Windows 7 and MBA -- questions

Brooke00000

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 9, 2011
25
0
Hi All -- I posted this to the MBA section and then realized it would be better here.

I'm headed to graduate school in the fall and will need Windows occasionally to use a few Windows-only programs. I think I would rather not do the Boot Camp method because I like being able to open Windows while still in OSX. A few questions:

1. Can I buy the student version of Windows, even though it is an upgrade? I actually have XP, but it's on my '07 BlackBook.
2. If I also want to use the Windows version of Microsoft, I can install it even if I am virtualizing, right? (I'm obviously confused). I'd mostly use it for some Excel functions. Would it be a mistake to not also download the Mac version of Office? (I was already provided with the Windows version.)
3. Parallels or VMWare? Both seem like good options, and both have a very good student rate.
4. I will have the 256 version of the Air -- so it sounds like I should allocate 50 to Windows?

Thank you!!
 

DJLC

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2005
766
148
North Carolina
1) Yes, you're safe to just get the student version of Windows 7. I got the Windows 7 Pro upgrade a while ago, and have done countless installs without them being an upgrade. That said, I think it has to be an upgrade for it to accept your product key… so PM me on that one.

2) Yes, you can install Windows Office within Parallels / VMWare. I actually used Office 2007 for Windows via this method back in the Office:Mac 2004 / 2008 days. It shouldn't make any difference whether or not you also have the Mac version, although I do highly recommend the new Office:Mac 2011.

3) I've used both, and there's no huge difference. I've heard that Parallels is faster currently.

4) This depends on whether you intend to store your documents within the virtual machine or on your Mac. Honestly, I'd do maybe 10GB for Windows software and just save everything on the Mac side. Parallels makes this easy. The nice part is that your drive won't be partitioned, and I'm relatively certain that you can increase the amount of space available to Windows from the Parallels preferences.
 
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Brooke00000

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 9, 2011
25
0
Thank you SO much! Is the hard drive not partitioned because I'm not doing Boot Camp? Do you set how much space you want Windows to use when you first install Parallels? Thanks again.
 
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MartiNZ

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2008
1,196
98
Auckland, New Zealand
1) Yes, you're safe to just get the student version of Windows 7. I got the Windows 7 Pro upgrade a while ago, and have done countless installs without them being an upgrade. That said, I think it has to be an upgrade for it to accept your product key… so PM me on that one.
Yep I can confirm that last - a right pain I'm trying to resolve at the moment myself. Apparently there's a method for it, I guess that's why we PM you :).
 
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MartiNZ

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2008
1,196
98
Auckland, New Zealand
Indeed! Forgot to come back and say that made my Monday a few days ago :). Clearly the workaround could be even more well known, awesome resource that, thanks.
 
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