Macworld’s Rob Griffiths has a great article out on why you might want to run Windows on your Mac, and how to do it.
It’s really nice to see articles like this showing up, helping people understand why there’s great opportunity in running more than one operating system on their Mac.
Apple’s “I’m a Mac. I’m a PC” ads are funny, but in being so hilariously reductive, they can sometimes make it easy to miss some of the nuance of the modern computing world.
For example, in those commercials, they tend to equate “PC” with “Windows and non-Mac hardware.” But as we all know, Windows and Windows applications can run on the Mac, no problem, with software like VMware Fusion. So it’s not as simple as Justin Long and John Hodgeman, regardless of how funny they may be.
It’s a little more nerdy than you would want to get into on a 30-second TV commercial, but the reality is, an operating system like Windows is actually not just one, monolithic entity, (a “PC”) but a handful of services—some of which are better, or worse, than others. If you really want to geek out, jaunt over to wikipedia’s entry on “Operating System” to check it out.
Libraries for me, hold the GUI, please!
But where Windows really has value at this date (at least in this user’s opinion), is in the Windows API and libraries. That is, the resources that Windows applications and their developers—whether Windows Live Writer, or Internet Explorer, or QuickBooks, or what have you—tie into to access computing power from the underlying hardware.
I don’t think anyone could argue with the claim that, currently, Windows libraries have the richest set of applications built on top of them of any major operating system. As Steve Ballmer is renowned for shouting: developers! Developers! DEVELOPERS!
This isn’t to say that there aren’t great Mac applications. There are thousands, and growing—you should have seen the Apple World Wide Developers conference this year!
But the fact still remains, there are tons of reason to have “Windows” on your Mac—and that having “Windows” on your Mac doesn’t necessarily mean having rolling green hills of XP staring you in your face. With features like VMware Fusion’s Unity view, you can pick and choose the parts of Windows you actually want, and leave the parts you don’t need.
Like noted above, Rob Griffiths over at Macworld does a great job of rounding up exactly why you probably want Windows on your Mac—and as Rob has a tendency to do, the article is really insightful and useful. Highly recommended.