To Virtualize or Not?

To Virtualize or Not

What are my best options for running Windows on Macintosh? It is a tough market in this current Intel Mac world and has left three clear choices for anyone considering working this way. I have outlined the pros and cons each option you might want to consider.

Parallels Desktop

Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac
is definitely worth the upgrade if you are currently still running 3.0 using an earlier build. Even with all the improvements to their last Build 5636, the new version is faster in terms of both graphics and performance. With the last build it was easier to share folders, however with this version the coherence of running Windows based programs is a seamless as running a native Mac application.

As with the last build, sharing folders still remains easy with simple drag-and-drop of files between Mac OS X and Windows. In
Parallels Desktop 4.0
copy and paste also remains unchanged and is easy to conduct. What is new in this version and is arguably useful is the iPhone Access. With the free App installed on your iPhone you can remotely start, stop and manage Windows running in
Parallels Desktop 4.0
from your iPhone. Setting this up is a little complicated and maybe even intimidating for the complete novice, but with a little patience and some luck you will be up an running on a local home network – though it definitely runs better on an office network.

Bottom line: this is great virtualization software that you can work in with confidence. It offers most features that the competitors also offer but there is nothing cooler than running Windows on your iPhone from your host Mac or MacBook.

By the way, their customer support is fantastic. The company seems genuine about wanting their product to work for you.

VMware Fusion
VMware Fusion 2.0 Mac

The current version of
VMware Fusion 2.0 Mac
runs Windows applications with the same speed as  a Macintosh native. There is fast switch between programs and all minimizing takes place in your regular Dock. The sharing of data back and forth between your Mac OS and Windows is handled with ease. Dragging-and-dropping files back and forth is also very simple between
VMware Fusion 2.0 Mac
and Mac OS X. The Copy-and-Paste function works really well and it even keeps the stylized text between operating systems.

An added plus is the
VMware Fusion 2.0 Mac
‘s seamless link sharing which sets up web links to launch in a default browser. Simply set web links to Open from your Windows application to Safari or Firefox on your Mac. This works the same for email programs as well. Other features similar to those of competitors are High Definition video acceleration, USB device support, and multiple display support. Stand out features of
VMware Fusion 2.0 Mac
include improved keyboard mapping for those of you who need to use F9-F13 with ease and embedded antivirus and antispyware protection.

Another great feature is the Boot Camp support, allowing you to run an existing partition side-by-side with your Mac OS. When you are ready you can quickly import this partition and regain that space. Overall this is a great way to go if you’re looking for maximum integration and usage.

The bottom line with
VMware Fusion 2.0 Mac
is that it contains a few more high production pluses than its competitors. By far the best feature (and one that’s likely to get the most use by any user) is Snapshot and Snapshot Archiving. These options save your current Windows settings before you install new software to the Windows operating system.

Apple Boot Camp

Not really visualization in the truest sense of the concept, but a consideration for running Windows on your Mac. Boot Camp remains a staple in the sense that if you are not willing to go 100% Apple you can still have all the Apple Computer pluses without having to run Mac OS X all the time. It works well with those applications that haven’t made a Mac Compatible version like AutoCad, RazorsEdge or some GPS updaters like Garmin. (Neither company currenty supports the use of Boot Camp with their software; however, through testing it seems to work on equipment I have serviced).

Overall there are still uses for Boot Camp. The only issue remains is that you have to pick an operating system on startup and if you need to get to the other system to run an application you have to shut down and then restart everything.

Boot Camp remains a very good way to run Windows and is most useful to those who need to use Windows 59% of the time and Mac OS X 41%, or something like that. Basically if you run anything on Windows most of the week but crave the look and performance of a Mac this is a good solution for you.

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