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Running Windows 8 on your Mac

John Moltz | July 10, 2012
Maybe you have to do it for work. Maybe you're just curious. Maybe you're a glutton for punishment who lives on the bleeding edge. Maybe you lost a bet. Whatever the reason, you want to run the Windows 8 Preview Release.

You're almost kinda sorta there! Now you have the environment, you just need to install Windows 8. Click Start and VirtualBox will initiate the First Run Wizard which, and I hate to disappoint you, isn't that magical. Click the folder icon next to the popup menu and select the ISO disk image of Windows 8 you want to use. Click Continue to review again and then Start.

VirtualBox will start the environment using the Windows install disk image. From there, you'll need to run through the standard Windows setup providing the activation key.

Which to choose?

Of the four options I explored, I found that Parallels is far and away the most painless to configure, even if it does require you to shell out more of your hard-earned cash. VMware Fusion is a bit less and slightly less slick, but still a solid option. VirtualBox is slower and much less elegant than the other virtualization options, but it is free. Boot Camp will be the fastest of the options listed here since it's not running Windows in a virtual environment, but it requires you have a Mac with an optical drive.

Whatever you choose, here's hoping your Windows experience is short and relatively painless. That should be possible, right?

 

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