April 16, 2018

Use Windows programs on your Mac

Some might be familiar with the following problem: You have just changed over from Windows to a Mac and right away you realize that you still need certain Windows programs – and what now? Questions like “Is Movie Edit Pro compatible with my Mac?” or “I just switched to using a Mac and can no longer use my MAGIX products, what can I do?” come to our attention time and again.

Although MAGIX products aren’t compatible with Mac OS X, you don’t have to forgo using Movie Edit Pro and Music Maker. Learn more about three small and helpful tools that you can use to get your Windows-based programs running on a Mac.

Method 1: Boot Camp

The first solution to the Windows-on-a-Mac problem is the program Boot Camp. This is an Apple program that enables subsequent installation of the Windows operating system on a Mac. Each time you start your machine, you can select which of the two operating systems should open.

Why you should use Boot Camp

There are many emulators or virtual operating systems that can run on a Mac. But why isn’t it recommended to use them? Simple. Virtual machines result in performance losses; yet it’s not just the performance that leaves much to be desired. If the virtual machine or a MAGIX product is updated, this can lead to compatibility problems. In contrast, Windows installed via Boot Camp works perfectly and without any compromises.

Installing Boot Camp

Before setting out to install Windows with Boot Camp, you should check if your Mac fulfils the minimum system requirements. You can find this information on Apple’s Help page page. You will need a valid Windows version for the installation, along with the corresponding key. You can find these on the Microsoft website. To allow Boot Camp to access your valid Windows version, you must convert it into an ISO file. You can either create an image of the installation DVD or you can download the ISO file for the corresponding Windows (Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10). Place the ISO on your desktop.

Make sure that no other external hard drives are connected, then you can get started. Simply open the Boot Camp assistant under “Programs” in the “Utilities” folder. Then simply follow the instructions and your boot drive will be partitioned. If you are prompted to do so during installation, connect an empty USB drive (with at least 8 GB space). But be careful: If the drive isn’t empty, it will be formatted.

Method 2: Parallels Desktop

We’ll now show you a second option which allows you to use MAGIX programs and various other Windows software on a Mac: So-called “virtual desktops” which you can use to simulate multiple operating systems on one computer.

The virtual desktop – an almost real PC within a Mac

If Boot Camp has installed another operating system alongside OS X on a Mac, then this is called a “native” operating system. This means that the operating system is a fully independent system that is neither being simulated nor emulated and is installed on a separate, individual disk partition. It is as if Windows were installed on a normal PC. Unfortunately, this method is very complicated since you would have to permanently switch from one system to another, making it impossible to work on two operating systems at the same time.

If you don’t want to permanently switch between operating systems, you should think beforehand about simulating Windows on OS X. If you do decide to do this, the software “Parallels Desktop” from Parallels (around 65 Dollars in store) is a useful software for helping carrying out such a procedure. With this software you can execute Windows XP in a window on your Mac – provided that you are using a valid Windows license, of course. The program simulates operating on a normal computer, whereas in fact the computer is simulated by the program. This way, Windows programs can be installed and executed within the virtual running Windows system. The latest version of Parallels Desktop integrates the simulated Windows interface directly in OS X, so that the windows are displayed like Mac windows and they are perfectly integrated into the OS X interface. You can even start the program easily over the dock.

However, there is a very small disadvantage to this alternative: The hardware of the virtual system is only simulated as well, making the processing power of the simulated machine lower than the actual one. Nevertheless, it is sufficient for multimedia applications and a few 3D games.

Method 3: CrossOver

As a third alternative, we’ll also show you a method which you can use to start the windows based Photo Organizing Software MAGIX Photo Manager Deluxe directly on Mac OS by using so-called “bottles”.

The “Genie in a bottle”: CrossOver for Mac

Boot Camp installs a second native (real) operating system on the Mac and virtual desktops either simulate entire systems in computer windows or integrate these directly in the Mac OS. There is however another solution for the Windows-on-a-Mac problem: With the program CrossOver for Mac (Full version from around 38 Dollars), you can use many Windows programs in a Mac OS X, all without needing a Windows licence. How does it work? Rather than simulating a complete operating system, CrossOver simply creates so-called “bottles”. These are closed file systems in one single file. This means that only the components that are necessary for the Windows software will be stored together with the program in one file, it can access its own registry and the necessary Windows drivers as normal, without having to interfere with the OS X. Multiple programs can also share a „bottle“.

The big advantage here is that programs can be directly started and used without the need for a Windows simulation in the OS X. What’s more, you won’t need a Windows licence number, just the CrossOver program.

A disadvantage is that not all programs and games are officially supported by the software, so try it out and see for yourself! You can find a list with all supported programs on the manufacturer’s website. However, many more programs actually work than officially listed here.

Nothing more is standing in the way of you using MAGIX and various other Windows programs on your Mac.

Try it out! Download a free test version of Movie Edit Pro and test the software free for 30 days on your Mac!