I finally got around to installing Windows on my Macbook. I think I can sum up my general opinion of the overall experience as: Meh.
Vista is basically all that I’ve heard it to be. It’s far more secure than XP, but generally still Windows. Sure, I still think it’s far too bloated, but with the right hardware, it’s not too bad. I didn’t have much trouble installing it using Boot Camp. There were a couple hiccups, though. First, Boot Camp partitioned off the space for Windows smoothly enough, but it apparently didn’t format it properly. I had to reformat that partition during the instillation. It wasn’t a big deal, but I had fully expected Boot Camp to format the drive for NTFS properly. Also, now that it’s installed, whenever I boot up into Windows, I get errors that look like they have something to do with the boot sector. It doesn’t prevent Vista from booting up, they just slow down the boot process significantly. As a result, I’m not as inclined to boot into Vista as I might be otherwise.
I installed Knights of the Old Republic as a test. It certainly runs smoother on the Macbook with Vista than it does under XP on my desktop. However, I don’t see KOTOR as a good enough reason to have to reboot every time I need to run something under Windows. I think I’m going to erase that partition, and put Ubuntu on it instead.
I also installed Windows 2000 in a VM in OS X with Parallels, and that seems to be working fine. Parallels seems a lot like VertualBox, but without the rough edges. Also, Windows 2000 is my favorite Microsoft OS, but it’s not supported very well anymore. They still have critical security updates, but that’s all. They don’t even seem to have a version of IE 7 for it. So, I’ll see if 2000 is good enough for what I need, and if it’s not, I’ll try to find my copy of XP and VM that instead.
Overall, I think running Windows in a VM within OS X is a lot better than going the duel boot path. For pretty much everything but gaming, using a VM seems good enough.