Windows on the iPad?

Category: Gadgets

I was in a coffee shop today, and I swear I saw a guy running Windows on his iPad. I didn't want to be rude, so I didn't ask him about it. Is that really possible, or was I dreaming?

Can Windows Run on iPads?

To Apple fans, it may sound as heretical as putting steak sauce on a vegan burger. But some people have found ways to run Microsoft Windows on an iPad, or even an iPhone. It's not all that hard, and the trick may even have some business applications.

The secret is virtualization software, which runs between a device's hardware and its operating system (OS). Virtualization software translates the inputs and outputs of an operating system into signals that an otherwise incompatible hardware platform can interpret. Virtualization enables multiple operating systems to run on a single hardware device, with each OS walled off in its own environment.

VMWare, Inc., the leader in virtualization software, offers an app for iPad called VMWare View Client that, in combination with the company's VMWare View enterprise virtualization software, enables iPad users to access their Windows desktops, applications, and data from anywhere. The VMWare View Client enables iPad touch controls in Windows applications, preserving the intuitive user interface that makes the iPad so appealing. VMWare View Client is available through Apple's App Store.
Windows on iPad

Parallels Mobile 6 is a virtualization platform that enables Windows 7 Ultimate to run on any iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone.

Dave Sobel, CEO of Evolve Technologies, created a buzz by "running" Windows XP on a 16 GB iPad in about five minutes using the Wyse Pocket Cloud device, VMWare View, and VMWare Connectwise. Actually, he didn't run XP on the iPad. He used the iPad as a thin client, a terminal connecting remotely to a Windows XP desktop machine. But it looked like XP on an iPad.

Such remote-access software has been around for decades. It's starting to come to mobile platforms thanks to larger screens and bigger markets. The method requires a Windows desktop machine that's left powered on; a small remote-access server program running on the Windows machine; and a remote-access client program running on the mobile device. Other remote-access packages include LogMeIn Ignition for iPhone/iPad, Wyse Technology's PocketCloud for iPad, and and GotoMyPC.

Why would you want to run Windows on an iPad? Some business users will appreciate the ability to access home or office desktop applications and databases on the road from their iPads. Most consumers won't see any compelling advantage to using Windows from an iPad. Yes, Flash animations that Steve Jobs said will not be allowed on the iPad will run under Windows on an iPad, but they move jerkily and aren't that important to most people. On a practical level, running Windows on an iPad may be valuable for business people and those who travel often, but for most it's just a geeky "because we can" trick.

Do you run Windows on your iPad? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Windows on the iPad?"

Posted by:

Jonathan Politi
30 Mar 2011

Hmmm . . . this seems more like "sleight-of-hand", not a true installation of Windows. Not running Windows natively - it's accessing Windows virtually on some other machine. I get it and if it works so be it, but the teaser in the title is a little deceptive. Thought there was some way to actually run the OS directly.

EDITOR'S NOTE: If the emulator can use the native iPad controls to interact with the remote OS, I'd say that's more than sleight of hand. Remember, iOS (the iPad operating system) is built on Darwin, an open source POSIX-compliant

Unix platform.

Posted by:

30 Mar 2011

In there any way to connect a usb wifi device to a router to create a "hotspot" without buying a hotspot device?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Not sure I understand. If you have a router, then you already have a wifi hotspot, right? There are some wifi devices that have the ability to create a mobile hotspot. Android phones and iPhone can do this, but they typically get their Internet feed from a cellular signal.

Posted by:

06 Apr 2011

Another method to interact with a windows, mac, linux, or other system via an ipad is to use Teamviewer. It's great for remote support as well.

Posted by:

06 Apr 2011

I now travel without a laptop, just an iPad. I get by, and it's far more enjoyable as a portable device.
I used to use LogMeIn to peek at my home computer, run some jobs, initiate or terminate downloads, etc. It was a very capable program. Now I use "Screens", a much cleaner, simpler interface that was designed for the iPad and behaves like it.

Posted by:

Mike Smith
08 Apr 2011

What differentiates this from any other remote control software?
I can right click (a native Linux control) to remotely manipulate a windows computer from a Linux client.
I can use a long press (a native android control) to act as a right click (a native Windows control) to control a windows computer from my Android device.

Interpreting one action or command for another is nothing new.
Another way to put it "I can turn the front wheels on the outside of my car with a remote wheel on the inside the car"

Also file this under a year ago:

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