If you’re a PC user but fancy the idea of using a Mac, you can get the best of both worlds through virtualisation. Only a few years ago, when the Mac used to use a PowerPC chip, using Windows on a Mac was unbearable. Now Apple have moved the Mac to the Intel CPU, which is the same hardware technology used by your PC, you can install Windows on your Mac desktop, without losing too much speed when running both operating systems on the same machine.

VMware Fusion for Mac is a superb tool that you can use to run a virtual operating system on your Mac. This includes Windows XP, Vista or even the latest Windows 7. You can also run a Linux-based operating system, such as Ubuntu, which is ideal for testing the new operating system without installing properly, on your hard drive. Indeed, if you have a fast enough Mac with a large amount of system memory, you can use more than one operating system at any one point in time.

Why would you want to use a virtual operating system on your Mac? For various reasons, which may include Windows-only applications you can’t get for your Mac, favourite Windows tools that you can use more productively on your PC and for testing new software without it affecting your computer.

VMware Fusion has a number of superb features which means you are able to share printers across a virtual operating system, quickly and easily share files and, best of all, use your PC in a Unity mode, which means that the PC application opens on your Mac desktop, as if it was a Mac application.

Note that the download here requires you to be an authorised VMware account holder. You will need to login at vmware.com to download.

The latest Fusion 8 is a major upgrade, shipping with these new features:

- Windows 10 and OS X El Capitan: Better Together
Ready for El Capitan
- Advanced Graphics for Work and Play, with added support for DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3
- Near-Native Performance. Create powerful virtual machines with up to 16 vCPUs, 8TB virtual disks, and up to 64 GB of memory.
- Beautifully Efficient. With an updated graphics engine and added support for iMac Retina 5K displays, multi-GPU support
- Universally Plugged In. USB3 support and much more.

Verdict

Superb must-have tool for anyone who wants to test and run Windows or another operating system on your Mac