Windows on Mac: starter's information needed

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by iMac2012., May 2, 2013.

  1. iMac2012. macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2012

    I am purposing on buying an iMac, but there are some of the programs I will need that require Windows. I'd like to know what's the latest Windows for Mac available, and if it's not Windows 8 (as I guess), whether a Windows 8 release is coming or not for the iMac.
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I ran Windows 8 on my Mac since the first preview came out. Well I should mention I don't use Windows every day or even every month. The method I enjoy is to use the freeware virtualbox. During the install, I allocate a "file" to act as the Windows hard disk. I've deleted win 8 but I still have Win 7 and Win XP running just fine inside virtualboxes.

    Another option is Parallels. It's not free but it offers much nicer integration.

    Another free option is bootcamp. To me this option is primarily for gamers that Windows to be the only thing running. The down side to this is you have to reboot to get in or out of Windows. Another down side is the need to make a separate bootable Windows partition and the risk that Windows cluelessly walks all over your OSX and your OSX recovery partition during its install. Not a risk I'm willing to deal with and not one I recommend to you either.

    Rebooting is not something I'm willing to put up with as I only run Windows every now and then to access some bit of legacy software or test the way one of my pages looks in the dreaded Internet Explorer. While booting into OSX is a brief pleasure, booting into Windows reminds me of somebody trying to start a car in 1910 using a crank. On my work-issued HP machine, one thing I can't walk away during boot. If I'm not there to click on "start windows normally" it adds 30 seconds to what is already too long a process. If I'm not there to hit spacebar, I might get stuck in checkdisk for half an hour. Then there's the "really usable" kickoff time. In Windows, I'm often looking at my desktop wallpaper as some sort of sick "tease" waiting another 10 or 15 minutes for all my company IT stuff to finish loading. In OSX, when I see the desktop it's mine to start getting stuff done.

    I can understand a switcher's hesitance to go "cold turkey" and ditch Windows altogether but I wholeheartedly recommend it. I would keep Windows around only if you know for a fact you need it. Otherwise it's just a distraction from the great user experience OSX has to offer.
  3. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    There is really no such thing as the latest Windows for Mac. Windows is not packaged or modified to create a version that will run on a Mac.
  5. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I suppose that's true but Apple provides drivers for users who want to run Bootcamp. The question could be interpreted to mean "What is the latest version of Windows Apple supports running on my Mac?" I know Windows 7 is supported and knowing Apple, I'm sure Windows 8 is supported by now as well.

    I know that both of them work inside virtualbox but that's a bit different as VB fakes out a lot of the hardware and you don't have to worry about drivers. In bootcamp, if you want to run Win 8 on your brand new rMBP, you have to hope Windows knows what to do with whatever chipset Apple is using in rMBP these days. When I installed Windows on VB, it never asked me about graphics but it did come up in 16 colors and I had to go back and tweak Windows to display more resolution in more colors.
  6. iMac2012. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2012
    Thank you all for your answers, some of these are too proficient for me to understand now, but I will do later. What I want to point out is that I really wish not to ever use Windows, Internet Explorer, and all of the dreaded team they are. But PC games need it. So what I ask of you now is to assure me when I'll have an iMac there'll be a way to play games for Windows, no more no less, and I am not very interested in the latest game for the latest Windows, rather I am interested in games published before 2010. I hope you can assure me about this. As a curiosity, I also ask of you if there'll ever be a way to make games for DOS run on my iMac. And by the way, would you tell me the cost of what I need (not a cheaper way, the most effective one, and I am asking it as some of you said it's not for free)
    Thanks again.
  7. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    Yes, you can install Windows 8 on a Mac.

    You can play DOS games on your Mac with Boxer.

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  8. iceblade macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    If you want to run games earlier than 2010, then you may as well just install Windows 7 or Windows XP. This may also rule out some incompatibilities since its closer to the original OS the games were designed for. I know you didn't ask about running older windows OSes, but its a suggestion. I'm running Windows 7 via bootcamp on my MBP 13" mid/late 2012, so you shouldn't have a problem. I'm sure Windows XP works just as well.

    I have never used VirtualBox, and I've heard a lot of good things about it. But I'd just say bootcamp it. While having to restart to get into bootcamp is kind of annoying, getting full speed out of your computer with really no 'tricking' is nice (especially if you are playing games. Restart to play games. Restart again back into OS X when its time to get work done. Simple). It won't damage your OS X install (if you're careful and read directions, at least). You install windows with bootcamp, which is from Apple, and they don't really want you to damage your OS X install anymore than you do.

    As for DOS games, I second the vote for Boxer. I have used Boxer before, and its a good application.
  9. iMac2012. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2012
    thank you all

    Thanks, all of you. I got to say most people in this forum are amazingly kind, and that's uncommon. Nobody cares to help beginners in many forums.
    I have one last question: someone on this same thread stated that using Windows on Mac is not for free. Can you tell me about the cost? This is just to know it in advance, because whatever the price is, I'll buy an iMac :)
  10. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2012
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    its not free as in you need to buy the Windows License.
    If you go with Parallels you need to buy that license too. If you decide on Bootcamp, it's free since it's build into OS X installation, though still a windows license is needed (of course)

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