Run Windows Programs on your Macintosh with Parallels Desktop

Do you want to switch to a Macintosh for reliability reasons but hesitate to do so because you want to keep some of your Windows programs? Many Windows programs do have Macintosh equivalents (Word and Excel for both platforms), Calendar programs (replace Outlook with iCal), desktop publishing (replace Microsoft Publisher with Apple Pages), photo editing (Adobe Photoshop is available for both platforms), and dozens of other equivalents. However, maybe there is that one certain Windows program that you like that does not have an exact clone on the Mac. Perhaps your favorite genealogy program does not have a Mac version. What can you do?


Run the Windows program on the Macintosh!

Actually, there are several programs that will allow Windows programs to run on a Macintosh, including Fusion, VirtualBox, BootCamp, and (with many limitations) CrossOver. However, my favorite cross-operating system product is Parallels Desktop. It is the most sophisticated product and is also easier to install and use than any of the other products. It also allows the user to run both Windows and Macintosh programs simultaneously.

The newly-released Parallels Desktop 11 version allows all the latest features of Windows 10 to operate on your Mac, even including Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant.

Along with your Mac and a copy of Parallels Desktop 11 you will also need an installable copy of Windows 10 or an earlier version of Windows. The next step, installing Windows onto your Mac, also is a breeze. Once Parallels Desktop 11 and Windows 10 (or an earlier version of Windows) are both installed, you are ready to use Windows programs on your Mac.

Parallels Desktop 11 costs $79.99 (an upgrade for anyone using a previous version is $49.99) while the Pro Edition and Business Edition cost $99.99 per seat per year. The Pro and Business Editions have features that are not needed for home use. Most in-home users will want the cheaper version for $79.99.

Details may be found at


That’s a pricey proposition to run one’s favourite genealogy program compared to the sub $200 Acer Cloudbooks that you recently reported. On the expensive Mac hardware, the addition of Parallels Desktop at $80 and the $150 download of Windows 10 exceeds the price of either Cloudbook. Is there such a difference in reliability to warrant spending so much more on a pricey Apple system? If higher cost equates to higher reliability, there are also higher Windows systems. I think the motivation has to be to move from the riskier ‘Wild West of Windows’ to the safer ‘Autocratic State of Apple’, in which case, one should abandon Windows completely.


VM fusion is much cheaper, allows use on multiple computers and is a solid stable program. Virtualization software works but is a clunky approach and exposes the mac to Windows viruses and malware. Higher priced windows hardware is not an integrated design and still uses the same flawed OS. Windows geeks often recommend a mac laptop as the best Windows hardware.
Macs are expensive, but the hardware and software just work and last. Autocratic is Microsoft not Apple.
Rootsmagic 7 $30 runs very nicely under Macbridge on a mac and a native version is coming.


I use Legacy Family tree on my Mac with Parallels 9. The results is slower than when it ran on my old laptop. I keep hoping Legacy will support Mac sometime soon.


Running Windows 10 Under Fusion 7 or Parallels 9 can be done, but not the way you would expect when running Windows 7 under either of those virtualization programs.

I guess it’s a matter of how much you really need to run Windows applications. Windows 10 isn’t the end of the line for Microsoft Windows, it will continue to evolve. So there’s always the likelihood that future changes to Windows will cause you to upgrade (again) for Fusion or Parallels. You can only upgrade a version of Windows 7, you cannot (in my experience) do a fresh install of Windows 10 even if you have the product key for Windows 7 (would not allow me to do so under Fusion). I did a clean install of Windows 7 in my virtual machine, then upgraded it to Windows 10, but you still have the limitations on how it will display.


VM. As good as the MAC hardware is along with its operating system there are just some applications for PC that are far superior to anything that is available for MAC. Family Historian is one such program and I know of many users who have been enticed over to the MAC system only to be very disappointed in the Family Tree programs currently available for MAC. For some the cost of running a particular PC application on a MAC is still worthwhile.


Leave a Reply

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: