Windows Emulators for Macintosh
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Update: a Macintosh version of the keying tool is now available.
If you are using a Macintosh computer but would like to use Microsoft Windows based applications, there are several "Virtual Machine" software packages that can be loaded onto your Macintosh. The virtual machine will allow you to install a Windows operating system on top of your Macintosh operating system.
To use a virtual machine you will need to purchase a licensed copy of Windows as well as download or purchase a copy of a Virtual Machine software. Installation varies slightly for each, but aside from selecting the amount of disc space to allocate to the Windows OS the setup installation is just like installing Windows on a PC. It will usually take one to two hours to configure and patch the installation.
Hardware considerations: These products, with the exception of Boot Camp require that your computer be running two operating systems simultaneously. As such you will want to be sure you have enough RAM to run both the host and guest operating systems combined, in addition to the virtual machine program itself. 3D hardware acceleration typically does not work well, or at all, though support for it does continue to improve.
Below are possible options with links to the various web sites where you can purchase the software and find the support needed depending on the purchase you make (or you can do an Internet search for Windows Emulators or Virtual Machines to find multiple options to choose from).
Ancestry.com does not endorse, guarantee or provide support for any of these products* but this should give you a good start in finding one that fits your needs.
- Virtualbox VirtualBox From Oracle. This is free and Open Source software. It is available for several platforms, including OsX (Intel Processor), Windows, and Linux. Latest version is 4.0.8. Straightforward install, and updated at regular intervals. The Mac version requires 10.5 "Leopard" or higher and an Intel processor.
- Virtual PC for Mac - This is a Microsoft product designed to work with Macintosh computers. There are a few options depending on the Windows version that you have. Approximate cost can range between $199.00 to 499.00 depending on the edition you purchase. The latest edition is version 7 and requires 10.3 "Panther" or higher, will run on a PowerPC G3, G4 or G5 processor. This is the best solution, and probably the only solution available for non-Intel processors. For Mac Os9, you will have to find version 6.1 of Virtual PC.
- Bootcamp - Bootcamp comes as part of the Mac OS at no additional cost. There is one restriction as it does not allow you to bounce back and forth between Mac and Windows like you can with other emulators. This requires at least version 10.5 "Leopard" and an Intel processor. A firmware update may also be required.
- VMWare Fusion - Latest version is 3.1 and works with Windows 7, approximate cost is $80.00. Requires OS 10.4.11 or higher and an Intel processor.
- Parallels Desktop for Mac - Latest version is 6, approximate cost is $80.00. Version 6 requires OS 10.5.8 "Leopard" and an Intel processor.
- iEmulator - Latest version is 1.7.9, it runs on Intel-based Macs running OS X 1.5 or 10.6. It has been tested with all Windows versions from 95 through and including the latest version of Windows 7. The web site offers the complete iEmulator 1.7.9 & iEmulator V package for $23.95
- Xen Xen is another Open Source virtual machine product. For Linux hosts only, but will run Windows 7 as a guest. Latest stable version is 4.1