Lately, many Mac users have been asking us about the best way to run Windows on their Apple Mac system. The Windows operating system is still needed by some users to run Windows applications that still cannot run natively on a Mac such as Sage 50 Accounts, Sage Instant Payroll, SolidWorks or Revit to name but just a few. So, rather than deploying both a Mac and Windows system, you can configure your Mac to run the two simultaneously whilst enjoying the best of both worlds.
Reaching dual-operating system nirvana
The two principal ways of reaching this dual operating system nirvana include using Apple’s native Bootcamp or third-party virtualisation software on your Mac such as VMware Fusion or Parallels. However, there are pros and cons to each approach. Going down the Bootcamp route means that each time your Mac is powered up, you will be presented with the option to boot into OS X (Mac) or Windows. This usually works fine. But for some users, it can be extremely time-consuming continually rebooting their Macs just to access their Windows partition from their Mac.
The virtualisation route
This is where VMware Fusion or Parallels virtualisation software come into play. Using these applications, you boot into OS X first and initialise Windows with the click of a button. Windows opens up from within your OS X operating system (in the same way that any Mac application would) negating the need to reboot your Mac. The virtualisation route offers slightly slower performance than using Bootcamp but running an application like Sage 50 Accounts the difference is barely perceptible.
Which is faster VMware Fusion or Parallels?
From our experience, the speed of VMware Fusion or Parallels can vary depending on what applications you intend running or whether you’re using a mechanical or SSD drive. Performance can also be determined by what version of the virtualisation software you’re using. A bit like a grape harvest, the performance offered by the two stalwarts of Apple virtualisation software varies from year to year. Some years VMware’s offering has the performance edge; other years Parallels offers a faster Windows-within-a-Mac experience.