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Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac Discussion of Classic or running Windows, Linux and other OSes on the Mac.

office converting from PC to Mac, Parallels a viable platform?


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d.c.1
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so, my office is converting entirely from PC to Mac. not all in one go, but through phases. this is a small media company (about 6 full-timers), so we've relied on both PCs (for business, email, and admin applications) and Macs (for media/editing applications) for many years now.

to make everything uniform, increase mobility (w/ laptops) and eliminate having to use multiple machines, we're about to get a Mac server and upgrade to Mac laptops. i've just upgraded from an old PC to a smokin' fast MacBook Pro (i'm the first to make the reluctant switch).

i've just installed Parallels and am very impressed. i haven't switched over entirely and put it to the test though. i'm still waiting until we get our new Mac server later this week to transfer all my old data (email from outlook etc.). i'm really apprehensive about the whole switch.

my question is, how viable is Parallels as an office solution and how reliable will my laptop be to handle what i need it to? i plan on using XP exclusively for email (Outlook) and office applications (Excel etc.) and it's important that everything work perfectly as it did on my PC. i conduct about 80% of my work and business with Windows XP and Outlook for email (negotiations and deals etc.) so i will probably be using XP through parallels about 80% of the time.

am i crazy to think this will work flawlessly? don't most Parallels users only use it for the occasional windows applications and nothing more? having a laptop with the combined functionality of both the current bulky desktop PC and desktop iMac combo that sit on my desk is absolutely key. is this going to work, or am i in for a rude awakening?
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I use Parallels, but only for two applications. It runs flawlessly and having within the OS X environment, for me, is a great feature.

You say you're going to be using WinXP 80% of the time, for things like email. I know Outlook 2000 and Outlook 2003 both run with no issues at all and run well and fast. IE7 works fine and so do all the office apps. However, if you are going to be in Windows 80% of the time, Bootcamp might be the better option. It is slightly faster (I'd say Parallels runs at about 80% of the speed of Windows native) and it will be more reliable. I have never had Parallels crash, but if I needed to work on this machine in Windows, I'd probably Bootcamp to be safe.

BTW, Office 2004 comes with Entourage, which has all the functionality of Outlook and then some, so you might want to consider going native.

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Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
BTW, Office 2004 comes with Entourage, which has all the functionality of Outlook and then some, so you might want to consider going native.
But on the other hand, Entourage sucks donkey balls compared to even Outlook 2003; more so when compared to Outlook 2007. Yummy.

Office and mobility = there are probably PDAs involved, too. This means cobbling a connection between Windows Mobile and Entourage, using Missing Sync (version 3.0.1 just came out, btw). And shoddy cobble-work it is.

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d.c.1
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Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
I use Parallels, but only for two applications. It runs flawlessly and having within the OS X environment, for me, is a great feature.

You say you're going to be using WinXP 80% of the time, for things like email. I know Outlook 2000 and Outlook 2003 both run with no issues at all and run well and fast. IE7 works fine and so do all the office apps. However, if you are going to be in Windows 80% of the time, Bootcamp might be the better option. It is slightly faster (I'd say Parallels runs at about 80% of the speed of Windows native) and it will be more reliable. I have never had Parallels crash, but if I needed to work on this machine in Windows, I'd probably Bootcamp to be safe.

BTW, Office 2004 comes with Entourage, which has all the functionality of Outlook and then some, so you might want to consider going native.
i did already consider Bootcamp, and the reason why i went with Parallels is that i often need to work on both XP and Mac OS simultaneously. right now i've literally got a PC and an iMac on my desk and i go from one to the other, back and forth, repeatedly throughout the day.

i need to mimic this uninterrupted workflow on one laptop now, without having to reboot every time, and Parallels seems to be the right solution. my only worry is that since windows XP is running "virtually" it'll have bugs and be susceptible to crashes and other very detrimental problems that might not arise if it were running natively.

i know it's silly to do business with XP on a Mac, but unfortunately a PC can't operate as a Mac, but a Mac can operate as a PC.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d.c.1 View Post
i did already consider Bootcamp, and the reason why i went with Parallels is that i often need to work on both XP and Mac OS simultaneously. right now i've literally got a PC and an iMac on my desk and i go from one to the other, back and forth, repeatedly throughout the day.

i need to mimic this uninterrupted workflow on one laptop now, without having to reboot every time, and Parallels seems to be the right solution. my only worry is that since windows XP is running "virtually" it'll have bugs and be susceptible to crashes and other very detrimental problems that might not arise if it were running natively.
As I said, mine's never crashed. The whole thing is supported by the Virtualisation features in the CoreDuo, so it's very solid. You just need generous resources - at least 2 gigs of RAM (I have one gig and things slow down on the OS X side once XP is booted because of this).

Sounds like the right solution for you.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
- Joan D. Vinge

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d.c.1
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Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
As I said, mine's never crashed. The whole thing is supported by the Virtualisation features in the CoreDuo, so it's very solid. You just need generous resources - at least 2 gigs of RAM (I have one gig and things slow down on the OS X side once XP is booted because of this).

Sounds like the right solution for you.
i've got 2 gigs of ram and so far things are working just fine. thanks for the input. i hope everythign works out.
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