Windows

Poll: What percentage of the Macs you support run Windows through dual boot or virtualization?

There are several reasons to run Windows on a Mac. If you support Mac users, how many run both Windows and OS X? Take our quick poll and let us know.

In an IT Dojo video, I demonstrated how to run Windows Vista on Mac OS Ten using VMware Fusion. If you support Mac users, how many also run Windows on their Apple?

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

14 comments
melekali
melekali

Would we need Macs? They are at best insecure with a browser and are pretty much useless in an enterprise.

Johngriese
Johngriese

I have used bootcamp, virtual box, vmware fusion and parallels. I decided to go with parallels because it provides two utilities that are useful to me, the ability to expand or compress the vm disk and to be able to view the contents of the disk with an explorer type interface. I'm in graduate school and my thesis advisers use Windows. They have not always been able to open files I have sent in from the Mac side. I also use bootcamp because I have two hp 100/200LX palmtop computers and the only way they can communicate with Windows XP is by using bootcamp. I am running two Macbook Pro's. Parallels is installed on both, bootcamp is on just one. After numerous trails, this is what works for me. I ditched Vista.

mitchell_webb
mitchell_webb

I support between 3000-4000 MacBooks running Boot Camp with dual-boot. It has been very unstable requiring constant reimaging. It was our mistake to think that we could use a consumer machine in an enterprise environment. They are difficult to manage and are not cost efficient. Using a virtual environment like Parallels or VM Ware doesn't solve the problem. If you want to run Windows XP, Vista, or 7, get a PC...don't dual boot.

senaa
senaa

It seems to me that if you run Windows on a Mac, you, in essence, have a PC, which is more susceptible to viruses, hacks, and other attacks. Is that correct or incorrect? Why? What are the advantages of running Windows over OS X? Al

mjpfaffe
mjpfaffe

Have you tried the newest version of Fusion? It is greatly improved and I believe it now does both of the things you mentioned about parallels and more.

ron.connal
ron.connal

Having jumped from one to the other, my preference has fallen on Parallels Desktop 4.0. The level of integration in Coherence mode surpasses anything the others have to offer (Bootcamp excluded). It is correct that the tools Parallels provides make manipulating and exploring virtual disks a snap. The migration tool to bring in a hard or soft XP or Vista installations AND VM Fusion virtuals directly into Parallels was icing on the cake.

cbader
cbader

Agreed!! I used to work for a company that tried to use Macs. The owner didnt have a clear business need to switch to Macs, he just thought they were cool. So we spent way to much per machine on the increased cost of just owning a Mac, a license for Parallels, and a license for XP. It probably more than tripled our cost per machine, and the company wasnt doing too good (I was laid off when they lost their biggest client) so the extra cost was a big hit. On top of all that Parallels was still new and didnt run perfectly. We had a lot of support issues everyday just so users could have a Mac but still run critical apps on Windows.

TNT
TNT

Maybe its the fact I have a much smaller user base, or maybe it's because we use MacBook Pro's, but we've seen no downside to running dual boot or VMWare on our Mac's. I'm using a 15 inch MacBook Pro now with Boot Camp and Windows XP SP3 installed on it. No problems whatsoever.

hyperalgesia
hyperalgesia

Dual boot machines are the equivalent of 2-for-1 purchases. No reason given for not buying Macs except the flat statement of instability. Re-imaging is the main reason Windows support staff survive. Have never met a Windows machine that didn't require re-imaging after 1 year. Dual Boot configurations have worked marvelously on Macs in our basic research lab for 2 years. Dual Boot gives back to Windows control of com ports. Can accesss Mac partition with HFS Explorere if Windows installed on

melekali
melekali

Mac can be hacked as easily as windows and contrary to popular opinion amongst mac aficionados, are actually more susceptible to the dangers that are out there because these dangers are increasingly targeting macs and this os is not ready for the new attention. Windows is used to being the number one target and has actually done a fairly good job of adding layers that have hardened the os which, while in initial creation was not secure (if you go back before XP SP3 or so), is now far more secure in the environment most people use computer for - the internet. According to some PWN2OWN opinions, the most secure combination is Firefox on Windows. Firefox on Mac is easily broken.

mitchell_webb
mitchell_webb

Dual boot creates, in essence, another machine that you must protect against viruses, malware, and OS exploits. In effect, you end up having to support twice as many users and machines. NOT GOOD.

Lazarus439
Lazarus439

You must either have awfully abusive users or awfully bad PCs. I don't have to do Macs, but I don't have to re-image my Windows PCs every year or even every few years.

mjpfaffe
mjpfaffe

Never met a windows machine that didn't need to be reimaged after 1 year?? What are your users doing? The only reason I can see that being true is that the machines aren't being managed very well. Our graphic design dept needs Macs, but we have applications that don't run on them. We use VMware Fusion, and while it's not as stable as a PC running XP--it does what we want it to do. If you need to run both OS's on your Macs, don't dual-boot...virtualize.

TNT
TNT

The Windows machine is susceptible to viruses but they are not going to jump the partition (if you dual boot like I do, for example) and infect your Mac. It is like having 2 computers, so you do have the maintenance of two computers. But by dual booting, or running VMWare, you have access to all the Windows apps that are not available for Mac. And there are thousands of them. Not just gaming titles either ;-)

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