With modern Intel-powered Mac computers, virtualization technologies enable organizations to easily deploy and maintain ACD/Labs software on Apple computers. In fact, many of our users, as well as some ACD/Labs employees, are Mac fans who have been using ACD/Labs software in this manner for several years.
If you are not familiar with them, virtualization technologies allow underlying physical machine resources to be shared by different operating systems. Regardless of the OS used on the ‘host’ machine, various different ‘guest’ operating systems and software can be installed. The virtualization software necessary to facilitate this intercepts commands from the OS and software to certain hardware components and features of the host, and modifies them so that the guest operating system "thinks" it is running on a real machine. Therefore, you can effectively run a Windows operating system on an Apple computer with little or no discernable difference in the performance.
This approach, called ‘native virtualization’, is different from ‘emulation’ in which guest code is not
allowed to run directly on the host. Instead, every single machine instruction is translated, or emulated,
before processing. Software run through emulation is typically quite slow due to the additional system
resources that are required to perform the translation; however, virtualizers—which eliminate the translation
step—can achieve near-native performance for the guest code.
A common question for anyone considering virtualization is how resource consumption will be affected. Whatever virtualization software you choose, you can easily constrain the resources that the virtual machine uses, and change the settings to achieve the level of performance you need.
Readily available Virtualization Software options for Intel powered Mac computers include: