Parallels Says New Mac Virtualization App Keeps Edge Over VMware

Parallels Inc. released the latest version of its Windows virtualization software for Mac computers on Wednesday, which it claims remains faster and more powerful than VMware Inc.'s rival app.

By Eric Lai
Wed, November 04, 2009

Computerworld — Parallels Inc. released the latest version of its Windows virtualization software for Mac computers on Wednesday, which it claims remains faster and more powerful than VMware Inc.'s rival app.

Virtualization Definition and Solutions

Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac boasts 70 new features, including compatibility with the latest, highest-end versions of Windows 7 and Mac OS X, full support for Windows' enhanced graphics user interface, Aero, and deeper integration between Windows and Mac such that users won't notice when switching back and forth between the environments.

Slideshow: Windows 7 in Pictures: The Coolest New Hardware
Slideshow: Top 10 Open Source Apps for Mac OS X

Many of those features and improvements, such as the deeper Windows-Mac integration, are also available in VMware Fusion 3.0 , which was launched last month.

The difference, according to Parallels' CEO Serguei Beloussov, is that Parallels deploys these features in a better and faster way than Fusion.

For instance, in addition to debuting a new Crystal mode that completely replaces Windows user interface elements with the Mac's, Parallels 5.0 also lets virtualized Windows apps be controlled by Apple's multi-touch trackpad gestures such as pinch, swipe and rotate. Users can also cut and paste formatted text and layouts between applications running in Windows or Linux guests and the native Mac OS X.

Beloussov also cited a study by Crimson Consulting commissioned by Parallels that shows the 64-bit version of Windows 7 to run 22% faster on a MacBook Pro using Parallels than on Fusion. Parallels also transmits data over networks and USB faster than Fusion, he said, displays graphics and video better and uses less Mac CPU cycles, resulting in better battery life.

One user of the Parallels 5 beta who agrees is Simon Loffler, an Australian Web designer.

"The UI is so much better. Everything feels tighter and better thought-out, and the config buttons on the bottom of the VM window are intuitive yet minimal," he said."[Parallels 5.0 also] seems to require less resources than Parallels 4.0, as OS X runs slightly smoother."

Despite an intermittent problem with the driver for a Logitech steering wheel for games, Loffler rated the new version "overall, a very nice upgrade from Parallels 4" that he said "totally beats" VMware's Fusion 2 (Loffler hasn't used Fusion 3).

Parallels 5 lists for $79.99 and includes several other utilities from Kaspersky and Acronis. An upgrade version costs $49.99.

First introduced in mid-2006 shortly after Apple released its Intel-based Macs, Parallels for Mac has two million users.

Continue Reading

Our Commenting Policies