Apple itself already provides a tool, Boot Camp, which allows you to install Windows on a partition of the computer and start up with this system as if it were a conventional PC.
Virtualization and beyond
However, thanks to virtualization, which no longer requires that commands be translated from PowerPC to x86, there are other much more elegant options for those who need to use Windows eventually and with a performance close to that achieved by booting directly into Windows in native mode. The most popular is Parallels Desktop software, which allows most but the most demanding applications to be used with good performance, but we must also see what the developer VMware will offer in 2007, which already has a beta of its virtualization software for Mac and that it has promised that its software will allow you to install “preconfigured packages” so that, for example, an installer software will directly install the operating system and the Oracle software already configured and ready to use.
Wine, almost transparent compatibility. Finally, although there is no news of great advances, one must be aware of the evolution of Wine (www.winehq.com), a compatibility environment to use Windows applications without installing this system, in the style of the X11 environment for Unix applications. For now, the developer Codeweavers (www.codeweavers.com) already has a “Release candidate” version that is supposed to be close to a final version of the CrossOver Mac application, which allows you to directly use Windows applications (you can find the list of supported applications at (www.codeweavers.com/compatibility). On the other hand, it is expected that Parallels will also allow applications to run integrated in the Finder (not in a window, as they do now), although it will still require you to install Windows or the operating system required.
Whichever option is most popular, it seems clear that the abundance of possibilities to use different operating systems is a quality that users are beginning to appreciate. Traditional Macintosh computer users have multiplied their possibilities to use, even exceptionally, applications that were previously limited to emulation; and PC users don’t see the Mac as a closed platform, but rather one that offers them the ability to access a new operating system without neglecting the system and applications they have used so far.
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