I have 2 MacBooks and I need Windows for work...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thejepeto, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. thejepeto macrumors newbie


    Feb 5, 2016
    Unfortunately, my new job requires windows 7 or 8.1 pro. Huge shame since I actually love 10. Furthermore, windows needs to be fully activated so if I can use bootcamp, I'll need a license. Then, I need to send the laptop to be "configured" which costs 150$ because, of course, they don't use a web-based interface. (financial advisor - sales, client portal and stuff)

    The computer is an important tool for the job, I would be using it a lot. My question is, should I buy a win7 license and install it on my 2012 non retina MBP 13 for the single purpose of using the company's advisor interface or purchase an ultrabook?
  2. UKgaryb macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2013
    Manchester, UK
    Do they not offer the option of using a Virtual Machine?

    Oracle VirtualBox is free and will run anything not requiring 3D Graphics quite nicely.
  3. Kantian, Feb 15, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016

    Kantian macrumors newbie


    Aug 16, 2015
    United Kingdom
    Personally I think you'd be better of with a cheap ultrabook; However do they still sell PCs with Win7? I'm not sure but I think I've seen them still available. If you went the route of installing a Windows license on your Mac well the licenses for Win 7 & 8.1 are still expensive good luck.


  4. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    He'd still need a Windows license.

    I'm not sure I'd want my company taking that much control over my personal laptop.
    I use Windows for work also but I do all of my own configuration and if anything were to go wrong I have a company-issued PC to fall back on.

    I think the Ultrabook might be the way to go unless that would mean carrying two machines every day. That's just silly.
  5. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Wait a minute… You have to purchase some software for $150, in addition to purchasing Windows (and they apparently don't trust you to set it up yourself :D), all to use your own laptop for
    Are you required to supply your own laptop for work?
    You would get reimbursed for at least some of that, right?

    I hope this is not one of those "work from home" jobs which take your money, and your time, and leave you with - not nearly as much as they promise.
  6. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    Get them to provide you with the tools for the job..
    Keep your personal devices just that - personal.
  7. mpainesyd, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2016

    mpainesyd macrumors 6502


    Nov 29, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    Consider the virtual machine alternative. I have been using Parallels on a succssion of Macs for many years. Its virtual windows machines have easily been migrated to my new machines each time. Sometimes i have had the enter activation codes for [MS] Office but otherwise it has benn seamless.
    For my (simple) Windows needs this is much better than Bootcamp. And it is backed up with Time Machine. However your crazy office IT set-up might need Bootcamp (or it might not work in Bootcamp after all your effort and expense!)
  8. ptb42 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2011
    I won't try to advise you about an ultrabook, but I will second someone else's suggestion: download VirtualBox. You can buy a Windows license from Microsoft and download the ISO. Then, just "boot" the VM from the ISO and go through the setup as usual.

    I did so a bit over a year ago for a similar reason: I have financial software that I depend on, and it's only available for Windows. It's the only application I run in the VM. I haven't had a bit of trouble, and I can even snapshot the VM before a major Windows update in case I have problems.

    I use it with Windows 8.1. If you want to do this with Windows 10, do a bit of research. The "Windows 10 Advisor" in my Windows 8.1 VM reports that the "VirtualBox Graphics Adaptor for Windows 8" isn't compatible with Windows 10. But, the latest version of VirtualBox (5.0.x) supports Windows 10. You can find several postings with step by step instructions for installing Windows 10 in a VirtualBox VM.

    The good news: once you have your Windows VM set up with your employer's software, you can always migrate the VM to another system running VirtualBox if you have to replace your laptop (and avoid another $150 charge). The Windows license manager will complain because the processorID changed, so you can't use it in multiple places at once. I presume that Microsoft would block you from changing it too often.

    A potential roadblock: your employer's IT department refuses to install the software on your VM. You may have to gather some information to be sure the DVD drive and USB ports are accessible to the VM. And, you'll have to make sure they know how to start up the VM.
  9. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2004
    All these people who keep recommending VirtualBox, you do realize that the license potentially precludes him using it, right?


    Myself, I wouldn't trust the exception they try to carve out in their FAQ. This is *Oracle* you're talking about, after all. Your mileage may vary, of course.

    "Personal use is when you install the product on one or more PCs yourself and you make use of it (or even your friend, sister and grandmother). It doesn't matter whether you just use it for fun or run your multi-million euro business with it. Also, if you install it on your work PC at some large company, this is still personal use."
  10. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I'd just get an ultrabook preconfigured with Windows 7 or 8.1 Pro (in case you have to connect to a domain). I'd do 8.1 since it has the longer support life. Although it is easier to find business models with Windows 7 Pro. It's best to keep your work machines and personal machines separate. That way IT doesn't have access to your files.

    Do you even need an ultrabook? If you are just going to work from home you may as well get some $350 Walmart special, pop in a cheap 120GB SSD then perform a vanilla install. As you can just download the ISO files from MS to perform the install. You just need the product key. For most business uses an AMD A8/10 or Core i3 will fly with an SSD.

    It does seem a bit sketchy that you have to send them the laptop and pay them $150 to set it up for you. Rather than just emailing instructions and links to any software you need.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've never heard of a job, where you are required to supply the computer and software. In any event, I'd opt of a cheaper windows machine and not mess with your personal machines.
  12. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2004
    Oh, there are any number of those in the real world.
  13. thejepeto thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 5, 2016
    I ended up activating a windows 7 partition on bootcamp using a key one of my friends gave me and it worked perfectly. I had it set up with no issues.

    And yeah, this is life insurance so they are pretty serious about security. I could rent a computer but it was 10$ per week which is a lot for a 800$ ultrabook.

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