Macs and Windows Software

Windows is the current standard as a platform, but alternatives, such as Macs, are widely used and accepted on campus and in Manning Hall. We encourage you to choose the operating system with which you are most comfortable.  


There is more campus support for Windows users; UNC services, access to resources, and support experience are Windows-centric. However, CCI laptops now include Macs. The SILS Help Desk staff are well-versed in different operating systems, including Macs, and though we can't solve all problems, we are glad to do our best to help you.

Windows-only software 

Some SILS classes use software that only runs on a PC, so having a non-Windows system means you will have to seek workarounds or other systems to complete assignments. The ITS Virtual Lab service offers many Windows application to Mac users through a simple browser interface.  SILS students may also use Windows machines in the SILS Lab when necessary. (See Lab Software for more details.)

Alternatively, Mac users can install Windows virtualization software (such as Virtual Box, Bootcamp, Parallels or VMWare) in order to run Windows-only programs on their computers. Using virtualization software, students can install a Windows operating system on their Mac and then install the necessary Windows applications.  It is expected that students will have virtualization software installed BEFORE it is needed in classes. Please note that the process of installing virtualization software and applications can take several hours.

Microsoft operating systems and applications are available through the SILS Microsoft Imagine Premium Program.