How to install Windows using Boot Camp on your Mac
Boot Camp is the dedicated Windows installer for Mac OS X. It enables you to create a separate partition (or dedicated internal disk drive, if you have more than one) and prompts you to download and burn to disc the additional drivers you need so Windows can take advantage of all the features and hardware in your Mac. You can then insert the Windows install disc to install the operating system. Your Mac will reboot from the disc so you can install Windows just as you would on a PC. After several restarts you can use the disc you burned earlier to install the Boot Camp drivers Windows needs.
How to install Windows using Parallels Desktop 6 For Mac
First install Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac (a trial version is available) then launch it to begin the Windows installation process. It can find and use an existing Boot Camp partition, if you have one, or you can use its assistant to create one from scratch.
You can also use its built-in migration assistant to copy any existing preferences, settings and files from your user account on a Windows PC. Like Boot Camp, Parallels will prompt you to install a toolbox of drivers when you first run Windows so it can take advantage of the hardware features of your Mac.
Parallels enables you to run Windows in a dedicated window in Mac OS X or use its Coherence mode. This enables you to access features like the Windows Start menu from within Mac OS X as well as to launch Windows-only apps such as Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player.
How to install Windows using VMware Fusion 3 for Mac
The installer and operating environment works in a similar way to Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac - although Parallels has the edge when it comes to performance and user-friendliness. Again you can use an existing Boot Camp partition drive or create a virtual machine from scratch. Like Boot Camp and Parallels, VMware Fusion prompts you to install suitable drivers when you first fire up Widows.
How to install Windows using Oracle VirtualBox
A less polished - but free - alternative to Parallels and VMware Fusion, VirtualBox also enables you to run Windows as guest OS to the Mac OS X host. Installing and using it works on similar lines to the other two virtualisation apps, including the ability to run Windows-only applications alongside Mac OS X ones using a 'seamless' approach.