I installed Parallels Desktop and Windows XP on my new Intel-based Mac laptop the other night. I had heard mixed reviews from friends and techno-geeks alike as to the functionality of this program. Well, I am a believer!
I have been completing a project that was spec’d for Windows PC’s and I have needed the quick-switching capabilities of a program like Parallels. What can I say? The program works great! I can easily switch from OSX to XP and back. I can test, download, and surf in XP just as if I were on a Windows-only machine. Having had an HP laptop running Windows XP, I find this runs just as well.
Call it ignorance, but when I first heard about Parallels, I did not know that I would have to purchase the Windows OS as well (I thought it emulated the XP operating system on the Mac). After my initial sticker-shock, I found a great software deal at UberClearance for a full XP Home Edition with SP2. I also purchased some anti-virus and firewall software separately, since Parallels treats the virtual PC as its own unique partition, and I was off and running.
Next, I referenced Dave Taylor’s blog to get myself oriented to installing the software. Aside from some older screen shots, Dave’s advice was on the money. Be sure to install the Tools as well. (FYI – The installation is for Intel-based Macs only)
Having cut my teeth on the Macintosh computer years ago and then using Windows machines in the corporate environment, I have learned an appreciation for both platforms. Yet, as you can tell by my new purchase, I lean toward the elegance and simplicity of the Apple hardware and software. All that said, if you’re thinking about switching to the Mac or just need access to the best of both worlds, get a copy of Parallels–you won’t regret it.
*NOTE: If you’re thinking about using this software to get some of the “cool” Windows-only games, think again. As of this posting, Parallels does not support DirectX for 3D gaming.