Using iMacs to Build a Better Windows Network

20 Okay, this is going to sound a bit odd, but my tech guy is using Apple iMacs to build a more stable, easier to maintain Windows network.

About 2 years back, Apple started using the Intel processor in it’s computers, which is the same processor that Windows machines use. The benefit of that is that Macintoshes can now run Windows in ‘native mode’ and not through an emulation program. You can do this one of two ways. You can use Boot Camp and when you turn on your machine either boot into Windows or boot into Mac’s OS X. The other way is run a Macintosh program called Parallels. Both programs require you to purchase and run a full copy of Windows.

My tech guy is buying iMacs like the one pictured above to put in offices and using Parallels to run Windows. Most people will only see the OS X screen flash for a second and after that, they won’t even know they are working on a Mac box.

So what is the advantage of running Windows on a Mac? A few:

  • Nice Hardware at a Reasonable Price – Chrome and glass, 20” monitor, memory, speed, decent memory all in one box. It works well and is attractive.
  • Less Desk Space – The Macs are an all in one and leave a small footprint on your desk. It’s just the monitor and the keyboard.
  • Ease of Maintenance – The entire Parallels Windows file is a single computer file. That’s huge. You can install Windows, tweak it to the way you want, install all of the programs that you want and then all of that information will be in a single Parallels file that can be copied and backed up. If your Windows goes down, you can just copy that file back to your iMac and you’re up and running. If your entire iMac goes down, you can copy that file to a different iMac and you’re up and running. No worrying about file registries, different hardware signatures. No fuss, no muss.
  • Portability – Once you have your Parallels backup file, you can copy that to another machine without any problems. You can’t do that (easily) with Windows, because of different hardware configurations and the Windows registry.
  • Ease of Installation – Once you have a specific set up that you want, for example, WordPerfect, TimeMatters, CaseMap, TimeMap, Sanction, MicroSoft Office, you can save this as a building block and as a base for every installation. Of course, you need to have a site license for each program. You will also have to switch license codes, but that’s a lot easier than starting each machine’s installation from scratch.

So oddly enough, the hoops that MicroSoft makes you jump through actually make it quicker and easier to run your Windows program on a Mac. Go figure. Plus you get a cool looking machine.

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