Mac owners know that you can run Windows on the latest crop of Intel-based Macs using Boot Camp, but a product called VMware Fusion allows the two enemy camps to share the same tent at the same time.
Take a look at this screen shot. That’s Windows running in a window on the Mac desktop. I can launch any Windows app as I normally would on a regular Windows machine. I can move my mouse pointer seamlessly from OS X to Windows and operate either environments normally.
I have Windows XP running on it’s own drive on my Mac (no partitioning of my primary drive). VMware Fusion recognized this Windows install and asked if I wanted to use it as a VM machine. Great! Now I don’t have to reinstall Windows; I can just use the installed instance that I already have set up!
Once Fusion was installed, it creates an icon for you to launch your Windows VM machine.You can tell Fusion how much resources to use in terms of processor cores and memory, but careful allocating these resources as they will take away resources from the OS X side of the house. Fusion also installs its own drivers for video, networking, etc., so some of your hardware specific features for things like gaming may not work.
VMWare provides a 30 day trial install which is what I’m using right now. The full version ranges from $59 – $79 across various vendors. As of this writing, the latest Fusion version is 1.1 and fixes a number of issues with the previous version, like DirectX 9 support.
If your like me, a long time PC user switching to Mac for my day to day, there are probably things you still need to do on a PC for a while. In my case, I either need to learn how to do certain PC things on a Mac, or there is PC software that I use for which I need to buy the Mac version. In situations like these, it’s nice to have a PC just a mouse click away on my Mac. So, if your like me, and you’re being pulled, kicking and screaming, from Windows into the Mac world, then VMware Fusion makes it super easy to procrastinate and put off making a complete PC to Mac switch indefinitely. Slackers around the world, rejoice!
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