Parallels Aims to Help Windows-to-Mac Switchers

By  |  Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 12:13 am

Parallels Switch to Mac Editio 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 Switch to Mac

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?


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7 Comments For This Post

  1. DaveZatz Says:

    I gave up Boot Camp for good in April after Vista crashed so hard that it killed my OS X partition. Who knew that was possibly. I’ve been running both Parallels and Fusion since launch. Mostly Fusion these days since it ran less hot and handled video better than (the previous edition of) Parallels. Unless Apple hits us with an ultraportable this fall, though, I’m getting a netbook with a newer processor and Windows7

  2. Dave Says:

    I use Parallels when I need to run Windows (XP). Windows software seems to run just fine in the Parallels emulator, but occasionally I have to boot into “real” Windows (using Boot Camp). Some USB peripherals will not work through Parallels and a real running Windows is needed. I have also run Windows 7 and Ubuntu. It’s very handy to be able to run all these operating systems on one machine (MacBook Pro).

  3. Kirk Augustine Says:

    I use Sun’s VirtualBox. It is free and while not quite the feature set of the others, it has more than enough for me.

  4. Nathan Keeter Says:

    I’m a Virtualbox user as well. In fact I’m running a linux firewall/web content filter and a seperate Windows XP instance in a virtualbox on my Mini right now.

  5. George Brickner Says:

    I’m using Bootcamp and Virtual Boxto run the Windows 7 RC1.
    I’m debating whether or not to delete the Bootcamp partition when I install Snow Leopard.

  6. John Baxter Says:

    I just set up a test Win 7 RC in VirtualBox on Mac. But my preference remains BootCamp, as I don’t need to run the odd Windows app–when I want to run Windows I’ll run it using Bootcamp (or the Dell on which I’m typing this).

    Next laptop will be a MacBook Pro (13 in? 15 in?) running Win 7 final under bootcamp (and Snow Leopard, of course). Will replace a slow, aging Sony and a slow aging original MacBook.

    Harry, you really ought to give VirtualBox a spin (the price is right).

  7. Jeff H Says:

    BootCamp and Parallels are not an either-or thing. I use them both depending upon need. Parallels use extends battery life considerably on my MacBook 15″ but does not support the “Aero” features of Vista Home Premium. Sometimes I just need a full Windows machine (like to sync my Blackberry).

    Even if I never ran the native Mac OS, this would still be the best Vista machine on the market.

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. VMWare Fusion 3 Takes Windows-on-Mac Up a Notch | Technologizer Says:

    […] A migration utility that lets you import a real PC’s Windows installation over the network. (Parallels introduced something similar in August, but did so in a separate version of the product that does the job over a bundled USB cable.) […]