CNET reviews Parallels Desktop 8: New features put it above competitors

Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac is lets you seamlessly run Windows and Mac applications side-by-side

“It’s nothing new that Intel-powered Macs have been running Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux for some time using Apple’s Boot Camp,” Jason Parker reports for CNET. “Parallels Desktop was already one of the best utilities on the market for switching between operating systems, but in the latest release that’s been updated for Mountain Lion and Windows 8, it’s even better.”

Parallels Desktop allows you to switch between operating systems organically without the need to reboot your Mac,” Parker reports. “With improved support for the Retina Display on new Macs, it means you will also have the ability to play Windows games using the full power of your Mac’s video card in higher resolution than you would otherwise.”

Parker reports, “As always, Parallels Desktop 8 helps keep your virtual environments safe through the use of Snapshots. The feature lets you to take a snapshot of your Windows system (for example) when it’s in a healthy state so if you encounter any viruses or spyware while surfing, you can essentially rewind to your previously saved snapshot… Though there are a lot of virtualization options available, Parallels has a tool set and new usability features that puts it above other offerings.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. I bought a cheap Acer plastic encrusted netbook for when I need to run Windows. I ran Windows in Boot Camp but have since deleted it as it was polluting my Mac. I have a friend who is very much into playing games that are unavailable on the OS X platform. I guess I’ll point him to Parallels as it looks like emulating Windows in an OS X window within a window environment which should be familiar to him.

    1. “…was polluting my Mac.” Is that in the generic sense that a Bootcamp partition cleaved off space that Mac OS X could otherwise be using?
      My understanding of Bootcamp is that since Windows doesn’t know how to write to an HFS+ partition, there shouldn’t be any “pollution” of Windows files into your HFS+ partition.

    2. Graphics performance in Parallels will never match Boot Camp. With Boot Camp, and the computer hardware is running natively (no emulation, visualization, or graphics drivers adapters, or anything like that.) Also, there’s only one modern OS running on your computer at a time – Parallels has to divide memory and other resources between multiple running modern OS’s.

    1. Not accurate. It does both. Code executes natively, but your devices are emulated. The graphics card, for instance, is a software emulated version of the hardware device it pretends to be.

      Granted once you install the guest additions you replace hardware emulation with software wrappers but there is still a performance hit.

  2. Unless you want to fork out $50 to upgrade every 18 months, don’t waste your money! From my experience Parallels needs constant attention and updates! Do you really want to continually pay for the luxury (lol) of running Windows on your Mac. I finally decided that I’m not giving Parallels another dime, when boot camp is stable and much faster! Obviously, the only advantage is running the two OS’s concurrently, but the truth is how many times do you really need to resort booting up Windows anyway?

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