I have been using a Mac since 2010 (yes i was initiated a little late into the Mac World of users). Over these years of being a Win user I am yet to come to grips with the iWork productivity suite purely since I have been used to creating my documents in the Microsoft Office Suite. Also I have felt the need to use some of the project management tools from Microsoft such as Microsoft Project for the nature of work I am involved in.
I therefore have been trying to find an option wherein I can use the ultimate in engineering MacBook Air (2014) and the Office Productivity Suite I have been used to all these years, in a Single Machine.
I started out by defining my requirements:
- I should be able to have MAC OS and Microsoft Windows OS in the same machine
- I should be able to use the MAC OS for my Multimedia Software and Windows system for the productivity suite (I needed the pure windows experience since some of the features of the Microsoft Office for Windows were not part of the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, and the upgrades had not been released for the newer version of the Microsoft Office for Mac since a long time)
- I should be able to "seamlessly" "switch" between the two systems.
- Ideally I should be able to have the ability to have the "ease" in the switching process
Based on these criteria I went about finding out the technology and applications that would allow me to achieve my requirements.
1. Scouting for VMs: I started out by scouting the variour VMs that are available in the market. There are many with varying features and functionalities. However, I was able to shortlist the VMWare Fusion 7.0 purely because it provided me with the Unity View.
VMWare Fusion 7.0 download (Free Trial available on registration, can buy the product license key online from the same link).
Unity View: Plainly speaking the Unity View allows the MAC OS and Windows OS to run "simultaneously" on the same machine without the need to use either ONE of the systems.
2. Installation Procedure: Once I was able to identify the VM of choice. I went about creating a virtual machine of my existing Windows 8.1 Laptop. Follow the steps indicated below.
a. To create a VM of an existing machine you can download onto your laptop the VMWare vCenter Converter Standalone from here
b. To view the steps please watch the following video link and perform the exact steps to create a WinMac machine on your MacBook Air.
Please note, before you start to watch the video,
- Install the VMWare Fusion on your Mac.
- Install the VMWare Converter on your Windows PC you want to convert.
- Keep a USB Drive with about 100GB of free disk space available. This is required to transfer the VM created on the laptop to the Mac Air.
3. Post Installation:
Once you have followed the steps indicated in the video, we hope you have been able to get the VM Up and running on your MAC.
a. Enable the Unity View: On the top right corner of the VM window, you will find an icon which is the Unity View Icon. Click on the icon to enable the unity view.
b. Open System Preferences and move the Dock to the Left or Right. This will allow you to view the Windows Taskbar at the bottom of the screen when you move the mouse to the bottom of the screen. This is a personal choice of where you would like the Mac Dock to be and the Windows Taskbar to be.
c. In the unified view, "Mac " and "Windows" applications open in the Mac Dock. However, the Windows Application (of the VM) are only displayed in the Windows Taskbar.
d. Using the browser in the VM was found to be lagging a bit. And the VM seemed to restart at times (luckily without loss of work). Perhaps the VM needs to be fine tuned, either while being created or after installation in fusion.
These are some of my initial thoughts. More once I am able to learn to tweak the VM.
UPDATE on WINDOWS 10:
- Do not upgrade the Windows 8/ 7 VM to windows 10, apparently some users have had issues and the VMWare folks have suggested downloading the Windows 10 .ISO file to perform the upgrade.
- Download the Windows 10 .ISO file from the following link: http://ow.ly/QNnIT
- Make sure you have your existing Windows product key with you.
- Take a snap shot of the current VM, in case you want to rollback.
- Mount the .ISO on the VMWare Fusion to perform the upgrade.
VMWare Fusion 8 is going to be launched this summer, keep a lookout at these pages for further updates.