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Parallels Desktop is a virtual user session solution built to run Windows on Macintosh computers without rebooting. It is designed for OS X Yosemite with one-click tuning.https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/dW/jm/Q9HK8AA4SZJ9.jpegVirtual Software Solution That really ExistsParallels is being used right now by users who want/requested Macs and also need a Windows machine to do certain business functions. It is being used across the whole organization in various departments. A business problem Parallels helps solve is that some users have needs that are better met with Macs, but want Windows as well due to the fact of us being a Windows shop.,Snapshots, being able to create images of your Windows VM daily Share folders across machines Disk IO, never seems to be a hog,Size, it seems bloated We have had issues with users trying to reclaim disk space. Not sure if it is just us or a known hassle Updates seem few and far between,10,It has saved us money by having to buy less hardware Gave our users flexibility and choice Made us platform agnostic,Oracle VM VirtualBox, IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions and VMware Player,Azure SQL Database, Infor Adage, XamarinParallels Desktop - The best choice for virtual machines on MacAs a person whose job it is to test and troubleshoot audio video equipment with a variety of equipment attached, and as a Mac user that relies on a variety of Windows software tools to accomplish my job, I spend most of my work day in virtual operating environments. When I first started using Parallels, I tested it against other options such as VirtualBox and VMWare. I have tested those options since then and every time, Parallels stands out as the most stable and most efficient option. When it comes to the virtual environment configuration customization and USB compatibility with non-standard devices, Parallels consistently stands at the top of the list.,USB device compatibility. This is ESSENTIAL when using some of the USB-connected testing hardware I often have to work with. Parallels also makes it seamless to share data between the host OS and the virtual environment. I spend most of my time in Parallels running Windows, but at times I do load up a Linux or Android VM for testing. I am able to switch back and forth between them or run multiples with little to no effort.,I honestly cannot think of anything I would want Parallels to add or do differently. After 10 years of use, since Parallels 4, I have stuck with Parallels because they just do it right from the beginning.,10,Parallels has allowed myself and other Mac users to continue using our specialized Windows-only software without the need of multiple computers. This definitely cuts down on costs.,Oracle VM VirtualBox and VMware Fusion,Microsoft Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop, Oracle Service CloudMulti-OS Engineers - here's your one-stop-shop solutionWe use Parallels as a catalyst to being able to use Mac computers while still being able to use Windows OS. 90% or more of our product team (developers and QA) use Windows for their development needs with running code locally. Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code have systems in place that allow us to run our distinct code locally in a browser to test our specific changes. Parallels allows us to have both OSX and Windows on the same machine and without having to own two computers. Parallels also allows OS specific files to be shared between the two operating systems.,Being able to use two OSs at the same time allows me to use OS-specific applications at the same time on the same machine. Parallels works like a browser window or any other "program" window on your native machine, you can minimize parallels like any other program which means you're essentially able to minimize and hide an entire computer screen. File sharing. Being able to access, say, a Microsoft Office document on windows and then can save it and open it on my native Mac system means that it's immensely more efficient than having to use to computers. You can use virtual desktops as your OS rather than having to share hard drive space between two OSs and having to partition the processor locally to run both OSs at the same time.,Adjusting settings in Parallels is difficult and confusing. There are a few different menus that only open depending on whether Parallels is running or not. Setting up an "are you sure you want to close" modal when closing out of the program via the mac side. It can get confusing switching between Mac and PC windows and clicking the correct "exit" button since Mac and PC are on opposite sides. Parallels uses a ton of local processor data. Making Parallels more CPU friendly for users that aren't running i7 processors would greatly improve their attraction to non-commercial developer users.,7,We'd spend a ton more money on duplicate machines for product team members without Parallels. Parallels allows us to only have to use Windows OS when we absolutely need to, which allows us to spend more time using Mac OSX and less time dealing with the annoyances of Windows. Being able to run virtual machines from a program on our native machine makes development extremely more efficient.,Sumo Logic, Atlassian Confluence, Chrome DevToolsWhen you need to run Windows on a Mac to look good.Parallels desktop was used by Apple OS users who needed Windows specific applications. It was also used by executives who wanted a Macintosh computer but wanted to solely use Windows OS. The issue was unsupported applications for Mac OS or aesthetic preferences by executives.,Emulates the entire Windows OS on a Macintosh computer. You can launch the entire Windows OS from your Mac desktop and work entirely in a Windows desktop environment. Emulates specific programs if you want to run in Windows mode. With this option you don't have to be in a separate OS but launch single applications with Parallels.,There were occasions where the system would crash. Typically there would be no reason and a reboot would resolve the issue.,8,The applicaiton was inexpensive. The most expensive part is the Windows license. ROI was immediate.,Parallels for Windows Browser TestingParallels Desktop is primarily used for testing Microsoft Windows browsers within macOS. Running Microsoft Windows 10 within Parallels allows us to test both the Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge browsers for front-end development. It can also be used to run Windows-specific software that will not work in macOS, as well as add support for writing to NTFS drive partitions.,Easy to use Easy to setup Support for all major guest operating systems Good integration within macOS Good performance,Expensive Pricing and release model forces yearly upgrades Some default settings can be undesirable if wanting to reduce integration with macOS,7,Saves time testing browsers Cheaper than Browserstack for Windows-only browser testing Offline browser testing,VirtualBox and VMWare,GitHub, Slack, Adobe Illustrator CC
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Parallels Desktop
25 Ratings
Score 8.3 out of 101
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Parallels Desktop Reviews

Parallels Desktop
25 Ratings
Score 8.3 out of 101
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Damien Dolan profile photo
November 06, 2018

Parallels Desktop Review: "Virtual Software Solution That really Exists"

Score 10 out of 10
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Parallels is being used right now by users who want/requested Macs and also need a Windows machine to do certain business functions. It is being used across the whole organization in various departments. A business problem Parallels helps solve is that some users have needs that are better met with Macs, but want Windows as well due to the fact of us being a Windows shop.
  • Snapshots, being able to create images of your Windows VM daily
  • Share folders across machines
  • Disk IO, never seems to be a hog
  • Size, it seems bloated
  • We have had issues with users trying to reclaim disk space. Not sure if it is just us or a known hassle
  • Updates seem few and far between
Suited to any scenario where a user needs two separate Operating Systems. Our marketing department is pretty hard-set on using Macs for Adobe applications, but when it comes to business functions, it seems they prefer Windows. We can accommodate them and Parallels runs very well in the background. Also, using the Coherence mode makes it even more seamless.
Read Damien Dolan's full review
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September 11, 2018

Review: "Parallels Desktop - The best choice for virtual machines on Mac"

Score 10 out of 10
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Verified User
Review Source
As a person whose job it is to test and troubleshoot audio video equipment with a variety of equipment attached, and as a Mac user that relies on a variety of Windows software tools to accomplish my job, I spend most of my work day in virtual operating environments. When I first started using Parallels, I tested it against other options such as VirtualBox and VMWare. I have tested those options since then and every time, Parallels stands out as the most stable and most efficient option.

When it comes to the virtual environment configuration customization and USB compatibility with non-standard devices, Parallels consistently stands at the top of the list.
  • USB device compatibility. This is ESSENTIAL when using some of the USB-connected testing hardware I often have to work with.
  • Parallels also makes it seamless to share data between the host OS and the virtual environment.
  • I spend most of my time in Parallels running Windows, but at times I do load up a Linux or Android VM for testing. I am able to switch back and forth between them or run multiples with little to no effort.
  • I honestly cannot think of anything I would want Parallels to add or do differently. After 10 years of use, since Parallels 4, I have stuck with Parallels because they just do it right from the beginning.
Obviously, Parallels Desktop is ideal for any instances where you need to run an operating system other than what you are currently running. For this, it is very well suited. The ease of installation and setup of those operating systems within Parallels has gotten easier and easier over the years and it is now at the point that it is perhaps the easiest VM software to use.
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February 01, 2018

Parallels Desktop Review: "Multi-OS Engineers - here's your one-stop-shop solution"

Score 7 out of 10
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We use Parallels as a catalyst to being able to use Mac computers while still being able to use Windows OS. 90% or more of our product team (developers and QA) use Windows for their development needs with running code locally. Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code have systems in place that allow us to run our distinct code locally in a browser to test our specific changes. Parallels allows us to have both OSX and Windows on the same machine and without having to own two computers. Parallels also allows OS specific files to be shared between the two operating systems.
  • Being able to use two OSs at the same time allows me to use OS-specific applications at the same time on the same machine.
  • Parallels works like a browser window or any other "program" window on your native machine, you can minimize parallels like any other program which means you're essentially able to minimize and hide an entire computer screen.
  • File sharing. Being able to access, say, a Microsoft Office document on windows and then can save it and open it on my native Mac system means that it's immensely more efficient than having to use to computers.
  • You can use virtual desktops as your OS rather than having to share hard drive space between two OSs and having to partition the processor locally to run both OSs at the same time.
  • Adjusting settings in Parallels is difficult and confusing. There are a few different menus that only open depending on whether Parallels is running or not.
  • Setting up an "are you sure you want to close" modal when closing out of the program via the mac side. It can get confusing switching between Mac and PC windows and clicking the correct "exit" button since Mac and PC are on opposite sides.
  • Parallels uses a ton of local processor data. Making Parallels more CPU friendly for users that aren't running i7 processors would greatly improve their attraction to non-commercial developer users.
  • Local development is made extremely simple
  • Accessing OS specific files and programs at the same time makes development much more efficient
  • You can run virtual machines via Parallels which uses less CPU power
  • Parallels uses a lot of CPU and battery
  • Parallels isn't always the most user-friendly from the standpoint of adjusting settings
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December 08, 2017

Parallels Desktop Review: "When you need to run Windows on a Mac to look good."

Score 8 out of 10
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Verified User
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Parallels desktop was used by Apple OS users who needed Windows specific applications. It was also used by executives who wanted a Macintosh computer but wanted to solely use Windows OS. The issue was unsupported applications for Mac OS or aesthetic preferences by executives.
  • Emulates the entire Windows OS on a Macintosh computer. You can launch the entire Windows OS from your Mac desktop and work entirely in a Windows desktop environment.
  • Emulates specific programs if you want to run in Windows mode. With this option you don't have to be in a separate OS but launch single applications with Parallels.
  • There were occasions where the system would crash. Typically there would be no reason and a reboot would resolve the issue.
When you have a Windows user who insists on using a Macintosh computer this works wonderfully well. This gets around the hassle of using Boot Camp and offers a better experience. It allows the user to start getting used to the MacOS while still using Windows. The other benefit is the function like SQL or .Net programming. You can run individual programs in Windowed mode and still be in the MacOS.
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November 21, 2017

Parallels Desktop Review: "Parallels for Windows Browser Testing"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
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Parallels Desktop is primarily used for testing Microsoft Windows browsers within macOS. Running Microsoft Windows 10 within Parallels allows us to test both the Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge browsers for front-end development. It can also be used to run Windows-specific software that will not work in macOS, as well as add support for writing to NTFS drive partitions.
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to setup
  • Support for all major guest operating systems
  • Good integration within macOS
  • Good performance
  • Expensive
  • Pricing and release model forces yearly upgrades
  • Some default settings can be undesirable if wanting to reduce integration with macOS
Parallels Desktop is great if you want to get good performance when running Microsoft Windows within macOS, and it will work much better than something like VirtualBox for this.

Although Parallels Desktop could be used for running local Vagrant virtual machines, VirtualBox works just fine and will save a lot of money.

For easiest possible setup and use with Windows, I would choose Parallels, but if you only need command-line only virtual machines, I would go with VirtualBox.
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Stefan Boeykens profile photo
November 10, 2017

Parallels Desktop Review: "Good integration with macOS, but updates are pricy and OpenGL update is needed"

Score 9 out of 10
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I'm the only Mac-user at my company. We provide BIM Consultancy services for clients and work a lot with BIM-software tools, which are often Windows-only. I have used Parallels for several years. It allows me to use software such as Autodesk Revit and Navisworks and a few others, although I prefer Mac-versions for software where they are available (ARCHICAD, Rhinoceros).

I've used BootCamp to have a separate Windows partition. Parallels allows me to access this also in a running macOS session, which is my primary use (even though performance does suffer a bit).
  • Run the Bootcamp partition in a running macOS session.
  • Integrate in both directions: copy/paste text, open files in both directions, integrate the file system, to read and write files in either direction.
  • Using the same hardware and network connection.
  • Run Clickshare in a Windows session, when the Mac-version fails due to non-updated system firmware updates.
  • No update for OpenGL 3, which prevents some 3D applications from launching. The Windows-version of SketchUp is but one example.
  • Frequent (yearly) updates which don't always bring benefits (I always skip at least one version).
  • If you don't be careful, it generates 100s of useless Windows-application wrappers in macOS which sometimes take precedence in spotlight over the Mac apps I usually need to use (e.g. SketchUp, Excel, Word, Evernote...). More than once I launched Parallels instead of opening the native Mac app.
My main use is running my Bootcamp partition in Parallels to use Windows-only BIM and 3D applications, while at the same time continuing to work in macOS (Office, Evernote, native-Mac BIM & 3D software). I takes a bit away from the native speed, so at times I reboot into Bootcamp to run them at full speed.

If the models and documents are not too heavy, the ease of integration outweighs the performance loss. However, booting and loading heavy applications takes time, so I avoid running if at all possible.
Read Stefan Boeykens's full review
Aaron Pace profile photo
February 16, 2017

Parallels Desktop Review: "Parallels: unparalleled simplicity"

Score 9 out of 10
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Verified User
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Right now, we only use Parallels in a single user environment. I do software development on an iMac, but the development platform only works under Windows. I use Parallels to run Windows 10 side-by-side with Mac OS X. There are so many things I love about the iMac that I can't get with a Windows PC; Parallels give me a great compromise. I can use all the features I love about the Mac alongside my Windows environment. The Parallels Coherence mode allows me to run my Windows applications and OS X applications as though they were running under one OS. I love it!
  • Range of application support. When I first started using Parallels, one of the applications I run for development seemed to have issues running in the VM. I discovered that I had actually failed to install a needed Windows component during the installation process. To date, I haven't found any applications that don't play nice in the Parallels environment.
  • Interoperability. The Parallels system is really good at making Mac resources available under the VM environment. For example, I use Dropbox for file storage. I don't have to install Dropbox on the Mac and Parallels VM. Parallels accesses the Dropbox folders on the Mac without any issue.
  • Ease of Use. This one deserves honorable mention. The setup was a snap; their setup wizard is excellent and asked me difficult technical questions in plain English so I was able to set up Parallels in just a few minutes. The user interface is pretty much what you see is what you get, with a caveat I'll explain later.
  • Coherence Mode. I've mentioned this already in the review, but the Coherence mode is just cool. Parallels runs in a sort of full-screen mode but sits behind the Mac OS. Programs appear in the dock with two vertical bars so you know they're actually running under Parallels. Otherwise, the transition between Mac and Windows under Parallels is almost transparent.
  • Keyboard shortcuts. This is the only thing I've really struggled with in using Parallels. When moving from Mac to Windows and back, the keyboard shortcut keys change. For example, to copy+paste under Windows is Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V. Under the Mac it is Command + C and Command + V. Small thing, but when you're hurrying, it can cause trouble. Some of the keyboard shortcuts for moving to the beginning or end of a line also don't work quite right in Parallels. Now, this could all be user error. I've still got some searching to do.
I do business application development under Parallels. So far, I haven't found a scenario where Parallels hasn't been a good fit for me. I know running a VM can be resource intensive, so I suppose if you were running an extremely "hungry" Mac OS application, that could make using Parallels more difficult. Otherwise, I really can't think of a good scenario where Parallels isn't a fit.
Read Aaron Pace's full review
Denise Wade profile photo
March 25, 2016

Review: "Parallels Desktop for Mac bridging the GAP"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I deployed Parallels Desktop to 40 Macs. Parallels is mainly used on MacBooks; Parallels Desktop for Mac was deployed to Mac users who need Windows to run some applications but wanted a stable operating system to run on. Once deployed we were able to recoup PCs and redeploy them to other users. We also used Parallels Desktop for Mac in a classroom with 15 Macs. The setup saved the school $15,000 for three semesters because the classroom could accommodate Windows or Mac users so the school wouldn’t have to rent outside space.
  • Parallels Desktop is very stable and over the year has improved tremendously. I particularly love the migration, this feature allows a user to convert a desktop image to virtual image.
  • Parallels Desktop is very user friendly and users actually believe they are working on a real Windows Desktop. I use Parallels Desktop to constantly test applications that need to run in both a Windows and Mac environment.
  • I love the snapshot feature I recovered several users VM with this feature it's one of best backup options I have ever used.
  • I am quite satisfied with features and I have no complaints. I have no problem with functionality.
  • It would be nice if it was a little bit cheaper for home users.
Parallels Desktop for Mac works great in a lab or classroom environment. I can't really think a situation where I wouldn't use it.
Read Denise Wade's full review

Feature Scorecard Summary

Screen sharing (2)
7.6
File transfer (7)
9.4
Instant message (1)
10
Access to sleeping/powered-off computers (1)
10
Over-the-Internet remote session (3)
9.0
Remote management of servers & workstations (1)
10
Remote Active Directory® management (1)
9
Centralized management dashboard (2)
8.5
Session record (1)
10
Monitoring and Alerts (1)
7
Multi-platform remote control (3)
9.3

About Parallels Desktop

Parallels Desktop is a virtual user session solution built to run Windows on Macintosh computers without rebooting. It is designed for OS X Yosemite with one-click tuning.
Categories:  Remote Desktop