Updated March 31, , Whether you want to use business software or play Windows PC games, there are many ways to run Windows programs on your Mac. Some of these methods are similar to the ways you can install Windows software on Linux or run Windows programs on a Chromebook.
Virtual machines, dual-booting, the Wine compatibility layer, and remote desktop solutions are all included here. They allow you to install Windows and other operating systems in a window on your Mac desktop. In the long run, the price is well worth it. Many games, especially newer ones, will be unplayable. Installing Windows as a real operating system on your Mac is the best idea if you want to play Windows games or use demanding applications that need all the performance they can get.
Your Mac will perform as well as a Windows PC with the same specifications. If you just want to run a Windows desktop application alongside your Mac applications, a virtual machine will probably be ideal. On the other hand, if you want to play the latest Windows games on your Mac, Boot Camp will be ideal.
Essentially, Wine is an attempt to rewrite the Windows code that applications depend on so they can run on other operating systems. This means that Wine is nowhere near perfect. Nevertheless, Wine is one way to try running Windows applications on a Mac. It uses the open-source Wine code to accomplish this, but CrossOver provides a nice graphical interface and focuses on officially supporting popular programs.
CodeWeavers contributes their improvements back to the open-source Wine project, so paying for CrossOver Mac also helps the Wine project itself. Most people will probably be happiest going for a virtual machine program and a Windows license. Boot Camp may still be a better solution for that.
Organizations with business software that runs on Windows can host Windows servers and make their applications available to Macs, Chromebooks, Linux PCs, iPads, Android tablet, and other devices.
All these tricks obviously require more work than simply installing a Windows program on a Windows PC. If you have a Mac, you should focus on using Mac software when possible.