With the purchase of the newest version of Microsoft Office Professional, I fearfully installed Virtual PC for Mac today.
It was absolutely a piece of cake. Microsoft in its infinite wisdom (and its massive advertising campaign in “creative” publications and websites) has made it very easy to install a full-blown Windows XP Professional operating system on a Mac. The company bought the software only recently but they’ve reconfigured it to run very smoothly and quietly for those unaccustomed to “Start” menus, green grass and white clouds, and strange iconography in the system tray.
A few notes:
- While I feel some ambivalence about supporting Microsoft and their generally crappy software, as a Web design guy, I really feel obligated to ensure that what I’m designing is being properly seen and read by the 90% of those out there. I do have a laptop that I use for checking sites out in Windows but having the system on my Mac creates a greater obligation for me to ensure compatibility, legibility, and design and standards compliance.
- The first thing I did when I saw the Start screen was expand the window to fill up the entire frame. I knew that this would give me the full-on feeling of being in a Windows environment and I must say, it felt like I was being strangled by a ghost in glasses. I quickly figured out how to minimize the Windows window and then quit the operating system completely.
- The second thing I did was to download Firefox, which is quickly becoming the safest and fastest way to view websites with Windows. It’s installed and I’ll probably use it as my second browser.
- I imagine I won’t actually use Viritual PC for Mac very much. While it automatically creates a relatively safe connection to the Internet through the Mac and it prints documents perfectly through existing Mac driver software, it is nicety, not necessity, informing my decision to use Windows on my Mac.