Skip to Content
Uncategorized

This Is Amazing!

Parallels Desktop for Mac delivers.

On the left is an Internet Explorer window. On the right is a Safari window. On the far right is my Macintosh dock. On the bottom is my Windows “Start” button. My Mac is simultaneously running both operating systems, and I can go back and forth from one to the other without even thinking about it.

This is Coherence, from Parallels. It’s done with a bit of magic–a transparent window on the Windows desktop–and lots of clever programming from the folks at Parallels. You can copy on the Windows and paste into a Mac application, and vice versa. Or you can drag and drop from one environment to the other. The Windows applications can access all of your Mac files. The running Windows applications even appear in your Mac dock. It works really, really well.

So, what’s the catch? There are several.

* Parallels is a memory hog. I have my virtual machine set to use 512 megabytes of real memory, but Parallels Desktop itself is using 2.1 gigabytes of virtual memory. If you want to switch back and forth between Windows and Mac applications, you really want 2 or 3 gigabytes of RAM. Wow.

* Parallels is cheap ($79), but you’ll also need to buy a copy of Windows. That’s why I’m running Windows 2000. Parallels can run Vista, of course, but it will cost ya.

* When you’re running the Windows applications, you’re, well, running Windows. So you’d better have antivirus, antispyware, and anti-everything-else installed. You don’t have to give the Windows workstation access to your Mac files, but if you do, beware that you’ve given it the power to hurt you.

* Reboots and software updates. Remember, Microsoft frequently issues software updates, and they almost always require a system reboot. The good news is that Parallels boots fast. But if you don’t leave it running all the time, you’ll find that you need to install a bunch of updates every time you start it up. (Today I started it up, and the OS told me that I had to install Windows Direct 9.0 and reboot. When the Windows box came back up, it told me I had to install the security patches! And reboot! I’m sure glad that it boots fast.)

* Will this hurt Mac software developers? If you can trivially run the Windows version of an application on your Mac, what’s the incentive for companies to develop Mac versions?

So, where does this leave me? Well, my Windows machine has been acting up lately. Perhaps I won’t get a new one. Perhaps I’ll just get a new iMac with 3 gigabytes of RAM. Perhaps I’ll get a MacPro with 8 gigabytes of RAM.

Perhaps I’ll never buy a PC that’s not a Mac again.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

conceptual illustration of a heart with an arrow going in on one side and a cursor coming out on the other
conceptual illustration of a heart with an arrow going in on one side and a cursor coming out on the other

Forget dating apps: Here’s how the net’s newest matchmakers help you find love

Fed up with apps, people looking for romance are finding inspiration on Twitter, TikTok—and even email newsletters.

computation concept
computation concept

How AI is reinventing what computers are

Three key ways artificial intelligence is changing what it means to compute.

still from Embodied Intelligence video
still from Embodied Intelligence video

These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems

They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.

We reviewed three at-home covid tests. The results were mixed.

Over-the-counter coronavirus tests are finally available in the US. Some are more accurate and easier to use than others.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.