Just dropped off my youngest daughter at college with a brand new M1 MacBook Pro, 16GB unified memory, and 1TB storage. Yes, the machine her dad would buy for himself if he weren’t paying for college tuition :). It (easily) fits with the requirements/recommendations the university provides on their website. Before leaving, I set her up with the MS Office suite provided by the school
She will be studying Actuarial Science, and one of her first classes is “Microsoft Tools for Business Analysis”. The syllabus notes in a “Warning to Mac Users” that “Excel for Mac is different from the Windows based version of Excel. This course is based on the Windows environment. While you can use a Mac if you choose, please be aware you may find it frustrating as things are located in different areas/menus and there are some features that are simply not available which could result in a loss of points on an assignment. As an alternative, you could use a computer lab or use (VDI provided by the University).”
So I could use advice about how to proceed. As I see it, our options are as follows:
- Use Excel for Mac. Not a viable option, as she won’t accept “losing points” for the class, and I would expect full Excel would be helpful/needed for future actuarial classes.
- Use VDI as suggested. VDI is a virtual desktop provided by Citrix. This is a free solution. Has anyone used this? Is it reliable, and would it serve her for the four years of school to use Excel for Windows?
- Get Excel for Windows:
a) Buy her a good Windows laptop and dad finally gets his new MacBook Pro (it’s past the 14 day return window) - problem is, she’s already in love with the MBP, or
b) install Parallels desktop, Windows, and she gets to use Excel for Windows like a native Mac app.
Anyone have experience with Parallels/Windows 10 on an M1 Mac?
She’s 3.5 hours away, and not super nerdy. Best way to get Parallels, Windows, and MS Office for Windows installed remotely? I know her computer skills will improve greatly over the course of her college career, but I want a solution that is solid, reliable, and reasonably easy to use day-to-day.
Any other ideas?