Win XP on Mac for remote access to corporate network

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by redmac, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. redmac macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2008
    San Francisco
    I work for a multinational corporation. Recently I am told that I could work from home because of my ongoing health issues. Since my current computer is an old Powerbook, I ordered a new Mac Mini just to use for work purposes and as an HTPC.

    Our corporate network uses Windows XP Service Pack 3 (32 bit). For work, I use MS Outlook, Excel, Word and Internet Explorer (our database is designed for IE and doesn't work properly on Firefox or Safari).

    I have some questions since I am new for Windows on Mac:

    - What version of Windows XP do I need? Do you think Home Edition will do the work or do I need the XP Professional?

    - Can I access to the corporate mail server using Entourage or Mail? If so, how?

    - I am told that I can use Mac OS X 10.6 for remote access to my work PC. Can I do that without having a copy of Windows installed on my Mac?

    - Are there any legal issues about buying an OEM version of Windows XP? Do they work on a Mac with Bootcamp or do I need a full retail copy?

    Thanks in advance for all the replies.
  2. tigres macrumors 601


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits

    I will do my best to help you here.

    First, you need to explain the environment you will be using to remote access the machine at your offsite office. Can you get by with Remote desktop connection? If so, you can use that for Mac and pipe in for some odd jobs.

    If you need a full blown good connection you can also have a look at Great product. However if your needs are to have XP on the Mac I would go the VMWare route and have both OSX and Windows Pro in place when you need it. You can run them simultaneously and seamlessly.

    As for excel, word, entourage they all work well on OSX. I use office 08 and connect to exchange 07' so keep in mind it may be dependent on your exchange server; assuming your company is on exchange. Additionally, you can just use mail in Osx and SL has the exchange 07 module built right in as well. Or even IMAP if your company allows the unsecured connection.

    Well at least it's a start.
  3. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Your first stop should be consulting with your company's IT department. Most companies prefer a bit more control over their environment, which may invalidate many of your questions. Does the company have any other remote/telecommuting employees? If so how do they handle them?

    For example, even if the company is OK with you working from home on non-company owned hardware, they may have volume licenses of XP that they could just assign to you for you to do your work.

    OEM licenses are not intended for personal or corporate use, but they will work. The problem is that right now, if your company doesn't have a license they may be the only way to get a new license of XP without buying Windows 7 retail and downgrading.

    Each network is different. Some may allow third party (non-Outlook) clients for mail via IMAP and POP and HTTP (OWA) (which is required for Entourage), while others may not.

    That said, Mac OS X supports many VPNs out of the box and the free Microsoft Remote Desktop Client is really quite good, so if you have a good 'net connection, and a PC or Terminal Server at work that you can access remotely, you can really get a lot done without installing Windows or any other apps on your Mac. I have worked mostly that way for almost a year, until I gave in and asked the company to buy me a new Windows notebook to supplement my personal Macs....


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