Save Money on Software When Converting to OS X

September 1, 2011, By Christian Cawley

More and more users are converting from Windows to Mac OS X in order to take advantage of the stylish hardware and easy to use operating system on offer from Apple.

However, some people are put off by the prices, not just of the hardware but of changing their software. If you’ve recently spent money on Microsoft Office or one of the Adobe packages like Dreamweaver, you might be reluctant to purchase the same application multiple times, something that will either force you into sticking with Windows or leave you without the tools that you need to run on your Mac.

So what options are there for saving money in this scenario? Does it have to be expensive or can virtualization help you out? Is there even an option of using trial versions for a short time?

Let’s find out!

Save Money on Software when Converting to OS X

Stick to Windows Apps on Your Mac

The first solution for anyone switching to Mac OS X who still wishes to use software that they have on Windows is virtualization. Several virtualization solutions are available – the most popular is Parallels, which allows you to run a Windows operating system on your Mac and install and run software that you still need to access on a regular basis.

Another popular choice for running Windows applications on Mac OS X is VMware Fusion. This runs in much the same way as Parallels, creating a virtual hardware environment onto which you can install your chosen Windows version and the various applications that you wish to use. VMware also provide a very useful utility that allows you to take your existing Windows installation and convert it into a virtual machine for use in VMware Fusion!

Dual Booting Mac OS X

Another alternative for running your existing Windows apps on a Mac is to take advantage of the Boot Camp utility that is available as part of OS X. With this you can install Windows (XP, Vista and 7 with Snow Leopard, or just Windows 7 with OS X Lion) onto your Mac’s hard disk drive and choose between OS X and Windows at startup.

This isn’t something that would have been possible a few years ago, but thanks to Apple adopting Intel processors in 2007 Windows now runs on a Mac with few problems!

Shop Around!

Your final alternative (and preferable for most people who aren’t tech savvy enough to deal with the previous suggestions) is to simply shop around. You might find copies of the software you’re looking for available at a reduced price, for instance, and who knows, you could even find a special deal targeted specifically at you…

One such example comes from Adobe, who offer a “crossgrade” – a change of software when you move to a new operating system – although this is really only cost-effective if you are switching between the latest versions.

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