Before you express any opinion in which method is the best, read on…
Yes, the best way to run Windows 8 on a Mac (Lion or Mountain Lion) is NOT running Windows 8 natively via Boot Camp. Rather, it’s install Windows 8 with Boot Camp than use VMware Fusion 4’s new feature to boot the Windows 8 partition from your Boot Camp partition.
Why ? There are couple reasons.
Windows 8 actually runs more smooth in VMware than native install
Given the current software status of Windows 8, VMware fusion and Apple’s Boot Camp technology, each are on the verge of releasing a new version. The end result would be adding more support for people to run Windows 8 on their Mac. While we are still waiting for this entire process to be unfold, the best way to run a Windows 8 at least for now is to run it inside VMware Fusion with Boot Camp.
Better Trackpad Support
If you have Windows 8 installed via Boot Camp and running natively on your Mac, you will find all the sudden your trackpad isn’t as sensitive as before. It’s very sluggish when moving the mouse with the trackpad. By running Windows 8 natively, you lost the most valuable feature on a Mac, your mulit touch trackpad. If you run this in VMware, then you get the best out of both word. This is unlikely to change in the future.
Function Keys and other Keyboard Shortcuts Still Working as Intended
All your beloved Mac function keys to change your screen’s brightness is gone. Your Mac also no longer able to auto adjust it’s screen’s brightness. You lost the ability to turn on backlit keyboard on your Mac. All the shortcuts that was working in Mac now needs special software to re-mapping the difference between a Mac keyboard and Windows keyboard. This added another extra layer of complexity.
Able to Run Windows 8 and Mac Side by Side Together
Windows 8 consumes much less memory than Windows 7, that’s an advantage to run it in a Virtual Machine environment. It requires less memory allocated to support the virtual machine. With Lion’s new feature to run apps in full screen, you can basically run Windows 8 along side by side with your Mac natively, seamlessly. You can also enable sharing between Windows 8 and Mac, to reduce overhaul disk space usage on redundant document files.
Still Preserve the Native Isolation Environment When Boot into Boot Camp Windows 8
The best part of all, you still get to keep your Windows 8 partition natively. You can still boot into an isolated Windows 8 environment with Boot Camp. After all, VMware Fusion is not really running a virtual machine image, it’s running a native Windows 8 image from your Boot Camp partition. Very cool !
Quick Guide to Set Up Windows 8 with VMware Fusion on Boot Camp
If you have not have Windows 8 installed on your Mac via Boot Camp here is a quick guide to get started.
Once you’ve done installing, Windows 8. Install VMware Fusion and open the library, it should automatically detects that you have a Boot Camp partition.
Start the Boot Camp from your Virtual Machine Library, your first run VMware will install additional drivers to optimize Windows running on your Machine.
After VMware Tools are installed, you are all good to go !
Enjoy to have a seamless experience running Windows 8 on your Mac.