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Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.0

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Parallels Desktop for Mac Editor's Review

Parallels Desktop is a Virtual Machine application that allows you to run multiple operating systems at the same time.

This software gives you the possibility to run various types of operating systems, such as Windows®, Linux distributions, or other x86 compatible OS.

This application has a good support when working with your hard disks. Either it can use a virtual hard disk, which is a file on your physical hard drive or it can use the Boot Camp, if you have an alternative operating system installed on your Mac.

For example, I have a Windows XP next to Mac OS X. Using the Boot Camp's functionality I could boot up the Windows that was physically installed on this computer.

If you own a Home or Retail license then the reactivation of the product is required, because the virtual machine uses its own virtual hardware devices. This means that the Windows installed sees that the hardware configuration has been changed. In order to run a copy of Windows within a VM, consult the Microsoft's EULA in order to avoid legal issues.

The speed of the guest operating system (secondary OS) is good. Parallel Desktop installs on the guest operating system its own additions in order to speed it up. The guest works smoothly, but the host operating system (primary OS), your Mac OS X, suffers if you don't have enough memory to handle both operating systems. 1GB of memory installed is a minimal requirement. With just 512 MB, the Mac swaps many memory pages to the disk.

The application gives you various settings within its preferences panel. You can fine-tune the application from there by modifying either the hardware configuration or the network settings.

Pluses: it gives you the possibility to run multiple operating systems at the same time, it gives you the possibility to use a physical hard drive within the virtual machine, it has additional software that installs itself onto the guest operating system in order to speed it up.

Drawbacks / flaws: it requires a large amount of memory if you like to run the virtual machines smoothly.

In conclusion: this application can improve the productivity, and it can lower the costs, because you can use multiple operating systems at the same time without the need of rebooting the host operating software.

version reviewed: 2.5.3094

What's Required in Version 4.0 of Parallels Desktop for Mac

http://www.parallels.com/en/products/desktop/sr/

What's New in Version 4.0 of Parallels Desktop for Mac

http://www.parallels.com/en / products / desktop / features /

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