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Today Apple products use the same internal architecture as other PC's. This presents an interesting idea running Windows on a Apple box. Why you would want to get rid of the Apple OS is beside the point really as sometimes you need all your machines on in a business using the same thing to make your life easier. To this end Apple launched quite silently Boot Camp which is a free utility to allow Windows to operate on a Apple machine.
This means you shut down completely and open back up as Windows. This is a major drawback though. Parallels is a better product as it allows you to run Windows in a window and switch between OS X and Windows on a ad-hoc basis. This means you can use Access the Microsoft Database product which is not available on a Mac while using other Mac Office tools or development environments if you are doing database programming tasks.
As a free option to getting Windows onto your Mac Boot Camp is the way forward and an exciting idea which opened up a new market sector a few years ago but today its more of a has been with better solution out there now
For many years the argument made by many IT departments against the Apple Mac was that it ran a different operating system and could not be incorporated into their networks. Or, the lame excuse that you couldn't get a particular application for the Mac, like Microsoft Office (even though you could). Well, when Apple changed the processors used in their Macs to Intel, this changed the way that Macs could be used. The most major change that is seeing a rise in Mac sales is the fact that they can now runs Windows XP or Vista.
Macs could do this before, but they would have to emulate the Windows platform, so ran very slow. Nowadays all you need to do is either install something like VMWare Fusion, or use Apple's free Boot Camp (you have to own your own copy of Windows though). What Boot Camp allows you to do is partition off a section of your Mac's hard drive, install Windows or Vista, then install the Mac based drivers and voila, job done! When you start up your Mac you can choose to either boot into Mac OS X or Windows. If you choose Windows it runs natively, so no slowdown, just full speed ahead.
The beauty of this set-up is that you can enjoy the stability of the Mac operating system. Then if you really need to use Windows XP or Vista, a quick reboot and you are there. My hope is that users gradually find that they spend more and more time using Mac OS X whilst they gradually leave Windows behind forever.
The only problem with Boot Camp is that you have to reboot to change from one system to the other. This is where something like VMWare Fusion (about £30) plays its part. It allows you to run Windows XP, Vista or Linux in its own window within Mac OS X without rebooting.
So, go on, take the step in the Mac world... you have no excuse now.