The release of Crossover Mac couldn’t have been at a more perfect time. I bought my Mac laptop about a week and a half ago, and of course, I’ve wanted to test Windows on it.
I’ve tried both the Parallels method, which runs Windows in an application in Mac OS X, but it uses up RAM which it takes from Mac OS X, because both Windows and Mac OS X run at the same time. Also, Parallels does not have access to my computer’s video card, so I can’t play games in it. But, Parallels is useful for those moments when I quickly need to boot up a Windows-only program.
Then, I tried Boot Camp, which is directly from Apple. It allows me to run Windows on my Mac as well, but in order to do so, I have to restart my computer and then choose to run Windows instead of Mac OS X when my computer starts up. The disadvantage of this is, of course, that I have to restart my computer to run Windows, and that I can’t run both Windows and Mac OS X simultaneously. The advantage is that all of the processor, the RAM, etc. AND the video card is dedicated and is able to be used by Windows. This is most useful when I need to run programs that require higher specs to run, and it is especially good for Windows-only games.
And finally, I’m trying out Crossover Mac, which allows me to run Windows programs on my Mac – without running Windows! One of the biggest advantage of this is that it uses much less RAM because it doesn’t have to run Windows itself, and so I can run, say, Internet Explorer, which is useful for me to test websites to make sure they look good in IE, as a web developer. Now, as it is still beta, and it was released yesterday to the public, I’m sure there are bugs. But so far, I’ve got several Windows programs to work without any problems, such as Internet Explorer 6.0, which I’m sure I’ll be using quite a lot now. The Firefox for Mac OS X is currently using about 80 MB (granted, I have a lot of tabs opened), but Crossover AND Internet Explorer running in it uses less than 20 MB in total. That’s a HUGE plus for me. Now, I can hold off my extra RAM purchase a bit longer! (I’ve only got 512 MB RAM – hey, I’m on a college budget now!)
Unfortunately, us Mac users can’t jump in on the fun and run Windows viruses, just yet!