Windows operating systems dominate the work place, so it makes complete sense that Mac users would like the ability to run a windows operating system while still getting the benefits of working on a Mac. I have to say, I enjoy this topic because it is not uncommon to hear the debates or strong opinions of people when you ask them what kind of computer they use. Mac users swear by the artistic capabilities, and yet still cannot live without the applications of Windows.

While this is not an article about which one is better or worse, it is worth saying that these programs are very useful for folks who want the best of both worlds, and each world in and of itself is not completely satisfying to the majority of users.

These three free programs caught my attention for ease of use, application, and technical smoothness. There is a a short section at the bottom for users who don’t mind spending a bit and want some additional features that are not all available with the free applications.

Boot Camp

For all the gamers out there, Boot Camp allows the games that only run on Windows to be played on a Mac. Boot Camp is an application that lies in the utilities folder on your Mac. By clicking on it, it will open up and through some very easy-to-follow directions, it will install itself.

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Just like Linux for Windows, it does not allow you to toggle between your OS X operating system and the windows system. You do have to restart your Mac and then the Windows operating system takes over.

For ease of use, the best part of it is, you do not really have to do much. It’s very fun for gamers who want to unwind and get focused in their game with minimal distractions. The reviews on Boot Camp are favorable for how simple and easy it is.

And I can’t leave this part of the article with giving a shout out to a classic Windows game that was the first game I played on windows: Wolfenstein 3d . I mean c’mon, everyone loves this game and it is as legendary as SNES’s Zelda: A Link to the Past!  

Chrome Remote Desktop

With this particular application, I chose it because i am assuming the large majority of people reading this are working people. If not, my apologies; however, this application is great because you get it for free and it connects to your workplace machine.

The technical name for it is a remote window. What is required is for you to speak with your IT guy at work, who usually has a short how-to-guide on how to use this so it is fairly simple to set up.

I chose chrome desktop because it is the most used Internet application on the Windows operating system.

One important thing when using a remote desktop connection, you should install a VPN. The VPN prevents the remote desktop from being directly exposed to the Internet thereby making it more safe to the user, especially since the remote desktop is normally a work related advantage, you may have sensitive files on there.

Wine

Wine is a free program that I liked for a particular difference it had with virtual machines and emulators. Most of the applications that run Windows use the windows logic to support the interface; whereas, Wine translates the API – application program interface – to ensure that it runs smoothly without the penalties of memory or performance loss.

Another key benefit of this program is that it can run on any computer. The more high end applications require more powerful computers, and for individuals who are simply looking to get Windows and move on, this is for you.

Still, it does not sacrifice anything; the software is reminiscent of Linux and allows for a number of applications to be run on it. When running it is important to note that for the best graphics, you want to run applications in full screen for the best resolution.

If you are a graphics geek, there are additional tabs that allow audio and additional cosmetics to be customized and cleaned up.

Two Programs that involve $$$

I wanted to include two programs I found that do require money, but I felt were worth mentioning because some people will not be satisfied with the free ones. Parallels Desktop and VMWare fusion are two programs that offer stunning graphics and can be run at the same time as OS X: you can toggle back and forth freely between the two operating systems. They do however require a solid powerful computer, so make sure your device is set for this.

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