For a good few months now I have been happily migrating my computing habits and loosing my windows dependancy to shuffle over to being completely Mac based. When I first migrated over I was happily using Sun’s VirtualBox, but recently one of my friends told me about Parallels.
My first impressions where that I am happy with my current Virtual Machine set up and no need to change! However, I today managed to get round to downloading a trial copy of Parallels. First impressions was a bit of mixed feelings. It took quite some time to convert my VirtualBox VM to Parallels. However now it’s done – I love it!
The Windows applications and icons integrate seamlessly with the Mac OS X. Giving you your running Windows apps in the dock, along side your other Mac apps. You even get your normal system tray apps in the toolbar!
Upon running your Windows based applications, they launch as if they are standard mac apps. Seamlessly integrating into the Mac Environment. All the file opensave menu items operate as if there running as normal, giving you access to your windows file systems.
I really can’t believe how seamless the integration is.. This is a must have application for any heavy mac user. Even Steam powered games seem to work well. With for VM’s is quite unusual!
Parallels even claims it’s able to support the aero application switching, I am currently unable to test the fact as I only have XP on the VM currently.
Parallels is available direct for £59.99, I have seen it selling in high street stores for at least £10 more then the online price. So this really isn’t a bad price!
Although I am starting to get used to the completely different approach of the Mac OS X, and actually starting to think it’s faultless, I still have a need for a Windows based operating system. Mainly for development works but also to run some of the apps which don’t yet have Mac equivalents.
Which is where virtual PC’s come in. A virtual PC is basically a single file containing an operating system, which with the correct software runs inside a window in your booted OS.
So for me to use my development tools and other windows based products I am using Sun’s VirtualBox application. I have used this since the early versions on my Linux Mandraje Distro. Its ease of use and mass of configuration options beats its competitors hands down.
You can download Sun’s VitualBox from http://www.virtualbox.org/ and have a Guest operating system up and running in less then an hour! Perfect if you still miss your windowslinux environment on you new hardware or OS installation.