I'd like to thank Parallels for sponsoring this week here at TMO. Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac is virtualization software that allows you to run Windows and many other operating systems on your Mac right alongside OS X. Need to run Windows software for work or perhaps even run a new game you want to check out? Parallels will do it. Or maybe you want to test out some other flavor of Unix on your Mac? Ever want to give Debian or Ubuntu a spin? Parallels will do all of that that, as well.
In fact, you can even virtualize OS X (Lion and later) inside of Parallels, too. I use it for troubleshooting all the time. There are plenty of opportunities when I need to do something inside OS X to help solve a TMO reader's or Mac Geek Gab listener's question, and it requires that I do something to my Mac that I'd rather not do to *my* Mac. Enter Parallels — I can set up a completely separate Lion or Mountain Lion installation and test away, secure in knowing that my main OS X installation is untouched by my testing. And being able to do all that testing while running the separate OS inside a window — like any other app — is awesome. I can still check my email, research things on the web, and anything else I want to do in my main OS X installation, all while Parallels is running my separate OS right there.
If you need or even want to virtualize, check out Parallels Desktop for Mac. There's a free trial download available and today they're even offering $10 off the list price of US$79.99.