We all love our Macs, even people who don’t have it, crave it! There is a lot about Mac that makes you fall in love with it. The screen, the resolution, the out-of-this-world neat design, the functionalities; list of loveable traits can just go on and on.
Not very often but there comes a time when you try to run an application on Mac only to find out that it is not compatible with it. Sometimes these apps are so important to run that we think about moving onto other operating system. I have had to deal with this situation when trying to build a complicated Excel model on my MS-office for Mac. New keyboard short cuts, Macros with different options that what you are used to on the Windows, it can be a bit daunting….But what about the love? It’s not easy, we know!
In comes the savior
This is where a Windows emulator for Mac comes in handy, allowing us to seamlessly use windows-only apps on Mac. There are in fact many windows emulator for mac easily available, some are good and some are not as good. The best thing about most virtualization and emulation tools is that software like antivirus or firewall on your mac works fine with Windows OS installed.
The difference between virtualization and emulation
There is a thin line between virtualization and emulation. The main difference is that of the Apple system you’re using. Options that support Intel Macs are called virtualization and those that support Power PC Macs are emulations
We have selected the top 10 out of the lot and hope that you will find the one perfectly suited for your needs. So, without any further ado, let’s get down to our list…
This one is a built in tool for installing Windows on your Mac. It’s an easy process overall, all you need to have is a registered and licensed copy of Windows. First you need to install Boot Camp, for this you need to go to applications > utilities > boot camp. Quit all open programs and follow the on-screen instruction to install boot camp. During the installation, your system will create a separate partition for Windows.
After finishing with the boot camp’s installation, it is now time to install Windows. Insert the CD and just follow the easy setup instructions. Once done, you will now have the option to start your machine with Mac or Windows OS by pressing the “Option” key at startup.
To find out, which version is supported with your boot camp check out this article.
If you’re only looking to use and install a particular app that doesn’t work on mac, then Wine Bottler can be your perfect partner. You don’t have to install the whole Windows OS and thus no need to create a partition either.
Another great app that saves you from the hassle of installing Windows OS on mac. WinOnX (or Windows on OS X) is based on Wine and can be installed on OS X 10.6 and later. The application lets users install the most Windows app on Mac but still there are some that have compatibility issues. For all such cases, the always-active and highly responsive developer team of WinOnX comes in handy.
One of the coolest app that lets users enjoy any Windows application on Mac. Wait a sec, not only Mac but XenApp allows users to use any app on any device – now this sounds awesome, no? All the apps are stored, saved and can be accessed from a database. Probably the best thing about this app is that it even works when a user is offline.
This is the techiest of the apps among our list. Wineskin Winery creates ports, which tweaks the Windows apps in a way that they work seamlessly on Mac. AND the best part? The application is completely free!
Probably the most famous in our list, Virtual Box is famous for reasons. First, VB is open source and thus free! The application is also continuously developing, so if something on your system is not working smoothly, expect it to get resolved soon. Secondly, this application doesn’t only setup Windows virtually but also supports Linux and other OSs. Third, the synchronization between the hardware and operating system is close to perfect. Camera, CD drive, printer, etc all work perfectly on multiple operating systems.
Virtual PC for Mac
The best emulator for users who are more “network focused”. Virtual PC for Mac can save our love for Mac and we can use Windows apps without having to completely say good bye to Mac. No matter what operating system they are using, you can share information on the network when using Virtual PC for Mac. The application is a little pricey though and can be bought at $129.
Get CrossOver Mac for only $39 to $59 and start using any Window app on your Mac, without the need of creating a virtual environment or installing a fresh/registered copy of Windows. No reboot required, just run the program and with it, the Windows app you need to use.
Do you like the idea of having a full Windows view, opening Windows and Mac apps in a separate window and more? If yes, then try VMware Fusion. Using Windows apps on your Mac through VMware Fusion gives users a native feel. Compared with all the benefits and functionalities of this app, the $34.95 price tag is not too much.
As the name suggests, Parallels let you use Windows app parallel on Mac OS. Available for around $69, Parallels is very easy to install and can be used without rebooting the system. Combine all the benefits and features of VMware Fusion and add the fact that options such as parental control you have set on Mac will even work on Windows interface – the result is Parallels.
** 64 bit Windows OS are not compatible with certain Macs.
** Always backup your data before trying to attempt installing Windows on Mac.