Mossberg reviews Parallels Desktop 8: Works well; superior to VMWare Fusion

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

“I’ve been testing [Parallels 8] for about a week,” Walt Mossberg writes for AllThingsD. “It can run older versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, which worked well for me. Because running Windows 8 is a key feature of Parallels, I spent a lot of my testing time using a pre-release version of the new Microsoft operating system via Parallels.”

Parallels 8 does a fine job of running Windows on a Mac, especially Windows 8. It doesn’t emulate every feature, like those taking advantage of a touch screen—which the Mac lacks. But it makes Windows 8 work on a Mac pretty much like it works on a standard Windows PC that you’d upgrade to Windows 8,” Mossberg writes. “And it integrates Windows 8 with some new features of Mountain Lion, like centralized notifications and text dictation… VMware Fusion — a main Parallels competitor from VMware, a large publicly held Silicon Valley firm — also has a new version, Fusion 5, that is designed especially to handle Windows 8… I also installed and tested Fusion 5.”

Mossberg writes, “In my reviews of the last couple of editions of Parallels and Fusion, I’ve found Parallels, which claims about 70% of the Windows-on-Mac market, superior. I’m sticking with that conclusion. I found Parallels faster at every common task, like starting and restarting Windows, and resuming Windows from a suspended state… I can recommend Parallels 8 as a good solution for running Windows on a Mac simultaneously with Mac programs, and especially for Mac users who want to also use Windows 8 later this fall, or experiment with the pre-release version.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
CNET reviews Parallels Desktop 8: New features put it above competitors – September 6, 2012
Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac now available – September 4, 2012


    1. Mr. Mossberg is often wrong. He used to be one of the most Mac ignorant technology writers in the field. I have no idea what was the point of testing BETA Windows 8 on Parallels.

      But from other reviews, Parallels 8 consistently has at least and edge over VMware. There certainly are great things VMware can do that Parallels can’t. Having used Parallels for years, I’ve found it consistently more obtuse and user-unfriendly than it needs to be. But Parallels also has its great features that VMWare does not.

      The result: We have two good competitors, both worth using, depending upon the finer points of what you want to accomplish and which GUI you prefer.

      1. The man is senile:

        It doesn’t emulate every feature, like those taking advantage of a touch screen—which the Mac lacks.

        Duh…….As if it would miraculously be able to turn a screen into a tough screen…..

    2. What makes you consider it to be “far superior”?

      As a long time user of VMware in enterprise situations, I made the switch from Parallels over to VMware Fusion in late 2007 thinking that it would be better. It certainly wasn’t, but I thought it would get better. 2.0 came out (free upgrade) and it still lagged behind Parallels.

      I switched back to Parallels in 2009 when the paid VMware Fusion upgrade came out and still didn’t seem to address enough of the issues to warrant paying for it.

      I’ve been following both, and still don’t see any advantages to Fusion over Parallels (7 or 8). Fusion is getting closer, but it still isn’t there yet from what I’ve seen.

      Could you share why you think Fusion is better? I’d be interested to hear why.

      1. Gordon, I have Fusion/Win7 to run ChemBioOffice and to open the odd Publisher etc. windas-only file that comes along. No worries, it works as advertised, never crashes and it’s heaps fast on my MBAir. (Why would I like to try Parallels again?)

  1. Windows is wonderful. I open them at night to let the
    cool air in and close them during the day to keep the
    hot air out. Saves a ton of money in lieu of using the
    AC 100%. (:

    1. Windows are wonderful. I see this mistake all the time. The S at the end of Window should indicate the plural condition of said object(s). They also do a heck of a job protecting a person from the elements.

      1. The first “Windows” refers to MS Windows. Of course the
        second sentence is about windows in my house. Sadly
        I wasn’t good enough to combine the two in a clever

  2. The last time I tried Parallels was version 3, I think. It cause many problems on both my OS X install and Bootcamp drive. It took me about two to three days to remove every trace of it and I converted to Fusion. Fusion has been rock solid stable and doesn’t try to integrate the two OSes like Parallels does. I like to keep Windows as sandboxed as possible.

    1. Because some of us have to, unfortunately. Some of the work that I do requires it. I’d rather deal with it in a VM than have an actual Windows PC in my office. This way I can instantly zap it back to a usable state via a snapshot whenever it inevitably goes to hell.

  3. “…It can run older versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, which worked well for me…”

    When did 7 become the “older version” when its still the current version of Windows?

    If they said it could run 3.1 (although completely pointless) that would strike me as a bit more of an achievement than say being able to run the current version available.

  4. There is absolutely nothing compelling about Windows. And there never will be, IMO.

    Tens of millions of people use Windows everyday, creating and developing myriad products that make the world go ’round but can anyone honestly say their lives are better?

    Of course they can, that’s what gets Ballmer up each day; knowing he’s making a difference in people’s lives with his products. That’s why Windows and Microsoft are the premier institution for running everything in our solar system.

    You can’t swing a cat without breaking Windows.

  5. Nice to see Uncle Walt has woken up from his nap and figured out that VMware is way behind Parallels, something I have known for the last three releases of Parallels. Sad that an Apple apologist writer can’t figure out something simple.

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