Everyone's buzzin 'bout Parallels
Have you heard? Parallels
, a little startup that makes virtualization software has just released Parallels for Intel Macs. What is Parallels, you ask? It's a piece of software that mimics a PC and lets you run Windows on your Mac
What's the big deal about that, you ask? Hasn't VirtualPC
been doing this for years? In a word, yes. But this time it's different. This time, the virtual Windows you run on top of the Mac is not unbearably slow. No, in fact it's about as fast as most relatively fast PCs on the market today. That's thanks in large part to the fact that there's less emulating to do since the new Macs run on an Intel platform. Less emulating means faster performance.
You're still skeptical. I can sense it. You want to know why this is such a big deal when Apple already introduced Boot Camp
which lets you run Windows on any Intel Mac. Again, this time it's different. Parallels lets you run Windows in a window on your Mac desktop. Follow that? Run Windows in a window. Funny, huh? And amazing too, because it means you don't have to reboot your machine in order to switch to Windows. You can work in both OSes at the same time
Fine, you say. So it does all that and makes toast. Who on Earth actually needs to run both Windows and Mac OS at the same time? Well, people like me. I am a Web developer
who prefers to work on a Mac. I also need to ensure that my creations work equally as well (okay, almost equally) on a PC as they do on a Mac. Given that IE/Windows is about 90+ percent of the general Web population, it's pretty important that I have a Windows platform to test on. Now I can do that without needing 2 machines or a reboot. You have no idea how sweet that is... unless you find yourself in a similar situation. There are also some apps that run only on the PC that are really cool. Take Microsoft One Note
for example. I have tried about a dozen note taking apps for Mac OS, but none of them holds a candle to One Note. Now I can run One Note and still keep my Mac! Hallelujah! Oh, and don't even get me started on how much better Google's Picasa
is than iPhoto. Sheesh!
There. Are you convinced that Parallels is the coolest thing to happen to computers since the Apple IIe? Are you ready to run out and pay top dollar for a PC in Mac clothing? Perhaps not, but don't begrudge me my happiness. There's so little that gets me excited these days.