It is commonly accepted by the corporate world that Microsoft have an established position as the de-facto business-class operating system used by the vast majority of offices across the globe. They make great software, and if you want to run this software you’ve typically had to buy PCs and notebooks with their OS and Office suite pre-installed.
Having embraced Apple software in artwork design and video production areas of our business, and seeking an unbeatable power/portability ratio, our company decided to invest in a number of MacBook Air notebooks for our senior management and Board, for use remotely as well as within the office.
This possibility had always been off-limits to us because of our dependence on a Windows Active Directory domain and Apple’s incompatibility with software written for x86 architecture. But their incorporation of Intel processors in recent years has opened up a world of opportunity, and the advent of ‘virtual machine’ (VM) technology has placed the choice of hardware and software firmly in the hands of the user.
Whilst there are several great VM solutions available for running Microsoft Windows on a Mac (including Parallels and Apple’s own ‘Boot Camp’), in our experience the best by a country mile is Fusion 3 from VMWare.
With ‘Unity’ mode, Fusion allows almost seamless integration of Windows applications into your Mac environment, with drag+drop, copy+paste, printer sharing and launching of Windows applications from icons in the OSX Dock.
Over a series of posts, I’ll be sharing my experience of setting-up, integrating and managing a reliable VMWare business-class Windows implementation on a fleet of MacBook Air notebooks.