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Running Windows on a Macintosh

Would you discourage someone from buying an Apple Macintosh with the intention of running Windows as the sole or primary operating system? In your opinion, would running Windows as your primary operating system present more significant issues than simply the lack of a right-click button, keyboard differences and other minor issues?

Apple makes beautiful hardware, and, in my experience, it runs Windows quite well. In fact, the mouse and keyboard problems you cite are easily overcome, since you can plug almost any USB keyboard and mouse made for Windows into a Mac and they will work fine, right-mouse button and all.

However, what makes a Mac a Mac is primarily Apple’s OS X operating system, and the software Apple bundles with it, the iLife suite. If you don’t intend to use that, I don’t see much point in buying an Apple computer. You won’t get the advantage of the Mac’s lack of viruses and spyware, which stem from the operating system, not the hardware. And you can buy a Windows computer for less than the least expensive Mac.

In my view, the main value of the Mac’s ability to run Windows is that it allows Apple owners to use the few Windows programs they require or prefer that lack Mac equivalents, while primarily running the Mac operating system and programs designed for it.

How can one send an email to a group of people without all of their individual email addresses showing?

The most common method is to put your own email address in the “To” field and the names of all the recipients in the “Bcc” field, which is designed to be invisible. There’s always a danger someone quickly scanning just headers will decide not to read the email, since it isn’t addressed to her, but most email veterans understand the technique.

Is there a way to regain the traditional drop-down menus and other interface items in the new, redesigned Microsoft Office 2007?

There is at least one third-party add-in program designed to do this, but I haven’t tested it. It’s called Classic Menu for Office 2007, and can be found at www.addintools.com.

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and my other columns, online for free at the new All Things Digital Web site, http://walt.allthingsd.com.

Write to Walter S. Mossberg at mossberg@wsj.com


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