One of Apple’s major announcements over the past few years was their move from PowerPC processors to Intel X86 based processors. This was such a huge announcement because it essentially meant that there was very little that was keeping people from running Windows on their Apple computers.
But who really wants to buy a Mac just to run Windows on it? Very few people. On the other hand, there is a significantly large number of people that want to run a Windows application or two at times.
Shortly after the announcement of the change in hardware, Parallels released software that allowed you to quickly launch virtual machines inside of OS X. Essentially, users now had the ability to get to their Windows applications quickly and easily on their Mac.
While Parallels allows you to mix and mingle your OS X and Windows applications it may be nice to keep them separated. This is where the 10.5 addition of Spaces makes a great software addition.
How To Launch Windows In Its Own Space
To be able to launch Windows in its own Space the first thing you have to do is download and install Parallels. There is a free 15 day trial available from their website so you can try out the software before putting down any cash.
After you’ve installed Parallels you’ll need to install your Windows software (Either XP or Vista). Doing so in Parallels is quick and easy but you must have an .ISO image or CD for the Windows OS you’ll be using.
Follow the instructions to setup your Virtual Machine and then follow the onscreen instructions for installing Windows. Once Windows has finished installing your Parallels Virtual Machine will boot up into Windows.
Next we need to setup Parallels so it always opens in its own space. To do so follow the same steps we provided in Setting Up Applications to Launch in Their Own Space:
- Click the Apple Icon and Open System Preferences
- Select Expose and Spaces and then the Spaces Tab
- Click the + Button Below the Application Assignments Table
- Select Parallels and then Assign it to the Space you’d like to designate to Windows
When you’ve finished this, your open Parallels Windows Virtual Machine will move to the space you assigned it.
Navigate to that Space with a keyboard shortcut (I assigned to space 3 so cmd+3) and you’ll see your Windows VM. Select View and then Full Screen, and Windows will open to full screen mode.
At this point you’ve now assigned your Windows Machine to its own Space. It should open in Full Screen mode anytime you go to access it, and now switching to Windows is as easy as a keyboard shortcut.
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Move back to a different Space with keyboard shortcuts or select a different open application with Command + Tab.
How are you using Windows in OS X?