a new Mac or PC?

Hi guys,

Ok so my previous laptop broke a few days ago and now my company asked me the question if I want a new pc (thinkpad) or a macbook.

Now I was wondering what you guys think is best to do real cross platform development with for the platforms I'm targeting:

  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Phone 8
  • Android
  • iOS

At the moment I'm thinking of getting the macbook because else I would have to get a mac mini to be able to build an iOS app.
So ideally, I would like to use parallels, but I couldn't find anywhere that tells me if I can develop windows 8.1 apps on a mac as well with this.

Or does anyone think it's better to just get a thinkpad which I'm used to by now, and get a mac mini or cheap macbook?

Ah and before I forget, if you would suggest a macbook, does it need anything specific to be able to run win8.1 with parallels or anything else that I want to do?

Thanks in advance,
Kind regards,



  • GuillermoGutierrezGuillermoGutierrez ✭✭✭ ESMember ✭✭✭

    If you're planning to develop for iOS, go for the Macbook. Then I'd install a Windows 8 in Bootcamp partition and virtualize it using Parallels. This way you can boot Windows when you're developing for Windows only, boot MacOS when developing iOS and start the Windows Virtual Machine for a complete multi-platform environment.

    I have this environment (except it's a iMac instead of a Macbook) and my main IDE for iOS was a virtualized Visual Studio (Resharper is amazing). Lately I'm using only Xamarin Studio for Mac because I'm not developing for Windows Phone and starting the VM only for Visual Studio is a little overkill.

  • Thanks for the fast reply!

    A question about file sharing in this solution:
    Where do you keep your shared files when building a multi platform solution? Can you access files of the Win8 bootcamp drive from OSX? Or is there another way to do this?

    Kind regards,


  • GuillermoGutierrezGuillermoGutierrez ✭✭✭ ESMember ✭✭✭

    You can access Mac files from Windows Virtual Machine (exposed as a Network drive), and you can access Bootcamp filesystem from Mac (exposed as a different partition).

    If you share source folders from Windows to Mac, remember to clean obj and bin folders to delete any compilation temporary files or you will get weird errors on Xamarin Studio.

    Git is a good way to sharing code between Windows and Mac too, but less agile.

  • Thanks again for the useful reply!

    Kind regards,


  • RobertSalitaRobertSalita ✭✭ USMember ✭✭

    I was faced with a similar decision a month ago. I had three needs; iOS development, Windows development and ultraportable for cafe and travel. I went with a MacBook Air 11 (Haswell) for iOS development and cafe surfing, and a Windows quad core fire breather (ASUS N550VJ) for Windows development. An alternative is to buy a MacBook Pro 15 for iOS and Mac development and an ultrabook for cafe surfing. The cheapest route is to turn a Windows computer into a Hackintosh. I did iOS (via Xamarin) development on a Hackintosh to start with until I figured out my needs. The Hackintosh worked ok with a few days of fiddling but wasn't a good long-term solution.

  • MartinBauligMartinBaulig Xamurai DEXamarin Team Xamurai

    I'm using a Macbook Pro for development and VMWare Fusion to run Windows. VMWare is great if you do most of your work on the Mac and only occasionally need things on Windows, so you don't have to reboot and can also use multiple versions of Windows.

    Performance-wise, a single Windows VM with Visual Studio works fine, an external display and Mavericks is also great. I've even used two VM's at the same time - it works, but you'll experience some performance problems. And three VMs is too much for the MBP.

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