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!
I have to admit, one of the most used features of my Windows 7 PC at the office is the drag to hot zones feature. Where by moving an applications window to a predefined area of the screen performs a specific action. For example, dragging the window to the top of the screen maximises it.
After using this feature for several weeks, I found my self dragging windows around on my MacBook Pro expecting them to do the same thing! Well until now that wasn’t possible!
Irradiated Software have released a toolbar utility called Cinch, this does for Mac what 7 does for Windows. Cinch works with almost any Mac based application.
Cinch comes in two different versions – the free one with ‘nag screens’, and a pro one for just $7.
You can download them from Irradiated Software’s site (free ~ paid)
Alternatively If you prefer a keyboard-centric approach to window management, you might also take a look at SizeUp or TwoUp. Use Cinch together with either SizeUp or TwoUp to cover both your mouse and keyboard needs.