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Parallels Desktop for OS X Reviewed 300

phaedo00 writes "Ars Technica has put up a great review of the first full release of Parallels' virtualization software for OS X, Parallels Desktop 1.0. From the article: 'Move over emulation, virtualization is in and it's hotter than two Jessica Albas wresting the devil himself in a pit of molten steel. It's no contest, virtualization has it all: multiple operating systems running on the same machine at nearly the full speed of the host's processor with each system seamlessly networking with the next. Add to that the fact that it's cheaper than getting a new machine and you have the guaranteed latest craze. Not even the Hula Hoop can stop this one.'"
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Parallels Desktop for OS X Reviewed

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  • by Dystopian Rebel ( 714995 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:50PM (#15693274) Journal
    So Taco, when did Harry Knowles join the editorial staff?
  • 10+ years later... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LinuxGeek ( 6139 ) * <djand DOT nc AT gmail DOT com> on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:52PM (#15693290)
    The promise of the HURD microkernel with OS 'personalities' is coming to our desktops in a slightly updated fashion. But I still love the idea as long as my Linux and Windows can run beside each other and behave, it makes development much nicer.
    • I like writing code in Java, and I have to test how well it runs on different operating systems. This looks like it should allow me to do this while actually evaluating the performance without an emulator getting slowing everything down.
  • Has it all? (Score:5, Funny)

    by chabotc ( 22496 ) <> on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:52PM (#15693295) Homepage
    "..and it's hotter than two Jessica Albas wresting the devil himself in a pit of molten steel. It's no contest, virtualization has it all.."

    Umm i hate to be the one pointing this out, but i for one can think of some very hot things about Jessica Albas that virtualization doesn't have.

    Really.. [], can't compare []
  • by davevt5 ( 30696 ) * on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:54PM (#15693309) Homepage Journal

    Here's a reprint from my Slashdot journal []

    Last night I crashed my brand new Macbook Pro. I didn't think that was supposed to happen! All I was doing was:
    • surfing the web
    • listening to iTunes
    • installing the Opera browser
    • installing Windows XP in Parallels

    Yes, I am joking. Parallels is awesome. The claims of "near native performance" are indeed correct - in my experience. Parallels is what allowed me to finally make the 'switch' because my office is tied heavily to Outlook (and Business Contact Manager and therefore SQL Server).

    Parallels works as advertised and is recommended from one slashdotter to another.

  • Parallels is Great (Score:5, Informative)

    by Over_and_Done ( 536751 ) * on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:56PM (#15693315)
    I decided to plunk down the money for a new Intel Powerbook because of Parallels, and I have not been dissapointed. I have been using it since thwy released the public beta for it, and it really is a great life saver. Running XP under 1 gig of allocated RAM and I cannot notice a slowdown on the Mac or PC side of the system.

    My only pet peeve is the way that the virtual machine mount USB drives only allows 1 OS to have access to the device at a time. So if you are on the Windows side and insert a drive, Mac does not see it, and vice versa. I am not sure if there is a way around that or not. But that really is the only annoyance that prevents me for managing the this seamlessly.

    I hate sounding like such a fanboy, but this really is a great piece of software.

    • by jonbryce ( 703250 )
      Could you share the drive on the network and access it via Samba or whatever OSX uses?
      • Actually, you can, quite easily. Configuring Samba is almost the same on OS X, save for the fact that the path to the conf file is a bit shorter (it's in /etc, not /etc/samba).

        Of course, I prefer using Bonjour in the guest instead of Samba, as it's just that much easier.
    • After reading TFA, I'm under the impression that Parallels is a VM-only distribution. They compare it to the higher priced "$129...Virtual PC standalone package" that, AFAIK, comes with a copy of Windows XP. If you need to run Windows, and you pay for the software you use, buying Virtual PC seems cheaper to me.
      • Virtual PC only works on PPC based Macs. There is currently no plan to move it to Intel Macs. This just leaves Parallels VM as your only choice for virtualization on the Intel Macs.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          You wouldn't want to move Virtual PC as-is to Intel Macs anyway. Virtual PC is emulation, Parallels is virtualization. Virtual PC will need to be rewritten from the ground up as virtualization for it to be worth anything on Intel Macs, because there is simply no point to running an emulator on the exact chip you're emulating.
          • by jmauro ( 32523 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @05:42PM (#15694043)
            Tell that to HP []. Their Project Dynamo [] showed that in many cases running PA-RISC instructions emulated on on PA-RISC machine improved the performance of the program without changing how it was compiled. The emulated version can start to re-order code, change branching behavoir, etc as needed based on how the program is actually running (things like a JIT does on Java or .NET). So there is a place for Native to Native emulation; even if it seems silly.
      • Virtual PC only supports PPC Macs. Parallels only supports Intel Macs. For now, at least, they are not competitors to each other.
    • What takes the seamlessness away for me is that fact that you can't run 3D games with it. So, I still have to install BootCamp if I want to play.
  • by Clockwurk ( 577966 ) * on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:56PM (#15693316) Homepage
    on my Gateway laptop and when combined with OSX, its pretty damn slick. If you plan on playing games or video, you should forget about it and just use Boot Camp, but if you're not using very demanding apps, its a godsend. AutoCAD runs really well, and its nice not having to reboot. If you are contemplating a virtualization app, be aware that you will need memory for both operating systems. 512 is painful, 1 gb can get slow at times, and 2gb is the sweet spot. If you are going to virtualize XP, try SP1 instead of 2. SP2 is a lot slower in virtualization (this was the case when using Virtual PC or VMWare).
  • by Rude Turnip ( 49495 ) <valuation&gmail,com> on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:57PM (#15693317)
    I bought a MacBook Pro recently, with the intention of having a single machine for home (OS X) and office (WinXP). I tried out Parallels and there's no doubt that it is a very useful piece of software. Waving my hand over my Macbook (accomplished with Shadowbook + Virtuedesktops), caused my screen to rotate into either Windows XP or OS X at will. The processor speed, because the Core Duo is simply being virtualized, is pretty much full speed. On the other hand, the Mobility Radeon X1600 GPU (with its 256MB of VRAM goodness) cannot be virtualized, so Parallels must emulate an 8meg SVGA card. This makes the graphics of Windows XP seem sluggish. Since I am transitioning from a 4-year old Dell Inspiron that is very peppy and snappy in the GPU department, I refused to tolerate any sluggishness whatsoever in my new ($2K+) computer. I installed Boot Camp yesterday and then installed Windows XP. After you install the Apple-provided drivers for the MacBook (including Radeon drivers), the system runs incredibly smooth under XP. The only special thing I had to do was install Windows 2003 Server Resource Kit (free from MS) to re-map my right Command key as a delete key so that I could use ctl-alt-delete to login to my domain.

    If you need to use Windows XP all day as your work OS (as I do), you will find Boot Camp to be the superior solution, if only for the snappiness of the system. I don't need to use OS X at work for any reason, so dual-booting works for me. If you only use a few Windows apps irregularly and will primarily use OS X all day, then Parallels is the way to go. Keep in mind that Boot Camp is free, while Parallels costs $.
    • "Waving my hand over my Macbook (accomplished with Shadowbook + Virtuedesktops), caused my screen to rotate into either Windows XP or OS X at will"

      This is not the operating system you're looking for. You don't need to see our serial number.

      That is FREAKIN SWEET.
    • Windows 2003 Server Resource Kit (free from MS) to re-map my right Command key as a delete key so that I could use ctl-alt-delete to login to my domain.

      No need - ctrl-shift-esc (or is it cmd-shift-esc?) does the same thing in Boot Camp without needing to install any extra software. The one thing that *is* useful is the Apple Mouse Utility, which remaps the control key to modify the mouse button so that ctrl-mouse works as a right click. Unfortunately, you lose the ability to control-click. The ideal si

    • Waving my hand over my Macbook (accomplished with Shadowbook + Virtuedesktops), caused my screen to rotate into either Windows XP or OS X at will.

      do you say "This is not the OS I'm looking for" when you do it? :)

  • ...unless they magically pull a G5/PPC version outta their backsides, it's kinda not useful to us old folks still clinging to our G5's. I know it wouldn't work for virtualizing x86 stuff, but damn it would be neat to harness a current dual-proc Mac to that kind of love (y'know, for things like having YellowDog Linux and OSX on the same box...)


  • Games? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by patrixmyth ( 167599 )
    How could you write that article without addressing the games issue? The lack of games is still the number one barrier to MACS taking more of the home pc market. I keep 2 machines at home. A mac for visitors, web browsing, video editing and some educational software and a PC to run the latest games. I'd ditch the PC in a second if I could. I'll probably keep my PC laptop, though.

    • Re:Games? (Score:3, Informative)

      by LinuxGeek ( 6139 ) *
      They did address the games issue in the article. It was 'don't bother'. He even had the tongue in cheek estimate of a 3dmark score of -30000.
    • The home market isn't the only market on the planet. Parallels is perfect for web developers who like to work on Macs but need to test in IE, for example. Obviously virtualization is aimed mostly at the corporate desktop and software developer markets. That's where the money is.
    • It doesn't handle 3D card emulation/virtualization so no games. If you want to do that you need to use bootcamp and boot natively to Windows. In that case, games will run as well as they'd run on any other system with the same hardware.

      There's nothing special about Mac hardware anymore, it's just normal commodity hardware. Since it's x86 you can run Windows on it. When you do, it runs just as it would on an equivilant non-Mac PC. The only thing special about a Mac, internally, is the "I'm a Mac" identifier
    • Bootcamp? (Score:3, Informative)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 )
      I fail to see the problem since if you want to run games you simply use Bootcamp instead.

      In fact that gives you a better setup since you have what is essentially a dedicated system for gaming that can be tweaked out and then a seperate windows system setup for productivity apps that you don't optmiize nearly so much. It's the ultimate setup because a rogue game (or more like a rogue game deinstaller) cannot then wipe out your REAL data.
    • If you are playing some of the less popular games, then yes, you are correct.

      However, with BootCamp, you can just install Windows on another partition, boot into it and have full native speeds to run all of your Windows games on your Mac.
  • by ZachPruckowski ( 918562 ) <> on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:58PM (#15693335)

    I mean, it doesn't do a video card, and apparently even the lowest Vista settings need a video card (at least 64MB VRAM, right?). OR do I misunderstand things?
  • Anybody tried Parralels for Linux here? I assume it's just as wonderful but I'm curious if anybody's had some hands-on experience.
    • I have used both (Score:4, Informative)

      by why-is-it ( 318134 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @05:32PM (#15693985) Homepage Journal
      Anybody tried Parralels for Linux here?

      I have. They appear to be fairly equivalent, as far as I can tell. I run SuSE 10 at the office, but I am required to run a few windows-only applcations. I have been using various versions of VMWare for the past 4 years to get around that barrier. I downloaded a trial version of Parallels to see what it was like. I was initially interested because VMWare has been fairly expensive to re-purchase over the years, and Parallels is quite inexpensive by comparison.

      Both install via RPM and the install is pretty straightforward. I did not find Parallels difficult to configure, but then I have been using VMWare for some time, and I am familiar with the concepts and what needs to be done. The Parallels interface is quite similar to VMWare's, so if you are familiar with one product, you should be able to use the other. In the past, I learned the hard way that VMWare was a fairly memory-intensive application. Once I added an extra gig of RAM to my workstation everything ran pretty smoothly. I don't know if Parallels runs well with less RAM or not, but I would assume that more memory is always better. I have an Athlon 1700 CPU, and it can run multiple Linux applications and a virtual windows session without tons of paging or lag.

      Mind you, I only boot the windows VM once a week or so, and run it for maybe 15-20 minutes at a time. If you wanted to run something more intensive, YMMV. I have not tried to run any games via VMWare either, so I have no idea what that would be like. On the whole, I am pleased to say that both Parallels and VMWare both work really well for me. They offer similar performance and functionality, and both are quite stable applications. The next time VMWare rolls out an upgrade that I have to pay for, I will be switching to Parallels.

      As other posters have stated, games are probably the holy grail of windows virtualization. I would like nothing better to have an Intel-based PowerMac with a kick-ass graphics card that could give me all the benefits of owning a Mac, with the added bonus of being able to play my favourite games without rebooting.

  • Anybody care to summarize the pros and cons of Parallels vs VMWare?
  • Great. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Above ( 100351 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @04:06PM (#15693392)

    So Intel can finally do what IBM developed back in the 1960's. LPAR anyone?
  • I visited the site and didn't see an answer to my question. How is Parallels different from VMWare Workstation? Or is it the same thing at a different price point?
    • How is Parallels different from VMWare Workstation?

      It uses a different codebase and it runs on a Mac? Just guessing.

    • I suspect in the near future that both products should have identical features and OS support except one runs in OS X and the other in Windows. It would be more interesting to see if VMWare ever get their Mac product out of the lab into the market place. Then we might see some serious competition on features and price. Microsoft is still the wild card in this love fest -- if they decide to play.
  • by Cadallin ( 863437 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @04:07PM (#15693395)
    Like Baldur's Gate, or Icewind Dale, or Planescape (Any Bioware Infinity Engine Titles really). How do games of this nature run under Parallels? Is DirectX handled acceptably for everything other than 3D acceleration? If so, I'll probably have to speed up my plans to upgrade to an Intel based Mac. I'm a recent switcher, and this is the only thing that's been really hurting me. I use my Gamecube for new games, but to relive older titles it would be awesome if parallels would fill the gap.
    • I don't know about any of those titles, but StarCraft runs reasonably well, except for occasional problems with the sound cutting out.

      In general, anything that doesn't require any hardware accelerated graphics should run fine, so games that have a software rendering option should be playable under Parallels. However, YMMV.

  • I really don't understand the point, for most Mac users. I have it sitting on my computer with XP, but after the initial WOW! factor wore off, I really never touched it again. I've been using a Mac for roughly 4 years now, and have discovered alternatives to all my old Windows apps, bought all the "need-to-have" cross platform apps (Photoshop and Word), and completely adapted my work style to my Mac (running a computer without Quicksilver is painful). I really don't see the point outside of advertising an
    • > I really don't understand the point, for most Mac users.

      It's not for most Mac users. It's for people who want to use their mac, but absolutely must have some part of windows. For me, that part is IE. For others, it's Outlook. I'm sure there are plenty of other applications, but those are the two big ones.
    • Re:WOW! Factor (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JohnWhitney ( 707445 )
      Parallels runs Ubuntu with no problems whatsoever. I use Ubuntu 6.06 on my MacBook Pro as my work development environment, and in general it is faster than my 2.6GHz desktop.

      I wish the X-server had better "change resolutions on the fly" capabilities (to handle going from full-screen to windowed mode), but I usually end up just displaying xterms from the Ubuntu virtual machine on my Mac OS X desktop anyway.
    • The good news about it for me is that I could run things like a full-fledged outlook locally to hook into calendaring, and use IE to access those pesky internal websites that require IE.

      It means it's practical to bring a Macbook to work anywhere now.
    • I do wish I could install Ubuntu on it though, but it seems that Parallels doesn't yet support it

      I don't know if it's officially "supported", but Ubuntu Dapper works fine under Parallels on my MBP.
    • I really don't understand the point, for most Mac users. I have it sitting on my computer with XP, but after the initial WOW! factor wore off, I really never touched it again. I've been using a Mac for roughly 4 years now, and have discovered alternatives to all my old Windows apps, bought all the "need-to-have" cross platform apps (Photoshop and Word), and completely adapted my work style to my Mac (running a computer without Quicksilver is painful). I really don't see the point outside of advertising and

  • by radarsat1 ( 786772 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @04:17PM (#15693463) Homepage
    I do definitely think this is cool, but I think the next logical step... and I know this would be very tricky... would be to figure out how to run programs in the Parallels operating system in a sort of "rootless" windowed way. I guess this would be pretty much impossible without modifying the hosted operating system, but if it could be figured out, it would be fantastic. Imagine having Windows windows and Gnome windows running on top of OS X seemlessly, without seeing their respective desktop backgrounds.

    I suppose you could do this with X by using SSH into the hosted *nix system and running OSX's X server, but I don't see how it could be done with Windows...
    • This is complete OS virtualization, not emulation. So you're running Windows in its own environment, windowing system and all. If it was a Windows emulator then the windowing system calls from applications would go to the emulator and it could handle it any way it chooses, including integration with the OS X desktop. But here applications are running completely inside Windows, so there's no way to break it out of the root window.
      • Not necessarily true. You could use the Windows DLL hooks to intercept calls to the GDI layer (or just add something like WINE's gdi32.dll), and translate them into things on the Mac screen (or use something like Citrix). The code would be running in the VM, but each window would be displayed natively on the Mac. You could create a pre-configured Windows install that would mount your OS X home directory (shared using Samba) and run Windows apps with the display on the Mac. It would, like the OS/2 Window
    • First of all, for Gnome apps... just run the damn things locally! There's nothing stopping you from installing Gnome (or KDE, etc.) on the Mac directly via Fink and running it in Apple's X server, you know -- with or without the window manager.

      In fact, sometime soon at least KDE apps should run locally without X, using QT/Mac.

      And as for Windows, you want Darwine (once it works properly). I have it and it's good for little simple programs, but I keep getting an error about one particular system call on any

    • There are X servers for windows. Although it would only work unless the applications you wanted detached from the "root window" were all X clients.
    • There is a CVS version of rdesktop available that will let you export just a single window, not the whole desktop. You could just run windows in Parallels, minimize it, and then use this rdesktop beta.

      Codeweavers WINE will be available soon for OSX also, so you can run the apps "natively".

    • Imagine having Windows windows and Gnome windows running on top of OS X seemlessly, without seeing their respective desktop backgrounds.

      Codeweaver's CrossOver Mac [] will do exactly what you suggest, run some applications standalone and indeed even without a copy of Windows.

      The biggest drawback with it is that it does not support Photoshop CS yet, which would be a major boon to those waiting for the Intel Photoshop to arrive (not out for about another year).

      Some of the more popular PC games however are slated
  • This is little off topic but I would like to know - if there is Intel VT (Virtualization technology) enabled CPU available for purchase? Or they are still under development? What about AMD CPUs? Regards,
    • Parallels does use VT. Almost all Intel Macs have it; only the low-end Mac mini apparently has it turned off.
    • Intel VT is codenamed vanderpool, here's a link [] to a pdf with a list of which processors have it. It's mainly the core duo's, and some of the pentium D and EE 9xx series. Core 2 Duo's will also support it.

      AMD's VT is codenamed pacifica, and as far as I know, no processors have actually launched with it yet, though it's due soon. I stand to be corrected on that point, all AMD's articles press releases say yet is 'due first half 2006'
  • Shared RAM? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xjerky ( 128399 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @04:22PM (#15693508)
    One thing that bugs me is tht you have to carve out a dedicated amount of RAM to each guest OS, even if you aren't using all of it. Since I don't intend to do much with XP I've been able to get by by dedicating only 128MB out of the 1GB on my Mac Mini. I wish there was a way for both OSes to see my 1GB of RAM and use only what's needed, but I guess the OS would need Xen-like additions, no?
    • Re:Shared RAM? (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
      RAM allocated to the VM is not real RAM, it's virtual memory space. If you are using the VM a lot, then this will be swapped into real memory. If not, then it will be swapped out. You are generally better off allocating more RAM than is needed to the VM, since then the host OS will handle swapping, which will generally be faster than the guest OS doing it (I/O is a bigish bottleneck with virtualisation).
  • by cmason ( 53054 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @04:23PM (#15693514) Homepage
    So, last time I looked parallels kept the windows partition in a file on the mac partition. It couldn't read native windows/NTFS partitions. Is this still true?

    As someone with an existing install of XP (Bootcamp), it seems like a shame to have to two copies of windows to be able to dual boot (primarily for games).


    • I was thinking the same thing, but I just realized: even if you could use the same Windows install for both, Windows itself wouldn't let you because it would keep complaining about the hardware changes and require you to reactivate all the time.

      (Product activation is why I still use Windows 2000...)

  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @05:00PM (#15693785) Journal
    As I've said many times before, virtualization is becoming more and more important (after a hiatus of 20 years when it was the norm) and ultimately there will be more virtual PCs than PCs. This means that ultimately, any PC OS is more likely to be running on a virtual PC than a real one. At that point it makes sense that software should be written with that knowledge in mind. Ie. OSes should have an API that allows them to talk to a host machine and virtualizers should have an API that guest OSes can talk to. This could make it much cleaner to do things like cut-and-paste between different virtual machines running different OSes.

    Of course it's hard to imagine MS and Linus agreeing on such an API. But this isn't a zero sum game. People might choose to install Windows because with virtualization they know they will still be able to run Linux easily. Bill Gates will still have sold you a Windows license even though you're spending most of your time running Linux. So it's in the interest of MS and Linux to figure out how to interoperate between virtual machines.

  • by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @05:12PM (#15693864)
    After all, MacOS represents maybe 5% of the market. Now software makers will have an excuse not to write versions of their software that run natively under MacOS, since they can just tell people to run under Parallels or Boot Camp. BTW, I'm not using/recommending Parallels until it can utilize a separate partition on the HDD - a seperate partition could theoretically give you the choice between vitualization and running 'doze directly if you have an app that does direct hardware access like some games.


  • by Lactoso ( 853587 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @05:36PM (#15694012) Homepage
    I've used Parallels for a couple of months now (they just very recently left beta) and am very pleased with it. It's had (and continues to have some minor ones) its share of issues (USB support being the biggest), but this is really a tremendous product. It delivers on what MS Virtual PC promised - a fast, stable method of running Windows under OS X.

    Its potential for creating a dramatic increase in Mac converts should not be overlooked. To the point, I have a particular user (a CFO of a medium-sized manufacturing company) who spends most of her day working Excel spreadsheets, creating documents, emails and using a browser (webforms, webapps, browsing). It was a constant battle to keep her PC clean of virii and spyware. A perfect candidate for switching to a Mac, except for their base accounting system, which will only run in Windows. I got her a new Mac Mini Dlx, installed and configured Parallels with WinXP Pro and she could not be happier. She's running Mac:MS Office for Word, Entourage and Excel, uses Safari/FireFox for browsers (some of her sites won't behave on one or the other) and bounces into the other PCs on the network with COTVNC. And just a note to the non-consultant folks out there... It's always a very good thing to make the CFO happy.

    One of the things I like most about Parallels is their "don't let Windows out of the box" approach. Coupled with an (admittedly similar to MS VPC) easy to backup set of files, should anything go wonky with the Windows install, it's a 2 minute job to restore it completely.

    I can see this becoming a much more viable alternative to computer-savvy management level types.

  • by sootman ( 158191 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @06:04PM (#15694181) Homepage Journal
    I just got my MB last week and tried Parallels this weekend. I'll definitely be buying it before the price goes up on the 15th. (From $50 to $80.)

    I couldn't get W2K installed* but XP went on fine, as did RedHat 7.1. Ubuntu goes on next, followed by SmackBook. []

    Slower than native (AFAIK, all of Parallels runs as one thread) but still fun and very useful for what I need it for.** Each OS picks up another address on your LAN (, 106, 107, etc.) and it's a lot of fun to SSH to a virtual Linux box, make a page in ~/public_html/, and view it in Safari on the same box.

    XP runs fine fullscreen (1280x800) and if you have your Mac set up to right-click with the trackpad, you don't need to do anything different in Windows--a quick one-two on the trackpad and I've got a contextual menu in XP. Scrolling also works. 'Command' maps to 'Windows key' just like when you use a Mac keyboard on a regular PC, so that also behaves as expected. Overall, it's great. Definitely fast enough to be useful--it's not like I'm on a 200 MHz machine all of a sudden or anything. Feels like any reasonably peppy Windows box.

    * doubly funny because that's the OS they show in the screenshots in the documentation) because no matter what I tried, I couldn't get it to see the CD--it just keeps saying "No boot device available, press Enter to continue."

    ** handy way to have lots of OSs with me, do testing, troubleshooting, etc. And FreeCell. There's still nothing better than Windows' FreeCell.
  • by Hootenanny ( 966459 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @06:20PM (#15694287)
    I installed Parallels on an Intel iMac recently. I created virtual machines with Ubuntu, Fedora Core, and FreeDOS (no reason, just because I can). All of them seem to work fine, except FreeDOS, but then in my experience DOS never worked well on my parents' Tandy either.

    I installed Windows XP today and everything seems just fine and peppy. The IT guy who installed it commented that the installation took less time than on some of the Dells he worked with. My favorite part is the backup mechanism - I now have a fresh, no-spyware installation of Windows XP with Matlab, SPSS, and Access all installed. All of my documents will be stored on a Mac hard disk by a shared folder. So I went to the Finder and made a copy of the disk image, and when I want to revert to a fresh image, all I do is delete the working hard drive, and rename "image copy" to "image" and I'm back as good as new. 8)

    I have one question for the forum - like many others, I wish there was native hardware acceleration. Wouldn't it be feasible by installing a Windows graphics driver that sends the hardware calls to Parallels, which then uses Mac native OpenGL to do hardware rendering? It doesn't seem that different from ordinary rendering in a window. This could be straightforward for PC OpenGL games, and for the DirectX games, perhaps the calls can be mapped to OpenGL functions. Perhaps with a speed penalty, but it should almost certainly be better than software rendering. You folks who know more about graphics rendering than I do - might this be possible?
  • by Zobeid ( 314469 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @07:32PM (#15694671)
    Virtualization is better than dual-booting, but you still get all the natural disadvantages that come with WinXP. To wit: high price tag, vulnerability to malware, and bad karma from supporting the Evil Empire. There are a very small number of Windows programs that I would like to run, but this price is just too high. WINE and Crossover Office represent my real hope for the future.
  • by Timbotronic ( 717458 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @11:25PM (#15695694)
    I'd be interested to see a few benchmarks on this one. eg. Photoshop transforms on Windows under Parallels vs the same on OS X Power PC binaries under Rosetta

    My best guess would be that the Windows version would be faster because despite the virtualisation layer, it's still an x86 binary. Might make for some painful choices until Adobe can complete their glacial move to universal binaries.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard