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Posted by Ted Schadler on February 6, 2012
I've been testing the MacBook Air for five months now. I use it for work and for home. At work, I run our corporate image Windows XP with the attendant applications and security software in a Parallels virtual machine. At home, I run the Mac side. After a few hiccups with the security software going haywire in our corporate image (thanks to the Parallels support team and to our own IT client and network security team for help), it's been a great experience.
I don't need to wax poetic about just how good the MacBook Air itself is. Plenty of testers have already explained just what makes the MacBook Air the ultra ultabook. See Engadget, CNET, Fortune. (And of course ultrabooks were all the rage at CES this year, see HP's showcased by Serena in Gossip Girl and Dell's XPS 13.)
But I do need to describe my experience with this travel-friendly, totally modern, and practical combination of hardware and software. I'll then also point out some things that are still challenging in using the MacBook Air in a Windows-centric business world. First, the experience in four bullets:
Now the challenges. These are on the Parallels/Windows side of the machine and have to do with the backward compatibility of Windows software. In particular:
But these are far from deal breakers for a lone employee, and I am very happy with the Mac over our business machine. The coolest thing is that I can remain backwardly compatible with my organization's requirements while embracing the new architectures of apps and devices. Nice work, Apple, Parallels, and our network & security team! For some real research on just how popular this Mac-running-Windows phenomenon is, see my colleague Dave Johnson's report, caught here in a blog post: Repeal Prohibition.
What's your Mac experience running Windows?
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