Microsoft Office is available for the Mac, and Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files created on a Mac are fully compatible with Windows. Most other popular applications are available for the Mac, too. But if you need to use a particular Windows-only application, you have a few options: Boot Camp comes with every new Mac, and it lets you run Windows natively as if your Mac were a PC. If you want to run Mac OS X and Windows side by side, you can purchase Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMware Fusion. Install one of these applications, along with the Windows Installation CDs, and you can run the occasional Windows program right next to your Mac applications, without having to restart.1
The Mac OS X operating system isnt susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers. And although no computer connected to the Internet is completely immune to all viruses and spyware, Mac OS X has built-in defenses designed with your safety in mind. The Mac web browser, Safari, alerts you whenever youre downloading an application even if its disguised as a picture or movie file. And Apple continually makes free security updates available for Mac owners. You can even have them download automatically.
A Mac has hundreds of drivers for peripherals preinstalled. Just connect your device and, in most cases, youre good to go. And a Mac is smart enough to know what to do when you plug in your digital camera: It opens iPhoto and asks if you want to import your recent photos.
The Mac is compatible with virtually any keyboard and multibutton mouse, even the ones you use with your PC. Just plug them into the USB ports on your Mac and start working. You can also use the Multi-Touch Magic Mouse or multibutton Apple Mouse, which comes with every iMac and Mac Pro, respectively. And the trackpad on MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air offers right-click capability just press the Control key when you click.
A Mac can open most files from your PC, including Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), PDFs, MP3s, iTunes songs, WAV files, JPEGs, GIFs, and more.
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