Apple started out OS X with annual releases of new versions, but then settled into an upgrade every two years up until the release of Mountain Lion almost exactly one year after Lion came out. Here we stand, a bit over a year later, expectantly waiting for OS X Mavericks to come out. Everyone’s not waiting, though, and both the VMware Fusion and Parallels teams have just released their latest virtualization offerings for the Mac that both feature Mavericks support among other new features.
Parallels has released an annual upgrade ever year since it was released, but VMware tended more towards the 2 year mark between major releases. Now, though, both companies are releasing new versions in lockstep with new versions of OS X, and if you are serious about running Linux or Windows on your Mac, you’ll be upgrading both OS X and your virtualization tool of choice each year. And this year, you’ve got more choices than ever as both apps are trying harder to appeal to casual users and the more advanced needs of IT teams.
Not too long ago, we reviewed Parallels Desktop 7 and deemed it to be a great app for all those needing to run alternate operating systems on their Macs. Now the team behind Parallels has release a new version of their flagship app and we decided to take a renewed look to see if they managed to improve on an already excellent product.
As fantastic as the Mac OS is, there are plenty of reasons you might want to run Windows from time to time: maybe you need to run some old school XP software for work, or you want to try out some PC games, or (like me) you have to test websites in Internet Explorer.
If you’re going the virtualization route, you can try out the free VirtualBox, but if you’re looking for something more powerful and user-friendly, the two main competitors are Parallels and VMware Fusion. I’ve tried both, and have been happily using VMware Fusion for the year and a half. VMware recently came out with a major update packed with new features, so let’s take a look at what it has to offer.
There are plenty of different solutions for running Windows on your Mac. You could have a seperate installation in Boot Camp, try a free solution such as VirtualBox, or try one of several other solutions.
Buy why would anyone run Windows alongside the best OS in the planet? Gaming and web development/testing are two major reasons. With its latest release, Parallels 6.0 claims to be faster than any other virtualization program and that it supports enhanced 3D graphics with 5.1 surround sound. It’s time to test their claims!
Every computer needs an operating system to operate, just like we humans need our brains to function. Unlike us, computers can have more than one brain, running multiple operating systems at the same time. Virtualization is the process of concurrently running another (fully functional) operating system over the main OS X installation.
The great advantage of a virtual machine is that your original system is untouched – you can operate or remove a Windows installation without causing any harm to OS X. This how-to will walk you through the process of setting up Windows on your Mac using the free VirtualBox application.
It’s a simple process, requiring an Intel Mac with at least 512MB RAM and a copy of Windows – we’ve used XP, but any version will do. Without further ado, let’s get started!