Only high end Vistas work on Virtual Machines


John Kerry would be proud with the buzz Microsoft Vista has created – you don’t know whether to love it, or hate it. Whether to buy it or bury it! Our readers are so smart that only 10% of them are willing to take a chance on it.

Nevertheless, if you wish to install Windows Vista on your Intel powered Mac, you need to spend a lot more money that regular people. Folks at the Parallels, the company that makes an awesome virtualization software of the same name dug into the Microsoft End User License Agreement (EULA) and realized that ….

“only certain versions of Vista – Business and Ultimate (and Enterprise for corporate customers) are eligible to be run in a virtual machine. The EULA says that Home Basic and Home Premium CANNOT be run in a virtual machine.”

Now Mac users are used to overpaying for everything, but Windows Vista too! Ultimate costs $399 and the Business Vista is only slightly cheaper at $299. Well, maybe Bill has finally realized that Mac users want top of the line stuff. ;-) But seriously, looks like Microsoft is leaving money on the table. For Mac users, well another reason not to think about Vista.

PS: this is true of Parallels Workstation for PC as well.

(Hat tip, Niall Kennedy)



No one in charge of running a corporate enterprise would willingly deal with Vista as soon as it comes out. That’s why Macs are not common in those environments including those running parallels. Longhorn was full of security holes and those offices that will open up their network to Vista laptop units will have to deal with entirely new issues in user support. This may well translate to technical training dollars on Vista in the future.

John Lockwood

This is not a technical limitation merely Microsoft [once again] gouging customers. Even lowly XP Home works in a Virtual Machine.

On top of that Microsoft are charging almost DOUBLE the US price here in the UK for Vista.


Ever since Apple announced the move to Intel, I have been planning to use this to make it easier for some of our users to run MS Project and MS Visio. However rather than than be ripped off by Microsoft over Windows costs (which Boot Camp, Parallels and VM Ware, all require), I plan to instead use CrossOver Mac from CodeWeavers thus allowing me to tell Microsoft to stick Windows where the sun does not shine and to save literally a small fortune.

… And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Windows Vista, and WMP11 followed with him. And power was given unto them over 95% of computers, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of Redmond …


I’m guessing this applies to virtualizing the OS on Microsoft’s own platform too, ya? If that’s the case, then the software giant has just raised the total cost of virtualization. Ironic when virtualization – server consolidation or test & dev – was suppose to reduce cost.


Why would you need to install it in a virtual machine? Can’t you create a second partition and install it normally? Or just wipe the drive and install it outright?


Except for Xbox, when was the last time Microsoft did something really great? I thought it was best to delight your customers rather than piss them off at every turn.


It doesn’t work well yet using parallels (Intel Mac Pro). There’s still some bugs that parallels needs to work out on video drivers. The vista install (xp upgrade) on my other box was smooth, very fast, and actually pretty slick. They did a great job with the driver updating and the partitioning. I don’t know what everyone’s complaining about.


Has anyone actually tried to run Vista using this method. Given the higher overhead for Vista, does this work well? On the same point, can one still buy XP?


Why would you need Vista on Mac?

For QA and testing, I would hope.

What’s your best route to acquiring Microsoft software for testing?

Buy an MSDN License. At around ~$2k/year, you’ll get disks with every OS, every flavor of Office, Server and Development products, etc etc. With the direction Vista and Office prices are heading, it’s your best bet to get it all.

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