MAC for Business

Run Windows on Mac with Virtualization

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csc_virtualizationVirtualization got its start on the PC side, but did you know the same functionality works with Macs? Running a Windows application on your Mac allows you to access features on a number of products not available to Macs. Parallels Desktop is just one of several solutions available for running Windows on Macintosh hardware. Depending on your business needs, virtualization can open up the best of both Mac and PC worlds in a simple, efficient way.

Setting up virtualization isn’t complicated, but you’ll still need to install Windows with a disk. With this method, you install it in an application – a kind of shell inside of your computer. People with virtualization sometimes have the false impression that they are protected from viruses or that viruses are less prevalent. Virtualized Windows can still get attacked. From the moment you put Windows on your computer, your Windows environment can become infected just as easily as if you were using a PC. When you run Windows on Mac, you also have to do maintenance and software updates on both sides separately.

At thinkCSC, we use Parallels or Fusion to run Windows-only business applications, so we have to keep them open all day. The same goes for Act! contact databases and any number of products that don’t have a Mac client. Another reason to use virtualization on a Mac is that sometimes the Windows version is better. For instance, QuickBooks for Mac has yet to receive feature parity with QuickBooks for PC. Many people prefer to go ahead and run QuickBooks inside their virtual machine (VM), so they get all the features and functionality that the Windows version has.

Boot Camp is another viable, but imperfect, option for running Windows on Mac hardware. Essentially, it entails holding the alt key down to boot off of a Windows CD, installing it directly onto the hard drive. Macs even allow you to partition your drive, so half can be allocated for Mac and the other half can be for PC. To do this, you hold down the alt key and hit ‘Okay’ to boot into either Windows or Mac. The problem with doing this is that Apple doesn’t optimize their Windows driver. The battery in a MacBook would last two hours using Boot Camp, whereas it lasts up to five hours when running virtualization with Windows inside of it.

Companies today don’t operate in cookie-cutter environments; every business needs customization. So,the more versatility available, the better. While the technology for PCs and Macs often runs parallel, performance is not always equal. Virtualization makes it fast and easy to run a Windows application on your Mac whenever you want to.

If you’re wondering whether or not Mac is right for your business, contact thinkCSC today for a free consultation.

To Mac or Not to Mac: Making the Right Decision for Your Business

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macbook proDue to the overwhelming success of Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad, more and more consumers are faced with this dilemma – whether to continue using a PC or to make the switch to Mac. In recent years, it seems that Apple has marketed Macs with this in mind. If they can hook you with one of their popular, ancillary products, you might think it appropriate, as Apple’s website suggests, to “make the ultimate upgrade” and buy a Mac.

Of course, if you have your own business, or if you are in the process of starting one, the stakes are much higher because the choice you make will determine both your everyday productivity and the ongoing support services you will need to make it work. It is easy to get swept up by clever marketing or even that colleague of yours who insists that Mac is the only option. However, making an informed decision is always best. Included here are several things you will want to consider before choosing Mac for yourself and/or your employees.

First, you should reflect on whether the end will justify the means. The hard truth is, if you are in an office environment and have a Windows Server and Windows-based apps, switching to Mac may entail more than you are really prepared for. For instance, you may find that your current business software is not compatible with Mac and has to be replaced. To sidestep this problem, a lot of Mac users decide to run virtualization on their computers, allowing them to choose which OS, Mac or Windows, they want to use at any given time. Yet, virtualization itself can lead to additional support costs and security issues. The moment you put Windows on your computer, your Windows environment can get infected just as easily as if you had a PC.

So when is it smart to choose Mac for a business environment? Generally speaking, if your business is small, web-based and your primary needs involve web, email, productivity, and file access, there is no reason why Mac would not be more than suitable. Apple’s hardware is infused with user confidence, and for good reason. You will definitely have fewer security and configuration problems. If price is a concern, you might consider the MacBook Air, which cannot be matched in the PC world for all that it offers. Unfortunately, the larger your business, the more complex a transition to Mac could become, requiring much more in the way of support services.

All that said, the decision to use Macs or PCs for your business needs may not be as straightforward as you’d like. Based on our broad history with the Mac platform, thinkCSC can help you determine which route is best for you.