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Some of my daughter's university course require Windows-only software. Statgraphics Centurion in this case, but there will be others later.


In all cases, I expect to have to get a Windows license. Shouldn't be too expensive with student discounts.


Hardware:

MBP 2017 13" model. 8GB RAM, 256GB disk (she has about 190GB free right now).

Criteria

  • this is not for high-performance stuff, she's not going to be hitting the CPU very hard so virtualization should be OK
  • I expect both Parallels and Fusion to provide for things like clipboard integration and file sharing, unlike Bootcamp. Is that correct?
  • 64-bit Windows much preferred.
  • cost isn't a big deal, under $100 at least. I'd rather pay and have a really stable system than free and have to tinker frequently.
  • (IMPORTANT). I prefer to avoid subscriptions and pay a one-off fee instead. Having "free upgrades" as part of a subscription doesn't make up for having a subscription model in the first place. Don't mind paying for upgrades, do mind being held hostage.
  • I work in IT so a bit of configuration doesn't scare me.
  • Seamless as possible, even if bit slower or more costly.
  • not too much wasted disk space, the laptop's disk is not big. So supporting for resizing the Windows partition would be nice - I know Windows can hog a lot of disk space with updates and the like, but I'd rather not oversize the partition from the get go.
  • (nice to have) locking down Windows as much as possible and possibly turning off its auto-updates
  • (nice to have). Parallels is mentioned as also supporting Bootcamp mode. That's nice to have, just in case.
  • (nice to have) Time Machine support. But if it's not there, she should still be able to somehow backup the documents she's working on, possibly by exporting them manually first.

What about VirtualBox?

I use it myself, but only to run Linux VMs, not Windows. It seems a little bit rough around the edges for full GUI usage.

If it's about the same in outcome as Parallels or Fusion, I could start with it. But at the same time, I'd rather start out with something as functional as possible, install it and not have to troubleshoot it too often.

Ruled out:

  • Wine or CrossOver. Have used them, don't like them.

  • Bootcamp. That would strand her on a barebones Windows install where she would not have any of her regular programs available.

If you know of any gotchas for this kind of stuff, mention them quickly, I'll go from there. Things like what to expect from Windows 10 disk usage.

Should I ask on AskDifferent instead?

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