As all of us here know, Mac users are very passionate about our Macs. But sometimes, even the most devoted Mac enthusiast will find times where they need to use programs that simply aren’t available or are no longer supported on the Mac, or maybe even a custom-built PC based application that you have to use for work.
This is becoming less frequent than it was, as more and more applications become web-based. A great thing about a cloud service where you login through a browser window is that it will work everywhere, but lack of Mac OS compatibility is something that still happens
The correct solution for you will depend on the applications you need to run and which Mac you are using. Things are a little bit different when it comes to Intel vs M1 Macs, which is something to keep in mind. If you have an M1 or are planning the upgrade, some additional research will make sure you end up with everything you need.
Bootcamp. Allows you to install Windows onto your Intel Mac. At startup, you will be able to choose whether to boot into Mac OS or Windows. Note that this is only an option if you are running an Intel based Mac with a pre Big Sur OS, as this isn’t an option for M1 based Macs. Bootcamp is for those who want to keep their Mac hardware but need to run Windows full time.
Parallels is a popular and user-friendly option that lets you install another OS onto your Mac and run it within Mac OS. It essentially gives you a window into Windows (or Linux and others). This is an excellent option if you don’t need to run windows all the time. For instance, if you only need to run a couple of apps, you can jump in and out as needed. You do need to keep in mind that when running a virtual machine, you are running two operating systems simultaneously, which will use additional RAM, storage and CPU resources, so you need to make sure your Mac is up for the task. If you have an M1 Mac, you also need to be aware that you will have to install the ARM version of Windows, which comes with some limitations.
Microsoft Remote Desktop Services can be an excellent option for businesses needing to run Windows based applications. This involves running a Windows server, and staff log onto the server into their own instance of Windows and use it just like a Windows machine. The server provides all the processing power, so everything happens server-side, and nothing occurs locally, it’s like streaming the desktop. Something like this can be the answer when a popular piece of software stops supporting Macs.
Looking to the very near future, we will be keeping a close eye on and keeping you up to date with Windows 365. While not commercially available yet, Windows 365 promises to deliver a cloud-based, personalised Windows 11 PC experience to any device, including Macs and iPads.
We understand that there are some circumstances where having a Windows machine might be the right choice for you, which is why we have recently become authorised resellers of the Microsoft Surface range. We have put in a lot of time and research to bring you what we believe is the best Windows option available. With sleek design, power and long battery life, these machines do not disappoint.
Whatever your needs are when it comes to running Windows, get in touch with us to discuss the right option for you or your business. Our name might be “Mac Aid”, but we are very conversant with specifying, installing and supporting Windows based systems as well.