Parallels Desktop Review
Relying on Boot Camp to run your favorite Windows apps on your Mac? Started realizing that Boot Camp negatively impacts battery life? The lack of Boot Camp functionality to switch between Windows and OS X too jarring? If so, then Parallels Desktop for Mac should be the perfect answer for all your issues. With a completely optimized virtual machine takeover of Boot Camp, easily install your favorite Windows operating system and gain the ability to simultaneously work on both platforms at once.
What’s more, Parallels Desktop for Mac lets you determine what you’ll use your Windows installation for, resulting in considerably improved performance and battery longevity due to the virtual machines ability to tailor the operating system to the specified function. Parallels Desktop for Mac isn’t just limited to Windows; also choose to install other operating systems such as Linux, Google, and OS X for unprecedented versatility on your MacBook, iMac, or Mac Pro.
How It Works
Parallels Desktop for Mac, unlike Boot Camp, acts as a full-fledged virtual machine, where you can run your favorite Windows operating system — or any other OS — simultaneously with the OS X. As a virtual machine, Parallels Desktop for Mac lets you run Windows either in windowed or full-screen mode, allowing for unprecedented flexibility. Even more so, you gain native support for a number of Windows features and applications, meaning that you can now work on them directly via the OS X itself.
Setting Things Up
Parallels Desktop for Mac is extremely simple to set up and work with. Upon launch, the Parallels Wizard intuitive walks you through everything from getting Windows up and running to optimizing your Mac for maximum performance between the two operating systems. On the initial screen, you can determine how you want Windows running on your system; from among the options, you can choose to buy a copy directly from Microsoft, install Windows from a disc, migrate Windows from a PC, or use an existing Windows installation from Boot Camp itself.
If you want to run a different operating system, for example, Parallels Desktop for Mac also provides various additional “Free Systems,” which range from Chrome OS, Ubuntu, to Fedora Linux. After setting up your operating system, the Parallels Wizard prompts you for input on the type of task that you’ll primarily be using the operating system for — software development, graphics design, productivity, gaming, etc.; this causes the wizard to alter key components of the virtual machine to allow for maximum performance.
Once everything’s done, getting onto the actual task of running Windows is even easier. Simply use the Parallels Desktop Console to select the operating system that you want to deploy, and wait for the virtual machine to boot you into the Windows desktop. You can also choose to install multiple copies of Windows, OS X, or other supported operating systems, and open or manage them seamlessly from via the Parallels Desktop Console. Switch your virtual machines from between windowed and full-screen modes at just the click of a button.
Parallels Desktop for Mac isn’t just another virtual machine; in fact, it’s a whole lot more than that. Complete optimization for Windows 10 and OS X Sierra results in unprecedented cross-platform functions that are simply unbelievable. Choose to directly access the apps in your virtual Windows installation from the OS X Dock itself — which automatically opens the selected app in Windows. What’s more, you can even opt to work with services such as Cortana right on the OS X.
Compatibility between platforms also extend to other areas. Drag files seamlessly between the OS X and Windows, copy content including text and files, and perform a host of other actions without it ever feeling as if you’re working on a desktop. Parallels Desktop for Mac also features dedicated functionality for your Windows apps, where you can deploy distraction-free presentation modes that let you work with them in windowed-mode just as if you were working directly on the OS X itself.
While the Mac OS X does feature its own solution to running Windows with its Boot Camp featurette, Parallels Desktop for Mac’s completely optimized nature results in blazing fast performance. On areas where Boot Camp struggles to perform, Parallels Desktop for Mac shines with its dedicated virtual RAM and CPU technology. These optimizations and technologies also result in enhanced battery life on MacBook models; Boot Camp features very poor battery life, and with Parallels Desktop for Mac, you can work on Windows and expect the 10 hours of power that’s usually present when using OS X.
Parallels Desktop for Mac also brings with it a range of additional benefits that make your Windows experience even smoother. For example, MacBook Pro models with the new Touch Bar feature gives you the option to switch between the OS X and Windows with just a swipe of the fingers, allowing you instant access to both operating systems even when using them in full-screen mode. The virtual machine also brings to the table a 500GB online backup plan with incremental updates, from none other than Acronis itself.
Should I Buy It?
Most applications are simply not available on the OS X, making it an extremely tough choice to switch to a Mac. While you can use the Boot Camp featurette to run Windows on, limitations such as complete device restarts and poor battery life can put a huge dent into the awesome features that a Mac brings to the table. Rather than forgoing the OS X altogether, Parallels Desktop for Mac should serve as a complete solution to everything.
Virtual machine support and complete optimizations for Windows and OS X ensures that you can seamlessly use both operating system simultaneously, while cross-compatibility features further provides you with complete access to Windows apps and services even via the OS X. If you love working with Windows apps, then Parallels Desktop for Mac is a solution that you cannot afford to miss out on.