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Free Windows for 1 Year
June 4, 2009 - Dave Hecei
Right at this moment, Microsoft is giving away its ‘soon to be released’ next version of Windows. This next incarnation of Windows is called Windows 7 and is tentatively scheduled to go on sale sometime this fall. In a bold move, Microsoft is allowing anyone to download and try the pre-release version of Windows 7 for free. This is a full functioning copy with the only limitation that it will stop working on June 1, 2010. For the Mac owner that has an Intel based computer, this is great news. Now you can add Windows to your Mac for a year and it won’t cost you anything but the time to download and install.
Included with Leopard, OS X 10.5, is a program called Boot Camp. With Boot Camp, an Intel based Mac becomes a dual-boot system – OS X and Windows. Boot Camp is used to create a section on the internal hard drive, called a Partition, where you can install Windows XP, Vista, or the free Windows 7 RC1. When you turn on your Mac you can just hold down the Option key and you will be asked which system you would like to boot into.
If you want to try out the free Windows 7 you first need to set up a Microsoft Live account. This is a free account that gives you access to Windows 7, plus it gives you access to other Microsoft online products like Live Mail, MSN Messenger, etc. Once you have your account created go to the Windows 7 web page (see links section of this blog). You will need a high-speed Internet connection or this 3+ gigabyte file will take forever to download. What you will get is an ISO file. This file then needs to be burned to a blank DVD to create the install disc.
Once you have your Windows disc made you will want to find the documentation for Boot Camp. This is a very important step. The first time I tried to set up Boot Camp on a new Mac I didn’t think I would need these instructions. I was wrong. Do yourself a favor and print these out and read them through before you start. Following these instructions the setup is fairly easy to do.
Having a copy of Windows installed on your Mac is not for everyone. Apple has come a long way and there is plenty of software available for the Mac. There are a few applications that are still not available on the Mac, or the Mac version is not up to par as the Windows version. One that I know of personally is Quickbooks. This is available on the PC and Mac, but the PC version is a much better version. There are some great games out for the Mac, but there is so much more for PC. As long as you have a Mac with a higher end video card, then installing Windows makes your Mac a better gaming platform.
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