While struggling with how to transition to a new Mac while using Microsoft Money, I’ve been alternating between using my old Windows Vista machine directly or using Microsoft Remote Desktop from the Mac. Remote Desktop works really well but I was hoping to do it all on the Mac.

Dual-booting wasn’t working, so I decided to try virtualization. I chose VMWare Fusion for my first try instead of Parallels. Why? Because we use VMWare quite a bit at work and the IT people are very happy with it.

VMWare has a 30-day free trial for VMWare Fusion. I had already deleted my Boot Camp partition, so I started over again with letting VMWare Fusion supervise the installation of Windows 7. It thinks Windows 7 is Vista, but that’s OK. The installation went very smoothly. After installing the recommended VMWare Tools, my display in full screen looks great. BTW, it’s useful to know that pressing CTL-CMD-RETURN exits full screen mode. CMD-TAB works fine for switching between running apps. I love this environment; it works really well.

I installed Money and Beyond Compare and tried both of them in what VMWare calls Unity mode. This works really well. It definitely looks and feels like I’m running the applications directly on the Mac. Just be careful not to get confused and press CMD-Q to quit a Windows application because that quits VMWare Fusion!

Performance is fine in Windows 7. I can definitely see slower performance on the Mac side while running the VM, especially for hogs like Excel. Hmm, I see that 4G of Kingston RAM at Newegg is $45…

I’m convinced this is the way to solve my problem of running Windows apps that I can’t do without on my new Mac. I’ll play with it some more while I’ve got the 30-day free trial. Then, I’ll buy it.