The Windows Software You Most Want On Macs

The Windows Software You Most Want On Macs

When we asked you to tell us the Windows software you most wanted to see on Mac for a chance to win a copy of Parallels 7, there was a big response. The most popular choice? e-tax.

The lack of an “official” option for running the official ATO software on a Mac is a perennial source of complaint. Right now, the only way to do that is to use a virtualisation option like Parallels to run Windows on your Mac.

The other most commonly requested app was Microsoft Office. While there is, of course, an official Windows version of this, it seems many people don’t see it as measuring up to the Windows equivalent. A frequently mentioned issue was the lack of a Mac version of OneNote, the impressive note-taking suite for Office. (There are now iPhone and iPad versions, so perhaps one day it will happen.)

The winners

Picking five winners was tricky, but we eventually narrowed it down. John was the first commenter to pick nominate e-tax:

As sad as it sounds – e-Tax. The ATO still haven’t got a HTML5/MacOS version of it yet so I keep on having to borrow PCs or take my tax stuff to work.

Ajeya highlighted problems with Foxtel Download:

I am a Foxtel customer and the only way I can watch these are by installing Windows on my Mac. I would love not having to switch my OS just to watch my media content.

Adam had a more practical need:

Definitely mobile device simulators for Android and Blackberry. Being a mobile developer it’s great to be able to do all of your work with one computer.

Kendal moved into the medical realm:

The console for my heart/lung machine is Windows-only, I want to run this on my Macbook Pro because the battery life means in the event of a power outage, the power company would have about 10 hours to save my life or at least bring in a backup generator.

Lots of readers nominated games, but Rad stood out for his honesty:

I can’t live without playing the LEGO title games on Windows. Yes, I actually am a child trapped in a man’s body.

Thanks again everyone for the comments and to Parallels for the prizes. Keep entering in our week of competitions.


  • As a Windows user… I’m curious why these people didn’t just get a windows desktop / laptop. Especially Kendal – get a UPS at the very least. It might save your life.

    • That’s true. Kendal can either:
      -Get a big UPS
      -Install windows on the Macbook, taking advantage of the good battery life.
      -Get a windows netbook with good battery life (there are several in the 10+ hour category). With something that important I’d definitely recommend a dedicated computer, ideally with a hot spare ready to take over.

      I’m interested in the heart-lung machine itself. Does it have a built-in battery backup? is it already hooked into a UPS you can hitch a ride on? If it’s expected to last 10 hours without power there must be something going on.

      • My question is, why does the machine require the console to run? The console should only be needed to change settings, not to keep it going. Is it some kind of perverted DRM thing?

        • Guys, I think you are missing the point here with Kendal – sure there are other solutions, but I gather Kendal has just gone through major surgery and is in ICU or recovering and thought up a novel way to win a prize bay making reference to this situation being under windows control!

          Best answer of the lot imo

  • “Definitely mobile device simulators for Android and Blackberry.”

    Don’t know about Blackberry, but the Android SDK is available for Windows, OSX and Linux, and the emulator is part of the SDK.

      • Id really like to know how windows creates a million problems. Virtualization of windows creates more problems than actually running windows on real hardware. hardware acceleration, latency, Hardware connectivity (usb, other non standard peripheral devices) are all potential issues when an OS is not running natively.

    • Because that’s so much cheaper than buying ~$100 software to run windows on your existing hardware.

      Mmmm… logic.

      Also, for god sakes, ATO. Just.. ugh.

      • Apparently what everyone fails to realise is the sheer cost and time involved in rewriting the entire thing (there is no Delphi for Mac). It would be no small task, and since only around 3% of computer users use Macs, there is really no reason to as it would result in a massive net loss.

        It would be an insane waste of tax payer’s money to do so.

        There are thousands of windows-only programs. This is one of them. Get over it.

        • OSX is a choice like any other. People are free to make that choice. I have my own reasons for using the mac. Equally making up stats is a choice.

          On the website i work on ~300k uniques a day 19.23% of users are on Mac (for Nov 15 – Dec 15)

          • Correct, and by doing so you are consciously (even if not deliberately) limiting your choice of applications.

            This is something that almost every mac user has known for decades.

            But the point is there is simply no reason for the ATO to care.

    • Windows Movie Maker vs iMovie
      Microsoft Picture Manager vs iPhoto
      Textedit vs Notepad/Wordpad
      MS Paint vs (nothing equiv)
      OSX Mail vs Win7 Mail
      IE vs Safari
      Calc vs Calc

      I choose the best app regardless of plaform. I hate windows movie maker, I prefer notepad, nothing even vaguely equiv for iPhoto. Parallels lets me just not care about which OS so i can approach it with an open mind. As it happens OSX isnt so flexible with which hardware it runs on so i am Mac user, but as long as I am getting my Job done i don’t care. I’m not going to argue that you should love OSX nor is Gizmodo by having this thread.

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