is a great one, I choose not to run Windows on my Mac.

I’m curious to know how other Mac users feel about running Windows using either Parallels or Boot Camp……….do you or don’t you? And why? And if you do, how do they work for you?


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2 Responses to “Running Windows on a Mac”

  1. On August 21st, 2007,Virginia Says:

    On my previous Powerbook, I ran Virtual PC. It was incredibly slow and painful to use. I basically only used it to check web pages on IE. As soon as I had a browser cam subscription I stopped using it much.

    I recently started using a new MacBook and debated briefly about whether I wanted to install either of the Windows products. But with browser cam at my beck and call, I really have no need to fool with Windows now.

  2. 1 On August 21st, 2007,Kitten Says:

    Excellent point, Virginia! Thanks for pointing out Browser Cam – a terrific utility. There’s also the open-source (free) Browser Shots, which is not quite as sophisticated, but performs the same function. These two sites should be in the toolbox of every web designer and developer!

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