There are presently several alternatives for running Windows on Intel Macs.
- Install the Apple Boot Camp software. Purchase Windows XP w/Service Pak2, Vista, or Windows 7. Follow instructions in the Boot Camp documentation on installation of Boot Camp, creating Driver CD, and installing Windows. Boot Camp enables you to boot the computer into OS X or Windows.
- Parallels Desktop for Mac and Windows XP, Vista Business, Vista Ultimate, or Windows 7. Parallels is software virtualization that enables running Windows concurrently with OS X.
- VM Fusionand Windows XP, Vista Business, Vista Ultimate, or Windows 7. VM Fusion is software virtualization that enables running Windows concurrently with OS X.
- CrossOver which enables running many Windows applications without having to install Windows. The Windows applications can run concurrently with OS X.
- VirtualBox is a new Open Source freeware virtual machine such as VM Fusion and Parallels that was developed by Solaris. It is not as fully developed for the Mac as Parallels and VM Fusion.
- Last is Q. Q is a freeware emulator that is compatible with Intel Macs. It is much slower than the virtualization software, Parallels and VM Fusion.
BootCamp is fastest, using all hardware resources. But you must shut down OSX to start in BootCamp.
You can also load Windows into VM (virtual machine) such as VirtualBox or Parallels or VMware Fusion. Under VM the OSX sets up a protected space that can run Windows (or Linux) software at the same time as OSX is working. But now resources must be shared. In fact, when setting up s Windows VM you will be asked how much RAM will be dedicated to VM (thus not available to OSX).
To run VM, you need more RAM usually. But removing a VM-Windows is easier and safer than removing a BootCamp-Windows.
Both ways are safe when done according to instructions. Just decide if you want to have both running at the same time or not.
To complicate matters a little bit more ...
If you BootCamp Windows, you can install VM and have it use the BootCamp -- that way you have the choice to either VM or full-boot Windows as you see fit.
frederic1943... your link to BootCamp is no longer active. BootCamp hasn't supported XP since Lion. Currently, only Windows 7 is supported:
You can use Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, or Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate with Boot Camp 4.0. Windows XP and Windows Vista are not supported with Boot Camp 4.0.