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Cheating the System: Installing Windows 8 On Your Mac Using VMWare Fusion

written by: Austin•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 11/16/2011

VMWare Fusion is a powerful program that lets Mac users install operating systems such as Windows 7 onto their computers without the need to buy an entirely new computer. Here's an easy-to-follow tutorial on using VMWare to get the brand new Windows 8 onto your Mac.

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    Mac vs. PC: Why Not Both?

    20091104200909!Vmware fusion The whole "Mac vs. PC" debate has been going on ever since the two became competing companies back in the 1980s, and to this day there are die-hard fans on both side of the argument. Some people say that PCs are cheaper, easier to customize, and have more software to download, whereas Mac aficionados will argue that it's aesthetically pleasing design, artistic benefits, and accessibility make Apple the king of home computers. But why can't we just use both?

    Well, if you have a Mac, you can- even if you want to install the brand-spanking new Windows 8. All it takes is a little time, a few dollars, and a program called VMWare Fusion.

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    VMWare, Windows 8, and Starting The Process

    If you want to use VMWare Fusion to install a copy of the upcoming Windows 8, you'll first need to buy it. Now, I know some of you shuddered at the fact I said "buy" and not "download", but generally speaking you can't expect to get something without giving something in return, and in the case of VMWare Fusion, it applies just as much as ever. Yes- there is a free 30 day trial, but in the long run I think you'll find that paying the $50 for the full and complete version will be well worth the investment.

    Once you've gotten that installed onto your computer, you'll need to get Windows 8. Now, the full version of said operating system has not been released yet, but as of September 2011, it has been in developer preview pre-release, which is totally free to download and use. You can look in the "Helpful Links" section at the end of this article to find a place to get it, and use that to install it!

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    Getting Started With VMWare

    Windows-8-Developer-Preview-Build-download First things first, you'll want to make sure you have no other applications running when you do this to make sure that your computer is free and clear for the process to use as much memory as it needs- not to mention you don't want to have unsaved work if something goes wrong and everything crashes. Once that's out-of-the-way, you should install VMWare Fusion, and then open it up. It will give you several options to select, one of which is "New". Select this option and then navigate your way through the depths of your computer to locate the .ISO file that you downloaded from the Windows website. This .ISO file contains the operating system of Windows 8. If you're unsure how to find it, first make sure you select the option of “Use operating system installation disc or image:”, and then you should be able to select it from the drop down list.

    Now you'll need to decide what OS you want to install it on (just choose whatever OS you use to run your computer normally), and then figure out how much memory you want to allocate to this new operating system. For the best results, I'd recommend at least 2GB, but ideally you can give it 3GB or 4GB to work with. This should ensure that it won't crash and it'll run as if it was its own computer entirely. Lastly, you just gotta select the giant play button to move forth!

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    Follow Instructions

    Once the play button has been pressed, the rest of the installations pretty much consists of just following the on-screen instructions and in about half an hour you will have the brand new Windows 8 up and running! Of course, when the actual operating system comes out you'll need to re-do this whole process (unless you want to keep the developer's version) and use a real disk, but that process is equally easy. As soon as we get word of 8's release, we'll be sure to update you on working with it no matter what program you'll be using. There are a few things you should know before using it as an OS though:

    - Windows 8 was built similarly to iOS 5 in that it works much more smoothly when using a touch screen. Don't be surprised if navigating it with a mouse seems a little bit clunky at first.

    - Ultimately it won't do you much good to keep the dev version in the long-term, because it's neither finished nor built to run on the hardware that you currently own. Generally speaking I would simply use it to mess around with, explore in, and all around satiate your curiosity about what Microsoft is coming out with to compete with the increasingly popular iOS/OS X devices.

    - If you don't want to pay the $50 for VMWare Fusion, and you really think you'll only be using it for this one thing, than the 30 day trial will suffice.

    All in all, everything should go pretty smoothly and you should have explored pretty thoroughly the confines of Windows 8 within a couple of hours. If you want to continue using it, simply go pay the $50 for the full version of VMWare and you're set to go for however long you can stand using the new OS without a touch screen.

    Happy Windows 8-ing!