Mac Dual Operating System Support Position Paper


Since October of 2007, when Apple Computer introduced a number of enhancements in its Mac OS X 10.5 operating system platform, Apple also introduced the ability for allow the Mac to run programs using Windows XP or Windows Vista. There are several software packages that allow the Mac to perform this function, each with a varying degree of difficulty to use.

IT is evaluating the software packages that allow Macs to operate with dual operating systems to ensure compatibility with our university infrastructure and software. This evaluation process will be completed in the 2008-2009 academic year. The evaluation will include functionality, reliability, ease of use, cost, and support.


IT is evaluating VMWare Fusion to provide the ability for Apple Mac computers to operate using Windows XP or Windows Vista, and utilize the programs using the Windows operating system.


IT will not support the capability to operate with dual operating systems (Mac OS X 10.5 and Windows XP or Windows Vista) during the 2008-2009 Academic Year. IT will initiate the creation of a business case for supporting dual operating systems on the Mac, and will present the business case and recommendation to the IT Cabinet and UIMC in Spring 2009. If the recommendation is accepted to support dual operating systems on the Mac, IT will begin providing that support in Fall 2009.


IT will provide no support for VMWare Fusion, Boot Camp, or Parallels. If a computer is submitted for correction of any problem apparently related to one of those three software packages, IT will back up the data on the computer, reimage the computer, and restore the data. IT will only provide standard support for those computers.


  1. The impact of the dual operating system environment, from a benefits, costs and support perspective are not fully know and will not be until we have had an opportunity to test it in APU’s infrastructure. We are aware that the costs include, but are not limited to, doubling time (labor costs) required for refreshing the computers, cost of the software (e.g., VMWare Fusion), and training for the Computer Techs.
  2. We are currently unaware of the ability of VMware Fusion to operate in our environment. This summer, we will evaluate it’s ability to operate in our environment and will have results of our testing by late summer. We are aware that problems encountered in tests thus far lead us to eliminate Bootcamp from consideration. We are also aware that Parallels is not supported by Apple and, for that reason, have chosen to consider it only if VMWare Fusion will not operate in our environment.
  3. If we find problems with VMware Fusion, we will not be able to support it.
  4. If we find that VMware Fusion does operate within our environment, we will not be able to obtain the training for all of our Computer Techs in time for Fall 2008.

Deployment Plan

  • 2008 Q2
    IT will begin testing VMWare Fusion.
  • 2009 Q1
    IT will provide a recommendation to IT Cabinet and UIMC related to support.
  • 2009 Q2
    If IT Cabinet and UIMC approves a recommendation to support VMWare Fusion, IT will develop and communicate an implementation plan, which will include financing, deployment, support, and training plans.
  • 2009 Q3
    If IT Cabinet and UIMC approves a recommendation to support VMWare Fusion, IT will begin implementation.
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