Microsoft just launched Windows 10 to replace Windows 8.1 and bypassing Windows 9 altogether? Why? Is nine an unlucky number? Has Apple’s success with OS X (X is the way cool folks say 10) made Microsoft want to copy the Mac maker that closely? Whatever it is, so far, Windows 10’s pre-release versions run fine on a Mac.
Microsoft’s mantra for a couple of decades has been something like ‘Windows Everywhere.’ Well, everywhere except in the hearts and minds of discouraged Windows users, but that’s a different issue.
Apple was so confident that OS X was a better product that it allowed Windows to run using Boot Camp and a separate partition on Macs going back to the early Intel models. In fact, some research and testing says the best way to run Windows is to run it on a Mac.
My day job allows me to look at new tools for the company IT group so I often get my hands dirty on new Android devices and PCs. Literally. They’re dirty. Here’s what I can tell you about Microsoft’s Windows 10. It runs on our test Macs, and it should run on most recently new Macs.
Windows can run on Macs a number of different ways beyond Apple’s built-in and recommended Boot Camp dual-boot partition process. So far, we have Windows running on Macs using Parallels Desktop 10, VMware Fusion 7, and the free VirtualBox. Each has resulted in a usable Windows experience and each has a few hiccups, but no show stoppers. Windows 10 is not officially supported by Apple’s Boot Camp, but I suspect it will be with OS X El Capitan, if not sooner.
One hiccup we’ve experienced with Mac notebooks as been the trackpad, specifically new MacBook Pro and MacBook models with Force Touch. Fortunately, there’s an app for that, a donationware utility called Trackpad++, a driver for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and now Windows 10 which allows Force Touch to be used in Windows.
What’s interesting about using Windows on a Mac is how Windows has been used on a Mac over the years. When Boot Camp was first released, many of our staff wanted to run Windows on their Macs, so our IT group began supporting it. Since then, many Mac users who once ran Windows have opted not to when they upgrade to newer Macs.
Windows just isn’t as important as it once was. Android OS started showing up on more computer devices (smartphones and tablets) than Windows back around 2013, and this year marked the first time that Apple shipped more iOS devices than PC makers shipped Windows PCs.
What does that say about the future of personal computing? It’s mobile.