InfoWorld looks at Windows on the Mac: Parallels vs. VMware Fusion, round 2

“A little more than a year ago, I reviewed VMware’s Fusion 1.0 and Parallels Desktop 3.0 to see how they stacked up. Since then, both products have undergone major revisions, so I thought I’d see how this horse race is coming along. Both Fusion, now in Version 2.0.1, and Parallels, in Version 4.0, allow you to run another OS — Windows, Linux, and others — on your Mac as a guest of OS X. They provide what’s called a hypervisor, which can host multiple guest OSes running at the same time,” Phillip J. Windley reports for InfoWorld.

“The most important thing about both of these products is what hasn’t changed: Pick either one, and you’ll get a solid performer that lets you run Windows or Linux on your Mac,” Windley reports. “Both systems offer easy Windows install, and both support even the most taxing Windows applications with aplomb. That said, there are differences between them, and depending on your exact needs, you might find one a better choice than the other.”

Windley reports, “Whether you’re brand-new to the Mac and want the security blanket of bringing your Windows desktop along or you’re a veteran Mac user who needs to run the occasional Windows program, both Parallels and Fusion will suit you well.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: To be precise: “insecurity blanket.”

27 Comments

  1. Running Fusion 2.0, Vista and XP.

    Works wonderful. Stable as all heck.

    Fusion 2 has the ability to “Snapshot” your entire Virtual Machine (other operating systems) so you can revert to a earlier state to avoid glitches.

    It also comes with a free anti-virus per VM.

    Naturally one should keep Vista and XP from doing anything on the internet except updating the OS and anti-malware definitions.

    No Vista 3D candy unfortunately, this includes most games included free with certain Vista versions. (mine is Ultimate)

    If there is a Vista update (there isn’t any XP updates anymore) it’s best to wait for the Fusion 2 update before updating Vista.

    It’s wise to set Vista processor preferences to two processors, the default is one processor. After updating Vista via their “software update” one processor won’t be enough.

    You’ll need more RAM for sure. 4 GB on my Macbook Pro seems to do the trick nicely.

    My next computer purchase will be my first PC, a Vista Windows machine, because of the better security and $700 price tag compared to my current $3000 (plus Fusion, Vista and XP, faster hard drive and RAM costs) MacBook Pro.

    It’s just smart economics and we are in a recession anyway.

    Sorry Apple.

  2. @ Smart Masses

    you are a fool to argue this:

    “My next computer purchase will be my first PC, a Vista Windows machine, because of the better security …”

    I mean you already look stupid arguing for the *less* popular, harder to use Fusion. Then you top it off with the statement that you’re going to ditch your MacBook Pro (the most desirable computer on the planet right now), for a piece of junk running MS Vista 2.0?

    Me thinks you should be buying all your friends those “I’m with stupid” TShirts for Christmas.

  3. “To be precise: “insecurity blanket.””

    To be precise: The glue that allows your Mac to be your only PC since most people need at least one Windows application for something.

    “It’s wise to set Vista processor preferences to two processors, the default is one processor. “

    Only if you’re only running one VM at a time. Try having VMware have more total virtual cores active than real ones exist at any time, get ready for it to grind to a halt.

  4. I need to run a one app on Windows (NO Mac alternative exists) and prefer to use Excel 2003 (Numbers is NOT currently up to the task & Excel 2008 SUCKS). With Parallels 4.0 I can use them both seamlessly in a Mac OSX environment. The best of both worlds!

    “Insecurity” has nothing to do with it.

  5. “My next computer purchase will be my first PC, a Vista Windows machine, because of the better security …”

    Vista is much more secure than XP ever was and for most this is good enough. Since Apple started snitching on their customers by installing Google’s website tracking/anti-phishing/malware software…also EFI. God knows what is installed in there.

    I mean you already look stupid arguing for the *less* popular, harder to use Fusion.

    I don’t thing he/she was arguing for Fusion, just stating he/she used it.

    Then you top it off with the statement that you’re going to ditch your MacBook Pro (the most desirable computer on the planet right now), for a piece of junk running MS Vista 2.0?

    I’m sure they said the NEXT computer will be a Vista machine, not saying they would ditch the current MBP.

    Only if you’re only running one VM at a time. Try having VMware have more total virtual cores active than real ones exist at any time, get ready for it to grind to a halt.

    Actually one can have multiple virtual machines active, it all depends how much processor each one needs at any given time.

    If they all need it at once, then naturally whoever is first gets the cores.

  6. QUICK QUESTION TO PARALLELS OWNERS:

    If you run Windows in Parallels, do you need to have virus or trojan protection? Since the whole thing is running in a sandbox, theoretically, it shouldn’t go to the OS? However, I just purchased Parallels and wanted to install the Secure Browser and Linux from the Parallels App page. It wouldn’t let me do it, unless I ran from Admin or root. I never do anything, except set up logins from the Admin page. Now, I’m not feeling as safe and I haven’t installed either Linux, Secure browser or Windows.

    I guess the question is can you install these apps (os’s) in Parallels in a non-administrative account?

    Thanks

  7. The only issues I’ve experienced with VirtualBox have to do with mounting and un-mounting the optical drive. Other than that it’s a pretty slick piece of software. After testing Parallels and VBox I really can’t justify the price tag for Parallels. Hell, I’m even playing around with an Ubuntu install. Everything works. It’s incredible that Sun is able to give VBox away for free.

  8. The more machines Apple sells, the more trolls there seem to be.
    Just think what it will be like when Apple hits 20% market share. They will be going crazy. Then 30%, they will be jumping off cliffs.

  9. @Jeremy: You wrote: “I mean you already look stupid arguing for the *less* popular, harder to use Fusion.”

    Sorry, I have used both, bought Parallels very early, and worked with it through version 3.0, and then made the switch to Fusion. Even though I occasionally fire up Parallels just to check, I still prefer Fusion over Parallels. I find it both easier and more reliable.

    YMMV.

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