open new Windows for Mac
Alan Zisman (c) 2007 First published in Business
April 3-9, 2007; issue 910
High Tech Office
Last year, Apple moved to powering its Macs with the same Intel models
used in typical Windows PCs.
CEO Steve Jobs claimed the Intel CPUs would be cheaper, faster, and
more energy efficient; unspoken was the hope that the new Mac hardware
would be more attractive to both home and business customers.
there are lots of applications designed to run on Macs, business users
wanting to move to that platform too often found themselves with
mission-critical applications that were Windows-only. But now, Apple’s
products can run all that neat Mac stuff and Windows software too.
publication Computerworld suggested that enterprise IT managers are
increasingly looking at Macs as systems that are easily administered
and less vulnerable to Windows security headaches. The result: Mac
sales in January 2007 are about double those of a year earlier.
perception of Apple’s Macintosh computers as attractive but expensive
luxury computers best suited for artists and designers is changing. But
if you’re looking at a Mac as a classy way to run Windows, note: unlike
most PCs, a new Mac doesn’t come with Windows pre-installed; to run
Windows, you’ll need to get a copy of Windows and get it set up.
a Mac running Apple’s Mac OS is safe from viruses and spyware designed
for Windows, when you run Windows on your Mac you’re just as vulnerable
to malware as running Windows on any other PC.
If you want to
run Windows software on a new Mac, there are several ways to do it.
Apple’s Boot Camp software allows a user to make room on his hard drive
to install Windows XP.
Officially in pre-release beta, Boot Camp
works well and includes drivers for XP Service Pack 2. Using Boot Camp,
your Mac lets you choose to boot to XP or to Mac OS X. You can run only
one of these at a time. The upside is that it gives Windows full access
to your Mac hardware and memory; the down side is that it doesn’t let
you run Windows programs alongside your Mac applications.
generation of virtualization software lets you mix and match the Mac OS
and Windows. Parallels Desktop (about $100 plus the cost of Windows)
lets you install your choice of PC operating system, including pretty
much any Windows or Linux version, and run it with good performance
without rebooting your Mac.
The latest version has a neat
feature: Coherence lets you put individual Windows applications on your
Mac’s dock, letting them run seemingly on their own. VMware has a Mac
virtualizer, Fusion, available for free pre-release testing.
Recently released CrossOver Mac (US$60: www.codeweavers.com
takes a different tack. Based on the open source WINE project, it
installs a set of recreated Windows pieces allowing Mac (or Linux)
users to run individual Windows applications without installing
Windows. It works surprisingly well for some applications, but poorly
or not at all for others. IE6 and some Microsoft Office versions are
among the supported applications; there’s a 60-day free trial to see if
it will do what you need.
Mac users can run Windows
applications. But unlike most things on the Mac, be prepared for some
effort to make it work. And don’t take your Windows-on-Mac online
without security software.