I am sure many of you out there probably have a shiny new Mac on your holiday wish list, whether it’s a new slim and light MacBook Air or the new powerful Mac Pro that became available for pre-order recently. Have you seen how insanely fast that machine is (on specs at least!)? Personally, I just ordered a MacBook Air for my significant other, who was complaining that her old PC was too heavy for her to haul to post-graduate school and back home, on a daily basis.

So, when you get your new Mac, what will you do with it? Will it be for your personal use only at home? Are you considering taking it to work too? How about for both the workplace and at home, essentially for both business and play? Has that thought entered your mind?

Due to the portability provided by the device form factor of a MacBook, it is possible to use a Mac at both home and work. Historically, there have been multiple approaches for taking your Mac to work. Let’s explore the typical options :

Option #1: Boot Camp
For one, there is Boot Camp, an utility that Apple offers to Mac users to dual-boot two different operating systems (for example, Mac OS X and Windows). With this option, the Mac user has to choose to boot into one of the OSes, but cannot access both at the same time. So, while there are benefits to users in running the different OSes, the hassle of booting one OS and then rebooting into the other OS when access to it is needed significantly impacts productivity and is an inconvenience to Mac users.

Option #2: Standalone Mac virtualization software
Standalone client virtualization software for Mac is popular among consumers and students like my partner. These are software products that are installed by Mac end-users themselves, run directly on Macs without any manageability, and often have many features that confound end-users. These standalone software products are often dismissed by corporate IT administrators due to various factors such as the lack of centralized management, no integration to directory services like Active Directory, and a lack of enterprise-level security capabilities. In essence, IT administrators are not huge fans of such products.

Option #3: Centrally managed client virtualization solution for Macs
Another solution to bring Macs into the workplace is to use client virtualization as an enabling platform on the Mac to allow Windows virtual desktops to run in the Mac OS X environment.
This new, innovative solution gives Mac end-users the convenience and flexibility of using corporate approved business apps on a Windows virtual desktop on top of the personal Mac environment. At the same time, corporate IT administrators get full control of the business-oriented virtual desktop that is provisioned to employees with Macs, while ensuring certain security requirements are enforced through these solutions.

In a follow-up blog, I will cover Option #3 as a solution for corporate IT administrators who have to address use cases involving corporate issued Macs or Bring Your Own (BYO) Mac laptops, as part of their 2014 New Year’s Resolution.

Happy Holidays! Ho! Ho!