“The latest versions of the Mac virtualization products from Parallels, VMware, and Sun offer significant improvements over previous versions, and all are worth the upgrade,” John Rizzo reports for InfoWorld. “They’re faster with better 3-D graphics, are better integrated with Mac OS X, and in two cases, are optimized for running all the features of Windows 7.”
“Overall, Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac is the top virtualizer for Mac OS X. VMware Fusion 3 is a close second, with Sun’s VirtualBox 3.1 running a distant third. VirtualBox has a few unique features and is free, but doesn’t support many Mac OS X features. Parallels Desktop 5 and VMware Fusion 3 also automate the installation of guest operating systems and support multiple monitors,” Rizzo reports. “Furthermore, these new versions add support for Windows 7 Aero features, such as Aero Peek and Aero Glass. VirtualBox doesn’t do any of these.”
Rizzo reports, “Parallels Desktop 5 provides the best overall performance. Not that VMware Fusion 3 is slow, but it can stumble with graphics-heavy tasks and uses more of the Mac’s processor, leaving less CPU bandwidth for Mac applications… Parallels is also more Mac-like in enabling you to launch Windows applications from Mac OS X, even when Parallels isn’t running. It puts a Windows application folder in the Dock, just as Snow Leopard has a folder for Mac apps. Add a second Windows virtual machine, and a second folder is tacked on. Fusion appends a Start menu to the right side of the Mac’s top-screen menu bar. It works, but I prefer the more standard Dock approach.”
There’s much more in the full review here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]