Windows 8 is the latest hot topic in tech, and that’s because it’s innovative, with the combination of desktop and touch based operating systems in one. It’s a neat little foray into the future, and you can run it on your Mac or iPad relatively easily. The Microsoft Surface has a number of features, but the iPad can run Windows 8 too. This method also shows the power of the iPad itself in that it can act as a true work machine, and laptop replacement with just a few apps.
The big one is a remote desktop app allowing you to access your computer at home while on your iPad, and that means you have access to everything running on your computer at home. With that said, your computer desktop isn’t optimized for touch, but you do have access to all of the deluxe software, which is kind of like Windows 8 tablets with Intel chips. You get access to the traditional desktop and software, but it hasn’t been optimized for touch, that’s left to the RT versions of apps in the Microsoft Store, kind of like iPad apps in the App Store.
Now that the precursory stuff is out of the way, begin by using Parallels or VMware on your Mac or Windows computer. If you already have a Windows 8 computer, you can skip this step. Once you have either virtual machine app installed, grab a copy of Windows 8, in whichever way you would like, we won’t judge. Then you simply install Windows 8 as a virtual machine in the respective program. It’s relatively effortless, and then you can test out Windows 8 without impacting your Mac or non-Windows 8 PC.
Once installed, you can then use the iPad apps for Parallels Mobile ($4.99, Universal) or VMware View Client (Free, Universal) depending on which one you used already. There are other remote desktop clients out there with our favorite being Splashtop 2 Remote Desktop ($6.99, iPad), and they also make a special Windows 8 testbed version ($9.99, iPad). There’s also LogMeIn (Free, Universal), GoToMyPC (Free, Universal), PocketCloud (Free, Universal), all with IAP, and plenty more including VNC.
Specific apps are geared towards Windows 8, so keep that in mind, as that’s one of the main reasons we picked the official apps or Splashtop. You then need to install the software inside your Windows 8 virtual machine, and connect to it with the accompanying iPad app. You’re then completely set to launch Windows 8 on your iPad, and interact with it. Depending on your software choice, you can then swipe though the live tiles, open up individual apps or the desktop, and return to the live tile screen with gestures. The process lets you get a taste of Windows 8 on a touch device, and also acts as a reminder of how the iPad doesn’t just have one feature set, but can truly do almost everything for someone depending on the eyes that are looking at it.