Possibly my favourite Macbook ever is the trusty mid 2012 edition model.   This portable and powerful unit is still very current, supporting Thunderbolt and USB 3, powerful processors, decent battery life, popular 13 inch size and upgradeable to 16Gb of memory, ideal for running Power BI Desktop…. except Power BI Desktop only runs on Windows… 🙁 . But wait, there’s more…

Microsoft’s beautiful and bold plan for Power BI is to enable this accessible Data tool within the reach of every Business User on the planet, and that means any device… So where is the Mac OS X version ?

Read on…

Power BI Desktop runs in several flavours :

Power BI Desktop – A Windows download that runs on a Windows desktop – 64 bit recommended.

Power BI Cloud – A brilliant zero infrastructure collaboration portal for sharing your concepts with colleagues or external service providers.

Power BI Mobile – Nifty and Pretty user friendly Mobile apps on IOS, Windows 10 Mobile and Android that allow you to roll out your concepts into live operational systems with Alerting and Notifications for easy and turnkey Management By Exception.

Power BI Embedded – a .Net deployed application that features your Power BI Cloud tiles incorporated into your own Application Seamlessly using Power BI backend APIs.

Power BI SharePoint – via some third party SharePoint apps.

Power BI On-Premise – yes, On-Premise, with a pricey Pyramid Analytics server from the company that collaborated with Microsoft to birth Power BI.

As for Power BI Desktop, we can run on Mac OS X in two ways :

  1. Create a virtual machine in Azure, install Power BI desktop there and access your Power BI cloud workstation via Mac OS X Remote Desktop apps like the sweet Remote Desktop app Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac.
  2. Install Parallels Desktop on your Mac, load up a Windows 10 ISO, install Windows, and load Power BI Desktop on this local virtual machine.  Utilise Parallels Desktop to create a seamless Power BI Desktop experience by creating a user friendly shortcut that makes you think you are running Power BI Desktop as a native Mac OS X app.

Parallels has three flavours :

  1. Standard edition supporting up to 4 processors and 8gb of RAM
  2. Pro edition capable of more than 4 processors and up to 64Gb of RAM
  3. Business edition – Pro edition with Centralised Management capability

There are some other awesome features, like being able to spin up an Android or IOS virtual machine from a template, which is brilliant for demo-ing and testing Power BI mobile apps before rollout.

You can also install Parallels Access Agent allowing you to Remote Control your Mac over the internet.

But bring on the Mac OS X app please Microsoft 🙂

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