To run Windows on an Apple Mac, you need a copy of Windows

“Apple has done a great job of marketing the Intel-based Macs’ ability to run Windows, but has confused some ordinary users into thinking all new Macs come with a built-in ability to run Windows software and use third-party devices designed only for Windows-based PCs,” Dave Zeiler reports for The Baltimore Sun.

“Two co-workers recently sought my counsel with this type of query. Both had bought peripheral devices for a Mac user before discovering the device was not Mac compatible,” Zeiler reports.

“Both said they had heard new Macs could run Windows and expressed hope the destination Macs still would be able to use the devices. I had to tell them that while the newer Intel-based Macs can indeed run Windows, the user must buy and install a retail copy of Windows to enable that capability. Though disappointed, they understood,” Zeiler reports.

Zeiler reports, “I’m not sure what Apple should do to clarify this point for its growing legions of non-technical users, but it might behoove Cupertino to give it some thought. People who hear ‘Macs can now run Windows’ not unreasonably may expect it to do so out of the box.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Website section that promotes Mac to potential switchers, “You can even run Windows,” states “Purchase of Windows required.” Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard “Boot Camp” features page spells it out in bold type: “Leopard is the world’s most advanced operating system. So advanced, it even lets you run Windows if there’s a PC application you need to use. Just get a copy of Windows and start up Boot Camp, now included with Leopard.”


  1. If some people are dumb enough to want to run Windows, then they are certainly dumb enough to ignore the warning: “Purchase of Windows required.”

    But since we are dealing with Windows users, let’s try this approach. Apple should put a Windows icon on the dock and then tell switchers to open OS X and the click on the Windows icon. When they click on the Windows icon a message box pops up that says: “Before you launch Windows, why don’t you use OS X for awhile.” Eventually switchers will forget about Windows and be reborn as Apple fanboys. I think that will work.

  2. My best friend’s parents bought him a MacBook for Xmas. When he called me to tell me about it he said “I used to hate Macs, but I love my MacBook, I loaded Windows on a small partition but only to play games. I doubt I’ll ever go back to using Windows for anything else. I love Leopard!”

    I smiled, laughed inside, and said “Welcome to the club.”

  3. This is what happens when you sell toys which are “so simple, anyone can use them.” Give me a break. Windows users are the most technical of computer users. They can build their own PC, replace a video card, install and properly configure security software—all core competencies for anyone who uses a computer, which is a tool, not a toy. Advanced tasks like using command line instructions and hacking a Windows registry are no problem for people smart enough to get a magnificent Microsoft Windows machine. It’s what makes PC’s so powerful. MACs are toys and always will be. Can MACs get on the internet yet?

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  4. In all fairness to those people it does make sense. As an IT guy people just want technology that works. That’s why they buy the iPhone. The ad’s say “With iPhone, you can do these things”. They buy the iPhone, and it does those things. The ad’s say “With iPod, you can do these things”. They buy an iPod, and it does those things.

    So, if the ad says “With Mac, you can run windows”, they assume just like with all apple products, you buy it, and it’s good to go.

    That is why I think apple should have an option where they have an OEM copy of Windows available to people that don’t understand it. Then they can show people just how fast windows really runs on a mac.

    Or if not that, then when they say “you can run windows and all PC applications” they should end that sentence with “just by installing a copy of windows through the included bootcamp, its just that easy”. Then people might catch on.

    You have to remember, the younger generations all own macs, the older generations still don’t know how to use a mouse, so of course they aren’t going to understand something as simple as “Windows not included”.

  5. Apple should do nothing more than what they are doing now. Apple will not lose Mac sales because a few novice customers thought Macs can run Windows out of the box. Most new-to-Mac customers are buying Macs because they DON’T run Windows. A complete non-issue.

    Besides, one reason Macs cost less (for equivalent hardware) is because Apple does not need to pay Microsoft to license Windows. If you really need Windows, just buy a generic copy without all the pre-installed “craplets.”

  6. It can also run ProTools, Office, Final Cut Pro, PhotoShop, InDesign and 1000’s of other software – do you same morons think that’s included too?
    You can hookup a video camera – do you think THAT’S included?

    Get educated.

  7. No offense to anyone reading this that thought as these people did…

    ‘Macs can now run Windows’
    It’s not rocket science to realise that that phrase means it can run Windoze, but nowhere in that phrase does it say ‘Macs now incudes Windows’ – can run and include are two different phrases. People say the young generation are less educated, the amount of mid-aged dumb-asses I meet everyday I work is astonishing (not all, many are intelligent, but a percentage are just ridiculas in the way they read things.)

    No offense to anyone here is intended, but “can now run” definitely implies it can run but in no way says it does run Windows.

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