Just ordered the 13" Macbook Air, need Windows now.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by purplekush604, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Hey everyone, like the title says, just ordered a 13" macbook air. I need windows xp, or vista on this machine. I understand there are 2 ways of doing this, parallels, or bootcamp. Id rather do bootcamp, as i heard its much more stable. In order to do that, do you need 2 partitions? Any help would be appreciated. This will be my first apple computer.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. macrumors member

    The Apple BootCamp utility will walk you through the partitioning process
  3. macrumors 68000


    What do you need Windows for?

    If it's just a few applications, then just virtualize it using Parallels or VMWare, or even better (since it's free!), VirtualBox.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    If I'm not mistaken, bootcamp does not support older than Windows 7 on Ivy Bridge macs. If you already have a license in an older version of Windows, your only option besides paying for win7 would be virtualization.

    If you share what programs you need windows for, some of us may be able to share our experience running them via parallels/VM Fusion.
  5. macrumors G4


    If you use Boot Camp, it creates a second partition on your drive. Boot Camp supports only Windows 7 right now. It will probably support Windows 8 at some point, but it hasn't supported XP or Vista in a while.

    Parallels is pretty stable. The main reason why you would use Boot Camp is if you are gaming or need the full RAM and graphics of your Mac on Windows. If you are just accessing a corporate network on Internet Explorer or running Office for Windows, then Parallels or VMWare Fusion should work fine. I have used both and prefer Parallels. The performance is pretty good.

    Do you have 4GB or 8GB of RAM on your MacBook Air? If it is 4GB then Boot Camp might make a little more sense, or alternatively, run XP in a Parallels virtual machine. However, if you have an 8GB system, then Windows 7 should easily run in Parallels. It will work on a 4GB system, but you'd likely be restricted to allocating 1.5-2GB of RAM to Windows.
  6. purplekush604, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013

    macrumors member

    The only reason for wanting windows is basicly using it for windows, internet. My wife will be using it, and neither of us know how to use a mac lol.


    Im ok with windows 7. The thing is, i ordered a refurbished 2012 i5 gb 256gb ssd version because a 8gb wasnt available. On a side note, is there not a microsoft office apple version?
  7. KPOM, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013

    macrumors G4

    I ran Windows 7 in Parallels in my 2011 MacBook Air with 4GB. It's fine depending on what you are going to run.

    There is a version of Microsoft Office for Mac (Office 2011). They haven't announced a newer version yet, but typically Mac versions follow one year after Windows versions, so we might see an Office 2014 for Mac. It is pretty close in terms of features, but Excel for Mac lacks the data analysis tool pack and some similar advanced functions.

    It sounds like you are going to use Windows mostly as a "crutch" while you transition. In that case, I'd recommend getting Parallels Desktop 8. I find that it has better integration with the Mac than VMWare Fusion. VirtualBox is free but is a little bit less refined. Note that you'll also need a copy of Windows, although you can purchase it from Parallels (NewEgg is also a good source of Windows 7 licenses). Consciously use OS X as much as you can, and over time you'll likely find that you won't feel tempted to open up Windows. With Parallels you can run Windows programs side by side with your Mac programs.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Ugh just use OS X, it's not that hard to learn. You are really not making the most of your purchase if you plan to use Windows as your primary OS. OS X IMO is one of the best perks of buying a Mac, I can't understand why someone would spend a metric shyt ton of money on a Mac if they don't plan to use OS X.
  9. macrumors regular

    Just buy a PC notebook if you are going to run Windows. Seriously, what a waste. Battery life sucks in Windows, the cooling system isn't very well optimized, pretty much everything is WORSE under Windows on a Mac.
  10. macrumors 68040



    You're buying Windows for a MacBook Air solely to use Windows as the main operating system?

    Bootcamp will work best.

    Don't see why you'd spend so much money on great hardware and use Windows on it, but to each their own, I guess.
  11. Mrbobb, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013

    macrumors 601

    I usually don't want to pontificate whether sum1 should to run Windows or not. You asked for it, there must be a reason.

    Now those are not good reasons. Mac interface is *just* like Windows. Sure somethings are different but the same metaphor is there. Applications are accessed via menus or a tools bar, you have scroll bars just like Windows. The Close-Maximize buttons are on the left side on a Mac, vs right side on Windows, but they are there, perform the same functions.

    By Internet, I assume you mean browsing. Mac has the Firefox and Chrome versions of the browsers, so if that's what u been using you are all set with OSX

    Now you can say, "I absolutely refuse to learn anything new." That's OK, everybody has a different tolerance.

    I look at it as, there is nothing inherently wrong with OSX, only if you have Windows Application that need to re-purchase for the Mac, OK then you have to put on your accountant hat, but otherwise I think about another layer of complexity when you put Windows on top of OSX.

    Aside already mentioned, if you wish to Synchronize your Outlook items (calendar, email, contacts, reminder) with other Apple devices, yes the current 2011 Mac version doesn't play nice.
  12. macrumors regular

    I bought a 13" Air with the need of Windows as well. I purchased Parallels and a OEM version of Windows 7. I then installed Windows XP.

    It works great, have zero issues - it bounces back and forth between Windows and OS with a click, no slow downs or delays. It worked great for me. Good luck
  13. macrumors 6502


    I use XP in Parallels 8. Snappy, no glitch, no issues so far with only 500mb of RAM (for common task - word/excel/etc it only used less than 300mb). If you don't need specific Windows 7 functions, I'd strongly suggest using XP.

  14. macrumors 6502

    I think you'd be better off learning how to use OSX and using Parallels or VMWare for the few Windows programs you need. If you're going to put Windows on it though I'd for Windows 7. XP is showing its age now, Vista is crap and Windows 8 is even more crap.
  15. macrumors member

    Hey guys thanks for all the responses. I will definitely be using osx, just want windows for me and the wife while we are learning osx. She will have a harder time for me, and since she needs it for her business/school i want windows incase she is somewhere on the go and is having issues with osx. Is parallels free? What about bootcamp?


    Whats the cheapest way to get windows 7 and ms office for mac?
  16. KPOM, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013

    macrumors G4

    Boot Camp is included with OS X. However, if you use that, you need to reboot into Windows manually (you hold down the option key and select Windows from a menu). You can't run Windows alongside the Mac. You also need to partition the drive. It also isn't easy to change the size of the Windows partition if you need more space later (you need third party software). Boot Camp works better for gaming since you have the full resources of the Mac available.

    If you use Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion, you have a choice:

    1) You can either install Windows directly in a "virtual machine" that the programs create (essentially just a big file on your hard drive). The advantage is that the VM shrinks and expands as your needs change (i.e. all the free space on your Mac drive is "available" to Windows). The downside is that you can only access Windows from within Parallels/Fusion, and the performance can be lower since you are running two operating systems at once. For Office/Internet Explorer this shouldn't be an issue.

    2) You can use your Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine. This lets you choose to run Boot Camp if you want Windows to run exclusively, or run it as a VM alongside the Mac. The downsides are that you'll have to partition the drive, and you might run into activation hassles with Windows and Office (Parallels and Fusion do their best to work around it, but you will wind up having to activate Windows a second time, which might require the annoying phone call method).

    I'd recommend going the Parallels/Fusion route if you are only using Windows occasionally.

    There is a Windows on Mac forum here where you can ask more of these types of questions.

    Parallels Desktop lists for $80 but check around (e.g. Amazon, NewEgg) as there are often specials. Occasionally you will see specials available through MacUpdate, MacBundles and similar sites that bundle Parallels with other utilities for $50, but usually that's in the summer before a new version comes out (usually annually).

    VMWare Fusion 5 is $50 and works well, as well. I prefer Parallels because it does a better job of integrating with the Mac. For instance, Parallels adds an option in your Explorer menu to open up a file from your Windows VM on your Mac (e.g. a PDF or Office file). Fusion has a similar feature, but it doesn't work as well (it needs to be in a special "shared" folder). Games tend to run better in Parallels than Fusion.

    Parallels Desktop 7 may still be available, and that will work fine with the 2012 MacBook Air and Windows 7 (most of the changes in Parallels 8 were for Windows 8 and Retina Display support).

    NewEgg is a good source for Windows 7 licenses.
  17. macrumors 6502


    Use virtualization that way you can transition to os x. Once you get past the unfamiliarity it's actually quite a bit better from the user experience perspective, and it's way less of a pain in the ass. Windows will run better on the air than most PC notebooks, but it's nothing compared to os x on the air. It's very easy to learn os x. Apple even gives little classes you can sign up for at their retail stores to help get past the initial hurdle. It takes about a month to get totally comfortable and then you'll probably hate the sight of Windows.
  18. macrumors 68000

    Take the two days and learn OS X. Your life will be much better.
  19. macrumors 601

    Well I say enjoy and prepared to be dazzled by trackpad's gestures (in OSX).
  20. macrumors member

    Thanks for all the great help guys. I will be going with the parallels 7 route. Do i still need to purchase a windows 7 licence?
  21. macrumors 68030


    Bootcamp only supports Windows 7 unless your MBA is 2009 or younger.

    Parallels/VMware are very CPU and graphic intensive so I dont really recommend it on MBA.
  22. macrumors member

    Its a 2012 air. And i would only be using windows for internet and stuff. Once were both familiar with osx im sure we'll rarely use windows.
  23. macrumors 68030


    Unless there is a certain program that you need to run that is windows only, I see no point on running Win on Mac.
  24. macrumors regular

    I found a version of Windows OEM at Fry's for like $80. All PC's have it installed, with the Air, you need to install Parallels first then Windows, then your office or whatever Windows program you feel you need.

    I have not found it to slow down my Air. Having Parallels and some Windows programs open, but also having OS open and it bounces from what I need to what I need. One three finger swipe and it's all there at my fingertips. Love it!
  25. macrumors regular

    The only concern of trying to run Windows in a VM for general common tasks is the battery life hit. Not only will performance be impacted, seriously tainting the "new" machine feeling, but your battery life will basically be cut by 30%. Off the bat.

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