First time Macbook buyer : How good is MBA 2013 with Windows 8?

My work and spare time activities requires Windows 8. But planning to buy a MBA 2013 just as a change from my regular Windows usage.

Appreciate if you guys can help me on the below questions.

  • First, should I use Bootcamp or Parallels?
  • How is the battery life (Haswell Air) compared to the OS X?
  • How does the base i5 Air perform with 2-3 instances of Visual Studio 2013 on Air?
  • Does it get too hot with medium-heavy usage and is there any difference in heat between running Windows and OS X?
  • Not related to Windows 8. Is MS Office suite in OS X feature equivalent to Windows version (mainly Outlook) ?
  • Also unrelated, how useful is the Applecare protection plan for 249$ and does it cover accidental damage?

Update: Thanks everyone. Just ordered the Macbook Air 13 with i5 and 8GB RAM. Also, it comes with a free copy of Parallels. First Mac and I can't wait for it to arrive.