Personally, I switched to Mac hardware about three years ago when I bought my first Macbook Pro. Actually, I bought the second gen iPhone and felt bad syncing it with my old HP laptop, so I went out and got a Macbook. Mac’s are great, OS X is a pretty good operating system, and it has plenty to offer for everybody. In the past few years, Mac hardware has been picking up steam and is gaining market share. People, left and right are buying Apple products (for a good reason, I think). Of course, this is by no means a criticism of other OS and hardware platforms. However, for the recently Mac converts out there, there are a few instances when we still need to use other platforms (mostly Windows), and for those instances, we’re lucky enough to have software such as VMWare Fusion and Parallels, that allows us to run other platforms such as Windows and Linux on the Mac. Apple hardware itself can boot to Windows, but with either Parallels or VMWare Fusion, you can install Windows as a virtual machine and run it on your Mac OS X operating system and with today’s powerful hardware, virtual machines run although as they are running natively on your machine.
VMWare Fusion is what I personally use. It works very well and cost only 80 dollars. Currently, on my iMac, VMWare Fusion runs both Windows 7 and Ubuntu. I highly recommend VMWare Fusion.
Parallels, also at 80 dollars, from what I’ve been told is neck and neck with VMWare Fusion. I am yet to try it so I can’t say that I recommend it (yet).
Virtual Box is another virtualization product and unlike Parallels or VMWare Fusion, Virtual Box is FREE! Also, unlike Parallels or VMWare Fusion that allows for other operating systems to run on Mac OS X, Virtual Box runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and many others.
There you have it, if you’re a recent Mac convert but still has a few software products that you constantly use that run only on Windows (or other platforms), my recommended solution is to use a virtualization product. My personal recommendation is VMWare Fusion.