Ars Technica Looks at Parallels Desktop

Ars Technica has posted a review of Parallels Desktop, which enables users to run Windows XP next to Mac OS X in virtualization mode, eliminating the need to reboot their Macs to switch operating systems. While itis useful for running such applications as Microsoft Office, reviewer Dave Girard pointed out that it canit handle graphics-intensive 3D programs, including high-end games like Half-Life 2.

However, he noted, "for all the naysayers and people who may still be unhappy with the transition to Intel chips, itis hard to ignore the advantage of virtualization, which opens up a broad spectrum of applications and utilities that are no longer crippled by having to run in Virtual PCis emulated environment ... Between the networking that just works, the impressive speed and the inability of the client operating systems to know they are running within a ivirtual machine,i I think youill be hard-pressed to find software for any x86 OS that doesnit work within a Parallels VM.

Mr. Girard had few problems with installing and managing a Windows XP virtual machine on his Mac, although he found USB hardware support to be limited, and he wasnit able to burn DVDs and CDs. Windows Vista also isnit supported, however, because of changes to the BIOS that arenit currently available in Parallels, although the developer is working on that.