Switching to MacBook Pro from PC

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ktmsupermoto, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. ktmsupermoto macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2007
    Hi everyone,

    I am seriously thinking of buying a MacBook Pro with glossy screen. Apart from owning an iPod Picture, I am new to Macs. I have always loved their appearance but have always been put off by the age old arguments concerning incompatibility with certain software. I am a director of a company and use a PC in the office. I am thinking of buying a laptop mainly for home use, E mail, watching movies, music etc but the laptop must be able to run certain programs that I run on my office PC as I also intend to do some work from home. It would appear that the MacBook Pro running parallel software that will permit running a copy of Windows xp as well as the latest mac operating system is the answer to all my prayers as. I could switch to windows to carry out some work related tasks and then back to mac for home use, all at the click of a mouse. I am based in the UK and finding people over here who have already used such a set up is proving to be quite difficult. I am really tempted to take the plunge but macs are very expensive in the UK and I dont want to make a costly mistake.

    Any help would be much appreciated guys.

  2. mags631 Guest

    Mar 6, 2007
    Yes, Parallels (and VMWare) will allow you to set up Windows XP on your Mac and run office programs (like MS Office 2003). We have this set up on a Mac Mini at home for my wife and it works (with an odd crash and hanging).

    For you, I would recommend using a blended approach (which Parallels and VMWare both allow): create a Boot Camp partition and install XP on it. That way you can always reboot into XP out of the VM if speed or VM issues are getting in your way. And you can always boot the partition in the VM to use it directly from Mac OS X.

    In fact, I'm using a MBP 2.4GHz and have 3 ways of running Office programs: boot camp (with Vista), VMWare, and CrossOver. I'm currently using CrossOver in Trial mode, but so far it allows me to run Office 2003 (including Outlook 2003) with only minor issues (bullets come up as strange symbols when you type them which can be fixed by manually selecting the bullet symbol yourself).

    A couple of notes:
    1) VMWare has issues with activating Vista (you said XP, so you are fine) when running from a bootcamp partition. To be fair, I don't know if the issue is with Vista or VMWare, but the issue is there.
    2) If you plan to eventually upgrade to Vista, you may want to make your boot camp partition NTFS -- Vista won't install on FAT32.

    Good luck -- you won't regret it!
  3. ktmsupermoto thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2007
    Thanks a lot for the advice. I have been studying the forums and trying to get an idea of how practical this set up would be. I was aware of the boot camp but have read about the parallel software which states you dont need to reboot to change from mac to xp and vice versa as you can have both running simultaneously. It retails for approx £40.00 ( roughly $55.00 US ) and on paper seems to be the solution. I`m not really concerned with upgrading to Vista as the windows based applications I need to use function ok with xp. Its really quite difficult to get advice here in the UK as we have such a PC dominated market and of course, it is not possible to get answers from Apple because they dont officially endorse the use of windows instead taking the approach that`Our machines will run it if you must have it!`

    It seems my only real source of information is from guys like yourselves.

    Thanks Again
  4. skinnylegs macrumors 65816


    May 8, 2006
    San Diego
    I switched from a PC's to Macs about a year ago so I can certainly understand your concerns.....

    I chose to go with Parallels because I wanted to be able to run both OS's simultaneously and it has worked very well for me. One bit of advice; if you go with a product like Parallels make sure you have a lot of RAM. Personally, I recommend 2 gigs. if you're 'gonna be running a virtual machine.

    Now that I've had my Macs for about a year, I find that I hardly ever use Windows. As a matter of fact, I can't even remember the last time i started up Parallels. LOL You will find that there are Mac equivalents for virtually every Windows program and my experience has been that the Mac programs generally work as well if not better than their Windows counterparts and do so more elegantly.

    You are entering the world of Apple computing at a very exciting time. There are many new products that have just been released and even better things just around the corner.

    BTW.....what Windows programs will you need to run?
  5. ktmsupermoto thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2007

    Thanks for the reply.

    The only software which I will definitely need is Sage Line 50 - not sure if this is something you will recognise in the States but here in the UK, a huge percentage of small to medium sized businesses run their accounts, payroll and stock etc with this software, its a superb product hence its popularity in this sector. It actually runs in a similar way to Excel and like Excel, I dont think it uses an excessive amount of memory.

    I also use Office 2003 and some other software which are `licensed downloads` i.e. a database creation program and a PDF creation package both purchased from US based companies which send you an activation code once you have paid for their product by Paypal or Credit Card. There are some very good software companies in the States offering these kind of programs on a download basis and they are ideal for small businesses. The only problem with this kind of software is how easy it will be to transfer to a different machine as you do not receive hard discs so it may be a case of buying a further license for those.

    I really want to buy a laptop which will be for home use with the ability to do some business work occasionally rather than buying a business machine. This is the main reason I am looking at a Mac - and also I think they are very cool!
  6. TequilaBoobs macrumors 6502a


    Nov 12, 2006
    i have a blackbook (first apple product for me) and a dell xps desktop. there are very few niggles with compatibility between mac and pc, imo. however, when i transfer documents from my mac to pc using office, sometimes the document doesn't transfer in it's original form. a few symbols or words might be misplaced. mind you, most of the time there are no problems.
    also, theres a lot of software out there that isn't compatible with mac, yet. ive noticed a lot of the smaller companies don't make software for macs, for obvious reasons.

    just some things to consider before making the switch. it's nice to have a man and a pc, which sounds like the OP's situation. Give it a try and let us know how you like it!

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