4 Ways to Run Windows on a Mac

Ok so you’re a die hard Mac user, it’s does everything you need it to, but wait, what happens when you’re working on a new project and you need a piece of software that only runs on a Microsoft Windows operating system? Uh oh, you’re in trouble.

Here at a Integral IT we encountered this problem last week, not with a client, but with one of our employees sons who has a Macbook but wanted to play a game that was on WIndows only! Luckily, there is a solution, and it’s not as extreme as having to ditch your beloved Mac and buy a whole new Windows PC.
There may be an alternative

Before jumping the gun, find out whether there’s a Mac-based alternative piece of software you can use. In most cases there is an alternative application that will do what you need.

Use Virtualisation Software

Virtualisation means that you can run a “virtual” copy of Microsoft windows on your Mac. It runs just like any other Mac program and allows you to install Windows and switch between the 2 operating systems as you wish. For this type of software to work you need an Intel processeor, which all Macs from 2008 onwards come equipped with. You also need to be running OS X Version 10.4.6 or higher. To check this, click the apple in the top left hand corner of your monitor and select “About this Mac”. You will also need your own copy of Windows. Two good pieces of software to accomplish this task are VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop. You can try them both for free.

Boot your Mac up with Windows

The Mac OS X Snow Leopard (version 10.6 and above) comes with a handy piece of software called Boot Camp. This enabled you to boot up your Mac with Windows
instead of Mac OS. The downside is you’ll have to restart your Mac each time you want to use Windows, but the big benefit is that Windows gets to use all
your Macs processing power for it’s own needs. So if you’re planning on using memory heavy programs then this is the best route to go down. Again, you’ll
need a copy of Windows to make this work. You can find out more on the |Apple website.

The even more technical method

There is another alternative, but it’s not for the non tech minded and does require a little bit of knowledge such as using a terminal. However, if you want to avoid the expense of buying Windows and some virtualisation software then you might to check out the open source Wine project. This tool lets you run some (but not all) windows applications, and you will have to buy each individual application (if they cost in the first place). It can be quite tricky to master. There is a program call Winebottler that is designed to make
using the Wine Project easier, but that’s still in Beta.

But there you have it, 4 ways to use Windows on your Mac. Let us know your preferred method.

Guest post written by Helen Clough, she works for IT Support Company Integral IT. She’s a Windows girl at heart and won’t be heading over to Mac any time soon.