One of the main reasons so many users hesitate before switching to a Mac is because so many of their favorite programs don’t work on a Mac. There are many popular solutions to this: VMware Fusion, Parallels Desktop, and the old VirtualPC. Unfortunately, these apps all cost money and require a license of Windows to install on them: more money. Today I will mention a few alternatives, some which require a license to windows, some which do not.
1. Virtual Box– Virtual Box is a free, open source alternative to the apps listed above. It is a virtual environment software just like Parallels and VMware Fusion. Virtual Box can also run Linux and ChromeOS if those interest you. I believe it also has a version for Windows.
2. Boot Camp- This is a little too obvious. It comes with all new Macs now, but its main downfall it that it requires you to reboot into your second OS rather than run it in a window.
3. Wine / Wine Bottler – For most, this is perhaps the best of all. It lets you open Windows apps on a Mac within the X11 environment. Wine Bottler can even convert Windows apps into Mac apps that run alone in X11. The main downfall is that this does not work for all Windows apps, especially new ones- it takes the company awhile to add support for them. Winehq.org is the main site for it, but for a Mac-friendly version that includes Bottler, I recommend http://winebottler.kronenberg.org. Best of all, its free.