Virtual Windows

Recently I installed the latest version of Windows on my Mac using the program Parallels. The process was easy and it all worked. It then got me thinking what options are there for Mac users to run windows only based applications. Here are the options out there:


VMware Solutions

Virtual Box

During the early years of Intel processing I did extensive testing with VMWare and Windows XP. Vista was a Microsoft disaster and I was very unmotivated to move from the solid XP Pro to Vista with all the bugs that came with that release. Even the final versions with many people stating the bugs have been ironed out and it was worth moving across I decided to stay this what I new was robust enough to work in both environments. During those early states of the Virtual Software VMware was ahead of Parallels with its seamless integration across windows working inside the mac. Then came version 4 which seems to cause endless problems making the machine grind to a halt with both OS’s running. I started to look into other solutions the free version was Virtual Box which worked but was limited with its file sharing capabilities. Parallels 5 seemed to help move between OS’s with out the issue VMware had. In short between the 2 paid virtual systems currently Parallels seems to work a lot smoother with Windows 7 and 8.1. As for Windows 10 I have the beta version on my machine to help me get the feel of the new OS and as long as your working on Parallels 10 with 10.10.4 running on the mac side of things it seems to work seamlessly i have to date had no issues working between the 2 os’s but time will tell.

Boot Camp

Boot camp has been around since Apple dropped Power PC for Intel. Giving us the option to run windows on a Mac. Its changed over the years from the media version to the IOS version you have to create prior to setting up Boot camp. I have recently installed 6 mac minis running in windows 8.1 boot camp. The first machine took awhile to setup as I downloaded the latest boot camp data for the USB installer which calls on the internet data along with the IOS file you created using disk utility. Once that pen stick was built the other 4 machines were built within a few hours. One thing I have found with boot camp is to ensure you run the Mac at the latest OS (currently 10.10.4) and once windows is installed and working (including the bootcamp drivers which install after the machine has done its first boot to windows) run the updates though control panel. The machine works seamlessly between the 2 os’s as long has you remember though the boot camp software (windows) you chose which drive to boot and allow enough hard drive space between both partitions you should not encounter any problems. The only annoying thing is you have to reboot to the desired OS you cannot switch between the 2 like you can with Virtual software. On the plus side you are only running 1 os so the machine is not trying to cope with both OS’s running at the same time.