Parallels Desktop was the first software that let you virtualize Windows on an Intel Mac (and is current archrival of VMWare Fusion). Today, Parallels is announcing that it’s releasing a new version of the software aimed at an obvious audience: folks who are moving from a Windows PC to a Mac.
Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition includes Parallels Desktop itself–which, as usual, lets you run Windows within OS X in a window, full-screen mode, or the cool Coherence view that puts Windows apps right inside the OS X interface. It bundles it with software and a USB cable for transferring your current Windows setup–OS, applications, and files–from your old, real PC into a virtual one on a Mac. I haven’t had a chance to try this utility, and system-transfer tools are one of the tougher things to do in software. (Even Apple’s own Mac-to-Mac Migration Assistant doesn’t always do the job without glitches.) But it’s a nifty idea if it works well, since it would simplify moving a licensed copy of Windows you’ve already paid for onto the Mac so you wouldn’t end up having to pay for a new copy of the OS.
The package also comes with two hours of interactive training that introduces OS X and helps Windows types make the leap:
Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac costs $99.99 (not including a copy of Windows). That’s twenty bucks more than the standard version–not unreasonable if you need the transfer software and hardware and would find the training useful.
I’ve used both Parallels and Fusion over the years and have been mostly happy with both; I’ve been running Fusion lately but plan to give this version of Parallels a whirl once I get my hands on a copy. Windows-on-Mac users: Which virtualization software do you prefer, and why? Anyone out there still using Apple’s Boot Camp?