I had somebody ask me this on Twitter this evening and this was much too long for a tweetstorm, so….

Here are a few reasons why you would run Windows on a Mac based off my experiences as an IT Professional over the last decade.

  1. Windows-exclusive apps: This is pretty common in Windows-heavy fields such as engineering, architecture, or construction. There are some applications like are exclusive to Windows like Rhino or have plugins that only exist on one-platform. Splicers in the 3D printing is another example. In the telecom industry there are many, many tools that only run on Windows, oftentimes exclusive to a particular vendor. I once worked for a telecom for 3x years and had to maintain 12x Windows-only applications (Mostly Java applet-based) applications for our Network Operation team. Each vendor had their own, priority application to maintain their switches, routers, and access points. The network world is moving towards Software-Defined Networking, but a ton of the world’s internet infrastructure is still running older gear. A lot of telecommunication companies use gear from a wide variety of vendors, including Cisco, Fujitsu, Adtrain, Nokia, Huawei, etc, oftentimes interconnecting and all having their own custom software.
  2. Education: Students have to use the software that the class requires. Classes typically mirrors industry. A lot of schools are adopting virtual labs run in the cloud, but that’s a slow transition due to organization size, capability, and budget.
  3. Development: Running Windows as a developer is useful because most of the world still runs on Windows. Having the ability to run Windows in a VM and test it with you application or website is useful without having a separate physical machine.
  4. Gaming: Macs…are not great gaming machines. The library is extremely limited. While the hardware is not ideal, people typically play games which what they have so if they get a Mac for work or personal preferences, some do not have the budget or desire for a gaming PC. Some people run Windows on a Mac to play old games as well.
  5. Legacy Line of Business applications: There are still some line-of-business applications in large enterprises that have not been updated or cannot be update to run on the web or cross-platform. Sometimes these investments can cost millions of dollars for an organization to rewrite or port. Think financial software for big banks or industrial software that runs a business like a steel mill.
  6. Prefer a Windows version of an Application: Excel is a common one here. Excel for Windows has more plugins and has more functions than the Mac version. Its gotten better over the years, but there are still some people who prefer to run the Windows version of Excel.
  7. Windows-exclusive hardware: Like line-of-business applications, there can be some industrial, business, or scientific gear that simply cannot interface with MacOS and needs to be connected to a Windows machine.

So, that’s just a few that I could think of off the top of my head. As time marches on and more business applications are written for the web the need lessens, but its still there

-Hobie 🦖

IT Support Specialist V and Spring Hill College graduate who loves all things tech. If it has a flashing LED it has my immediate attention.