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Parallels Beta Adds Boot Camp, Desktop 244

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the stuff-to-play-with dept.
Verunks writes "Parallels has released a new beta of its virtualization product for Mac OS X. This new release includes one major new feature, something Parallels calls Coherency: "Shows Windows applications as if they were Mac ones. Try it and enjoy best of both worlds truly at the same time. No more switching between Windows to Mac OS." Check out this Screenshot" More interesting to me is the Boot Camp support so you can have a single partition to run IE7 in Parallels to test compatibility of a website but reboot to play video games that need a little more juice.
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Parallels Beta Adds Boot Camp, Desktop

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  • Incidentally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BluhDeBluh (805090) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:11PM (#17089650)
    I've been wondering why a Linux distro doesn't do this automagically with WINE. It seems like such an obvious feature to implement, and would be great for people new to Linux or even those whose who don't know how to use it if it just ran as if native...
    • Re:Incidentally... (Score:5, Informative)

      by MustardMan (52102) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:21PM (#17089728)
      Wine is not the same thing as parallels - parallels is a virtualization environment that runs the full windows xp operating system concurrently with mac os x. Wine is a from-scratch implementation of the windows API. There is a wine-derivative package for mac (crossover from codeweavers), so people can pick-and-choose the best solution for them.
      • The feature of showing Windows Apps on the same desktop, intermingled with MacOSX apps is going beyond mere virtualization. This is pretty bitchen.

        They're running Windows, but somehow intercepting some API calls (or something...i dunno) to trick the virtualized Windows into drawing its apps intermingled on the MacOSX desktop instead of on the (now hidden) XP desktop.

        Or they're doing something really ugly. :)
      • Wine is not the same thing as parallels - parallels is a virtualization environment that runs the full windows xp operating system concurrently with mac os x. Wine is a from-scratch implementation of the windows API. There is a wine-derivative package for mac (crossover from codeweavers), so people can pick-and-choose the best solution for them.

        I'm switching from WinTels to MacTels rsn, I plan on getting a MacBook Pro in the next couple of weeks. At first I was planning on getting Parallels to run Windo

    • Re:Incidentally... (Score:5, Informative)

      by AchiIIe (974900) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:40PM (#17089894)
      This is a very early beta. Essentially the way they allow one to boot from the "Boot Camp" partition is by adding an extra field in the Boot.ini file and by creating a new hardware profile (mainly used on docked notebooks)

      The beta is far from complete, I just tried it on my boot camp partition and the mouse/keyboard were unresponsive. (Even after installing the given tools)

      Moreover each time you switch between parallels and boot camp Windows is deactivated Thus I have to go through the reactivation procedure each time !!! i've done this about three times already and I'm afraid it'll just stop allowing me to reactivate it (even though it's a legitimate license)
      • Re:Incidentally... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Paradise Pete (33184) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @01:15PM (#17090258) Journal
        i've done this about three times already and I'm afraid it'll just stop allowing me to reactivate it (even though it's a legitimate license)

        So you have a bought and paid for copy of Windows and they've made you afraid to use it. Seems like there's a moral in there somewhere.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by IAmTheDave (746256)
          So you have a bought and paid for copy of Windows and they've made you afraid to use it. Seems like there's a moral in there somewhere.

          Yeah, and the moral - for those of us who make our $ writing software for Windows - is to crack that activation shit. I bought it, I own it, back off me.

          Same damn installation too.

    • by Klaidas (981300)
      Well, yes. A lot of cool things could be done on linux if developers wanted to do it...
      As for now, you might want to take a look at VMware - although I still prefer dual booting
    • Re:Incidentally... (Score:4, Informative)

      by friedmud (512466) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @01:21PM (#17090298)
      what do you mean?

      This is the default with Wine... and I believe it's also the way crossover office works. You have to go in and specify that you want a "desktop" to get one. Also... the window borders with wine are actually drawn using your window manager in linux... so you don't even get the ugly XP titlebar and stuff.

      So what "feature" is it that is missing from Wine that you see here?

      Friedmud
    • by Firehed (942385)
      Good point - I know it's do-able. Crossover for Mac, which is based around WINE, puts the OS X skin on Windows apps. It's not able to replace the File/Edit/Options/Help menubar and stick it in the shared one at the top that OS X has, but it makes it more of a subtle change that keeps things consistent.

      Now that I've looked at the screenshots, though, it's almost the exact opposite of what's happening here by the sounds of it. So I just got the new beta... and it doesn't seem to want to enable the new cohe
    • by bar-agent (698856)
      It seems like such an obvious feature to implement

      Whoah, slow down, cowboy. Let's just see what the Supreme Court says about that, aight?
    • by Jeremi (14640)
      I've been wondering why a Linux distro doesn't do this automagically with WINE


      Isn't that pretty much what Lindows/Linspire tried to do? As I recall, they had technical difficulties and eventually stopped promoting that feature.

      • I've been wondering why a Linux distro doesn't do this automagically with WINE

        Isn't that pretty much what Lindows/Linspire tried to do? As I recall, they had technical difficulties and eventually stopped promoting that feature.

        Linspire now has CrossOver that can be used instead of WINE.

        Falcon
  • Are these guys in Microsoft's pocket with some kind of authorization for the WindowsOS itself, or can I just go on exploiting the fruits of Swedish piracy?

    Also, does it come in different colours? Because I know some girls who use Macs. They like their GUI to match their purses.

    • by creimer (824291)
      They like their GUI to match their purses.

      They like their guys to match their purses? So they have a different guy for every day or do they keep the same old sack?
    • by Jugalator (259273)
      Also, does it come in different colours? Because I know some girls who use Macs. They like their GUI to match their purses.

      They need to learn how to switch Windows XP visual styles. :-)

      This is Windows XP [oxygen-inc.com]. :-p
      • by jb.hl.com (782137)
        This is Windows XP. :-p

        How about an example which doesn't make my eyes want to die?

        Jesus, when making XP themes people seem to be completely incapable of making something that eyesplittingly gaudy...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:19PM (#17089714)
    The constant improvement that this product has seen in its short existence is astounding. When you consider that it costs only $80 and has no competition at this time, it almost seems like they're working too hard on it.

    If Parallels was publicly traded, I'd be buying up a lot of their stock. These features are too damned useful for Apple to not add to OS X at some point, and the best way would be for them to just whip out the checkbook and buy the company.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Swift2001 (874553)
      They're rushing like crazy, on the Mac at least -- they also make it for Windows -- to become the de facto standard before VM Ware for the Mac comes out.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    For charity?
    Out of good will?
    Because of indignant responses from hardcore Mac fans?

    Maintaining a separate Cocoa code base for a product, buy and support expensive Mac hardware, maintain Mac software engineers

    or let Mac users run our app from Parallels...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)

      or let Mac users run our app from Parallels...
      Good luck with that. As a Mac user, there is no way I would buy an app that didn't integrate properly with the rest of my desktop, much less one that required parallels. Unless you wanted to bundle the $80 Parallels license and the $100 Windows license with your app, of course...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Mod parent up.

      I have this very dilemma with Quicken. I just bought a MacBook and let me tell you: Quicken '07 Mac sucks ass. Way short on just about every feature that the Windows version offers.

      So I have to ask them: how could they possibly have such disparate code bases? What are they thinking? The Mac version doesn't even read PC files. That's something even Microsoft was able to fix with their Office products 10+ years ago.

      So if I want them to get the hint at all, my only option is to pirate the Wi
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Uh, because you think it is the best environment in which to develop? Other than the market share of the platform that's the only other relevant consideration. It may actually make Apple work harder to make Cocoa more appealing.

      P.S. You also lose points for having zero originality. This argument is ancient and all of the trade-offs are well known.
    • by idiot900 (166952) * on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:57PM (#17090054)

      or let Mac users run our app from Parallels...
      Not this Mac user. I bought a Mac because I like the way a Mac works. To use your app, I'd have buy a copy of Windows and a copy of Parallels, and then run them - and some people think the Java VM is bloated! And I'd have to deal with the Windows app not being well integrated with the rest of the system. The only way this will work is if there is no serious competition in your market segment.
      • Well, the file system cost of windows and parallels is pretty negligable on an 80+ GB hard drive... The app would have its' own footprint in any case. As for integration to the desktop, this is a big one for a lot of people. However, I know far more mac users that have virtual pc (ppc mac) or parallels (intel mac) than those without it... so there must be some room for people running their windows programs on mac.

        As for any performance overhead, xp on parallels works very well, the key is to have enou
        • by wootest (694923) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @04:31PM (#17092086)
          The Objective-C-to-Java bridge is being abandoned because it really didn't make things easier for Java developers and because it was a pain in the ass to write code with for everyone and to maintain for Apple. (However, RubyCocoa will ship with the next version of Mac OS X because it's a lesser pain in the ass on all accounts.)

          You may know more people who have VPC or Parallels than not (I do too), but how sure are you that those people will be representative to the entire Mac market? To the market you want to aim your product at? (Unless it's "technologically competent user who has ever heard of Slashdot", fat chance.)

          There's also psychology in it. At its core, the people that are now switching to Macs are not switching *because you can run Windows on it*. They are switching *because you can run Mac OS X on it*; the ability to run Windows on it just pushed them over the edge because Mac OS X doesn't have a 90%+ market share. If they were indifferent to what software they preferred, they'd be using a different brand of computers, and run Windows, not Mac OS X.

          Most Mac users, even the ones propped up with VPC or Parallels (I plead guilty), ultimately want to run Mac-native software rather than Windows software. Parallels is life-support for existing software that people need to run, and even if it was free and shipped with all Macs and took up half the memory and disk space that it does today, it doesn't make Windows software into Mac software.

          You don't need to think that Mac software is superior to Windows software to concede that Mac software has an advantage over Windows software running in a Mac simply because it gets access to all system APIs to things like address books and keychains and hardware support and preferences, and because it looks like everything else you run. Windows software just think it's running on an isolated box and won't become aware of the Mac OS X side of your computer unless you as a user go to some length and the software itself supports it, at which point the developer will already need to make way in their timeplan and budget for Mac-specific testing.

          Still not convinced?

          1. Mac market share is currently surging. More people, not fewer, will arrive at the Mac platform in the next few years, and building a dedicated version (and almost no well-designed application will need to be rewritten entirely from scratch) is becoming more and more economically feasible.

          2. Would you want to bet your entire Mac user base on a competitor not releasing a native Mac version? Unless it's a turd, people will switch to that in a heartbeat. You will lose out months of sales as you rush a native product to market, or need to pull out of a market completely.
          • You're honestly preaching to the choir here... however, the *fact* is that creating software for the mac, in addition to software already targeting windows, has costs involved, and much of the time, especially smaller niche apps (which are the majority of apps out there) this is too costly to make the consideration viable.

            For new applications, sure, it's a great idea... and especially for applications that will be widely available and target the general public. I was mainly pointing out that this isn't
        • As for any performance overhead, xp on parallels works very well, the key is to have enough memory to give the parallels instance at or above 512mb. (I do 768 on my ubuntu desktop with vmware, and it works out fine)... Some of us need the windows apps that will never be available natively. Parallels makes that possible.

          I plan on getting a MacBook Pro in the next couple of weeks, switching from Windows. And while there are Windows apps I want to run in it I will be getting CrossOver Mac to run them in.

          • CrossOver doesn't support every application. In fact there is more that it doesn't support than what it does... I would suggest testing what you need to have running... Also, if you already have a windows license (that is transferable) you can use QEMU, which has made progress. I hate activation, and honestly, the increased issues and invasiveness is what is going to keep me away from vista in my home. I have a MSDN license, so my desktop is covered even, still won't be using it... ubuntu + vmware + winx
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jeffbax (905041)
      Well, the fact that as a Mac user there is no way in hell I would ever buy software for the sole purpose in running it in Virtualization - maybe that might be a reason.

      I bang my head when this argument (or those like it) come up. Ohh Macs can boot Windows now, who's going to write Mac software! Sorry, but except for games, there is *nothing* that will get me to leave OS X.

      I challenge you to build such an amazing piece of software that I would be compelled to buy it for an OS I hate booting, because to me
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Epicyon (777863)
      This is the reason I would offer: As soon as a competitor's product to the one you're offering is available natively on the Mac, you'll lose customers. While I agree virtualization is now offering acceptable performance for many Windows-only applications, this virtualization does not integrate well with a Mac user's workflow. Once a native version is available, users will switch. And as Macs gain mind-share and market-share, if this competitive product has cross-platform support, the prospects grow slim
    • Writing software that requires Parallels is still cutting out a large part of the market as you have to pay for Parallels AND Windows, and the extra resources a whole XP installation running requires puts more strain on a laptop which is already constrained for resources.

      I use parallels to run the things that Mac that I simply cannot any other way. When looking for software I look mac specific because it interacts better with other programs, and also makes use of many key underlying operating system featur
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by iphayd (170761)
      Your non-native app is going to show the native market that there is interest for Mac users for your product. A slew of new, native, products will come out that will start eroding your market share, as their products will advertise how much better it is to be a real Mac app.

      Finally, you will realize too late that your lack of actions allowed competitors to grow where they wouldn't had otherwise and jeopardize your business.
    • by oliderid (710055)
      Well I've got a product under development and I face your dilemma.

      But I have some hope that I can use our 100% c# .net framework 1.1 code with Mono and their relatively new System.Window.Form. It isn't on the development roadmap but I keep an eye on Mono.
      I've already tried to pass some of our codes on it, and it works quite well, even with DateTimePicker and other things like that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Steve Cowan (525271)
      Obviously you don't use the Mac. The Mac has different ways of doing things. Sure you can write a Mac app that does things the Windows way, but Mac users just won't buy it.

      As a Mac user, I would not accept an app that had different keyboard shortcuts just because it is running under Windows virtualization. Any deviation from the consistent shortcuts across Mac apps is unacceptable. I don't like Windows-style toolbars. I don't like having to run a 'wizard' just to uninstall an app (and then trust it when
  • by waldoj (8229) <`waldo' `at' `jaquith.org'> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:30PM (#17089810) Homepage Journal
    I installed this as soon as it came out, as did many other Mac users. My Mac (mini DP Intel 1.67GHz, 2GB RAM) slowed to a crawl as soon as I launched it. I had to yank the power cable. I uninstalled it and all was well. This is a common experience [macintouch.com]. If you're just going to try out a new version, cool, go for it, maybe it'll go well. But please understand that it's a beta -- don't plan on getting any work done with this.
  • by GreatDrok (684119) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:42PM (#17089912) Journal
    I've installed it and it is very similar to Classic on PPC macs under OS X. As with OS 9 apps on OS X, a full copy of the operating system is running, but the windows are drawn directly to the desktop (or at least appear to, with some glitching at the moment). I have the Windows task bar running down the left hand side of my screen so it doesn't get in the way of my dock (at the bottom) and desktop icons (to the right). Running Windows with the classic theme looks better as the shaped edges of Windows apps leave a little triangle of the Windows desktop which looks a bit poor. Lighten up the theme and it works quite nicely on the OS X desktop.

    Apple really needs to buy Parallels or do something similar. It would make a huge difference to people moving from Windows to the Mac and eventually, Windows could go the same way as Classic MacOS has under OS X and just fade away. I don't think MS would be very pleased with this development though :-)
    • by flooey (695860)
      Apple really needs to buy Parallels or do something similar. It would make a huge difference to people moving from Windows to the Mac and eventually, Windows could go the same way as Classic MacOS has under OS X and just fade away. I don't think MS would be very pleased with this development though :-)

      You never know. As long as running Windows in Parallels requires a copy of Windows that's purchased from Microsoft, they're still getting their money. Parallels is an interesting situation for Microsoft,
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GreatDrok (684119)
        "You never know. As long as running Windows in Parallels requires a copy of Windows that's purchased from Microsoft, they're still getting their money. Parallels is an interesting situation for Microsoft, as it means that some portion of the folks buying Macs are paying them for Windows anyway (and at retail prices at that, which is much more profitable for Microsoft than OEM)."

        That isn't the problem for MS. Lets put it this way. I own four Macs and recently got rid of my only PC because I could now do ev
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ronanbear (924575)
        Microsoft have prevented all but the most expensive versions of Vista (Ultimate) from running within a virtual machine.

        They seem quite concerned about virtualisation but are going for the high taxation approach to keeping it from becoming significant.

        That could be Parallels biggest problem over the next few years. A $399 Windows license + $80 + extra RAM (recommended) for Parallels is a lot for someone who doesn't absolutely need it. Might be cheaper to buy a separate Windows desktop/laptop if you need Wind
        • by Nothinman (22765) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @04:15PM (#17091952)
          IIRC the only version with the "don't run this in a VM" clause was Home Basic, all of the higher versions can run in a VM perfectly legally. And it's purely a licensing restriction, Vista Home Basic will still install in the VM just as well as the other versions.
        • by 0racle (667029)
          Only the Home versions have a clause to prevent running it in a VM, Ultimate and Business both allow it to run in a VM.
  • updates (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @01:02PM (#17090088) Homepage
    I'm not that happy with their charging for program updates after a year's passed since you purchase it. I understand it costs the company to generate updates, but I'm certain that Microsoft and/or Apple will produce their own updates that will break Parallels. Updates will be a necessity, and I'm hesitant to buy a product that will generate a long-term expense on my part in order to keep using it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by wavedeform (561378)
      Well, that can be said about pretty much any software. New OS releases (and new hardware releases) have a fairly good chance of breaking some piece of software you might have. Apple is one of the worst offenders, actually. Moving from a PowerBook to a MacBook Pro caused me to need two paid upgrades to Apple software, one if which I bought (Logic Pro @ $50), and one of which I didn't (Apple Remote Desktop @ $300).
  • Windows activation? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mccalli (323026) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @01:09PM (#17090172) Homepage
    I'm running this beta build right now - have been doing all day as I do the exciting task of catching up with my accounts (Quicken UK, Windows only). There's some graphical improvements to the interface - I like the better laid-out screen for picking the VM. There's still some interface no-nos (ok button on the left? Nope, shouldn't be the case on OS X) and I think the dock icon is trying just that bit too hard when it turns into a dancing egg timer as you save a machine's state, but overall things are better and things are fine.

    I upgraded from a previous install, which means I had a disk image of Windows installed rather than a real partition. What I'm wondering is how Windows would cope with being booted for real on MacBook Pro hardware one moment, then booted again in Parallels another moment. Surely that would kick Windows activation into life?

    Cheers,
    Ian
  • by ronanbear (924575) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @01:40PM (#17090542)
    This is really good for Parallels and will be important for the company in several ways.

    Obviously it is a big feature for users who might be interested in Boot Camp and Parallels. One license, keeping the same settings etc.

    The thing that will bring the real benefits to Parallels though are related to development. Working with Boot Camp means that Parallels can access the Boot Camp drivers for Windows that Apple writes. Every time Apple updates their hardware they'll update Boot Camp with new drivers. This will make it much easier for Parallels to keep up with new hardware.

    Boot Camp adds a driver for the touchpad that includes Apple's right click implementation. Suddenly it's in Parallels automagically. Apple ads a driver to operate the inbuilt iSight. Parallels can start using it too.

    Shared documents are potentially great. Apple should work with Parallels to ensure things like the iTunes library (and iTS purchased music) is available in the Windows partition.

    Apple have already said that they are not going to include virtualisation in Leopard because they are so happy with the performance of Parallels.

    If necessary they'd buy Parallels to ensure that development keeps going on. They might do it anyway to reduce the costs.

    • by cnettel (836611) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @02:05PM (#17090782)
      Native hardware drivers available doesn't mean it's a piece of cake to get it working in virtualization. It might be if you, say, was ready to give up the iSight completely in OS X, and only expose it to Parallels (then you could "simply" forward the specific hardware access, instead of providing virtualized hardware), but to get it working properly, where any app, no matter what OS it's running on, can access any piece of hardware, you need much more tinkering with the hardware on the guest and/or host side than just proper native drivers for that piece of hardware in the two environments.
  • I don't get it... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Loco Moped (996883)
    Shows Windows applications as if they were Mac ones. Try it and enjoy best of both worlds truly at the same time.

    Let me get this straight: First, I have to buy a copy of Windows, so that I can run Windows programs on my Mac?

    Isn't this like paying Rosie O'Donell for sex when you're already dating Halle Berry?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Odineye (989253)
      Well, yes it is! But imagine if Rosie were the only one who knew how to do the twirl at the end just right - then you'd need her every once in a while just to get... specific results. Y'know - so you keep dating Hallie, but keep Rosie in the closet for those special occasions. Okay, I believe I just disgusted myself...
  • by LKM (227954) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @05:27PM (#17092528) Homepage

    There are four features I just love about this release (well, there are more, but these are my main favourites):

    1. You can use your BootCamp partition within Parallels (haven't tried it, dunno about any Activation issues).
    2. You can "liberate" the Windows windows and make it look like you were running Windows and Mac OS at the same time, on the same screen - which looks extremely weird (here's a screenshot [watashi.ch]). I guess you could even runn more than one instance of Windows (although I have not tried that!) and mix, say, IE7 and IE6 windows. One note: All windows from a given Windows instance are in one single layer, so bringing one to the foreground brings all of them to the foreground.
    3. You can use Mac OS keyboard commands in Windows (Cmd-C instead of Ctrl-C to copy, for example) - something which constantly bit me in the ass, as the Cmd-key used to call on the Windows key and open the Start menu. Cmd-L used to log you out (or something) when you want to focus the URL text field.
    4. Drag-And-Drop between Windows and Mac OS. You can drag Files from a Finder window into a Windows Explorer window. Works well with the "Coherency" feature - having Windows explorers and Finder windows side-by-side and copying between them is just incredible.

    All in all an utterly amazing update. I found this screencast [michaelverdi.com] showing some of the features.

  • But I'm afraid it doesn't do much for me until it supports Linux in liu of Windows. It's just virtualization, so Linux *can* be supported, right? And should such support be easier since we have all the source code already?
  • by gidds (56397) <.slashdot. .at. .gidds.me.uk.> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:47PM (#17093136) Homepage
    This worries me severely. It's one thing to allow people to run Windows apps with some hassle (e.g. dual booting, or within a 'Windows' OS X window). But it's quite another thing to run Windows apps as first-class citizens.

    After all, we know what happened to the last OS [wikipedia.org] which did this: by billing itself as "a better Windows than Windows", it signed its own death warrant. After all, who'd develop a native app when it runs Windows apps so well?

  • by 2ms (232331) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:05PM (#17093808)
    What I want to know is whether or not this thing is slick enough to permit, for example, an entire engineering shop to switch to a PC only CAD software without ditching all their Macs. I know an engineering company that is all Mac right now but the development of Mac CAD software lags and the emerged industry standards (Autocad, Pro/E, etc) are all PC only. It would be incredibly useful for many small companies, I imagine, to be able to stick with the safe, secure, Apple OS and other Apple applications that they have standardized upon,despite also needing to run PC-only industry software in order to be compatible with the outside world. This would be a matter of how much performance is available to the PC software while working in Parallels.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MacDaffy (28231)
      The last version of Parallels I tried had a limitation on the amount of memory you could devote to an application. This meant that the dictation software a customer of mine bought had to be installed in Boot Camp so that the application had all the resources it needed to run effectively. My recommendation is to get the most powerful processor, most memory, and largest drive you can afford (a PowerMac with dual drive would be ideal).
  • Win-OS/2 nostalgia (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mouth of Sauron (196971) on Monday December 04, 2006 @12:05AM (#17095308)
    Everything old is new again. This reminds me a great deal of IBM's OS/2 Windows 3.1 emulation layer. You could run Windows applications in full screen, or in "windowed" mode. Also, you could specify that a Windows application ran in its own address space, or Windows applications could cooperatively multitask in a shared process space.

    I don't want to /. anyone else's pages with a deep link, so instead here is a hyperlink to a google image search on win-os/2 [google.com] to illustrate what I am talking about.

    Compare some of those images to the Parallels desktop, and you'll get my drift. Welcome to the early 90s!

    The comparison to OS/2 brings up another interesting question for the future of OS X. Ignoring the eerily similar name (OS 2, OS X, ha ha) how much incentive will there be for software publishers to write native OS X applications when emulation such as this exists? Back then you could get a copy of Lotus 123 for OS/2, but running Lotus 123 for Windows under win-OS/2 ran almost as well, with copy and paste support and object embedding, and etc. How many copys of 123 did Lotus sell for the OS/2 platform?

    Apple has a long history of supporting compatibility products. Users have had choices ranging from Orange PC cards to SoftWindows. However, these came with somewhat of a price or performance cost. If Windows emulation on OS X becomes ubiquitous, where does that leave OS X as an application platform?

    I like OS X a lot. There is an appeal for me to be able to run unix apps along side X11 apps along side OS X apps along side Windows apps. Does OS X not run the risk, however, of following OS/2, NextStep, and Be into obscurity by emulating itself out of existence? True, Apple is a hardware vendor, and they provide a vertical solution of hardware and software. Maybe OS X will survive where OS/2 did not.

    Full disclosure, I am writing this from Gentoo on a Macbook Pro.

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