Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac: More Mobile Efficiency, More Ease of Use

| Quick Look Review

Parallels Desktop 10 for the Mac is now shipping. As is the custom, Parallels has added some excellent features that make the new version compelling and the upgrade price worthwhile.

Throughout the years, The Mac Observer has reviewed and posted detailed news about Parallels Desktop. For example, version 9 review, version 9 benchmarksversion 8 news, version 8 benchmarks, and version 7 review.

What I've observed is that Parallels has always been able to make its upgrades compelling. In part, that's because there is so much to do and there are so many opportunities with this technology. Also, these guys are virtual machine experts and employ most of the world's talent with VMs. Another contributor is that customers who press various virtual machines into service on their Macs do so much and encounter so many scenarios that they can provide plentiful feedback on what they want in the next version. Parallels then just does it.

The Review

As with OS X, there is a list of features created by the developer, and then there are notable features that are compelling and destined to be a signature feature of a release.

It makes sense to list all the new features of Parallels Desktop 10 (PD10) for the record, but later in this review I'll focus on those things that stood out for me and could also be readily tested in Mavericks.

Features of Interest for the everyday user are listed here. There are also some new features for developers, designers and IT pros that I'll leave to the official press release. The wording of the next three sections is from Parallels.

Performance and Optimization

  • Users can now open Windows documents up to 48 percent faster
  • Battery life is extended by up to 30 percent giving people additional work time when they need it most
  • Virtual machines use up-to 10 percent less Mac memory
  • New virtual machines with default settings launch Office 2013 applications up to 50 percent faster
  • Virtual machine only takes as much disk space on the Mac hard drive as it needs. Real- time optimization automatically compacts virtual disk eliminating the need for periodic manual compacts.
  • Free Disk Space Wizard allows to review and clean up space used by Parallels Desktop and Virtual Machines

Easy to Get Started

  • Now with one click users can select from a number of choices to optimize their virtual machine based on what their primary usage is: productivity, games, design or development
  • The new Parallels Control Center is a one-stop-shop for managing Parallels Desktop; it allows users to manage all their virtual machines and configuration settings from a single place
  • Windows installation has been streamlined, with new ways to configure virtual machines
  • Regional settings from the Mac are now set by default in Windows virtual machines

Seamless Integration for Best User Experience

  • Users can share files, text or web pages from Windows using Internet accounts configured on their Mac such as Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, Flickr; or send them via email, AirDrop and Messages.
  • When users install a new Windows application, its icon will automatically be added to the OS X Launchpad
  • The unread email indicator on Outlook lets users see at a glance the number of unread emails in Outlook, just like with Apple Mail
  • Users can drag and drop files to the virtual machine icon in the Dock to open in Windows
  • Users also have the ability to easily restore any setting to its default value by clicking the Restore Defaults button in the Virtual Machine Configuration window
  • Users can drag and drop files to Mac OS X virtual machines

Next: Favorite New Features.

Product: Parallels Deskto 10 for Mac

Company: Parallels

List Price: US$79.99, upgrade: $49.99

Pros:

Continuous refinement and evolution, battery life improvment, easier install from ISO image, Optimal Settings for Windows, disk space managgement and Wizard, Yosemite support, much improved Control Center,

Cons:

Option to purchase WIndows 7, 8.x not present.

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Join the TMO Express Daily Newsletter to get the latest Mac headlines in your e-mail every weekday.

Comments

Lee Dronick

I have been debating between getting a cheap Windows computer or getting Parallels. The cheap Windows computers feel rather chintzy so I am leaning towards Parallels, but which version of Windows should I buy for the casual user?

John Martellaro

Lee: I think most people would agree that for the Mac user who needs to use Windows occasionally, WIndows 7 is the best bet.

furbies

I’ve found that for the occasional use I have for WinDoze, VirtualBox is enough. You do need to be a little more tech savvy perhaps, but there’s always the interweb if you get stuck….

ctopher

Furbies is correct, VirtualBox does get the job done, but it can be very fiddely. If you want a smooth experience, Parallels is the way to go. Also, I have noticed that Parallels seems faster and generally “just works.” but if you don’t mind configuring your own virtual ethernet device, then have at it with VirtualBox. Once you get it configured and working you’ll have a feeling of accomplishment.

As an aside, I’ve purchased Parallels as part of several bundles from MacUpdate (I think I started with Parallels 4 in 2009?) For $49.00 I got a new Parallels license and other useful stuff. Maybe they’ll do it again?

Lee Dronick

Thanks for the info. VirtualBox is probably not for me, either Parallels or Boot Camp. Perhaps a Windows unit from a thrift shop, but what solution I settle on this isn’t yet a priority for me.

I had a beast of an HP laptop running Windows XP, but gave it to a friend who needed it much more than I.

mrmwebmax

+

Lee, I agree with John: Go with Windows 7. I just installed Parallels (v. 9) and Win 7 on a MB Pro for a co-worker’s college student (he needs Win for an accounting program) and it runs beautifully. Also, as I do use both Mac and Win, I’ve used both XP and 7 a lot, and Win 7 is actually a decent OS, certainly the best OS ever from Redmond. Not as good as OS X, but it gets the job done.

That said, true story: You know those little dialog bubbles that pop up on the task bar? Just yesterday, at work, after waking my Dell Win 7 machine, the mouse wouldn’t work. This has happened before, so I unplugged it, plugged it back in, and it still wouldn’t work. Then a dialog bubble popped up and said something like:

“USB device not recognized. Click here to resolve issue.”

DUH. It was the freakin’ USB mouse, so how was I going to click anywhere? Gotta love MS: The company who once gave us the alert:

“Keyboard not detected. Click any key to continue.”

smile

Log-in to comment