Smackdown: Parallels Desktop 7 vs. VMware Fusion 4

Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac“The powerhouses of Mac OS X virtualization both got beefy updates in the last few weeks and they’re begging for comparison,” Dave Girard reports for Ars Technica.

“I think it’s safe to call Parallels Desktop 7 the winner here. Despite the incredible gains in VMware’s 3D performance, it’s still harder to find a scenario that favors VMware Fusion, whether for performance, features, or the interface,” Girard reports. “The Parallels team has worked hard on speed and OS X integration, and it shows. The VMware interface enhancements in version 4, touted as Lion-specific, aren’t really as polished as Parallels’ additions, and with the exception of better 3D, users aren’t getting much they didn’t have in Fusion 3.”

Girard reports, “If you’re without a virtualization program and are asking me to make a pick, I say go with Parallels Desktop 7. The Parallels teams has finally put their days of buggy releases behind them; now it’s VMware’s turn to do the same.”

The extensive full article which contains benchmarks, screenshots and a whole lot more is here.

Related articles:
Mac Virtualization State of the Union: VMware Fusion 4, Parallels Desktop 7, and VirtualBox 4 – September 19, 2011
Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac update improves FileVault, FaceTime HD compatibility – September 16, 2011
Bloomberg’s Jaroslovsky reviews Parallels Desktop 7: There’s no better solution for Mac users who want Windows compatibility – September 14, 2011
VMware launches VMware Fusion 4; offers full Mac OS X Lion integration – September 14, 2011
Parallels offers 60% off Desktop 7 for Mac to entice VMWare Fusion users to switch– September 13, 2011
Mossberg reviews Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac: Runs Windows quickly and smoothly – September 6, 2011
Upgrading from Windows to Mac even easier with Parallels Desktop 7 – September 2, 2011
New Parallels Mobile app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch controls Macs, PCs, plays Flash and more – September 1, 2011
Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac makes Windows programs roar with Mac OS X Lion features – September 1, 2011


    1. Well “worth the upgrade if you’re using an older version” – actually Parallels forces users to upgrade not because of features but instead by breaking (the customers) software to make it not work under Lion anymore. Took me just a few minutes to make Parallels 5 run again under Lion. But Parallels insists that version 5 is not compatible with Lion and you must must must give them more money.

      So while I like Parallels Desktop much more than Fusion, the company’s behaviour is unacceptable.

  1. I’ve been a VMWARE user for years. I use it at work everyday. I keep trying each new version of Parallels and I keep finding it unstable. I tried version 4 recently, and it still cannot hold a candle to the stability of VMWARE.

  2. I have been a Parallels user for years (since version 2). It was buggy back then, but by version 6.0, Parallels caught up and surpassed VMWare. I’ve only been upgrading for every other release version as well. Still at version 6.0, it works fine under Lion.

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