by Matt@Smalldog.com (posted by Ed, written by Matt@Smalldog.com)

There are many versions of Microsoft’s Vista operating system: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate…not to mention the 64-bit variants. Notable features: “Most secure windows ever,” “Elegant glass-like desktop experience,” “protect against hardware failure,” “better protection for your data.”

It’s well-known that to utilize the Aero interface, very powerful hardware is required. Lots of RAM is recommended. You need oodles of hard drive space to install it. But how does this affect Mac users wishing to run Vista on their Apple hardware?

If you’re leaning towards the Boot Camp route, you can choose any flavor of Vista. If you wish to run it in Parallels or other virtualization software, you’ll have to spring for the Business or Ultimate editions. The EULA (End User License Agreement) of Vista expressly prohibits the use of the lower-cost versions in virtualization, thus forcing Mac users to shell out extra for features they may not need or want. Microsoft cites security concerns as the reason. I call it the Microsoft Mac Tax.

If you know you’ll want to run Vista on a new Mac you purchase from Small Dog, it’s a no-brainer to buy Vista with the new computer. If you wait, we are contractually obligated to sell the retail box instead of the OEM. Compare retail Ultimate vista vs. OEM Ultimate Vista: $399.99 vs $209.99; Business retail vs. Business OEM: $299.99 vs $154.99. It’s just a shame that one cannot use the least expensive Home versions, as many users will find those versions entirely suitable for their needs.

by Matt@Smalldog.com

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