Can I put Windows on a Mac?
Need to run Windows? Your best choice may be a Mac. Current Macs run Windows XP and Vista as smoothly as almost any standard Windows machine, and with a Mac you have the choice of running Windows in two different ways. You can choose to run Windows as the operating system that boots your Mac, or you can boot Mac OS X and run Windows inside OS X. With the latter choice, you have the option of running a complete Windows system inside an OS X window, or running individual Windows applications inside OS X windows. Either way, you get the best of both operating-system worlds.
What you'll need:
Any Intel-based Mac computer running OS 10.5 Leopard or later, plus a full copy of Windows XP SP2 or later, or a full copy of Windows Vista. You should buy a full standalone copy of Windows. The Windows restore disk that came with your Dell, HP, Lenovo, or any other computer may not work, and is licensed only for that original PC (OEM versions are licensed to live and die with the PC they are installed on originally).
Choice one: Boot Camp
Boot Camp is Apple's software tool for converting your Mac into a dual-boot computer. It's part of OS 10.5 Leopard, and you'll need your Leopard installer DVD to use it. The Boot Camp Assistant guides you through non-destructive re-partitioning of your hard disk drive and using the Mac OS X Leopard disc to install Windows drivers after installation of Windows. In addition to device drivers for the hardware, the disc includes an applet for the Windows Control Panel for selecting the boot operating system.
Although Boot Camp is set up to guide you through the install process it is suggested you have a Apple Certified Technician assist. There are many variables to consider when working with operating system installs and here at CompuCraft we'll back up your hard drive to insure that there is no data loss before we even start the install process.
Choice two: Virtualization
Virtualization software lets you run one operating system inside another, so, for example, you can run a "virtual" Windows machine in a window on your OS X desktop. This means you can run Windows apps at the same time you're running OS X apps; and a Shared Folder feature lets you use your Windows apps to open files that you store on your Mac. You don't like the Mac version of Microsoft Office? With a virtual copy of Windows running on your Mac, you can use the Windows version of Microsoft Office to edit your files.
Widely used virtualization programs for the Mac include two commercial packages, VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop. The basic method is the same in both programs, providing Windows with links to the Mac's hardware. CompuCraft recommends VMware Fusion, as we've found that hardware compatibility is better than Parallels, and VMware is considered the 800lb gorilla in the virtualization world; they "virtually" invented this category of software! Once again if you don't want to hassle with installing and configuring the operating system, we can take care of that.
Boot Camp Vs. VMware
The advantage of a Boot Camp setup for Windows is that you get to run Windows with your machine's full hardware power, just as Windows runs on a native PC. Boot Camp does has disadvantages. Most obvious, you can't access files on your OS X system while running Windows in Boot Camp. Also, with Boot Camp, you must shut down Windows before you can reboot into your Mac—unlike a virtualized Windows installation in which you run Windows and OS X at the same time. There is no real clear winner. The best thing to do is talk with one of our experience salespeople about which one will best fit your needs.