How to Run Windows on a Mac

I don’t think you need a PC to be a successful Internet marketer, but I am not anti-Windows! I think that competition is a good thing. I would not necessarily want the world to have a choice of only one operating system, even if it happened to be the one I prefer. Of course, in a perfect world, the market share of the main competitors would be closer to 50-50, but of course, we don’t live in an ideal world. (Actually, in an ideal world, the market share should be divided by about 33% among the top three competitors, Windows, Mac, and Linux, with the remaining 1% share available to give someone else a bit of a chance to break through with a new OS!)


Admittedly, it is easier to find software for the PC than for the Mac; it’s just that Internet marketing is not one of them. I saved this chapter for last because I know no Windows-only program is essential for the Internet marketer.

However, if you are a switcher migrating to the Mac from the Windows platform, you might want to take a favorite pet application you have grown accustomed to using. Or, as a Mac user, you may not be able to resist trying out one of the shiny Internet marketing baubles that are available only for Windows.

However, the Windows side of the Internet marketing world is indeed littered with junk. There are hundreds of free, cheap, and expensive, overhyped products that are not worth wasting your time with. Fewer applications run natively on the Mac, but those that do tend to be the cream of the crop.


But if you need to run Windows programs on your Mac, you can. I was shocked when Steve Jobs announced that the Macintosh world was switching over from PowerPC to Intel chips some years ago. Maybe I was misled by the marketing hype machine, but I did think that PowerPC was superior. I also wondered if Windows apps could run on the Mac, meaning developers would stop creating software for the Mac platform.

I needn’t have worried. There are enough rabid fans of the Mac that Mac’s place in the computing universe is assured. In reality, switching to Intel processors gives Mac users wonderful flexibility to run Windows programs if needed while staying with the Mac platform they prefer. Intel on Macs means that Macs can run Windows and Windows applications natively without the speed-sapping emulation necessary for the days of PowerPC. In short, that means that Windows and Windows applications can run just as fast on the Mac as they can on an HP or Dell box.

Boot Camp

Apple makes this easy with its software utility called Boot Camp. Included with every Macintosh over the past few years, it allows you to run Windows and Windows applications right on your Macintosh (of course, you also have to buy and install a copy of Windows for your Mac).

Run Boot Camp Assistant, which you will find in the utility folder, and you will be able to partition your Mac’s hard drive and allocate a certain amount of space for the Windows operating system. You insert your Windows disk and click Start Installation in the Boot Camp assistant. Then, you can boot to Windows simply by holding down the option key at startup. Your Mac will start running Windows, and you will, for all practical purposes, be using a PC.

Parallels Desktop for Mac and VMWare Fusion

If you want to run Windows and Mac applications side-by-side, without needing a restart, along with a copy of Windows, you will need to purchase Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMWare Fusion. If you are in the market for a new Mac, some resellers (such as MacMall) often throw in a copy of Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMWare Fusion along with it for free (but you will still need to buy a copy of Windows). Of course, you’ll want to have a decent amount of our RAM installed on your computer since you will be running two operating systems simultaneously.

This is not as clunky as it may sound. For example, Parallels allows you to switch from a Mac application to a Windows program simply by clicking the appropriate application window. You can even set the software to hide the Windows OS: all you see is the Windows program’s application windows. The windows are resizable, and their icons appear in the Mac OS Dock.

The Windows taskbar can appear on any edge of the screen, just as when running Windows natively, although you will want to move the Mac OS Dock to a different edge. This “Windows as a taskbar only” mode is called “Coherence Mode,” in using it, it’s easy to forget that you’re even running Windows on your Mac. Alternatively, you can make your Mac look like a Windows machine by switching to full Windows mode. On the other hand, If you only need to run one or two Windows programs, you may not need to buy a copy of Windows at all.

CrossOver for Mac

CrossOver for Mac (CodeWeaver Software) allows you to run many Windows applications on your Mac without installing Windows! It does this by installing native Windows libraries, which tricks Windows programs into thinking they’re running on a real Windows operating system.

Of course, there are some limitations, the main one being that not all Windows applications are compatible. CodeWeavers offers a 30-day trial to find out if your favorite application is. Crossover Mac comes in two versions: Standard ($40) and Professional ($70). The professional version offers support for games, multiple users, volume and educational discounts, and longer and better support.

My recommendation: get CrossOver Mac if you need to run only one or two Windows applications, and your testing with the trial version indicates that they will run properly, or install Windows and use Apple’s Boot Camp if you don’t mind restarting your Mac to run your Windows applications; otherwise, invest in Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.