Can Macbook Air run Windows7 as primary OS?

Invincibilizer

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 18, 2011
769
2
Soon I am in the market for a new computer, the macbook air base model with ssd is a really attractive choice but it runs MacOS which is disappointing to me. I searched for alternatives but the best one was the Asus Zenbook but reviews for it has been mediocre.

So my plan is to buy the Macbook air enjoy the thinness factor and the ssd but running Windows 7 as the only OS. I have used snow leopard back in 2009 for a few months, didn't fit in and just the past week I was using a friend's iMac and I couldn't delete files. I am not one of those technologically slow people who can't even turn the volume up and down on a computer but the fact that I couldn't do a basic task on a Mac, the OS just won't fit me.

My question would be, is it fine for the Macbook Air to run Windows 7 everyday even though it was built to run Mac OS. I'm hesitant because would this slow down the computer or would the Macbook Air not run as well since it's not running MacOS. Would there be problems running Windows 7 everyday in bootcamp? Would programs lag or crash or would it be like nothing has changed and whatever that would happen in Lion would also happen in Windows7?
 

Invincibilizer

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 18, 2011
769
2
Not to the point where a normal person could justify paying double for the same capabilities as a Windows machine. Plenty of Windows machines come with SSDs or can be configured with one, btw.
Well the Asus Zenbook was also 999$, other laptops like the ultrabooks also start at 999 if I remember correctly,I guess I have to research more in to this then. If pricing is rather close I still would go for the Air because of Apple's customer service, but if a Windows one is comparable in size and specs for 800$ or less, then my mind would change.
 

CardboardGiant

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2011
131
0
Well the Asus Zenbook was also 999$, other laptops like the ultrabooks also start at 999 if I remember correctly,I guess I have to research more in to this then. If pricing is rather close I still would go for the Air because of Apple's customer service, but if a Windows one is comparable in size and specs for 800$ or less, then my mind would change.
What about Samsung Series 9? They're ultra-portables and run Windows 7.
 

falconxp

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2011
16
1
The Netherlands
I use windows 7 on my Macbook Air 11" as my primary OS. Mac OS is my backup. I use bootcamp on my Air with a 66/46 split of the SSD space. Nearly all of my music and video files are stored on external storage (USB HD's and a Synology NAS for backup). Only files I regulary use are stored on my Air including video files I'am currently watching.

Windows 7 works fine for me but somethings aren't great on the Air when using Win7. My biggest problem is the different keyboard layout. The mac keyboard misses some windows keys and has some mac specific keys. I also miss the right touchpad button which is emulated with a two finger press on the touchpad. When I use my Air on a table it's not a big problem because I use a BT mouse.

I was in the market for a small laptop (ultrabook style) as a replacement for my Sony TT which was getting a little bit slow and in August after the Air refresh it was the best fit for me. I am eagerly awaiting the new batch of Ivybridge based Ultrabooks/Air as a possible replacement for my current Air as it sometimes gets uncomfortable hot on my lap and I can feel the heat through the keyboard when the cpu is working hard.

So my advice is

- If you need a laptop now and can live with the issues with a mac keyboard/touchpad in Windows it's the best ultrabook class laptop available now
- If you can wait a few months you should check out the new Ivybridge based ultrabooks which have a windows keyboard layout as that works the best
 
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Don Blubb

macrumors newbie
Dec 28, 2011
3
0
Windows 7 works fine for me but somethings aren't great on the Air when using Win7. My biggest problem is the different keyboard layout. The mac keyboard misses some windows keys and has some mac specific keys.
which keys specifically are missing? is it possible to remap them?
 

falconxp

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2011
16
1
The Netherlands
Most keys can be remapped and the fn key can be used in a couple of combinations.

Keys missing

- Windows key (no big surprise:D)
- Delete key (Backspace is called Delete on mac keyboard) -> fn + delete key = windows delete key
 

tasulm

macrumors newbie
Jan 1, 2012
1
0
Most keys can be remapped and the fn key can be used in a couple of combinations.

Keys missing

- Windows key (no big surprise:D)
- Delete key (Backspace is called Delete on mac keyboard) -> fn + delete key = windows delete key
win key=cmd
 

komoornik

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2011
135
0
I'm using Win 7 as my main os too.

What's your problem with the right mouse click?

I was only missing multitouch gestures, but thanks to Trackpad++ I got everything I need now :)
 

Chipg

macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2010
191
2
I started using Windows 7 as my main OS but I prefer Lion with the gestures for the Internet and am now on Lion 75% of the time.
 

Fernandez21

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2010
4,659
2,903
I started using Windows 7 as my main OS but I prefer Lion with the gestures for the Internet and am now on Lion 75% of the time.
The gestures are really what won me over on mac os, I too am more of a windows guys, but after getting used to the gestures its so hard to go back to windows. Is there anyway to enable those gestures on windows?
 

buddybd

macrumors 6502
Jul 28, 2011
359
0
The gestures are really what won me over on mac os, I too am more of a windows guys, but after getting used to the gestures its so hard to go back to windows. Is there anyway to enable those gestures on windows?
That was exactly my reason too. Windows just doesn't seem such gestures suited. OSX is so much streamlined for portable use, it completely won me over for laptop use.

7 on a laptop is now a pain to use.
 

Invincibilizer

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 18, 2011
769
2
I use windows 7 on my Macbook Air 11" as my primary OS. Mac OS is my backup. I use bootcamp on my Air with a 66/46 split of the SSD space. Nearly all of my music and video files are stored on external storage (USB HD's and a Synology NAS for backup). Only files I regulary use are stored on my Air including video files I'am currently watching.

Windows 7 works fine for me but somethings aren't great on the Air when using Win7. My biggest problem is the different keyboard layout. The mac keyboard misses some windows keys and has some mac specific keys. I also miss the right touchpad button which is emulated with a two finger press on the touchpad. When I use my Air on a table it's not a big problem because I use a BT mouse.

I was in the market for a small laptop (ultrabook style) as a replacement for my Sony TT which was getting a little bit slow and in August after the Air refresh it was the best fit for me. I am eagerly awaiting the new batch of Ivybridge based Ultrabooks/Air as a possible replacement for my current Air as it sometimes gets uncomfortable hot on my lap and I can feel the heat through the keyboard when the cpu is working hard.

So my advice is

- If you need a laptop now and can live with the issues with a mac keyboard/touchpad in Windows it's the best ultrabook class laptop available now
- If you can wait a few months you should check out the new Ivybridge based ultrabooks which have a windows keyboard layout as that works the best
I'm using Win 7 as my main os too.

What's your problem with the right mouse click?

I was only missing multitouch gestures, but thanks to Trackpad++ I got everything I need now :)
Alright thanks for the responses, its good to know that Windows 7 will run just fine on MBA. As for the key problem, that doesn't seem like much of a problem, since my current laptop is working fine, I'll just wait and see.

That was exactly my reason too. Windows just doesn't seem such gestures suited. OSX is so much streamlined for portable use, it completely won me over for laptop use.

7 on a laptop is now a pain to use.
Really, I am actually using windows 7 on a laptop typing this response with a mouse of course. I almost never use the moving pad on a laptop. I've used gestures a couple of times, it was a cool concept but I could never get use to it.
 

Maven1975

macrumors 6502a
Aug 24, 2008
893
118
Well the Asus Zenbook was also 999$, other laptops like the ultrabooks also start at 999 if I remember correctly,I guess I have to research more in to this then. If pricing is rather close I still would go for the Air because of Apple's customer service, but if a Windows one is comparable in size and specs for 800$ or less, then my mind would change.
This!

PC users that have never experienced fast turn around repair times have no idea what they are missing.

Also, your upfront cost is more, but your resale should reflect a larger return as well.

True you can get Ultra-books from Toshiba, Asus, Samsung. However, their screens are still behind the curve when compared to the Airs. Im not saying its stunning like the Vaio Z Series, but the difference is pretty noticable.

You also would have the ability to run OSX if you wanted to without having the painful task of making a Hackintosh.

Best of luck.
 

falconxp

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2011
16
1
The Netherlands
I'm using Win 7 as my main os too.

What's your problem with the right mouse click?

I was only missing multitouch gestures, but thanks to Trackpad++ I got everything I need now :)
I also use Trackpad++. Nice addition on my Air when using Windows. Can recommand it too everyone.:D

sometimes the right mouse click doesn't register when i use it with the two finger press. Not really an Air problem but more a personal usage issue with me:rolleyes:

The screen of the Air is nicer then the current crop of Ultrabook screens but a little less then my Sony Z13 and Sony TT which it replaced. When i need a bit more power I use my Z on the road but normally the Air is fine which is also a bit lighter and smaller then the Z.
 

Fernandez21

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2010
4,659
2,903
I also use Trackpad++. Nice addition on my Air when using Windows. Can recommand it too everyone.:D

sometimes the right mouse click doesn't register when i use it with the two finger press. Not really an Air problem but more a personal usage issue with me:rolleyes:

The screen of the Air is nicer then the current crop of Ultrabook screens but a little less then my Sony Z13 and Sony TT which it replaced. When i need a bit more power I use my Z on the road but normally the Air is fine which is also a bit lighter and smaller then the Z.
You can also just tap the lower right corner of the trackpad to register the right click.
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,658
1,778
Isla Nublar
...just the past week I was using a friend's iMac and I couldn't delete files. I am not one of those technologically slow people who can't even turn the volume up and down on a computer but the fact that I couldn't do a basic task on a Mac, the OS just won't fit me. ...
To delete on a Mac its just like Windows, drag a file into the recycle bin or right click the file and select "move to trash".

It sounds like maybe you didn't give yourself enough time to learn the OS. Its always good to know and be comfortable with multiple operating systems.
 

Fernandez21

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2010
4,659
2,903
To delete on a Mac its just like Windows, drag a file into the recycle bin or right click the file and select "move to trash".

It sounds like maybe you didn't give yourself enough time to learn the OS. Its always good to know and be comfortable with multiple operating systems.
I took me while to figure out too, on windows I just hit delete on the keyboard and it deletes the file, on Mac it doesn't do that, you have to drag it or go to the file menu, figured out though after a couple seconds, but still in the habit of hitting delete as my first instinct.
 

Chipg

macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2010
191
2
Alright thanks for the responses, its good to know that Windows 7 will run just fine on MBA. As for the key problem, that doesn't seem like much of a problem, since my current laptop is working fine, I'll just wait and see.



Really, I am actually using windows 7 on a laptop typing this response with a mouse of course. I almost never use the moving pad on a laptop. I've used gestures a couple of times, it was a cool concept but I could never get use to it.
I said the same thing, I'm a hard ore PC guy for the last 30 years and my Air is the first Mac I have ever owned, it's the best computer I have also ever owned bar none. I do have both windows 7 and lion on it, love it, it's the i7 13" 256g.
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,658
1,778
Isla Nublar
I took me while to figure out too, on windows I just hit delete on the keyboard and it deletes the file, on Mac it doesn't do that, you have to drag it or go to the file menu, figured out though after a couple seconds, but still in the habit of hitting delete as my first instinct.
Command + Delete will do it. You probably already knew that but I just figured it out through experimentation.
 

slykens

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2011
36
0
I said the same thing, I'm a hard ore PC guy for the last 30 years and my Air is the first Mac I have ever owned, it's the best computer I have also ever owned bar none. I do have both windows 7 and lion on it, love it, it's the i7 13" 256g.
Same thing here - I had been saying for most of the year that when the Sandy Bridge refresh came for the Air I was going to the dark side. I bought in August.

I do run Parallels in coherence mode as my main business app only runs in Windows. But I only run that app, AD management tools, and RDP as the MS OSX RDP client is terrible. Everything else I live in OSX.

Being a Unix guy at heart really helps with liking OSX even though I really don't do much *on* my machine on the command line - but I'm in and out of so many other servers it's pretty natural.
 

The Economist

Suspended
Apr 4, 2011
293
40
Mexico
Talking about OS X… I think the OS is not the problem, you are. The first mistake people unfamiliar with OS X do is to treat it as Windows. They are two different operating systems and they work differently.

If you took the time to learn how to use OS X you could, like many others, like it better than Windows. Or you could still think it's not your thing.
 

convergent

macrumors 68040
May 6, 2008
3,010
3,071
I have used snow leopard back in 2009 for a few months, didn't fit in and just the past week I was using a friend's iMac and I couldn't delete files. I am not one of those technologically slow people who can't even turn the volume up and down on a computer but the fact that I couldn't do a basic task on a Mac, the OS just won't fit me.
I would not recommend a Macbook Air for you unless you are going to spend the necessary time to learn OSX. You will be immensely frustrated over time because you won't be getting the advantages of the Apple environment, and will be paying the premium for the hardware. My guess is there will also be things that aren't as efficient as machines built to run Windows.

Personally, I don't buy your explanation that I quoted. It took me about 6 months to get as proficient with OSX as I was in Windows, and now I would really not want to go back. You need to take the time to learn it. It is a better environment built on a solid Unix foundation. Anyone should be able to learn to use either system, but if you are spending the money on the hardware, you really should invest the time to learn OSX.

I highly recommend the book, "Switching to the Mac" by Pogue (The Missing Manual series). It is written from the perspective of a Windows user and helps you adjust. As I said, it took me about 6 months of using a Mac as my primary workstation to get proficient and I work in the IT industry, so I would plan on it taking a while and trust that it will be worth it in the end. You can also always run Parallels or VMWare Fusion to have a Windows 7 virtual machine for anything that absolutely must be run in Windows.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,872
2,712
US
on windows I just hit delete on the keyboard and it deletes the file, on Mac it doesn't do that, you have to drag it or go to the file menu
On Mac, select the file and use Command+Delete on the keyboard.


I would not recommend a Macbook Air for you unless you are going to spend the necessary time to learn OSX.
I concur. When using a different operating system one should accept that it will take a little bit of time and learning to become proficient. Trying to use Windows as the sole OS onto a Macbook Air is more likely to bring frustration in the long run than either sticking to OSX on the MBA or buying a Windows specific system.
 
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gwsat

macrumors 68000
Apr 12, 2008
1,920
0
Tulsa
Buying an MBA in order to use it only to run Windows apps probably doesn't make much sense. That said, though, the MBA's ability to run Windows apps can nevertheless be a godsend.

Quicken for Windows has been my bookkeeping program for well over ten years. Before Apple rolled out its Intel processor equipped Macbook line, I had to run Quicken on a separate Windows computer. For years, there was no OS X version of Quicken and the one that was finally introduced was, and still is, markedly inferior to tried and true Quicken for Windows.

Fortunately, with the advent of Intel macs and VMware Fusion, I was able to run Quicken for Windows side by side with all of my OS X apps. Fusion's emulation has become so good, there are several Windows programs that I routinely use on my MBA because, for one reason or another, it makes more sense to do it that it would to try to find a similar OS X program.

I should add that I hate Boot Camp; the necessity of having to boot back and forth between OS X and Windows, depending on what OS is needed, is unappealing because it is so slow.
 
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