It didn’t happen overnight, and there were a few glitches, but Apple pulled it off. Macs run on the same CPUs as Windows PCs. Then, Apple did another unthinkable act and let Mac users run Windows, too. They even provided a dual-boot option to run Windows and OS X. We may have worried about a Mac running Windows but Macs still sell at record levels.
How many ways can you run Windows on a Mac?
Run Windows On A Mac With A Free App
The free and sanctioned way to run Windows on a new Intel-based Mac is via Apple’s Boot Camp app. Once installed on the Mac, you’ll have to restart and boot up the Windows OS.
There are other ways to run Windows within Mac OS X (that don’t require the Mac to restart).
VMWare Fusion is a commercial Mac app that lets you install Windows (or Linux, and other OS’s) on your Mac. Windows and Windows apps reside in a Window on the Mac just like a Mac app.
Another popular choice is Parallels Desktop for Mac. Like VMWare Fusion, Parallels lets you install Windows, Windows apps, and run the whole mess within a window on your Mac’s screen (and without restarting the Mac).
If you’re a Mac user on a budget and have an unused copy of Windows around, there’s a freeware option called VirtualBox. While not as feature laden as Parallels or Fusion, VirtualBox does much the same thing, and is easier to install and use.
Not only is VirtualBox open source and free to use on your Mac, it does more than Windows. It handles old Windows versions, too, from Windows NT to 2000 to Windows 3.x as well as Vista and Windows 7).
And, you can install versions of Linux and Solaris using VirtualBox. Updates are frequent so VirtualBox appears to have steady development.
To get it running on your Mac, simply download VirtualBox and walk through the installation process.
You’ll need a CD/DVD of Windows or Linux to install on the Mac. VirtualBox even runs on older Intel Mac with modest RAM and limited hard disk space.
Does it work? Simply put, yes. Installing an OS into VirtualBox requires a step-by-step process (do so carefully; some of the terminology is new to Mac users), but in the end you get to run Windows and install Windows apps on your Mac.