Running Windows on Mac – there are three options to run Windows and Windows software programs inside Apple Mac computers namely Parallels Desktop, Boot Camp from Apple and Fusion from VMWare. Boot Camp is free while Parallels and VMWare Fusion cost $80 each. Boot Camp will become a native feature in Leopard – the next version of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system, due in October.

Boot Camp Tutorial – Install Windows XP on a Mac.

You need a purchase a full licensed version of Windows XP / Vista to use it on a Mac with Fusion, Desktop or Boot Camp. While Parallels and Fusion all you to run Windows programs alongside other Mac programs, Boot Camp can run only one OS at the time – you need to restart Mac to switch to Windows. This is similar to installing Ubuntu Linux on a Windows Machine.

Walt, in his review, writes that Parallels has a nice feature that lets you assign any file to automatically open in a Windows program instead of a Mac program. Both Parallels and Fusion allow you to run the full Windows desktop either in a window on your Mac or in full-screen mode. Alternatively, both allow Windows programs to float on their own, with the Windows desktop hidden, so they look and feel just like Mac programs.

Both permit you to fetch and save files from folders already on your Mac. Both support copying and pasting between Mac and Windows programs. Both automatically use your Mac’s Internet connection.

Walt however says that the new Fusion puts less strain on his MacBook pro when compared with Parallels desktop.