Last week I had a chance to meet with executives from Parallels, who introduced me to their wonderful virtual machine product. I have installed it on my iMac, and have installed Windows XP and Ubuntu. Both work flawlessly. I have been using the Windows XP install […]

Last week I had a chance to meet with executives from Parallels, who introduced me to their wonderful virtual machine product. I have installed it on my iMac, and have installed Windows XP and Ubuntu. Both work flawlessly. I have been using the Windows XP install to run Microsoft Outlook.

The speed with which the application (Parallels) and Windows boot up, Outlook has just become another app in the dock. I am trying to figure out a way to change the Parallels’ icon, and replace it with Outlook. (My Candybar and Pixadex have stopped working for some odd reason.) Of course, when the new Mail.app comes, well ….parallels - pc on a mac

Parallels’ team says they have sold nearly 100,000 copies. At $80 a pop, the sales are strong enough to keep this tiny company going for a while. They are now selling in Apple stores, which can be a blessing for a small company. (Anyone who wants to let me know about how Apple stores impacted their sales, please get in touch.)

They are going to release an update later this year which would make Parallels even better. With over a million macs shipping every quarter, and all of them now with Intel processors, things look good for Parallels. The company has raised some venture capital, but refuses to divulge the name of their backers. (Update: Sources say that Insight Capital might be the backers of this company. This is not confirmed with the company.)

Nevertheless, no one is going to miss the Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac. You can wait for VMWare’s free VM but Parallels is here and now, and worth a shot.

By Om Malik

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  1. Parallels is by far one of the most used applications I have in the dock. Moving between multiple operating systems for various reasons couldn’t be any easier. The only improvement I would like to see is having the option to move my cursor in and out of Linux without the need to press ctrl+alt. WIndows has the extra VMTools. Linux definitely needs similar functionality.

  2. Sukanta Ganguly Sunday, August 13, 2006

    I have not used Parallels but have heard a lot of good things about it. I currently use VMware and am not very happy. But it works. I will try out parallels and see how the performance is. The only question is whether the native Windows XP/2003 version is as good as the Mac OSX version or not. Don’t know if you have any comments based on experience.


  3. Eddie Munster Sunday, August 13, 2006

    Ah, not so quick everyone. If you need special drivers that expect things to be plugged into the physical machine, be sure that Parallels can handle this for Windows running under Parallels, for example ensuring that the MacBook Pro’s next generation PCMCIA slot can be accommidate EVDO cards plugged into it and running under both Mac OS X and Windows XP!

    Eddie Munster

  4. Edward Scissorshands Sunday, August 13, 2006

    Hey Om, how does the audio work? Lets say you there is a latest and greatest VOIP software client that is only available on Windows XP to start with (such as Skype 4.0). So what if you have a USB-connected headset and microphone on the MacBook Pro but you’re running the VOIP client on XP in Parallels. How smoothly does the audio pipe back through Parallels into XP on the MBP? I tried this once with VirtualPC a few years ago and audio running under XP Pro as a virtual machine was atrocious.

  5. I too have Parallels Workstation installed on my Mac (MacBook Pro). I’ve only used it for limited purposes so far (mostly viewing Websites and web apps that are Windows only, such as GoToMeeting conferences). Windows recognizes my external 300GB HD, and I’ll be trying TechSmith Morae software this week.

    My question is this: what about memory? Parallels seems to require a dedicated amount of memory when running. So I allocated 512 to Windows XP, and it takes that much whether it needs it or not, leaving only 512 for the Mac. I’d rather just launch Windows, keep it open and jump to it when needed. Perhaps I need another 1G of memory?

  6. Neal Saferstein Monday, August 14, 2006

    I am waiting for 3d graphics support, once this happens the skies the limit!

    Neal Saferstein

  7. Henry Blackman Monday, August 14, 2006

    Audio under Parallels is great. I’ve watched a DVD on Windows XP via Parallels on a Mac Book Pro, and an iMac Core Duo. It was great, the latest beta is even better. Not a single drop out of sound or video.

  8. installing windows on a mac is like adding diarrhoea to fillet mignon

  9. Small developers still alive and kicking…

    Despite WWDC concerns, small developers are still alive and kicking. Parallels is doing extremely well, although it may soon have a free competitor.
    Glenn Wosley lists 5 mystery projects soon coming to the Mac… He missed mine I don’t hav…

  10. Jesse Kopelman Monday, August 14, 2006

    Clearly, the sweet spot here is laptops and mobile users, because buying Parallels + Windows XP is going to set you back most of the cost of buying a dedicated (albiet used or very low-end) PC to run XP.

    I know it’s blasphemous, but shouldn’t Apple just port iLife to Vista and abbandon the proprietary OS (keeping buying a Mac the only way to get iLife)? I think more people are buying Macs for iLife than for OS X. That way, they can keep much of the uniqueness of the MAC without the sillyness of forcing people to run multiple operating systems just to access all the applications they want.


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