“Only a week ago, Apple released what seemed like an astonishing piece of software called Boot Camp. This program radically rewrote the rules of Macintosh-Windows warfare — by letting you run Windows XP on a Macintosh at full speed,” David Pogue writes for The New York Times. “Lots of people are tempted by the Mac’s sleek looks and essentially virus-free operating system — but worry about leaving Windows behind entirely. Others would find happiness with Apple’s superb music, photo and movie-making programs — but have jobs that rely on Microsoft Access, Outlook or some other piece of Windows corporate-ware. Even many current Mac fans occasionally steal covert glances over the fence at some of the Windows-only niceties they thought they’d never have, like QuickBooks Online, AutoCad for architects, high-end 3-D Windows games, or the occasional bullheaded Web site that requires Internet Explorer for Windows.”
Boot Camp is a free download from Apple that lets you “install and run your favorite Windows programs — speech recognition, business software, even games — and, incredibly, they run as fast and well as they ever did,” Pogue reports. “Correction: they run faster than they ever did. Most people comment that an Intel Mac runs Windows faster than any PC they’ve ever owned. And if the Windows side ever gets bogged down with viruses and spyware, you can flip into Mac OS X and keep right on being productive.”
“Boot Camp’s problem, though, is right there in its name: You have to reboot (restart) the computer every time you switch systems. As a result, you can’t copy and paste between Mac and Windows programs,” Pogue reports. “No wonder, then, that last week, the corridors of cyberspace echoed with the sounds of high-fiving when a superior solution came to light. A little company called Parallels has found a way to eliminate all of those drawbacks — and to run Windows XP and Mac OS X simultaneously… Parallels is very fast — perhaps 95 percent as fast as Boot Camp. (It’s definitely not a software-based emulator like Microsoft’s old, dog-slow Virtual PC program.) It’s even fast enough for video games, although not the 3-D variety; for now, those are still better played in Boot Camp.”
“You can use Boot Camp (fast and feature-complete, but requires restarting) or, in a few weeks, the finished version of Parallels (fast and no restarting, but geekier to install, and no 3-D games). Can’t decide? Then install both. They coexist beautifully on a single Mac,” Pogue writes. “Either that, or just wait. At this rate of change and innovation, something even better is surely just another week away.”
Full article here.
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