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Must-Have Windows Programs - For Mac Users?

I've been working on a review of a couple of programs that let you run Windows programs on a Mac with an Intel processor. I've got my own list of Windows programs that I'll be testing in each of these virtualization applications, but I'd like to get your thoughts on this: If you've moved from Windows to Mac OS X recently, what Windows apps do you wish you could take along? I'm particularly interested in ones that don't have a Mac equivalent.

Let me know in the comments. Thanks!

By Rob Pegoraro  |  March 5, 2007; 3:18 PM ET
Categories:  Mac  
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I miss Outlook. Entourage just doesn't cut it. The main feature lacking is the calendar does not alert to scheduling conflicting events as Outlook does.

Posted by: Kate | March 5, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Microsoft Office OneNote 2007. There is no equivalent note-taking program available for the Mac. As a student, and a writer, I find it invaluable for organizing class notes, assignments and pieces I'm working on. I also prefer Word 2007 to Word 2004 for Mac, although I could live with it if I had to.

Posted by: Boyd | March 5, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I wish Picasa was available for Mac. It's nicer for managing and uploading photos than the current version of iPhoto

Posted by: Ken | March 5, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Cygwin is the most valuable program for Windows. Unfortunately to make the applications run, more support and backing is required from Apple, corporations and users. OpenDarwin is shutting down - Fink - needs more corporations to stop throwing their money down the Seattle sewer and invest in Fink developers both at home and in the third world. also does not bring the complete unabridged world of Unix applications to the Macintosh in final, tested form. A little tweaking is required and this should not be left to end users but to corporations who waste millions of dollars on Microsoft software and software that requires Microsoft software just to run- Microsoft software is not only unreliable, it is also America's single biggest threat to homeland security. Bush's Homeland Security Color Code system should include a color code with the Microsoft flag and a can of spam.

Posted by: Andy The Great | March 5, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see MasterCook software.

Posted by: Peter | March 5, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The applications for my Motorola iDEN cell phone (address book, Java app loader) are all available only for Microsoft Windows environments. My understanding is that Linux support for such applications via "wine" does not include USB, so that's not a solution for me either.

Posted by: Charles | March 5, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I wish that Intuit would update Quicken for Mac; it is still a MacOS 9 application and is nowhere near as good as Quicken for Windows.

Posted by: Steve | March 5, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The Palm Desktop for windows is significantly better than the Mac version. Would be nice to be able to run the Windows version on the Mac.

Posted by: Sam | March 5, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I see a lot of great professional programs listed. I would include ActiveSync for iPaqs and just for the heck of it, how about Counterstrike? Knowing heavy performance processes would be interesting for benchmark people out there.

Posted by: Dave | March 5, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

The softwear for reading results from my Polar heart rate monitor. I could dump my old PC entirely if I could port that to my Mac.

Posted by: Moose | March 5, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

How many mass market programs do not have Mac equivalents? I ask because my example is, well, obscure, at least outside a small circle of people.

I recently moved to a Mac, and there is one program I would love to be able to run on my new Mac, an online bridge game program called BridgeBase. The developer, a bridge expert named Fred Gitelman, has not produced a Mac version, and has no plans to do so, as far as I know.

Posted by: Richard | March 5, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

After my PC died last year, I bought a MAC. I installed Parallels just so I could run my genealogy software. After years of work on Legacy, I just couldn't bear the thought of migrating to something else, plus it's a good program. (I contacted them and they are not planning on a MAC version).
BTW, are you aware that Microsoft will only license the most expensive home version of Vista, Vista Home Ultimate, for use with virtualization? What a rip-off!

Posted by: Gina | March 5, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Put me down for Microsoft Access, the flexible, powerful, highly customizable database software that has no equal on the Mac side. The one program I use at work that I can't work on at home on the Mac.


Posted by: Kimosabe | March 5, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

1. I would like to see a better photo program than iPhoto -- it is SO hard to locate photos since they are organized by date, but you cannot see thumbnails of them. The photo programs are much better on a PC.
2. Intuit WillMaker is not available for a Mac.
3. I sure miss the program which I have on my PC which allows me to quickly make a CD copy for my personal use -- it doesn't put the entire thing on the hard drive, which is what the Mac does. I miss that a LOT on my Mac.

I made the switch a year ago and love my Mac, but these are a few things that I miss -- or else I don't know how to do them on a Mac yet. I LOVE the multimedia capabilities of the Mac, though. Much easier!!

Posted by: rjrjj | March 5, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I would be curious how AutoCAD 2007 runs under vitualization on a Mac, either with Bootcamp or Parallels.
While Mac applications software are, indeed, somewhat limiting compared to Windows apps, I still feel Macs are easily worth it compared to the many hassles one has to put up with in a Widows environment. ( often can help locate substitute Mac s/w.)

Posted by: Dan | March 5, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I learned yesterday that TurboTax runs on a Mac. In the 2nd quarter of this year, Abobe is bringing back its Premier professional non-linear video editor to the Mac. So far as I'm concerned, that eliminates my reasons to run Windows for personal use.

Unfortunately I do financial modeling that requires Excel add-ins such as Crystal Ball. I will be requisitioning copies of Parallels and Office for Windows to test if the add-ins can run on a Windows-configured Mac (because they don't run on the Mac Office suite).

Posted by: infoshaman | March 5, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

TheBrain, a program for network visualization of information - It is used by Encyclopedia Britannica for information visualization.

UltraRecall, an outlining+ program that runs only on Windows -

SuperMemo, a study and review program that allows one to systematically study -

AT&T Natural Voices programs as TextAloud from TextAloud also uses other text-to-speech voices by accommodating voices from other vendors and in numerous languages.

Vortex xStream, a computer assisted reading program that uses Rapid Serial Visual Presentation to assist folks in reading with the computer -

Posted by: CB - prof at Duke | March 5, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

SAS. I use SAS all day at work, and work has to be a Windows shop because SAS hasn't released a current version for the Mac in years and years.

If I could run SAS on a Mac laptop, I'd buy my own little MacBook for travel and work from home and then replace my company laptop with a much faster desktop machine.

Posted by: Dirty Davey | March 5, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Explorer -- only to verify that web pages created on the Mac function as intended for PC users.

Posted by: beep52 | March 5, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Homestyle HTML editor, originally by Allaire, bought by Macromedia and included in the Flash suite as an afterthought. I don't need no friggin' Dreamweaver, I'm a coder.

Posted by: somnamblst | March 5, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see a newer version of Explorer for MAC and also Outlook. I use a professional program called PCLaw that does time and billing. I wish that were available on the MAC.

Posted by: Dave from Fla. | March 5, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

WordPerfect Office Professional -- for access to old files but also because I've put a lot of work into some Paradox database applications that it will take me a long time to recreate in FileMaker.

Even more important to me is access to the many electronic books I've purchased in Libronix format, but I doubt Libronix will come up very often from others who respond.

There are other, more obscure Windows-only applications that I would run occasionally if I could, but I'll stick with these as the most important to me.

Posted by: Craig | March 5, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

The most-wanted list:

1. Picasa, or a replacement for iPhoto. iPhoto leaves a lot to be desired.

2. Microsoft Visio - there is no high-end diagramming/flowchart application for the Mac like Visio.

Posted by: Michael G. | March 5, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Can't one run Windows on an Intel Mac? That would make running Windows aps on a Mac possible. That's what I thought was the case. I'm a Mac user since 1986. I've not ever wished to run Windows and when I do have to use a Windows machine I find it an unpleasant experience (too hard to find things, too many intrusions by the OS, viruses, installs/uninstalls, partitioned drives, etc.)

Posted by: Steve | March 5, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I've been running Parallels on my office Mac Mini for 4 months now, and it's been flawless. My Mini is now the best Windows computer I've ever used!

Posted by: Alexandria | March 5, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

ESRI's ArcView, ArcGIS etc.

Posted by: Test | March 5, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I share files with collaborators using Groove software. Now that Groove has been bought by Microsoft, I doubt there will be a Mac OS version. Nevertheless, that's something that would be hard for me to live without.

Posted by: anonymous | March 5, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Windows only programs to bring to a Mac- how about Hebrew software (Bibleworks, Hebrew tutor) for all us clergy who are tapped into the virtual side of things? I know several rabbis and priests including myself who would rejoice to see that day.

Posted by: Elizabeth | March 5, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse


When I migrated from PC to Mac last summer, I had to give my years worth of Microsoft Money financial files for both my personal and business checking accounts. So, Microsoft Money is the program I most wish I could have run on my new iMac!

Posted by: walt | March 5, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

The two programs I really wish were Mac-compatible are:

MS Publisher


MS Money.

I realize that they are both Windows-based programs and probably won't ever be available on the Mac platform, but I sure do miss them on my new Mac.

Posted by: Jess | March 5, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

NONE!!! The reason for my migrating to Mac is to leave behind all the buggy and insecure softwares associated with the equally buggy and prone-to-security-compromises WinOS!! Wanted simple multimedia softwares? Apple's got them built-in! Wanted something pro-level? Apple's got the BEST 1st and 3rd party pro multmed apps out there!! Business suites? How about OpenOffice/StarOffice.... and all the other web-based offerings?!

Posted by: Bob R | March 5, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I have used Microsoft MapPoint quite a bit on my PC, and would like street mapping software on my Mac that doesn't require an internet connection (i.e. Yahoo Maps or similar). Maybe there are decent street mapping products out there for OS X, but I'm not aware of them.

Also, I'm interested in AutoCAD.

Also, the poster who isn't able to view thumbnails on iPhoto may may be interested in the new Photoshop Lightroom software, available natively for Mac.

Posted by: anonymous | March 5, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

QUICKEN! There is a mac version, but it is the buggiest program I have ever run. Intuit support for the mac platform is miserable, and I'd say it's worse than nothing. I have to think if Intuit abandoned Mac someone would step into the void. As it is, there's no viable alternative.

Posted by: Charles Robertson | March 5, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I need a VPN program to log into my Windows PC at work so that I can work from home on my Mac. I haven't found anything for this.

Also, as a CPA, I like the Windows version of Quicken better. It's so hard toggle back and forth and the reporting is not as robust.

Posted by: Debbie | March 5, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse


I have been a Quicken user for over 15 years and there is no reliable way to convert the windows data to Macintosh data. There is no Home & Business version for the Mac so even if you could convert you could only convert part of it.

Posted by: Ron | March 5, 2007 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I've installed Parallels on my husband's new iMac so that I can run two programs in particular-a genealogy program, Family Tree, and a weaving design program, WeaveIt Pro. My husband runs bridge and chess programs through Parallels.

BTW, I think Windows OS is easier to use than the Mac OS. I have trouble finding files and programs that aren't on the Mac desktop. I like Windows "start".

Posted by: MM Rudy | March 5, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

PUBLISHER! There is a better program for Mac (Quark) but it is around $700, and is much more professional than I need. I can't find any substitute for Publisher at a reasonable price.

By the way, for the commenter above who wanted to read old WORDPERFECT files, try OpenOffice ( This is free software and replaces Word/Excel/PPT. (And it saves files in those formats for easy exchange with people still on Windows). It reads my old Wordperfect documents like a charm, and converts them to Word format.

Posted by: Billy | March 5, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

EViews, an econometrics package. I haven't found any decent econometrics packages for the Mac, especially for which the files can also be read in the Windows version.

Re WordPerfect (by far the best word processing program ever), AbiWord (free, at least at the time I downloaded it) also works with WP files. Formatting is very occasionally an issue, but it works very well.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

This is an interesting exercise, but what software do you plan to use to try to run these programs in Mac OS X?

I have tried CrossOver from CodeWeavers, and, unfortunately, the vast majority of Windows software, including anything NOT by Micro$oft, do not run reliably in this software, which is years away from being a practical alternative to BootCamp (to be included in Leopard, the newest version of X) or Parallels, which works very well.

And since is a commercial version of Darwine, I doubt there is any better alternative. So I would not expect to run Windows software in OS X anytime soon.

Posted by: gladmax | March 5, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Quicken and my games -- the only reason I keep a PC is because there just aren't current racing simulators for Mac. I can survive (unhappily) without WordPerfect, but not without Grand Prix 4!

Posted by: AirSix | March 5, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Microsoft Money!!!! Or at least develop a decent version of Quicken for Mac! I switched to a MacBook late last year and have loved every moment of it EXCEPT for the ten years of data that I had to abandon from my Microsoft Money program. And nearly everything you read online about Quicken for Mac is that it is totally buggy and not worth using. I'm amazed that with all the Apple lovers that nobody has filled the obvious, massive void of financial programs for Mac...

Posted by: Bethesda | March 5, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I have both Macs and PC's; I'm typing this from my new Macbook Pro. Nero Burning Rom. Toast is not 1/10th the program that Nero is... Helium Music Manager. Inconsistent interface, but powerful beyond belief. WinAmp: Simple, small, and effective. Someone mentioned Visio. This is one of the jewels of the Windows world. There are many many small utilities dealing with CD's & DVDs that strip copy protection and let you exercise fair use. Mac the Ripper is okay, but it's not integrated with a way to convert from 9G to smaller.

That's actually a small list. It has grown smaller because of iLife, and the fact that the internet has been the great equalizer when it comes to software. The pressure is clearly on MS to try to keep their desktop hegemony.

I really really love my new Mac. It's like driving a BMW compared to driving a Chevy Impala (a.k.a. HP/Compaq laptop)

Posted by: Tom Krotchko | March 5, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I am the principal of a large middle school. I have Paralells installed for one program, and one only: Calendar Creator. I have yet to find a OSX program that makes such good/useful calendars.

I make monthly calendars for my staff, and we could not live without them. I have tried iCal and Entourage, and other programs. And I woud LOVE to dump Calendar Creator - I have to save as PDF, and share it over to OSX to's a pain. But it is perfect for what I do for my staff.

Plus, I get to play Poker Stars in Windows.


Posted by: Dan | March 5, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I wish the Mac had better options for Blackberry connectivity. Mark/Space has a preview version of The Missing Sync for Blackberry, but the other option is PocketMac, which is absolutely horrible. So for now, I use Parallels to run the Blackberry desktop software, which works great.

Posted by: Don Chen | March 5, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse


A Windows only program used to translate the AIS signals of large ships. AIS is a system that ships use to communicate their positions to each other as part of the global maritime safety system. The two frequencies used are 161.975 (Marine ch 87) and 162.025 (ch 88) MHz and Shipplotter lets you chart them on a map.

(just had to add something really geeky because a lot of these other programs sound pretty boring)

Posted by: Andrew | March 5, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

MS MONEY! There is nothing in the Mac universe that comes close.

Posted by: Karl | March 5, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I use Business Intelligence software at work and have to use a PC for doing analysis and reporting from business data. I would LOVE to see either Business Objects or Cognos port their software over to Mac. Are you listening, Guys???!!! It would be helpful if there were more enterprise database tools like those from Embarcadero, but I can get by with some of the basic Mac tools for writing and executing SQL.

Posted by: Man of Many Hats | March 5, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

**A better version of Quickbooks. The Mac version just isn't as good as the windows version. **Also I agree that outlook is better than entourage (entourage has some cute, unique features, but those are offset by the klutziness of bread-and-butter features including calendar and to-do lists). SPSS (the statistical software) is not available for intel macs.

Posted by: Barry | March 5, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

My digital Oxford English Dictionary does not work on a mac :(

Posted by: Chris Hoofnagle | March 5, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Access based propriatary programs such as QuicDocs and OfficeTherapy
except for that, I've never been tempted to leave my mac

Posted by: michelle | March 5, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Microsoft Access woukd be nice !

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice to get a myTunes Redux equivalent that actually works on newer versions of iTunes.

Posted by: Ryan | March 5, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

The only reason I keep a Windows-based PC in my office and home is to run the many statistical programs that are either available only on a Windows PC, or haven't been developed well enough for Mac. The programs include SAS, WesVar, Limdep, Lisrel, and Stata. SAS permeates government, education, and business. It also is the largest and most complex installation of all these stat programs. It would be good test.

Posted by: Robb | March 5, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Naturally Speaking! The is no decent voice voice recognition software for OS X. I bought MacBook Pro so I could dictate at home and in the office, even thought I have a recent PowerBook that can otherwise handle my current needs. Naturally Speaking runs fine.

Posted by: Jon | March 5, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm joined at the hip to Windows because of Dragon Naturally Speaking. I have RSI and have no alternative. If I could switch to Mac and still use Dragon I'd jump at the chance. In all that I've read about the new Mac capability of running Windows programs, I haven't read a report of how well Dragon would work and what configuration would be the best.

Posted by: Josh | March 5, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Lamentably, Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 does not run on my imac. Also many of the Yahoo! games which I enjoyed playing on my PC (chess,pool, and above all Literati) cannot be played on Safari.Some of these games are accessible via Camino but only after some complicated manoeverings and even then one often gets frozen out. iphoto does have its limitations but its great strength is the quality of the visual display of ones photos which no PC can match.

Posted by: geoffrey | March 6, 2007 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Neat Receipts!!! Doesn't work on Parallels, but apparently they're coming out with a Mac version at the end of '07.

Posted by: Alex | March 6, 2007 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Here is a third vote for Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Posted by: jj Palo Alto | March 6, 2007 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I switched to Mac OS X a year and a half ago and to Quicken for Mac a year ago. Prior to that I used Quicken for Windows -- a truly capable and easy to use program. By comparison Quicken for Mac is dated. And it was difficult to transfer my Quicken data from the Windows version to the Mac version. It seems like Intuit is putting as little resources as possible into it. A real surprise from a company that makes such great software otherwise.

Posted by: Jim | March 6, 2007 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I guess I am one of the few people who ended up with a iMac that arrived DOA. Their customer service can't take things locally to get it fixed if you bought it online, no one will come to your house to set you up, it doesn't come with ANY operating manuals, they don't give you a loaner computer while yours is getting fixed, etc, etc. The only thing I enjoyed before my MAC crashed was iTunes. And I REALLY want to run my Polar HRM software on my iMAC. I've only had it a month, I wonder if I can still get a refund.....

Posted by: tlawrenceva | March 6, 2007 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Adobe FrameMaker. It used to be supported on Macs, but its supplier Adobe seems to be letting it die a slow death. The Linux version was never fully released. FrameMaker is a superior authoring tool; unlike Word, it does what you tell it to do and does NOT do gratuitous unwanted things like changing your chosen font for no apparent reason. Contrary to rumor, it is easier to use than Word, not harder; and it gives a writer more precise control of formatting. FrameMaker, and an image-handling program called IrfanView, are the only reasons that I still use Windows.

Posted by: Chuck Hastings | March 6, 2007 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Two programs. Visio first - I really miss it.
Second -- mapping and positioning software in general. Delorme should port their software to OS X. Garmin is starting to.

Posted by: bob holiday | March 6, 2007 1:21 AM | Report abuse

I second everyone's comments about Quicken on the mac ... i'm stuck using it in Parallels.

Posted by: Jerry | March 6, 2007 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Garmin Mapsource/mapping programs for my GPS

Posted by: Earl | March 6, 2007 1:43 AM | Report abuse


I'm stucked on Windows Minesweeper. No other version turns me on as Windows does.

Posted by: Fook H Eng | March 6, 2007 2:03 AM | Report abuse

Yahoo! Messenger WITH VOICE. Currently, Yahoo! Messenger works on a Mac, but not the voice part. My children are overseas and it's an affordable, good quality way to chat with them... I contacted Yahoo! about it and they said they're working on it for a future release for Macs...

Posted by: dmt | March 6, 2007 2:32 AM | Report abuse's software doesn't run on a mac. That greatly reduces my chances for saving on postage.

Posted by: D | March 6, 2007 2:50 AM | Report abuse

I haven't run into any windows programs yet that don't work well under Parallels Desktop. It is satisfying seeing my Mac boot Windows, and for it to settle down, faster than windows boots nativly on the same hardware. I agree, it stinks that mainstays like Quicken aren't equal in their Mac version; but folks, have a little patients, this is all very new. As for the litany of specialty programs, ditto, as Macs gain market share, the applications will follow. How long has Microsoft been trying to get windows right?? For those who need a more powerful photo management program than iPhoto, I'd suggest Adobe Lightroom.

Posted by: Alvah | March 6, 2007 3:04 AM | Report abuse

Microsoft Expression Web

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 4:43 AM | Report abuse

Another vote for Delorme's mapping programs and Garmin's as well.

Posted by: SHW | March 6, 2007 4:46 AM | Report abuse

1. Dragon Naturally Speaking -- no Mac speech to text program comes close to this

2. Microsoft Outlook - the Microsoft "equivalent" for the Mac, called Entourage, frustrates Win->Mac user migration (through nonrecognition of .pst files)

Posted by: openworld | March 6, 2007 5:08 AM | Report abuse

I have been a mac user since college but, as a lawyer, the federal court require me to use trial presentation software, like Trial Director by Indata Corp., to present evidence in the court. I don't want to use a pc to do this but Trial Director is not made for Macs. If I could run this on a Mac with either parallels or boot camp, that would be great. I just don't want to spend $3000 on Mac to find out that it won't run it.

Posted by: Gary | March 6, 2007 5:23 AM | Report abuse


It arrived DOA, but you enjoyed iTunes before it crashed?

And you absolutely can take a Mac bought online to an Apple Store for service. I had an eMac with a bad video card that I bought from Amazon and had zero difficulty getting it serviced (under the warranty, no less, saving about $700) at an Apple Store. Their customer service was fantastic.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 5:36 AM | Report abuse

Free Cell - a great game. Otherwise, the MAC is a marvel compared to

Posted by: Patty | March 6, 2007 5:50 AM | Report abuse

Solitaire, the Golf version. Are there no Mac solitaire games?

Posted by: Steve | March 6, 2007 6:28 AM | Report abuse

I wish the full Rhapsody player/music manager were available.

Posted by: Ed Harrison | March 6, 2007 6:30 AM | Report abuse

"The softwear for reading results from my Polar heart rate monitor. I could dump my old PC entirely if I could port that to my Mac."

I use it every day with a Polar 720i HRM. Install Parallels, WinXP, get the IR/USB adapter to transfer data files. It works flawlessly.

The other biggy for me is Dragon Naturally Speaking. This also works fine with Parallels/WinXP.

Posted by: Chuck | March 6, 2007 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Crtiical progams on Windows, not on mac:

- Visual C++ (software development tool)
- CloneDVD (DVD copier)

Posted by: neal | March 6, 2007 7:13 AM | Report abuse

I would love to have Family Tee Maker and several other inventory programs for a Mac. Since I can't find any that meets the quality, I use my MAC for everything except managing those databases, which means when I travel I sometimes need to carry 2 computers.

Posted by: Epathea Litmer | March 6, 2007 7:15 AM | Report abuse

I love my iMac, and can't even believe I spent so long in the Windows world before I got my truly elegant Apple computer. But I do miss WordPerfect. I gather there is no WP for OSX, although there was a version for the previous operating system. Yes yes, I know that WP has been rendered obsolete by Word, but Word is a very unpleasant word processing program compared to WP. Thanks to the poster who suggested trying I'll do that to recapture some of my WP files that weren't converted when I bought my new iMac. By the way, props to the terrific service and education folks at the Bethesda Avenue Apple store!

Posted by: Myra Karstadt | March 6, 2007 7:20 AM | Report abuse

I bought a PC only so I could play bridge online at If it plays on a Mac, I can pitch this horrible PC and go back to my Mac. Many thanks.

Posted by: Melissa Bailey | March 6, 2007 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Another vote for a usable version of Quicken. I used the Windows version for years with no problem, and, in fact, kept the old Windows 98 pc around just for that after I had switched to the mac. Once that version of Windows and Quicken were no longer supported, however, I bit the bullet.....and the bullet bit back.

Conversion was miserable and incomplete. I hated to do it but ended up simply sacraficing history instead of going through the hassle of correcting errors. I use Quicken for Mac now, but it's pitiful in comparison to the Windows version.

Posted by: EFG | March 6, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

WordPerfect. So much nicer to use than Word. (There used to be a native Mac version for it that was great, too, but has not been updated to run natively on OS X.)

Posted by: LesLes | March 6, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The newest versions of Windows Media Player - but only because they support the Digital Rights Management used by to download its audiobooks onto a compatible player (explicitly NOT supported are iPod and Zune).

Also, in the Intuit / Quicken boat, my accountant has his tax return customers run a Windows-only application called E-Organizer (see

Posted by: Charles | March 6, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm running Dragon Naturally Speaking just fine on my MacBookPro - just an FYI

Posted by: Diane | March 6, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I run a mail server on Windows, using a commercial-quality free product called Mercury32. There is no free or cheap alternative for the Mac. You can configure components of the Mac OS to turn your Mac into a mail server, but it's rather involved. It would be nice to run Mercury32 on the Mac.

Posted by: Mark | March 6, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm... well it seems Rob that some people shouldn't give up so easily. Hopefully, your article will also include comparable programs? I guess I am in a whole 'nother realm. The only PC program I purchased to use on my Mac is the MS Office Suite. It works fine and I don't see any reason to upgrade to 2007! I went back to Mac because I got so sick of the pc world with its updates and skanky way of management.

Posted by: umm.huh | March 6, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Haven't come across any Windows software (non-MS) that won't run in Parallels. WordPerfect, CorelDraw & Quicken were my last Windows hold outs. All run perfectly.

OpenOffice is fine for MS Word files, but it, like Word, leaves a lot to be desired for long (hundreds of page) documents. So if you can spring for a MacIntel machine, and use WP or Quicken . . . you'll have the best of both worlds.

One word for a Windows app I miss: Irfanview. There are Mac programs that do the same, but not freeware.

Steve asked about solitaire for the Mac. Check VersionTracker. Only a handful of freeware solitaires, though there are several reasonably priced shareware versions.

Posted by: PostReader | March 6, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

For work, I really need Visio on the Mac. Omnigraffle is a great alternative, but nothing beats the native app for sharing files.

Posted by: macuser | March 6, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Quicken for home and Outlook for work (@home).

RE: Andy The Great
> Cygwin is the most valuable program for Windows.
> Unfortunately to make the applications run,
> more support and backing is required from Apple

Cygwin is essentially a Unix emulator for Windows ( Mac OS X is Unix. So why would you need to emulatate Unix on Mac when you already have Unix?

Posted by: Boghog | March 6, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Like others have said SPSS and SAS. Without a Mac version on them lots of number crunchers can't migrate.

Posted by: Leo | March 6, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Great comments, all. To address a few of them:

* I can't answer the questions about statistics apps--I'm supposed to focus on things that people use at home--but I can field the AutoCAD query: An architect acquaintance of mine has been raving about how well that program runs under Parallels.

* The people trying to run Windows genealogy programs on a Mac might to better with one of the two native-Mac genealogy applications, Reunion and MacFamilyTree.

* To read WordPerfect files on a Mac, your easiest, cheapest option is to download the free, open-source AbiWord.

* I'm amazed to see so many people complaining about the Mac version of Quicken. I plan on pointing Quicken's PR folks to this thread and asking them for their reaction.

- RP

Posted by: Rob Pegoraro | March 6, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see a list of the Windoze software that really does not have a (i.e., any) Mac equivalent and then one that does not have an equivalent that is at least as good.To suggest that there is no Mac alternative for Access is ludicous.

Posted by: PaulK | March 6, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

FrameMaker! FrameMaker! FrameMaker! Best desktop publishing program there is. Adobe abandoned it on the Mac when OS X came out. Time to rethink that decision, guys.

Posted by: Alexandria | March 6, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

How come it's not universal binary?

Posted by: Quicken! | March 6, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to those who suggested OpenOffice and AbiWord as WordPerfect document openers. I have both (not to mention NeoOffice), but the tool I favor is Nisus Writer Express.

Still, there are some complex documents that only WordPerfect can do justice, especially those that make heavy use of macros.

Posted by: Craig | March 6, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Another vote for Picasa. It's so good, so useful and why it isn't available for Macs is known only to Google, I guess.

Posted by: Sandy | March 6, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2007.

Posted by: JM | March 6, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

To the two people wanting to run SAS on the Mac: a friend of mine runs it using Windows emulation software and it runs quite well.

Posted by: Carlos | March 7, 2007 12:03 AM | Report abuse

The ONLY PC software I ever miss on a Mac is a newer version of Word Perfect and the original spreadsheet, Lotus 123.
I have the last Mac version of Word Perfect, 15 years old and it still kicks Word's butt. However, if I want the best spreadsheet app ever I must use a PC (Piece of Crap.)
Even though they made some great processors for Apple, I don't expect IBM to write Lotus code for Macs.
What a shame.

Posted by: David Patterson | March 7, 2007 1:21 AM | Report abuse

MS Access or an equivalent compatible for interchanging files to/from Access to work at home.

Posted by: MM | March 7, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I thought something like OneNote was built into a previous MS Word program for the Mac (Office 200X: Mac or something)?

And for anyone looking for a better solution than iPhoto, Apple makes it and its called Aperture.

At any rate, Excel and something like MS Project are what I really need. Its not that MS does such a great job with them, but its what I use in business. Also Visio, Omnigraffle just doesn't cut it.

And I thought FileMaker Pro was a Mac equiv to Access?

Posted by: Bucky | March 7, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

For the record, we're testing how well a Mac running Parallels can replace a PC -- so far, GREAT. The user is low-techknowledge so it was a good test -- how invisible could it be. And this is WITHOUT "Coherence", a new addition to parallels that'll run the PC app not in a separate window (or 'Cube Face', if you will) but rather JUST like a regular Mac app (cf: Wine for you linux users).

The user was NOT interested in dual-booting, but has been able to do anything she needed to do on the PC side, with all the ease-of use (and lovely looking hardware) of a Mac.

For reference, it's a low-end macbook with 2gb of RAM -- but we only allotted 512 to the XP partition, and it's smooooth.

Look forward to your review, Rob, but I'm already a HUGE fan of Parallel's product.

Posted by: Bush (not related) | March 7, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The only thing I regret with my Mac is lack of integration between my PalmPilot desktop calendar, Mail and Address Book. I'm not a fan of Outlook, but I am jealous of the integration that my PC-using friends enjoy between these equivalent applications. I keep looking. What is the best integrated PDA/Address Book/E-mail/Desktop Calendar solution out there for the Mac? I absolutely agree that Eudora doesn't cut it, and I'm not fond of iCal as a desktop calendar either. It seems like various elements are available for the Mac, but not one seamless solution. Am I better off with a different PDA?

Posted by: Quickslvr | March 7, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Another vote for Picasa on the Mac. My wife switched to a mac recently and complains about iPhoto all the time.

Posted by: Jon B | March 7, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Yet another vote for Adobe FrameMaker.

Posted by: Don Libes | March 8, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Dragon Naturally Speaking -- my wife has multiple sclerosis and can't keyboard well anymore. She wants a computer but I can't deal with Windows and all of the virus attacks, spam, crashes, etc. I have a full-time job -- I don't want to be the home sys admin too! I would get a Mac but I have to be able to run Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Windows PCs take too long to boot up, update the virus software, update the firewall software, delete all of the spam, update the Windoes software, oh! what did I want to use the PC for in the first place? I forgot!

By the way, computers really need to be run by voice recognition software. Who wants to keyboard and mouse around when I should be able to tell the darn thing what to do with my voice? When is Microsoft and Apple going to get it?

Posted by: Rob B | March 8, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I second Yahoo instant messenger. At the time I've used the Mac version I was dismayed at how marginalized it was compared to the Windows version.

I second Palm Desktop as well; I find the Mac Palm Desktop different in functionality. It was frustrating to add notes to calendar entries for example- the notes were treated as memos.

And Microsoft office for sure. Yes there's Office for the Mac (I tried v.X) but I find the features of Office for Windows much easier to access (in my opinion, the Mac version has been too "niceified").

As a result I am still running a Windows system today; with GNU/Linux Ubuntu 6.10 co-installed as a secondary experimental system.

Posted by: Computer User 10 | March 9, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Parallels does not yet support DirectX. They are working on it, but no timeframe has been given.

Posted by: StK | March 11, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Beyond Compare by Scooter Software is about the only tool for which I cannot find a decent replacement. BC is a visual file synchronization tool that can make a simple FTP connection as powerful as CVS or subversion. It lets you visually compare two directories and synchronize to the latest copy on each or manually move files. (It is pretty quick as well.)

Posted by: Joshua Mitchell | March 12, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

It was mentioned before - but Winamp, winamp winamp. Oh, how I miss winamp. Everytime I play a song on my MBP and realise that some people actually like iTunes, a small part of me dies.

Posted by: cck | March 13, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Master Cook software is superior to anything we have found for Mac. It is easy to use and has more capabilities.

To a lesser extent, we also miss Family Tree Maker. The mac substitutes are just not as good.

We keep our old PC around for these two programs and some old games but love our iBooks!

Posted by: Lee | March 13, 2007 4:29 AM | Report abuse

PLEASE check out NOTA BENE, the integrated free-form text-base, citation handler, and word processor. Its DOS version was taken from the networked word processor used on newspaper and magazine minicomputers, and was designed for writing on deadline. It has an amazing array of keyboard commands that make writing lightning fast, and handling massive volumes of notes fast and easy.

It includes features for academics, which scares off business users, but the thing is fantastically simple to learn. The best product for any writer, or anyone who does "knowledge work." And any academic or student. Expensive, but definitely worth every penny.

Posted by: M. K. C. Nelson | March 22, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand how professional writers who write under deadline can live without "Nota Bene." It is KEYBOARD based, so no mouse is required. It is very powerful but easy to learn. Simple key combinations will transpose letters, sentences, paragraphs; correct or capitalize the word you are on, substitute phrases for shorthand, highlight whole lines or paragraphs or sentences. Nothing else like it. Ultra fast. (No good for fussy page layouts, though. I miss AmiPro/ WordPro for that.)

It has incomparable features for students and academic writers as well, including a text-base where a career's worth of notes can be stored and searched, collapsible outliner, and index, TOC, bibliography, footnote, endnote and other citation management. But don't let that put you off. FAST for writing ANYTHING.

I would need to run both a Mac OS browser and Nota Bene at the same time to collect information on-line and re-work it. Am I asking for the impossible?

I loathe Windows. (I actually preferred ol' DOS. I could fix it when it needed fixing.)

Posted by: Kacey Nelson | March 22, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I've read somewhere that Naturally Speaking on a Mac isn't as accurate as it is on a PC. Don't know why this should be as it's the identical software (not a MAC version vs a PC version). An evaluation would be useful as Naturally Speaking would be my only reason to run Windows on my MAC.

Posted by: Henry J. Ilecki | March 24, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

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