I recently managed to get ahold of a MacBook Pro for a really good price due to the fact my friend was looking to upgrade the older 2010 device to a newer one. Sure it wasn’t the latest or greatest, but for the price I got— it was fine as a back-up device.
That said, I was once a Mac user and don’t mind Macs. Still, most of the programs I use and own anymore are for Windows. I also work here at a Windows 8 site, so I figured, why not dual-boot into Windows 8.
Unfortunately, Mac drivers and support for Windows 8 through BootCamp aren’t exactly up to speed yet. This means that Windows 8 is basically not officially supported, at least at this point. The good news? I quickly found that it didn’t matter.
The first thing I needed to do was make sure I had at least 20GB of free space, which I had plenty more than that. I then purchased a Windows 8 Pro license key. Next, it was all about launching the Boot Camp assistant.
It will walk you through partitioning the drive and downloading any files it can possibly find. It will go through everything, reboot and will start installing Windows 8. it is really about that easy.
Once Windows 8 is up and you are at the start screen, you’ll need to navigate to where the Windows support files are and run the EXE.
The good news is that most of the Windows 7 drivers that Boot Camp wanted to install worked and played with the MacBook just fine. The bad news is that graphics drivers didn’t. The fix is pretty easy though, it’s about understanding exactly what the PC driver equivalent is, and hunting it down.
In my case, it was an NVIDIA driver and wasn’t too terribly hard to find. Once I installed the right driver, everything seemed to work just as you would expect.
The bottom-line is that you can install Windows 8 on your Mac. The question is whether you should, though. In my opinion, yes. The experience works fine and though you might have to do a few manual things (like finding good drivers and just general messing around), it is overall pretty easy to get things up and running.
All the apps and everything work exactly as they do on my desktop and the experience is in many ways better to me that I would get if I would have stayed with OS X. Keep in mind though, this is my secondary (actually, more like fourth) machine and so if your Mac is your daily driver, you might feel differently.
For the record, sorry I don’t have any pictures yet of my MacBook Pro running Windows 8. My old camera is apparently dead and all I have is my phone— you don’t want to see a picture from that, trust me (VERY blurry). Still, hopefully later this week I’ll get around to buying a new camera and will update then.
So how about it, any Mac users make the switch to Windows 8? What do you think, like it compared to OS X or not?
Want to try this for yourself? In order to see how to get the job done, I used an ArsTechnica guide as my resource.