Much time has now lapsed since my last post and I can only plead that it was the busyness of the summer season that has kept me away. However, I shall do my best to recall what—abeit limited—information I was able catch about the seminar at Apple Expo on Eliminating Windows as the rest went wooshing over my head.

My spouse is  a Mac; I’m a PC

Though Apple seems to be gaining more converts, the necessity of running Microsoft Windows applications is still very real. Recently, my spouse made the move to a Mac, so now we have the benefit of having both a PC and a Mac at our disposal. While this may not be an option for many people, thanks to software development companies, users have many solutions.

Eliminating Windows

James Baine, from IronGate Server Management & Consulting, presented on how to make Windows disappear. With the plethora of viruses that seem to attack PCs and the Windows operating system, it is understandable why businesses, and it seems particularly IT personnel, would want nothing more than to eliminate Windows all together. The heel, of course, is that Mac users still want/need to be able to operate programs and software such as MS Outlook and MS Projects. Basically, you have four options:

  1. Dual boot: allows you to boot and reboot from a Mac OS to a Windows OS; requires much hard drive space, RAM, and a high-speed processor; switching between running a Mac OS program and a Windows application requires a complete reboot each time; the process is slow
  2. Emulation: hides Windows and runs a virtual operating system using emulation software such as VMWare; parallels desktop for a Mac and allows you to use  Shareware, Openware, and Freeware; need a very fast operating system, lots of RAM and storage, and you still need a Windows license
  3. Non-emulation: software such as WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator),  developed by CodeWeavers Inc., allows Linux, Mac, FreeBSD, and Solaris users to run Windows applications without actually having a copy of Microsoft Windows;  WINE software is constantly being updated and has s compatibility centre allowing potential users to check for compatibility as well as download a trial version
  4. Cloud computing: a relatively new trend, cloud computing refers to accessing applications and files in Windows from a central computing terminal set up by a company such as Citrix Systems; complex system to set up; requires networking

Also discussed was the ability and popularity of running applications through browsers. For example, multiple users can access, share, and change documents through Google Docs. The benefit of course, is that users do not have to worry about having the same applications in order to share documents, but simply must have access to the Internet. The benefits of a browser-based application system may be discussed in a future blog.

What do you prefer: Mac or PC? Why?

Stay tuned for the final installment of the Apple Expo review as I discuss business-to-business (B2B) social networking.