BusinessWeek on virtualization: Mac’s ability to run Windows may cause hostile companies to relent

“Excellent hardware and even better software are strong reasons for people to choose a Mac as their next computer. Many, no doubt, would also like to leave the world of Microsoft Windows behind. If you’re not quite ready to take that step, or work realities make it impossible, you actually can have your cake and eat it too,” Stephen H. Wildstrom reports or BusinessWeek.

MacDailyNews Take: If Windows is cake, it’s made of layered poop.

Wildstrom continues, “For some time now, Macs have had the ability to run the many applications written for Windows, thanks to Apple software called Boot Camp. But you have to choose between Windows or the Mac OS X at startup and you end up with two separate systems sharing one physical computer. I suspect most Boot Camp users are running intense Windows-only games and want the maximum performance on Apple hardware.”

“A technology with the user-unfriendly name of virtualization provides a much better answer,” Wildstrom reports. “New versions of two very good products, Parallels Desktop for Macintosh 4.0 and VMware Fusion 2.0 (both $80), let you run Windows programs on a Mac so that they look almost exactly like OS X programs and behave that way, too.”

“The result? Workplaces that have been hostile to Macs may relent,” Wildstrom reports. “Without much effort, a company can clone its standard Windows setup, including all security policies, and install it as a virtual machine on a Mac that then lets employees access the corporate network.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Carl H.” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, this article could have been written years ago, but it’s still good to see it in a publication where business decision makers – people who might not yet know that Macs are the ultimate personal computers which are capable of running the world’s largest software library, more than Windows PCs or any other PCs, in fact – have the opportunity to see it.

MacDailyNews Note: BTW, here are the results of our recent poll, “To run Windows apps on my Mac, I use…”

42.24% – Nothing: no Windows apps soil my Mac (1574 votes)
20.48% – Parallels Desktop for Mac (763 votes)
18.6% – VMWare Fusion (693 votes)
12.48% – Apple’s Boot Camp (465 votes)
3.3% – Crossover Mac (123 votes)
1.48% – Virtual PC (55 votes)
1.29% – Other (48 votes)
0.13% – Q Emulator (5 votes)

(3726 total votes)


  1. I’ve removed Parallels and XP from my iMac. It simply is not worth the hassle – I just don’t use the one XP application. My 58-year old brother just switched to the Mac. His wife has been trying for 20 years to get him to switch. At first they asked about virtualization but in the end he realized he was clinging to windows for one old program he didn’t even like anymore. He had bought a new HP notebook w/Vista a month ago but quickly returned it due to so many issues – that is what did it for him.

  2. The nicest thing about virtualization is that Windows apps don’t have to soil your Mac at all. In fact, running within Fusion or Parallels, the Windows install is an entirely self-contained sandbox. You can even make a duplicate of the virtual harddisk (contained within a single file) to use as a hot spare, in the event your virtual machine becomes infected or is eventually suffers “Windows rot”. So, provided that you don’t need to run games, virtualization is the best way to go – particularly in business settings.

  3. Even though I don’t need it, I’ve offered to run XP under emulation on my 20″ iMac in my workplace. My IT dept has refused; they’re demanding confiscation of the Mac, and its replacement with one of their unbelievably crappy PCs. I’ve had this argument many times before, but this time it’s about to get nasty.

  4. I just worked on a project with 3 Windows users. We were all remote. Now, I’m all for people choosing whatever they feel comfortable with, but when their choices negatively impact, I get irritated. Of course, they were all very proud of the consumer wisdom that led them to buy from the discount bin at because it came preinstalled with Microsoft Word. But after sitting hour after hour on conference calls while they tried to get their junk to work, instead of sitting on iChat and collaborating on a document that we were all looking at at the same time was more than painful. The next time I choose partners for a project, having usable technology will definitely be high on the priority list. (I had to initiate every conference call because their computers weren’t capable of running Skype, Word, IE and virus software at the same time. None of them could find the manual to figure out how to make a conference call on their Palm Treos or Blackberries. iPhone to the rescue)

  5. @ Micro Me.

    Stand tall. Don’t give in to those small minded, stay within my training so I am relevant morons.

    These people usually get into IT type work because it moves and groves, new things to learn and advancements to be a part of. But…

    Just like most, they start to rest on their laurels, get tired of learning and just promote the status quo. Helps to keep the previous generation in power.

    Be strong. The revolution is now!

  6. Thanks CandTsmac. No, don’t shut up; I welcome any support right now.

    They’ve give me two months to “migrate your files from your Apple MAC to our supported platform” (I just love the “Apple MAC” bit). They’ve even bought the CEO in on me (and this is a company of over 400 people).

    For what I do for a living, which involves writing, graphs and graphics, the Mac is ideal, and I’ve set my system up over many years with software that works together smoothly. The effects on my output of this enforced downgrade would be serious, to say the least.

    My options are limited, but I have a few. They include bringing my ancient G3 iBook to work so that I can at least get on with my job.

    They might call us “fanbois” but the behaviour of Windows bigots leaves much to be desired.

  7. The article is gread for its propaganda purpose, but the real essence isn’t in the solution that gets Windows on Macs.

    It is extremely difficult to justify buying a Mac (for at least $1000), then adding Windows XP license on it, in order to run “corporate applications”. That completely defeats all the arguments for switching to Macs.

    The main issue is the fact that vast majority of enterprise IT operations have no custom made windows apps that couldn’t be easily ported to Mac (if any at all). During the last 10 years, most enterprise IT operations have built their common in-house applications around web interface. There are very few companies (large or small) that actually have custom-built Windows-only desktop applications that were written in such a way that porting them over would be impossible or expensive. They should stay with Windows for now. All others can easily move and find applicable software to replicate the functionality of their Windows configurations.

    My example: I work in a 10,000+ organisation. Our staff works on all continents, and virtually in every country on the planet. Our standard desktop client has the following:

    IBM 3270 terminal emulation for connectivity to the mainframe;
    Exceed’s X-Window emulation for some HP-UX hosted ERP app;
    Lotus Notes for workgroup collaboration and e-mail;
    Active Directory for access to network shares;
    Several web-based enterprise apps;
    and, of course, MS Office.

    I have configured my Mac for access to each and every one of those components (to the utter astonishment of senior IT drones at the central IT support division). There is absolutely no justification why Macs could not be used on our desktop.

    I am convinced that 9 out of 10 organisations have similar situation, with no standard desktop apps that are Windows-only. It is all about the IT drones. So, let’s not try to convince them that the reason to switch is because our Macs can run Windows. The most convincing argument would be that Macs can run all our corporate systems using native applications. that way, we can argue using the usual superiority arguments:Macs do things faster than Windows, with fewer mouse clicks, no BSD/kernel panic, faster boot/shutdown times, faster app launches, and for the final blow, NO MALWARE.

    Once Mac acquires some significant market share in the enterprise, developers will quickly realise what segment of revenue they’re missing and that will quickly reduce the number of those who have Windows-only software even further.

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