15 Reasons to Use Virtualization Software on a Mac: Page 2

Posted January 21, 2008

Joe Kissell

Joe Kissell

(Page 2 of 2)

7. Linux: Virtualization software on the Mac isn’t just for Windows. Feel free to run Ubuntu, Red Hat, SUSE, or any of the dozens of other Linux distributions in a virtual machine—in fact, you can run several at the same time! For testing, administration, or simply to run your favorite Linux software, Parallels or Fusion on the Mac is a great choice.

8. Microsoft Access: You can find lots of excellent, high-power databases on the Mac—everything from MySQL to Panorama to FileMaker Pro. But Access itself has no Mac equivalent, and if you have a database of any complexity, the mere thought of having to rewrite it in another system could (rightly) give you the willies.

9. Microsoft Groove: Microsoft’s new Groove collaboration software is, unsurprisingly, Windows-only.

10. Microsoft Internet Explorer: Safari is a fine Web browser, and of course Macs can also run Firefox, Opera, and about a dozen others. Sadly though, some Web designers still make pages that work correctly only in the Windows version of Internet Explorer. Although most Mac browsers can masquerade as another browser by changing the user-agent, that doesn’t always work—for example, sites that rely on ActiveX just won’t work under Mac OS X.

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11. Microsoft Outlook: The new Entourage 2008 has better support for Exchange servers than Entourage 2004 did, but neither one really comes close to what Outlook itself offers, particularly in the realm of scheduling. If you work in a corporate environment that depends heavily on Outlook, running the real thing is your best bet—and now you can.

12. Microsoft Project: As with database software, there’s no shortage of capable project management tools that run under Mac OS X, most of which can use Project files transparently. But if you need a feature that only Project has, or are just too reluctant to learn a new UI, go right ahead and run Project in a virtual machine.

13. Online video providers: Apple’s iTunes Store is great, but it may not have all the video content you want, or in the form you’d like to view it. Amazon Unbox provides downloadable movies, while Netflix Watch Now offers streaming video content. Both, however, currently work only in Windows. If one of these providers (or another source) has the video you want to see, you no longer have to look for a PC to view it on.

14. QuickBooks: The Mac version of QuickBooks hasn’t kept up with the Windows version, particularly in terms of payroll processing. You could opt to use the Mac OS X-native MYOB AccountEdge instead, but if you prefer QuickBooks, you’re better off using the Windows version.

15. Stock charting software: If you’re a day trader, an investment banker, or a financial analyst, chances are you depend on one or more of the numerous stock charting packages that run only on Windows.

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