If you need to run Windows on a Mac, we can help.

There are a couple of mechanisms permitting this feature, the first method is Apple’s own software called Boot Camp. Boot Camp is available only on Apple Macs running an Intel processor. The Boot Camp assistant splits the Mac’s Macintosh HD into separate partitions. One partition used for Mac OS is reduced in size and the new partition is created for the Boot Camp Windows installation. Apple provide Windows drivers necessary to operate the Mac with nearly all functionality. Boot Camp is free, but you are required to purchase a separate Windows licence to use this feature.
On the newer Apple Macs running M series processors, Boot Camp is no longer supported, so read on for more info.

Parallels Desktop for Apple Macs

The most common way to run Windows on your Apple Mac is to purchase a copy of Parallels Desktop for Mac and a Windows licence. Parallels creates a virtual machine in this case a Windows installation that happily runs side by side with Mac OS. You can install and run programs just like a regular PC with almost full functionality. Windows and programs run at a slight performance deficit due to the computer running two operating systems at the same time. Parallels is now a venerable software vendor with many years of expertise in running Windows. The Parallel system is as integrated as you’d like it to be and even allows cutting and pasting between the two systems and sharing of cloud resources like DropBox or iCloud drives.

On newer model Apple Macs with M series processors, older versions of parallels virtual machines will not work. The new M series processor architecture demands a special windows version designed for ARM architecture machines. Most programs will run fine in Windows, however there is an issue with running 64 bit Windows applications designed for x86 architecture – they cannot be run in emulation mode, so will not work. Always check with your critical software vendors to see if there apps will run in ARM version of Windows whether natively or emulated. If you need help with this, reach out to us via the contact us link below. 

How do you choose between running Windows via Boot Camp versus Parallels?

This is the big question. It will depend on a few factors.

  • How you like to work.
  • What Apple Mac processor your machine has
  • How much data sharing is necessary between Windows and Mac OS
  • And the system resources that are available.

We use Parallels extensively in our office for many reasons and we have clients running Apple Mac computers with Parallels and Microsoft Office for Windows.Why would they do that?  Ok, so the Windows version of Office has a larger feature set and offers better stability, but they prefer Apple hardware. This probably sounds like a strange setup, but you would be surprised at the number of Mac users with similar arrangements.The most common reason our Mac clients need to run Windows is because some legacy software they cannot work without is strictly Windows only such as:

  • MYOB
  • Microsoft Money
  • Cubit
  • QuickKids
  • Some other essential piece of software for stock trading
  • A money management program
  • A booking system for travel agents or hoteliers
  • A design program for builders or graphic artists – the list is endless.

If you have a Mac and want to discuss the best options for running Windows on your machine, please make an enquiry or give us a call to discuss your needs.