LABS GALLERY: Labs Tests Three Means to a Windows-on-Mac OS X End

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LABS GALLERY: Labs Tests Three Means to a Windows-on-Mac OS X End

LABS GALLERY: Labs Tests Three Means to a Windows-on-Mac OS X EndBy Cameron Sturdevant

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Fusion: Boot Camp Unity

Here, I was using VMware Fusion 3, and what you are seeing is basically the Windows Start menu for my Windows XP SP3 Boot Camp partition running on a MacBook Pro. Notable features here are the convenience of accessing Windows applications from the menu while Windows itself is subsumed in the Mac OS X Snow Leopard environment.

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Fusion: Windows Where?

You can see the icons for several Windows applications in the Apple menu bar at the top right, as well as the VMware Fusion icon in the dock. In Unity mode, there are very few indications that Windows is also running. This gives the most Mac-like experience.

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Fusion: Mac Where?

Here, the Windows 7 virtual machine is running in full-screen mode, and it's nearly impossible to tell that Apple OS X exists on this system. The title bar at the center top is the only indication that this is a VMware Fusion virtual machine, and users can even opt to make that disappear.

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Fusion: Better Together?

Shown is a Windows 7 virtual machine running in single window mode on the Mac OS X desktop. VMware Fusion provides a complimentary 12-month subscription to McAfee anti-virus protection for Windows virtual machines.

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Parallels Coherence

Parallels Coherence mode integrates the Windows virtual machine with the Mac. The Windows Start menu and applications are accessed from the OS X dock.

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Parallels Crystal

In Crystal view mode, the Parallels Desktop and Dock icons are hidden. Windows applications are in a folder in the dock (seen at lower right), and the Windows Start menu and a Parallels extended menu are accessed through the Parallels icon in the Apple menu bar (seen at upper right.) In this mode, Windows is most hidden.

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Parallels Full-Screen Mode

Here you see my Windows XP virtual machine in full-screen mode. The only hint that Parallels is present is the Parallels Transporter agent icon seen on the desktop. This virtual machine was created from my test laptop using the Switch to Mac Edition of Parallels. Hovering the mouse in the upper-left corner curls away the Windows interface, and clicking on the revealed desktop returns to the Mac OS X interface.

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VirtualBox: Windows 7 (Not Beta)

The Sun VirtualBox Website was a little behind the times at the time I tested the product (showing Windows 7 as a beta and not as a shipping product), but the product is able to work with shipping Windows 7 virtual machines.

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VirtualBox: Windows full screen

In full-screen mode, bumping the cursor against the top edge of the display handily reveals the Apple menu bar across the top and the Dock at the bottom. Otherwise, Windows looks like it is the only OS on the machine—in this case, a Mac mini.

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