- Editor Rating
- Rated 4 stars
- Parallels Desktop 8 For Mac
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
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- Installation & SetupEditor: 50%
- Design & InterfaceEditor: 90%
- FeaturesEditor: 90%
- FunctionEditor: 90%
- Value For The PriceEditor: 80%
Parallels Desktop 8 allows you to run a Windows operating system side by side with Mac OS X.
Personally, I prefer using a Mac over a Windows machine, but there are some limitations especially when it comes to running certain types of software. Since the Mac operating system is only found in 7% of computer users, you won't find Mac compatible versions of many popular programs. This is simply because the developers often do not have the money or manpower to design a separate version for Mac so they will just produce a traditional Windows version that will cater to the masses. A situation like this leaves a great deal of Mac users in the dust and keeps many Windows users from making the switch to a Mac and losing access to necessary PC only programs. If you find yourself in this case you have two options: either install a separate Windows OS using Boot Camp (resulting in the need to partition your hard disk) or you can utilize Parallels to run your Windows programs side by side while still logged into your Mac OS X.
Now Parallels is an excellent way to run Windows programs, but you should know it can be costly in the long run for one reason. The Parallels program itself is $60 at the time this review is written, but keep in mind this DOES NOT include a Windows license. So depending on if you have an existing Windows license around or not it will run you another $100 or more for a new Windows 7 or Windows 8 license. This is something to keep in mind throughout the decision making process as to whether or not you should buy Parallels as I know some of you are not financially able to spend almost $200 in order to be able to run your Windows programs on a Mac. Something else to keep in mind is that the installation will take up around 15GB of disk space on your machine so be sure your computer will have enough room to handle it.
The setup of Parallels is pretty simple for someone who is generally good with technology, but might be a bit confusing for the technology illiterate. The setup wizard guides you through the process step by step and it does not take that long to get properly up and running. By running Parallels you are given the choice to emulate your own Windows desktop within its own window or you can choose to run “coherence mode” which will run the windows programs in their own individual windows just like all your other Mac applications. Personally, I find the separate Windows desktop to hinder my productivity so I like to run the Windows applications along my Mac apps for a seamlessly integrated experience.
From my experience using Parallels so far I have no issues or complaints. I prefer using it for PC applications like Sony Vegas 12 and it has drastically boosted my productivity as I'm able to access all my Mac files and programs without having to log out and enter Boot Camp to begin the video editing process. Having used Parallels for the past few months I can honestly say it is a far more effective experience compared to Boot Camp. There is only one situation where Boot Camp is still king is and that is when it comes to playing PC games on your Mac. The reason for this is that when your gaming and running these resource-heavy programs you should want to dedicate your whole system to the game. When you try to run these games through Parallels it forces a balance playing the game while continually using up a great deal of your precious resources to the Mac OS X which is running in the background. When it comes to competitors like VirtualBox or VMWare Fusion, Parallels is a bit more expensive. Regardless of the price difference, I think the extra money is warranted as Parallels is more user friendly and easy to manage from my personal experience.
Overall, I found Parallels Desktop 8 to be an excellent choice for someone who is looking to get a full Windows or Linux experience on their Mac computer. The software is very user friendly and can seamlessly handle running both Windows and Mac applications without a hitch. Parallels has added a serious convenience factor to using my Mac and the productivity boost is already paid for the cost several times over. If you fully understand that a valid Windows key is another necessary expense on top of the Parallels retail cost and still are considering buying the program then I highly recommend doing so as I am extremely satisfied with this software.
For more information visit the Parallels website.
As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.