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16 July 2009 @ 11:32 am
VMware Fusion 2 or Parallels Desktop 4.0?  

It's hard to sort out: both seem to have both extremely positive customer reviews (some of which even diss the other product) and extremely negative ones. I'm thinking perhaps that some of the negative ones are like the comments about online food recipes from people who do a bunch of substitutions and quantity changes the very first time they try it and then complain it's a horrible recipe that doesn't turn out right …

Any opinions here among the cognoscente?

Edit: Oh. Right. I just remembered something that might be an extra consideration: I've already used Bootcamp to create a partition and have loaded XP and a couple of programs. Can either or both programs share that or do I have to do an entire reload in the virtual environment? This, of course, it less important than full functionality, but still a point of interest.

Edit 2: My goal is to be able to run Windows XP in a virtual environment on my (new!) Mac Pro with reasonable results and without too many bad side-effects.

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lakeboy_55 on July 16th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
I use Parallels, never had any problems, recognizes all the hardware, even plays most of the games on my Intel, 15" Mac Powerbook Pro. Haven't tried VM ware. With Parallels, I actaully have DOS partition set up, too, doesn't like some of the preipherals, but that's DOS.
Fred A Levy Haskellfredcritter on July 16th, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)

That sounds very encouraging. I mean, it's nice to know that at least one of them does a pretty good job,

I just realized I have an addendum though--see edited version of my post above.



Edited at 2009-07-16 04:47 pm (UTC)
lakeboy_55 on July 16th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
It can run in a boot camp partition, and you could have any number of different setups. Parallels will run fine with boocamp, but transferring an existing bootcamp partition to parallels I found a little difficult, so just abandoned the old bootcamp one. Also, be aware that every time you load XP onto another partition, you are supposed to have a separate license for it.
Geof Stonesoarhead on July 16th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
This is similar to my experience. I use parallels both on my mac pro as well as the macbook pro. I've had no problems beyond a few glitches in an early version way back when. I use it almost daily and am impressed with how well it works and the level of integration with OSX.

I run it out of a bootcamp partion. There are plusses and minuses to this depending on how you use it and if you care much about migrating things.

I don't have any experience with fusion.

p.s. I am running parallels version 3.0. I saw no reason to pay for the upgrade as 3.0 does what I need just fine.

Edited at 2009-07-16 10:06 pm (UTC)
dd-bdd_b on July 16th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
My experience with Parallels was that it pretty clearly wasn't ready for prime time; too much stuff didn't work, or wasn't implemented, or wasn't documented. But I think it's pretty clear that the Mac platform is their primary market, and that's not where I was using it.

I've done more extensive work with VMWare and Virtualbox. Both of them work well enough, but nothing delivers a useful way to have individual Windows desktop applications appear on the Unix desktop, so they haven't been very useful. Going the other way, having Unix applications appear on the Windows desktop, works better, but is not useful for (to pick an example completely at random) running Photoshop on a system that primarily runs Unix.
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter gets politicalfredcritter on July 16th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)

Hm. So essentially you're saying that for my purposes (which is to be able to run Windows XP in a virtual environment on my Mac Pro), your expertise doesn't apply. True?

It's still interesting—I hadn't realized that they run on any platform other than Mac.

dd-bdd_b on July 16th, 2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
Well, I can only conclude, from the good reviews Parallels gets for running Windows apps on Macs, that it must be better there. If so, then yeah, my experience doesn't apply.
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on July 16th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
Oh. I'm sorry. I see. I didn't mention the "run Windows XP in a virtual environment on my Mac Pro" part in my original post. Mea culpa.
gomeza on July 16th, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
Since I am preparing to buy a Mac Pro (well, fantasizing about it) and I have a strong interest in running a Windows-only app on it (SolidWorks), I have been periodically looking into this, and following developments, for about a year. However, I have not actually used either platform myself yet, only gathered info on running two kinds of apps: SolidWorks and Windows games.

For running Windows XP on a Mac Pro, most of the forums I've visited, and correspondent opinions I've solicited, agree that Parallels is the more compatible, feature-complete, stable, and better performing of the two.

But these same people say that neither is as good as running Windows booted from a Boot Camp partition.

Do let us know how you get on after you make your decision, I can use more info, and it will be at least 6 months before I can think about a purchase.
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on July 16th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)

Will indeed let you know. One of the things I might be interested in running is XMLSpy, about which Altova says: "[it has] been successfully tested on Mac OS X using Parallels for Mac vitualization software" although "Microsoft Windows is the primary platform for XMLSpy® 2009 and recommended by Altova …. [XMLSpy is] fully compatible with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2003"

lakeboy_55 on July 16th, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC)
I run two very specialized engineering packages that are only XP/Microsoft specific. One is called EDSA, and is a very picky program for hardware and such, yet it runs just fine on my Macbook Pro. The other is AutoCAD MEP, which also works just fine. They both can find the printers networked both at home and in the office. Because I run XP in Parallels, I can have an XP window open within OSX and just transfer almost seamlessly back and forth. Good luck.
(Deleted comment)
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on July 16th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your input!
Spacecrabspacecrab on July 17th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
This question came up on my LJ, last year, with older versions of Parallels and VMWare.