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Microsoft's Virtualization Stance Eying Apple? 238

Pisces writes "Over the past several days, Microsoft has flip-flopped on virtualization in Vista, with one ascribing the change in policy to concerns over DRM. A piece at Ars Technica raises another, more likely possibility: fear of Apple. Apple is technically an OEM, and could offer copies of Vista at a discounted price. 'All of this paints a picture in which Apple could use OEM pricing to offer Windows for its Macs at greatly reduced prices and running in a VM. The latter is absolutely crucial; telling users that they need to reboot into their Windows OS isn't nearly as sexy as, say, Coherence in Parallels. If you've never seen Coherence, it's quite amazing. You don't need to run Windows apps in a VM window of Vista. Instead, the apps appear to run in OS X itself, and the environment is (mostly) hidden away. VMWare also has similar technology, dubbed Unity.' Is Microsoft terrified of a world where Windows can be virtualized and forced to take a back seat to Mac OS X or Linux?"
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Microsoft's Virtualization Stance Eying Apple?

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  • by MontyApollo ( 849862 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @09:53AM (#19648857)
    Microsoft makes even more money if Apple puts Vista on every computer. It's an untapped market. Seems like it would be good for Microsoft.
  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @09:53AM (#19648859) Journal
    Apple can do that with XP right now, and simply continue to do so until XP's EOL. It's not like Vista is being adopted widespread, and --more importantly-- it isn't as if 3rd-party Windows' Developer mindshare is falling all over itself to take advantage of Vista-specific features.

    That, and, umm, wouldn't such a move sort of alienate the Developer mindshare for OSX? I guess I don't grok the incentive to help nudge Win32/64 developers to download Xcode and go to town if they see that they can continue to use Visual Studio .NET and just hum along in building apps that compile once but run on both platforms.

    Apple (or rather, the friendly folks who make Parallels) could use that as a stop-gap (a couple-years' long one) to get behind pushing WINE, CrossOver, Cedega, etc etc... if indeed that's where they're wanting to go.

    I like the angle, it has appeal, but it seems more damaging in the long run than to simply work on increasing marketshare among customers to the point where Windows-only dev shops are forced to take a good hard look at coding for OSX for competitive edge and survival reasons.

    Besides... if Apple really wanted to give incentives, they could/should push for building tools that make cross-compiling hella easier, with maybe an IDE that can replace VS .NET on Windows entirely, say, with a modified Xcode that --oh by the way-- has a handy and nearly automatic suite of tools to make compiling OSX apps easier for the dev who uses it.


  • by apathy maybe ( 922212 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @09:54AM (#19648871) Homepage Journal
    Sounds like WINE. I can do these things you mention right now, without MS Windows Vista, on my X/GNU/Linux box. Of course, I can't run everything, but still.
  • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @09:55AM (#19648879) Homepage Journal
    Initially I thought the exact them thing. But consider the consequences over time. With "hidden" virtualization Microsoft doesn't get to control the desktop. They lose one avenue to promote their brand. They don't get to push new products onto customers' desktops. They may lose control over the user's interface to the web (since Macs have a native browser). And if more people buy Macs more developers will make native applications to replace some of the virtualized ones, so over time the virtualized Windows may become almost irrelevant.

    Microsoft has always been interested in control. They believe in the long run it sells the most software licenses.
  • by TheGreatHegemon ( 956058 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @09:56AM (#19648881)
    I don't know how many times this has been said, but Microsoft is a software vendor, not a hardware one. If they get to sell to Apple users too, then they make more profit. Who cares if Apple sells Vista OEM? The reason Microsoft HAS oems is because they still do make a profit off it. More importantly, this would nearly eliminate reasons for developing software for mac altogether for third party developers - they'll get practically the same penetration if they code just for windows and have Mac users just use Parallels.

    I am of the honest opinion that the day Mac starts bundling Vista, or selling it OEM, etc. is the day that Microsoft breaks open bottles of wines and drinks to success.
  • Haha (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jswigart ( 1004637 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @09:58AM (#19648903)
    If anyone is terrified at virtualization, it's Apple. They are the only OS that you can't run in a VM without resorting to 3rd party hacks that may or may not work with your hardware. I had been trying to install OSX in VMware off and on for several years now, to have a place to compile mac versions of some projects I'm working on. Unfortunately I haven't had much luck. The most recent attempt was able to boot up OSX and run it very well, but unfortunately completely missing network support and other such means of communicating back to the host OS, and creating and mounting ISO images of my source tree to compile stuff on it just isn't an option. Were apple to embrace such support, VMWare and similar programs could support it natively. They won't though, because they fear exactly what this article claims MS fears. If you can run Apple software on your non Apple hardware, you have no use for Apple. Only for MS, virtualization isn't as devastating to their business, because they are a software company, and can still sell software, while Apple needs to sell you artificially proprietary hardware, and even though their software is very good, they rely on having you locked in to their hardware.
  • Re:Terrified? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MontyApollo ( 849862 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @09:58AM (#19648907)
    I don't think they care as long as the get paid. Windows can be virtualized now.

    If it became Apple's policy to include Vista with ever computer it would only help Microsoft. The people who would be complaining would be HP and Dell if Apple was getting just as good as a deal as they were.
  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:01AM (#19648933) Homepage
    Apple sells hardware.

    Why would they mind if people could easily run their (legacy?) Windows apps on a Mac?

    If I could get my Windows apps running on a Mac for little more than the cost of the Mac alone, it'll bring me one step closer to dropping Wintel altogether; migration just got easier.
  • Re:Terrified? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:01AM (#19648937)
    I think this is a remake of the WIN-OS2 drama (1993).

    WIN-OS2 allowed MSWindows apps to run seamlessly on the OS/2 desktop (impressive workplace shell, by the way). The strategy was simple: if users can run their windows apps under OS/2 they will switch to OS/2 easily, and end-up using OS/2 apps because the OS is so superior. So, WIN-OS2 was shipped with every copy of OS/2 as standard.
    You remember what happened in the end: people used OS/2 exclusively to run windows apps but at the cost of a bunch of compatibility issues. Eventually, OS/2 apps were never developped, and OS/2 was perceived as just a slow and troublesome version of windows.

    Of course, MS had a lot to do with the death of OS/2. But I still think that running Win32 apps on top of OSX will lead to the same fate.
  • by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:05AM (#19648973)
    Seems like it would be good for Microsoft.

    In the short term. In the longer term, it could be very bad indeed.

    Microsoft's power, and profits, come from the fact that they have a stranglehold on the market. They really can't afford to let anyone get too much traction in their own market - as soon as they loose the stranglehold things could turn very ugly very quickly for Microsoft, because it will mean they won't be able to dictate price to the market, the market will dictate to them and that will mean plunging profits.
  • by everphilski ( 877346 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:07AM (#19648989) Journal
    An untapped market of what, ~5% of computer users?

    The market segment is abysmally small. It just isn't worth it.
  • by Lethyos ( 408045 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:08AM (#19648999) Journal

    If my understanding is correct, OS/2 was provided its own implementations of Windows APIs. This is unsustainable and the cost easily overcomes the benefits of the platform. In the Apple scenario, the virtualized environment is the real thing, third parties provide that environment, and Apple continues to develop their platform in blissful ignorance while end-users get a universal platform. I would otherwise be very much inclined to agree with you, but I think these subtle differences will cause a positive outcome (depending on how you look at it).

  • Re:Terrified? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by westlake ( 615356 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:17AM (#19649105)
    Is Microsoft terrified of a world where Windows can be virtualized and forced to take a back seat to Mac OS X or Linux?



    If the buyer is demanding a VM running Windows then Windows is in the driver's seat - because his must-have apps are Windows only.

    His design and marketing teams will get twenty-five spanking-new Mac workstations. The 25,000 others he employs the generic Windows desktop from Dell.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:18AM (#19649125)

    Is Microsoft terrified of a world where Windows can be virtualized and forced to take a back seat to Mac OS X or Linux?"
    Is a tapeworm terrified of a world where people welcome worms into their guts rather than exterminating them?

    C'mon, if a zaibatsu were capable of being "terrified" (that's a pretty weird concept anyway) it wouldn't be terrified of having its products sold to an audience that would not otherwise buy them. And that's the case here, it's Microsoft penetrating the Mac/linux/BSD software market through virtualization, not the other way 'round.
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:18AM (#19649129) Homepage Journal
    If so, it would be the first time they've been so concerned with support costs, which they effectively externalize to third parties and IT departments. Historically, they've always been ready to deploy products with inherent support and security complexities if that product meets their strategic needs.

    At the risk of pointing out the obvious, MS is an unique position in the software industry. They can make TCO arguments based, not on the supportability of their products, but on the customers' sunk costs.

    That said, I think Windows running on a VM is probably stabler and less costly to support than Windows running on real hardware.

    At first blush, features like Parallel's Coherence would seem to be bad for the Mac platform and good for the Windows platform. Not only is there another windows license sold, licenses of Windows based software gain at the expense of Mac based programs.

    This is where DRM comes in, I think.

    Microsoft understands the value of owning the platform. Virtual Windows on Macs helps them in their traditional businesses, but it undermines their desire to gain control over digital entertainment in the same way they control office automation. Control of de facto DRM standards would be yet another proverbial "license to print money".

    People using Macs with cheap copies of virtualized Windows literally side by side with Mac apps is not good for this plan. They will never be a huge market, but they could be influential.
  • Yes? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vulva R. Thompson, P ( 1060828 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:19AM (#19649139)
    Is Microsoft terrified of a world where Windows can be virtualized and forced to take a back seat to Mac OS X or Linux?

    Yes, imho.

    And it's interesting that the press release ap.html [] is officially touting DirectX 8.1 which has been experimental forever.

    A seamless "Unity for Ubuntu" and DirectX 9.0c would be the final pieces of the puzzle for a lot of folks. It doesn't help the cause for pushing development of native Linux apps. But it would certainly increase the installed base of non-Windows OSes and that's a solid baby step.
  • by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:22AM (#19649157)
    Well running a program in WINE is a far cry from running the entire Vista OS. I don't know what microsoft is so afraid of- their OS is so ungainly that unless you have 2GB of memory and don't mind your CPU running hot constantly, it's basically unusable in a VM.
  • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:23AM (#19649181) Homepage Journal

    Apple is more content with knowing that users in supported enterprise/academic/government environments can get Macs and use nifty technologies like Parallels, VMware, Boot Camp, etc., but isn't interested in getting into the Windows game itself.

    This is about ending the Windoze game. Apple is offering a safety blanket so that people can user Apple and other applications without fear of not being able to work with dreaded M$ enslaved coworkers. Their users, in turn, will do what they can to interact in standards based ways like Open Office, Google Office and anything but Office 2007. Being able to run Office 2007 in a virtual machine, minimizes Windoze created hardware problems and eliminates the "networking" game M$ uses to push it's upgrade train.

    A better way to end that train is to make government use ODF and return all Office Docs to their source with a note that tells the clueless sender why you can't work with them.

    The upgrade train is already fatally damaged. Vista is not selling and both it and Office 2007 have been baned almost everywhere. Google and Sun have useful and free alternatives that won't wreck your work in a few years because neither can decide it's time to overhall things to generate revenue. Apple is happy to join the pack of rebels. The lack of Vista sales is hurting hardware makers enough to discredit the perpetual upgrade train for them. This destroys M$'s ability to manipulate hardware vendors and will ultimately bring about real hardware standards and competition. M$'s days of BIOS sabotage are numbered.

  • by Dystopian Rebel ( 714995 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:24AM (#19649195) Journal

    A monopoly with unfair advantages set long ago.

    What would these "unfair advantages set long ago" be, in your opinion?

    I condemn many things that the USA has done but they have done good things too. In what country of immaculate ethical history do you abide, Sir?
  • by BodhiCat ( 925309 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:25AM (#19649215)

    How about any empire or monolpoly throughout history. Did the Romans fear the German and French "barbarians"? Did the British Monarchy fear the rebellious colonists in America? Did the Indian Rajas fear the Mogols?

    Throughout history empires have crumbled under the invasions and incursions of so called barbarians with greater fighting skills or more drive and energy then themselves. The barbarians take over and become the new empire, new threats arise on the borders, and so on.

    The same thing happens in business as new companies arise with new ideas or old companies (Apple) come up with better business models or better products. Its like the old catch phrase for Avis car rental, "Were #2, so we try harder."

    The American hubris is that they think they are the greatest and final empire, but sooner or later it will crumble under pressure from outside forces or rebellion from within. Veitnam, 9/11, and Iraq are just examples of how vunerable the American empire is becoming.

  • by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:32AM (#19649305)
    An untapped market of what, ~5% of computer users?

    that's right, five percent of the top end of a huge market, any business would be dumb to go after that...
  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:36AM (#19649355)
    But consider the consequences over time. With "hidden" virtualization Microsoft doesn't get to control the desktop. They lose one avenue to promote their brand. They don't get to push new products onto customers' desktops. They may lose control over the user's interface to the web

    All this assumes that users - and support teams - are jumping for joy at the chance to maintain multiple operating systems, software libraries, and skill sets. To anyone but a Geek this can seem sadomasochistic.

    God help them if virtualization does not remain transparent.

  • by boxlight ( 928484 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @10:49AM (#19649503)
    Microsoft makes even more money if Apple puts Vista on every computer. It's an untapped market. Seems like it would be good for Microsoft.

    In the short term sounds good for Microsoft. But in the long term, no.

    Here's the scenario that Microsoft is afraid of: Computer user buys a Mac with Mac OS X and Windows. Yes, Microsoft got paid for the copy of Windows. But the user is now living in a Mac OS X world, logging into Mac OS X, using Mac's browser, Mac's, iLife and so on. Windows has been delegated to the status of virtual machine, there only to support the running of Microsoft Project and the few other Windows only apps.

    Over time, the user is focused more on the OS X software updates, the new OS X features, and the new OS X applications. Windows has become less important -- almost irrelevant, certainly out-of-mind for him.

    Five years later, time to buy a new computer. He gets a new Mac. Doesn't even think about getting Windows this time -- or just decides to continue to use the old five year old copy of Windows from his previous Mac. Windows, for him, has become a legacy product.

    Bill Gates has *always* said that Windows can be obsolete in five years.

  • by MontyApollo ( 849862 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @11:11AM (#19649781)
    >>or just decides to continue to use the old five year old copy of Windows from his previous Mac

    OEM versions of Windows generally cannot be legally transferred to a different computer.

    The issue in the long run will be how much the user is using Windows-only software. The situation probably won't change unless more Mac software pops up to replace the key apps. I can't see it happening in a few years, especially for games. If the user actually noticed he was using much more Windows apps than Mac apps, the next new computer might be one where Windows runs native.

    The more over riding issue though is that this will only affect people who are already likely to buy a Mac to begin with. It would be a significant bump in sales for MS even it only lasts a few years, and it would be sales they would otherwise not have made anyway. If it goes away, then basically Mac people going back to being Mac-only people - the situation now.

    The key question would be if pre-loaded, virtualized Vista on Macs would help them capture any more market share. I just don't see the core Windows user worrying much about having two OSes on his computer, especially when the prime OS is one he is not familiar with. They don't even think about the OS to begin with. They just want their apps.

  • by surfingmarmot ( 858550 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @11:21AM (#19649913)

    "...with people using the lower-priced versions of Vista in virtualization environments they don't understand - on any platform - and then expecting support in such environments."

    Microsoft doesn't support end users. Ever. Have you ever tried to get support from Microsoft other than the Knowledge Base? No, Microsoft is no worried about support costs--that isn't a material part of their business model. what they are worried, even paranoid about, is losing control--losing the linkage between Exchange and Outlook, between Sharepoint and Office. Microsoft's entire business model for desktop computing is based on monopolistic tying. If the ties are broken, Microsoft's mediocre products will lose share quickly

  • by C0rinthian ( 770164 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @12:26PM (#19650987)

    Wouldn't having another OS basically virtualize Windows and run applications like it essentially be a form of theft?
    Not if you're paying for a Windows license.

    I mean, if OSX or Lunix or whatever can't put up a viable application interface, why is 'borrowing' Windows' functionality legitimate?
    OSX has a perfectly viable application interface. It's just that some developers choose not to develop for it. This process simply allows you to run windows within OSX to get those apps working.

    This isn't a situation where Apple is saying "Wow, Vista does cool stuff that we want OSX to do." This is 3rd party developers saying "I'd really like to run XYZ windows app on my Mac."

    Again, you're not borrowing or stealing anything from Microsoft. You're paying for a copy of the OS and running it. Where you run it is irrelevant.
  • by Vitriol+Angst ( 458300 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @12:27PM (#19650999)

    Great point about DRM. I agree that is why Microsoft is so embracing DRM ... because then they have a captive market. That HDTV works great, and those 300 videos you downloaded still play for sure, with MS-DRM!

    And Apple is offering DRM-free music for a little more money.

    The Window of opportunity is closing. But Apple, Amazon, WalMart and many other companies are offering video downloads. Will people go for a platform, that allows them to keep and manage content and perhaps look at other people's content -- or will they go for the DRM model? Everything being equal, you have to force DRM down people's throats.

    Even with a little less than HD quality, I'd prefer an entertainment system that left me the owner. I think, anyone with enough money, goes for furniture they own, rather than "rent to own."

    So, if Microsoft doesn't lock up the DRM on Vista and get enough customers in the "entrance only" lock-in, then the Vista-on-Mac looks much more compelling, allowing Users to bypass DRM pergatory. iTunes becomes the preferred platform for targeting media over Windows Media.

    Did you notice that u-Tube is re-optimizing their videos for h.264 to be compatible for the iPhone?

    >> We already have DRM-less HDTV. People are already adopting video downloads. I think the window is closing on Hollywood, Microsoft, and others two control the "whole package" for entertainment delivery. And I think people will opt for DVD quality rather than have lock-in.
  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @12:33PM (#19651109) Homepage Journal
    "...and I can't seem to get it thru the thick heads of our junior staff here that despite the fact that we have an MS enterprise licensing agreement in place, that it doesn't mean that they can go about willy-nilly installing various MS software anywhere and everywhere they please. It still must be done in a strict accounting and inventory managed way, and each piece of MS software installed onto a pile of hardware must be justified by proper business authorization, and approved by a manager with budget authority *BEFORE IT GETS INSTALLED* "

    Yep....and that all means nothing when I've got a deadline to meet, and I can't get in touch with some PHB to get a signoff on a box we've been having to use for weeks already.

    *grumbling* damned pencil pushing *#(&$)*&$#3!!...


  • by arminw ( 717974 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @01:19PM (#19651907)
    .....Retail Home variants of Vista also aren't licensed for virtualization......

    Who cares about what's licensed or not. Do you really think that 99.999% of buyers of a VISTA box will care or even look at what their box or dialog presents about agreeing to this or that? They will just install it if it will install. Unless MS can come up with a technical block that will prevent the program from working correctly in a VM, they can print the Harvard Law Library on their boxes for all the difference it would make. MS or anyone's licensing terms don't mean squat in the real world that everyone except lawyers inhabit, especially to consumers. If I were running a big business, I might pay just a tiny bit of attention to such "licenses".
  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @01:48PM (#19652407)

    Yes, I know the University pays for the volume licensing agreement. Jeez.

    What I mean in this context is that the users/departments get it for essentially free (to them), and doesn't impact their budget in the same way other software does when they get thirty licenses of Windows Vista Enterprise for the cost of one set of media. In other words, the cost does NOT impact them when the make decisions. They see Windows and Office as basically being "free", and therefore wouldn't consider the potential cost implications of running Windows on Macs.

    I am well aware of the fact that Microsoft is paid. But the reality is that for many organizations, like academic institutions, with volume licensing agreements, the users see it as "free", because the cost is NOT passed to them the same way as it is for other software or purchases they might make (or sometimes at all).
  • by misleb ( 129952 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @02:08PM (#19652731)

    Is going Aptel that big of a jump, you still using Intel Processors. It will just be a different OS.

    Yeah, it kind of is. A Mac, even with the intel processor, doesn't feel like a PC at all. I used PCs for the last 20 years and finally got around to buying a Mac (Mac Book Pro) and the overall difference is significant. No more fussing with video drivers. No more butt ugly BIOS POST screens and BIOS config screens with options that almost nobody uses. I can boot off just about anything. Can put my computer in "target firewire" mode so it can act as an external hard drive to another computer. And many other things that, while sometimes possible with PCs, just work with a Mac. And the OS is integrated with the hardware features like neither Windows nor Linux could never quite manage.

    It all comes at a price of fewer choices, of course. But after 20 years of PC "choices," I'm ready to settle down on something that just works elegantly and seamlessly. Macs are just SO MUCH more pleasant to work with.

  • by tsm_sf ( 545316 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @02:31PM (#19653067) Journal
    I was just about to make this point myself. Microsoft isn't concerned about supporting their OS now, why are they suddenly concerned about supporting virtualized versions?

    How hard would it be for the indian support rep to add 'virtual' to their instructions? "Have you restarted your virtual computer?" "I'd like you please to reinstall your virtual operating system now."
  • by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @04:54PM (#19655109)

    Also, Apple doesn't really want to make it too easy for people to run Windows and Windows apps - just when they really need to.

    I don't think Apple gives a shit. If you bought their hardware, they're happy. The OS X platform is Apple's way of being able to deliver value such as iLife that they don't trust Microsoft to deliver on their own (and they haven't), but if you're still willing to buy Apple hardware even though you're using Windows on it, Apple wants you as a customer.
  • by leenks ( 906881 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:56PM (#19655905)
    Because it sucks.

    For a Windows user, it doesn't work like Office on Windows, especially things such as keyboard shortcuts, and Microsoft is busy pruning functionality such as VBA from it (no more macros, which are pretty much essential for lots of business use unfortunately).

  • by Divebus ( 860563 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @09:27PM (#19657779)

    iWork isn't a replacement for Office unless you do page layout and Power Point. Keynote (part of iWork) blows Power Point out of the water, not just for effects but also how good it looks on screen. Keynote is of the best kept secrets of the Mac. When I do a Keynote presentation, people run up to me afterward and want to know how I did it instead of asking about the topic. They're universally amazed at how great it looks and runs, the way media is mixed in and the gorgeous transitions. Keynote will also import and export Power Point projects. Importing makes the same Power Point look way better but exporting unfortunately strips away whatever Power Point isn't capable of displaying - which is quite a bit.

    The Pages part of iWork isn't a word processor as much as a layout system. I've converted several people who confuse Word with a layout program to start using Pages on a Mac instead. They're much happier there.

    Office for Mac is pretty good these days except for the way Microsoft is crippling it for power users. Otherwise, it works fine but costs too much. However, NewEgg sells a full OEM version of Office Mac for $185. If you're in education, you can get the slightly sawed off student version of Office Mac for $130 (3 installs). It's my first choice.

    A close second choice is the newer version of NeoOffice for Mac which works pretty well. It can read that zipped up proprietary digital glop that Microsoft calls OOXML. Don't know about OpenOffice for Mac... yet.

    Running Windows in Parallels is really nice and fast but the most expensive way to do things. A lot of people don't necessarily want to buy and run Windows, they just want to run Windows Apps which brings me to the Wine implementations. Office for PC ran OK in CodeWeavers' Crossover Mac except for Outlook at the time (who cares when you can run 100 other email programs). Crossover doesn't require a Windows license. Installing software is also a little goofy and I abandoned that fairly quick. Check back in a year.

Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.