Windows 7 on a Mac: Yes, You Can

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Want Windows 7 and Mac OS X? No problem. You can easily get the best of both worlds by running Windows 7 RC1 on a Mac --- in fact, I've been running it on a Macbook Air, with no problems.

I don't use Boot Camp as a way to boot into Windows on my Macbook Air. Instead, I use Sun's VirtualBox for running various versions of Windows. I've been running XP for a while, and when Windows 7 RC1 came out, I tried that as well. It works like a charm.

My Macbook Air is the newest 1.86 Ghz version with a 128 GB solid state drive. Compared to most computers these days, it's no speed demon, but for running Mac OS X --- and VirtualBox --- it does the job well.

After downloading and installing, VirtualBox, you set up a virtual machine for Windows 7. If you want details on basic setup, see my article, Living on Air: A Windows guru spends two weeks with a Mac.

On VirtualBox I gave Windows 7 only 768 MB of memory, and only 12 MB of video memory. I set up the virtual hard disk to be 15.5 GB, although let it grow or shrink according to the operating system's needs. I installed using a DVD rather than an .ISO file.

You can see the results, below. It works quite well, including network and Internet access, although I don't use Aero. Apart from that, though, it's perfectly serviceable.

windows 7 mac

This story, "Windows 7 on a Mac: Yes, You Can" was originally published by Computerworld.

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