MBP for work compatible with Windows 7/10 workstations?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ATEspo, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. ATEspo macrumors regular


    Nov 29, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Hello all, first off I am a long time Apple owner, we use all Apple products at home, and wouldn't change a thing. My questions are basically about the compatibly with Windows workstations at my office. I have to pickup a new laptop for work so I can work on the road and from home. My boss is is highly recommending a Windows laptop since we are all Windows 7 and newer at the office, windows server and outlook mail, but being from a long Apple background, I would love to just update my 2009 MBP since I know the reliability and Apple's customer service. I have some questions that hopefully someone can answer for me today since I have to go tonight and buy a laptop so I can stop staying at the office late and having to run randomly on Saturdays.

    A couple questions...

    - Am I able to remote into my Windows 7 Pro PC and access everything as if I am sitting in my office? Will I have any issues going into our server, shared hard drives, or anything at all? This is what I will be doing a lot from the laptop, and I want to be 100% sure it will be seamless and have no issues. How hard is this type of thing to get setup?

    - Second, with the new Microsoft office, will I have any compatibility issues with spreadsheets, power-points, or anything else Microsoft Office related? Meaning will I be able to create/edit office documents and send back and forth to my fellow employees/clients with no issues? Same with PDF's? (I am sure there is an Mac OS app that handles PDF editing).

    - Lastly, we use Outlook in the office, is there a client I will be able to use on the Mac that will be in sync with my Outlook on my office PC, most importantly calendars and contacts and all the folders I have setup?

    Sorry for the basic questions, but the iMac, MB, MBP, iPad, etc I use at home, I do NOT "work" on it (so no Microsoft office or any other email except web based), until now I kept work and home separate, which is why I want a dedicated laptop for "work."

    I just want to make sure if I end up with a new 13" MBP tonight, I will not have ANY issues. I really do not want to hear my boss say "I told you so, should have bought a Windows machine."

    Anyone out there use their Mac seamlessly with a Windows PC (specifically remoting in)?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Baron015 macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2014
    Yes you can remote in to your desktop with RDP.

    No problem accessing server folders and shared drives natively.

    You can use Microsoft Office for Mac which is 100% compatible with files created on the windows versions (all the programme features are not all identical between Win and Mac versions though).

    You can use Outlook for Mac, completely compatible with Exchange Server for calendars and contacts.

    Of course there are also Apple and Open Source products you can use, with good results.

    Our office is Windows centric and all the servers etc are Windows but about a third of the people use MBP laptops and it is all seamless.
  3. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I'm that boss… I own and run a SMB, with engineering and construction management being the bread and butter. I use a Mac - a 15" late-2013 rMBP, with two Win Servers (2012r2 and 2016) at the offices, with a few file servers either at the offices or colocated. The office workstations are a mix of PCs and Macs.

    Macs work fine with file servers, if one takes the time to set them up as thoughtfully as any Win or Linux machine. I never have issues getting at what I want, when I want what I need. Your company should be able to set up a Mac to securely connect to your company's servers - the only potential issue I've had to deal with is "IT snobbery", as in I've had issues with persons push Windows first and not spending time on making non-Win computers not work well, but that's a personal issue IMHO. But…

    I also use Office, I've standardized my offices on 2016 - the Windows Pro suite. I have the Mac suite installed, but I actually use the Windows suite - I use Parallels Desktop 12 to run a Win 10 Pro VM, which has Office 2016 installed and I use Outlook/Word/Excel in that VM. I've railed against the Mac suite here more than once as it's just missing too many features to suit my needs, however, if you're not a power user and there's more forethought put into your workflow the Mac suite might work for you. My favorite review/dissection of the Mac suite is the oft-updated review by techradar:

    You should take a read of that assessment, as it's comparing the Mac suite against the Windows suite while considering OS X integration options. I need BI integration for Excel (which isn't available for the Mac platform), and the power and extensibility of Win Outlook (which I connect to Server 2016 and 3 Office 365 accounts). There is one key issue that techradar missed - and it's not insignificant IMHO - a lot of of my clients tend to embed fonts in the Win 2016 suite apps, and the Mac suite both doesn't have that capability and can get wonky if you don't have that same font (the specific varation - thin, bold, etc.) installed on your Mac.
    The Mac Office suite is a work in progress, and it shows IMHO. Honestly, if I'm working on a Word document I find that using Word on my Lumia 640 (hacked to run Win Phone 10) and dictating into that (it's on wifi only, sim-less) preferable to using the Mac Word app but I use dictation often. Oh, and ActiveX and specific VBA calls embedded in Office docx (docs, get it?) can trip you up, another reason I'm using the Win suite.

    Last, I use displays attached to my Mac - one or two 27" displays. I can't imagine using a 13" screen for office work, but that's just me… I have no issues using a Mac for work usage - seriously, no issues - but I've put a bit of forethought into my workflow. Enjoy your new Mac…
  4. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Has your company considered Office 365 for Business? That gives employees access to the Mac and Windows versions of Office (Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Excel), Outlook mail servers, One Drive, etc. We use it. I have Windows as my desktop OS, and MacOS on my Macbook Pro. On both systems I run the Office suite and exchange documents back and forth. I store a lot of my files in One Drive so I can access and update them from my Mac, PC, iPad, or Android phone.
  5. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    If it doesn't work out, you could run a Windows VM on your Mac for things that don't work natively.

    I'm still not sure I'd get radically different hardware than what my coworkers use, though. Sure it might be nicer for you to use, but if you're the only one, you could end up spending time dealing with things that shouldn't be an issue, and your company's IT nor other colleagues will be able to help you sort through those challenges.

    Keep in mind that work is a team game. Your colleagues and boss might not appreciate any downtime due to complications that arise from your insistence on using a different platform than the rest of the company (which they'll see as a selfish decision rather than one that could benefit your productivity).

    It's something I've seen a few times in the workplace and I can now see both sides. Unfortunately, workplaces will sometimes require you to work with tools you either dislike or find inefficient. Just something to consider.

    The stuff you listed should work, and you can always run Windows in a VM or Bootcamp it if it comes to that... but something to consider.

    Just be sure there isn't any Windows-specific hardware that your company requires you to use. Even little things like VPN clients can sometimes cause an issue.
  6. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle

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