on 29 June 2009
I've been using Mac's for over 20 years, but I've also been formally trained in using Windows applications. My first choice will always be Macintosh. However, there are times when there simply isn't a Mac solution. For example, my wife has to use Microsoft Publisher for work. On my previous Mac Mini (PPC) I used Microsoft's own 'virtualisation' program, VirtualPC to get Windows on my Mac - but this isn't available on Intel-powered Macs.
You could go for VMWare Fusion or Parallels, and each product has its own fan base. However, I chose Sun's Virtualbox - not only because I like the look and feel of the product, but because it's considerably cheaper than the other two (conduct a Google search to discover just how much cheaper it is). Don't be mistaken, though. Just because it's that much cheaper doesn't mean that it isn't as powerful nor as comprehensive in functionality.
Installation of Virtualbox is straightforward, quick and without drama. I added Windows XP Pro (purchased on Amazon) and then loaded it with Microsoft Office Enterprise and Norton Internet Security on my Intel-powered Mac Mini. Result: it works like a dream, and is identical to using these same programs on a dedicated PC - the primary difference being that you're not restricted to using PC programs alone. You can also add Linux and a host of other operating systems if you want.
So, if you really must use a Windows program on your Macintosh I have no hesitation in recommending Virtualbox.
on 11 December 2013
All this software is available for free, including StarOffice. It's all open source software.
And StarOffice is old software, and has been replaced by Oracle Open Office (sadly, no link).