3688 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Jul 29, 2012 9:28 AM by ChantelWY
If you want to run MS Windows applications on your iMac and Mac Mini you need a license of MS Windows at a minimum. Then you need to decide how you want to run the apps, you can use Boot Camp which allows you to install MS Windows on your computer and then boot your computer as either a MS Windows machine or OS X machine. The advantage of this is there is no cost (except for MS Windows) as Boot Camp comes with every Mac. You will find Boot Camp Setup Assistant in (Applications - Utilities - Boot Camp Setup Assistant). The other solution is virtualization software such as Parallels or VM Ware Fusion. The advantage of virtualization software is you can run MS Windows and OS X simultaneously. This is ideal if you are not doing graphics intensive applications such as 3D gaming, CAD/CAM or 3D renderings. For applications like QuickBooks it would be great.
The downside of running MS Windows on your Mac is that portion of the computer will be susceptible to all the problems PC's have such as Virus's and other malware. So whatever solution you get you need to also get anti-virus software and other anti-malware. The upside is if Windows becomes diseased this in no way affects OS X.
Finally your best solution is to look for OS X versions of your applications. I know there is a OS X version of QuickBooks however I have no idea how Intuit's licensing works, you would need to contact Intuit to ask that question.
Dman, I can't add much except to relate my pleasant experience with Parallels. I bought Parallels from NewEgg because they bundled a copy of Windows (XP, in my case) with it. I did this after installing a Boot Camp partition and using that for a while. It worked fine, but it was a major nuisance to shut the Windows side of the computer down and then reboot OSX if I wanted to use that system. With Parallels you buzz along working in Windows--and then just minimize it, and bingo, you're back in OSX land. You can switch back and forth as often as you please without ever having to shut down the whole computer. I almost never go the the Windows Boot Camp partition now. If I didn't have a huge marine navigation program (Maptech's Ocean Navigator) loaded there I'd eliminate the partition altogether.
Boot Camp makes a physical partition of your hard disk in which you load the Windows OS. It is almost literally another computer. Parallels loads Windows and any applications you choose into one humongous file within the OSX system, and that's why it is called a "virtual machine." Ingenious.
Loading Parallels and the Windows OS (probably Windows 7 by now) will tax your patience, but you'll be rewarded.
Good luck with it.