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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Thursday, March 15, 2007

USA Today takes on Mac/Windows cohabitation

Edward Baig of USA Today provides a nice, plain-English look at Parallels:
Reluctant to switch to a Macintosh because so much of your favorite software requires Microsoft Windows? Now you don't have to hold back.

The $80 Parallels Destkop for Mac "virtualization" software lets you run the Mac's operating system and Windows side-by-side.

Last week, the Seattle-area start-up behind Parallels unveiled a less-geeky update that addresses many of its shortcomings, including plug-and-play support for USB 2.0 devices. Moreover, Parallels piles on new features, the neatest of which makes it look like you are running Windows programs right on your Mac desktop, along with other Mac programs.

It's still not for beginners [but] for mainstream users who need to run a Windows app or two on their Mac, Parallels is a fine program that has come a long way.
I've been using the shipping version of Parallels and it's pretty impressive compared to other virtual machine solutions I've used over the years. And the new Coherence mode is sort of amazing, while presenting a weird Frankmachine view where Windows and OS X overlap visually. However, it's still a VM, meaning you get pokey performance, even on a machine with 2 GB of RAM, so it's not for everyone. But I'm intrigued that this technology--which is pretty much a requirement for many people who'd like to use the Mac but couldn't otherwise for various reasons--is finally going mainstream. I should review it on the SuperSite, and I'm not sure why that hasn't happened yet.

One thing Parallels can't do well, of course, is play games. But so what? With machines like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, you can get high-quality next generation games that work well over the Internet and will be viable for years to come. For an increasingly large audience, the Mac is more viable than ever. Parallels is part of the reason why.

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