Having the Best of Both Worlds

Apple_iMac2There are a number of methods for people owning Macs to run Windows OS. For most users’ needs, simply installing the Mac version of Office will resolve any problems. The instillation of Office will allow the user to employ programs such as MS Word and Excel. Files saved under Mac’s OS X Office are generally saved as the same format as files saved under Windows systems, however some differing features may make editing between systems challenging.

This, along with the fact that not all of the Windows applications are offered on the Mac version of Office (for example Access) and some gamers need to run their gaming software on Windows systems; some Mac users may want to have Windows operating system installed onto their Mac. This can be achieved in one of two ways.

The first way is to install Windows onto your Mac, giving Windows an entirely separate hard drive space from the OS X. To accomplish this, your Mac’s OS X already has a program to help carry out this instillation with little thought. The program is called Boot Camp Assistant, and can be found by clicking Finder à Applications à Utilities à Boot Camp Assistant. First the Boot Camp will determine how many hard drives your computer has; if there is only one, Boot Camp will set aside a portion of the drive for the Windows instillation; if there are more then one drive, Boot Camp will ask which drive (or portion of a drive) you would like to set aside for the instillation. Once hard drive space has been reserved, Boot Camp invites you to insert the Windows instillation CD. From here, Microsoft installer takes over and guides you step-by-step through the set-up process. This method allows you to switch between operating systems (OS X and Windows), however the computer must be rebooted each time you switch between systems.

The second approach to installing the Widows operating system on your Mac is to run Windows as an application under the OS X. This allows you to run OS X and Windows seemingly simultaneously- in actuality only a virtual version of Windows is being run as an application under OS X. These programs are a bit more costly then merely buying the Windows instillation CD, however many of these programs can be downloaded with little effort online and often offer reduced rate trials. Two recommendations for virtual Windows programs that can be downloaded online are Parallels and Fusion.

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