Mac Users:Remembering Windows
What About My Windows Applications?
People who consider switching from the PC to the Mac are often concerned about losing access to their favorite, or most important, applications. In this page, I want to briefly describe a range of options that are available to you. This is more geared towards Intel Mac users.
Use the same software on the Mac
A lot of software, especially Microsoft software, is available in a Mac version. For example, Office is all available in a Mac version. Files created in Mac Office are compatible with PC versions of Office, and vice versa. You can find out more about Microsoft's Mac offerings at MacTopia. Note that if you want to play Windows Media Player files, you can try Flip4Mac. In general, you want to stay from Virtual PC and Internet Explorer as Microsoft no longer supports them. MSN Messenger and MS Remote Desktop are mostly supported but they run very slowly on Intel machines.
Many of the other big companies (Adobe, Matworks, Wolfram, etc) have Mac versions of their software, and will offer you a reasonable upgrade path.
Use functionally equivalent, but different software on the Mac
Instead of using the same application on the Mac, you could look at getting the same job done using native Mac software. As a bonus, many of these applications are free and open sourced. For example Office: NeoOffice,OpenOffice Browsing: Safari, Firefox, Camino Chat: Adium Mail: Mail, Thunderbird Music: iTunes), Video: Perian, VLC, or MPlayer
Run the software you need remotely via RDC
RDC is the remote desktop client for the Mac. If there is a PC somewhere in your midst that runs the application you need, this is a good solution. See here for more information on RDC. PowerPC users should try MS RDC. Intel Users should try CoRD. If you want to brave, you can also install Xcode, X11, Darwinports in that order. You can then install rdesktop.