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How to use Windows 8.1 on your Mac without restarting

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 are growing in popularity, with some Mac users wondering how they can have the best of both worlds – VMware has an answer.

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Windows on your Mac – yes, it’s possible

If you’re a Mac user, you’ve probably seen some of the cool things that Windows 8.1 can do, but you are in love with your Mac and aren’t willing to part with it. You may not have to, as there are options out there that allow you to run Windows right from your Mac. Maybe you’re one of the people who already use Windows on your Mac but hate that you have to restart your computer to relaunch in Windows mode – we’ve hunted down an option that overcomes this objection.

Apple computers already come with Bootcamp which allows you to install Windows on a Mac, but you have to restart to use Windows and access the tools that are built only for Windows. Enter VMWare Fusion 6 which allows you to use Windows without ever restarting. Bingo.

We haven’t tested the software out, but according to their site, it launches Windows right inside a separate window on any Mac desktop. VMware Fusion operates on any 64-bit capable Intel Mac using OS X 10.7 or later, requiring a minimum of 4GB of RAM, and it does require a monstrous 750MB of disk space.

Copy and paste and drag and drop

Fusion runs Windows OS in full screen mode, or in a separate window, and files can be dragged and dropped from your Windows desktop to the Mac Finder and from Mac to Windows. Copy and paste works between the operating systems as well, allowing you to fully use all of the features of Mac or Windows apps.

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VMware Fusion also offers Unity mode wherein the Fusion window and Windows desktop spaces disappear, and opened Windows applications appear right there on your Mac desktop right alongside OS X apps. The bottom line is that you never have to leave OS or Windows to access one or the others – they’re both right there inside of your beloved Mac!

Users have said in reviews that it is easy to set up and works reliably. The price tag is is currently $49.99 and there are less expensive upgrade options for current VMware users.

Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. rolandestrada

    November 30, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Interesting to know. Probably the first thing an Apple employee will tell you if you intend to run Windows is to buy either Parallels or VMWare Fusion. I switched to a Mac in 2006. Sadly I couldn’t make a clean switch because the MLS only functioned in Internet Exploder – yes I meant to spell it that way. I hated having to do that.

    Using either of the two works pretty well and there there is a third free option called VirtualBox. That said, none of them are perfect. To say they are free of glitches would not be correct.

    Let’s face it the reason Windows users switch to a Mac is they are tired of the tedious pain in the rear that is the Windows experience, especially Windows 8/8.1. There was an agent in my office whose Windows laptop crashed. She said If she had to learn learn a new system she might as well get a Mac. There are several agents in out office that have switched and have no regrets.

    Despite the claims made in this post, there is no discernible advantage to buying a Windows machine over a Mac much less taking up 30 to 50 Gigabytes of hard drive space to put it on your Mac. There are very few use cases where you would need to install Windows to begin with. Real estate agents are one of those cases if your MLS has not switched to a cross-browser compatible system. Our system, CRMLS finally made the switch this year after ten years of complaining by the membership. Bad coding habits die hard.

  2. rolandestrada

    November 30, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    By the way, If you can’t stand the fact that there is no real Start button in Windows 8 or 8.1, there is an app for that. A company by the name of Stardock has an application call Start8. Start8 returns the Start button and menu to your desktop.

    And if you are tired of having to run “Metro” apps in full screen, Stardock also makes ModernMix. ModernMix lets you run Windows 8 Modern apps in a window on the desktop, display and pin Modern apps on the taskbar and explicitly close a Modern app by clicking its close button.

  3. Fred Glick

    December 1, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Huh? Fusion and parallels have been around for years. Am I missing something?

    • rolandestrada

      December 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      No. Must have been a slow week at the news desk.

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