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Overly Excited New User Needs Advice on Windows for Mac

1189 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jan 6, 2010 6:06 PM by mervinddizon RSS
eightezsteps Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Dec 27, 2009 10:33 PM
As of Christmas day, I am a proud owner of a new MBP 17" beautiful piece of machinery! I'm coming from a PC so you can imagine my excitement when I opened this gift from my parents. Also, I'm 33 years old so getting a gift this amazing from your parents is pretty huge!

Anyway, the point is I have to use a program for work that is only available for Windows and I just need some advice on whether to use Parallels or VM or just use the free boot camp. I don't want to use Windows for anything other than this program. Is there a way around having to buy the whole Windows OS? Also, is iWork any better than Office? Not sure which of those to buy either. I hate that I even have to have Windows on my new Mac! Thanks for any advice.
MBP 17" Beauty, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Travis A. Level 6 Level 6 (14,970 points)
    Hi eightezsteps, welcome to Apple Discussions!

    What program do you need? Often PC programs have equivalents on the Mac platform, or even Mac versions that many people are not aware of. There are very few file formats that Macs cannot deal with.

    The choice of Parallels, VMWare, or Boot Camp will also depend on whether you require 3D graphics support with that application. So, we'll need to know what it is!

    is iWork any better than Office?

    I prefer it to Office now after using it for a year. However, it is different, and there is a slight learning curve to it. Once you discover the differences from Office, you'll be as productive if not moreso. You should be aware that some of the more advanced features of Office are sometimes not included in iWork though. So if you require advanced formulas and macros in Excel (for example) to be cross-platform compatible then you'll need Office. If your work is slightly less hardcore than that, you'll be just fine with iWork once you get used to it.

    I do some pretty extensive academic writing (scientific) using Pages and Numbers and I have never ran into anything it could not do for me. That includes formulae and scientific notation.

    Unibody MBP 2.4Ghz, 2GB, 250GB 7200RPM, Mac OS X (10.6.2), 8GB iPod Touch, Time Capsule, 21.5" Alu iMac
  • BugSquash Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)
    You might want to look into CrossOver, which runs many (but not all) Windows programs without a copy of Windows. There's also the free version, WINE, which does basically the same thing but without any official support (there's a build here that has some extra features like app management).

    If you buy Crossover, just make sure your app works with it first. They have a database of software they support, plus I think there's a trial version.
    Macbook Pro 15-inch 2.8GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.2), 4GB RAM, 24" Cinema Display, iPhone 3GS, Newton MessagePad 2100
  • Travis A. Level 6 Level 6 (14,970 points)
    Either Parallels or VMWare would work just fine for this app I would think. I don't use either (yuck, Windows...) so I can't really make much of an informed comment on the strengths of either option. However, I do think that you should go with either of those two instead of Boot Camp. You don't need graphics acceleration so I think it would be much more convenient for you to stay booted in OS X. I'm sure others will be along with their opinions on Parallels or VMWare.

    Unibody MBP 2.4Ghz, 2GB, 250GB 7200RPM, Mac OS X (10.6.2), 8GB iPod Touch, Time Capsule, 21.5" Alu iMac
  • mamaia Calculating status...
    I also got my new MacPro 17" in Nov, added Parallels just so I could use MS Money program which I needed for our small ngo. I tried many other money programs and couldn't change, so I also uploaded my full Office Program to the MS 7. You could easily use XP but not much difference in price.

    I absolutely love it with Parallels, it works seamlessly, simply click on the MS icon in the tray and up pops all my MS programs. Good luck and happy Mac'ing.
    2 Macbook Pro 15" and new 17", Mac OS X (10.6.2), running Parallels on 17" with MS 7
  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,505 points)
    eightezsteps wrote:
    I just need some advice on whether to use Parallels or VM or just use the free boot camp. I don't want to use Windows for anything other than this program.

    If it's just for that one program, the advantage of the virtualizers is that you can run all your Mac software at the same time. With BootCamp, you can't have Mac OS X running at the same time because the entire machine will be in Windows.

    Is there a way around having to buy the whole Windows OS?

    No. Any solution would require some version of Windows to be run on it. Parallels, VMWare, and Boot Camp are like PCs without a system on them.

    Also, is iWork any better than Office?

    Depends on who you work with. If you need to exchange native Word/Excel/PowerPoint files all the time with other workers, you'll need Office. If you are pretty self-contained, you can use iWork.
    Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, iPhone 3GS, Mac OS X (10.5.8), PowerBook G4 15" Al, PowerBook G3 FireWire, PowerCenter Pro, PowerBook 160
  • mervinddizon Calculating status...

    With the question if there is a way around having to buy Windows OS to use for virtualizations, you can actually clone your existing PC by either connecting both your Mac and PC to the same network. This is at least possible for VMWare. I have it my MBP and I cloned my work laptop so I have everything in there setup already - files, applications even security settings. This may be too much for you though if you really just need to run one Windows application but IMO, it's better than having to buy the Windows OS installers.
    MacBook Pro 13", Mac OS X (10.6.2), Mid-2009 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM


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