Thursday, June 15, 2006

MacOnMacs: Running Windows on Your Intel Mac

I just came across this article from which compares running Windows on your Intel Mac using Boot Camp (in Beta now but to be included in the next Mac OS X release) vs. using Parallels. It's an interesting read and should be helpful for any of you out there who are wondering about the best way to be able to use Windows on your Intel Mac.

The crux of the matter is that Boot Camp requires that you actually reboot your computer into Windows. However, at that point you are actually running Windows (and only Windows - Mac OS is not running) "natively" on your Intel chip, which provides better support to hardware and a much faster computing experience for gamers and people who are using more intense programs under Windows. For those of us who use Windows primary to do things like check out what our websites look like on Internet Explorer (yuck! :-) ) or to troubleshoot email and other simple problems for others, then Parallels "virtual machine" is probably sufficient. Using a virtual machine opens Windows in what looks like just another application Window, doesn't require a reboot, and keeps Mac OS running as your primary OS. Although this isn't as speedy and responsive as running natively, it provides a much easier solution for situations where we want to see BOTH Windows and Mac OS at the same time. Microsoft's Virtual PC is based on the same concept.

Don't forget that with any of these solutions you will still need to own and install a licensed copy of Windows XP. Boot Camp and Parallels are just programs to help your Mac run Windows - they don't actually INCLUDE a Windows OS with them. This brings us to the biggest reason why I ended up uninstalling my old copy of Virtual PC: Having another OS on your hard drive eats up a LOT of space, which is something to consider if you either don't have much HD space or if you just don't end up using Windows very much (which, thankfully, is increasingly easy to do with all the great programs out for Mac now, as well as the growth of Web 2.0 apps that are platform independent). Let me know how it all works out for ya! ;-)
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6/15/2006 10:05:00 a.m.  


Blogger ShanMac said...

It will be interesting to see if Apple reveals how they are going to all integrate this into Leopard at the WWDC in August. Right now, everything is just a bunch of separate programs. It would be nice to get things streamlined.


June 26, 2006 12:03 a.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

Yeah, there are a few different possibilities now. Looks like they might announce the new Intel Mac towers then, too, which would be awesome.

July 05, 2006 10:25 a.m.  

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