Using Windows

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By default, Parallels configures Windows 7 so that your user is the Administrator. This is not a good thing—Windows 7 actually disables the Administrator account by default. Once I was up and running, I ran Office , Adobe Acrobat, and a number of other general application programs. They all ran without troubles and never felt slow in any way. I also tested a number of games which are great ways to stress-test virtual machines. Overall, I was amazed at the performance I saw. Parallels can provide up to 1GB of video RAM, which means that even some newer games with large texture sizes will run reasonably well; I was able to play the demo of Hard Reset , an intensive first person shooter, at decent though not great frame rates.

Even the demo of Call of Duty 4, which ran but with jerky-slow framerates when I last tested it with Parallels 5, is now playable. I used a Bluetooth mouse, a Saitek flightstick, a generic gamepad, and a Logitech Momo force feedback wheel and pedal set, all of which worked fine. When you connect a USB device, Parallels provides a nice visual dialog box for selecting how it should be assigned, and whether that assignment is permanent or temporary.


When connecting a new USB device, you can easily choose who controls it: your Mac, or the active virtual machine. For protection against Windows malware and viruses, Parallels includes a day trial for Kaspersky Internet Security.

Parallels Desktop for Mac - Wikipedia

So far, my virtual Windows 7 installation has stayed free of viruses and malware at least according to Windows itself. Overall, I had almost no issues with running Windows 7 in Parallels. I installed a virtual Lion on both my vintage Mac Pro and the MacBook Pro, and found that they worked as expected, with a few caveats. I was unable to copy and paste text or images to or from the virtual machine to the host OS—odd, given how well this works in Windows as well as Unix guests.

When I tried to do a video chat in iChat, the camera window opened as a black box, and iChat then crashed. When running FaceTime, however, the camera worked fine. I also had a problem with the mouse click location being offset from the actual pointer location; this seemed to crop up when switching between full-screen and windowed mode.

But for general usage, such as testing software in a safe way, or testing as a user without any login items, being able to run OS X Lion in a virtual machine is great.

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I was also able to download and install various Linux distributions using their. Parallels offers an incredible number of settings, both for the application itself and for configuring your virtual machines. If you like tweaking your settings, this is a good thing. Thankfully, the preferences panel has been redesigned, and is now much more Mac-like, making it somewhat easier to find things. Help, too, is improved in this version. Fully searchable, and presented in a floating window like help files in other OS X programs, I found it well written and useful.

Parallels 7 is a fast, stable, and highly customizable way to run Windows on a Mac. Although its interface is focused on running Windows on the Mac, it also does well with other operating systems. So for both speed and cost, Boot Camp is the baseline. CodeWeavers released the first version of CrossOver Mac in early , providing a Windows compatibility layer based on the Wine open-source project.

Basically, CrossOver Mac is a commercial version of Wine with a variety of enhancements and end-user support. In short, you can run some Windows apps with CrossOver Mac without having to have a copy of Windows installed. The catch and you knew there had to be one is that CrossOver Mac does not support all Windows programs, and those it does support are not always supported perfectly.

Parallels Desktop

CodeWeavers shoots for supporting as many of the most popular Windows programs as possible, and it currently supports nearly 15, It maintains an online inventory of programs that have been tested and either do or do not work or work with bugs or workarounds , with a five-star system for ranking compatibility.

But of course there are a lot more than 15, Windows programs. For those programs that do work, however, performance can be very reasonable, especially on faster machines. This means that if you have a relatively small and defined set of Windows programs that you need to run on Macs, CrossOver Mac might be a good fit, but researching the compatibility database and doing thorough hands-on testing prior to implementation are essential. CodeWeavers conveniently provides a day free trial to allow time for testing before deciding whether to commit to a purchase.

Once running, the Windows app appears on the Mac desktop without the surrounding interface or overhead of the full Windows operating system. The standard one-year subscription is periodically substantially discounted, so watching for discounts or negotiating for volume licensing can provide cost savings.

The next version, CrossOver Mac 17, is due to be released this autumn and will be built on Wine 2. VirtualBox is the odd duck in this list, in a way. And it has some of the pros and cons of each. VirtualBox can do almost anything the commercial products can do, and the price for the core package is right. It has an extensive list of supported operating systems and enthusiastic online forums.

But compared to the offerings from VMware and Parallels, VirtualBox is less polished and less easy to use.

The best app for running Windows on a Mac

From an enterprise perspective, unless you can devote significant resources to it, you may be better off with one of the other options. Parallels may be the most intuitive and easy-to-use Windows-to-Mac virtualization product. It feels the most Mac-like. Installation of a new VM is easy and quick. A nice touch aimed at cross-platform developers is support for Modern.

IE test environments.

Other developer-focused features include a network simulation module that can model degraded or minimal network connectivity scenarios within a VM. Here are the latest Insider stories. More Insider Sign Out. Sign In Register. Sign Out Sign In Register.

Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac

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