Is Parallels self-destructing?

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by kingfish, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. kingfish

    kingfish

    Messages:
    15
    I've been following the Parallels Workstation on the MacPro threads for some days now, ever since I discovered (by virtue of kernel panics) that Parallels wont work on that platform without disabling 64 bit access. Having followed Andrew's very lucid instructions, I am now up and running--very fast indeed--on my new 3 ghz machine. I can see the potential.

    However, I am troubled, as are many other posters, by the public stance on the MacPro compatibility issue. It seems utterly obvious that Parallels should have made an announcement on its home page indicating this incompatibility and their plans to address it, and should also have informed the Apple Stores to this same effect. Posts on this forum, valuable as they are, are no substitute.

    I believe Andrew when he says that a fix is in the works. But the failure properly to inform customers about this incompatibilty puts the reputation (and financial future) of the company at serious risk.

    This is because Parallels is a key application for Apple in their move to Intel and their effort to gain marketshare, to the point that it is mentioned in their television ads. Apple has just released the MacPro which would seem to be an ideal platform for running OSX and Windows simultaneously. Indeed, it would seem to be the true "killer app" for the MacPro.

    Surely there would have been nothing lost by posting an announcement of this incompatibility as soon as it was discovered. But days have gone by, and still no announcement. With every passing day, Parallel's enormous good will is whittled away in the marketplace and among its users. This is particularly true for the corporate marketplace, where some large portion of MacPro's will ultimately end up.

    Since there is no downside to a public announcement, and onlly an upside, one must wonder: is Parallels self-destructing?
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2006
  2. xbrianskix

    xbrianskix

    Messages:
    20
    Um, you are trying weeks old hardware with months old software, something didn't work, and now you're surprised/angry? Ever heard the saying to wait for the version after the first stable one?

    Could parallels have been a bit better about this? Yes. Do you need to chill? Also yes.

    Honestly the blame here has to lay with Apple, not Parallels. They've been touting Parallels for Mac, but they didn't take the time to work with Parallels to make sure everything worked on their new hardware before releasing it. Apple's quality standards have gone down the tubes since they switched to intel and decided they were going to make a major play for market share again. Ask any macbook pro owner (like me, even though I waited 4 MONTHS to buy one).

    I realize you are frustrated, friend - computers are by their very nature frustrating. That said, you, sir, seriously need to relax.
     
  3. kshusker

    kshusker

    Messages:
    34
    It is frustrating that Parallels is not doing a good job of communicating their incompatibility with the Mac Pro on their web site. All it would take a simple message that indicates they know of the problem and are working on a fix. It is the same principle that a good waitress will come out and inform you that the kitchen screwed up your meal...you still have to wait just as long for your food, but that act of being told something is wrong makes you feel better and is simply good customer service.

    I think it is universally agreed that Parallels is screwing up by not doing this....that said, I think we need to cut them more slack engineering-wise. The Mac Pro is a radically different machine under the hood from previous Intel Macs, and Apple simply does not share new equipment in advance with developers. The Parallels folks found out about the Mac Pro the same day you and me did, and got their hands on one the same day as every other customer. If you want to blame someone, blame Apple for not sharing their engineering details with their key developers in advance.
     
  4. kingfish

    kingfish

    Messages:
    15
    That was my point. From a technical perspective, I'm not frustrated at all--the program is running remarkably well on my machine, thanks to Andrew. Indeed, this is further proof of Parallel's technical excellence. And I am certainly happy to wait for a stable release, as I am confident that one will soon be forthcoming.

    But as a former VP of marketing of a major software house, I'm concerned about the lack of timely and effective "marketing communications." This is particularly important to the corporate market., and to those who had purchased the product in the reasonable anticipation that it would run on their machines, and who may not have been able to find the required threads on this forum. At the same time, I am not interested in pointing the finger of blame. On the contrary, I want very much for the company to succeed, both for their own sake and for Apple and its loyal (and growing) customer base.


    It does seem that Apple's policies are ultimately responsible for the fact that Parallels was not able to test their program on a MacPro before release of the hardware. But now there is no doubt whatsoever that a significant upgrade is needed on what is a key app for both companies. Thus the ball is now firmly in Parallel's court. Their continuing reluctance to make a public announcement to this effect could in fact threaten their commercial viability, and seems self-destructive from a business point of view. It's my hope that if they recognize this, they will reconsider their position, and pull their own bacon out of the fire.
     
  5. constant

    constant

    Messages:
    1,010
    .
    Mac people have complained about lots of other personal little problems before and the user numbers have not declined at all.

    All of Parallels history has vindicated their position.
    .
     
  6. irie

    irie

    Messages:
    2

    What "lucid instructions"? I still can't get Parallels to boot up.
     
  7. kingfish

    kingfish

    Messages:
    15
    Oh, ye of short memory! At one time not so long ago, Mac commanded an equal or greater share of the personal computer market as did the PC. But Apple stopped listening to its customers, fell behind on technical development, nearly went out of business, and brought back Steve Jobs to save them--which he did through masterful marketing, among other things. Much the same happened to Lotus, Ashton-Tate, and many others, but they didn't make it.

    Parallels has no history to speak of. They are a new kid on the block, and very vulnerable. But since when does history vindicate errors in judgement? Au contraire, history warns strongly against such errors, especially where they are so easily preventable.

    Finally, this is not a personal problem of a customer. It's a corporate problem of Parallels', one which they will continue to ignore at their own peril.
     
  8. etresoft

    etresoft Bit Poster

    Messages:
    15
    I don't know if the Mac has ever surpassed 10% of the PC market. It is true that they have (and have always had) a far greater mindshare than their markeshare would seem to allow. Still, they never did get bought by Sun and that probably isn't going to happen at any time in the future either.

    Parallels is a little company with a really cool program. Boy would I love to "self-destruct" like Parallels! People are just way too pissy these days - about everything. They get a Macbook and complain about "mooing". Then they buy Parallels and complain about USB support for some piece of wacky hardware no one has heard of. Hell, my 3 month old USB 2.0 flash drive won't work in my Macbook. Parallels isn't even running. It probably isn't Apple's fault either. The SanDisk Micro Cruizer 2 GB is just a crappy USB drive.

    As a small company, all Parallels can do is read the specs, code to them, and hope for the best. The "big guys" never quite follow the spec or decide to change it. Being "big guys", they can do that. Parallels is self-destructing because it doesn't run on a Mac Pro. By that logic, Adobe and Microsoft must have closed up shop a while back because they aren't event Intel native yet.
     
  9. displaced

    displaced

    Messages:
    2
    *wipes tear from eye*

    *remembers the early 80's when Apple had home computing pretty much all to itself*

    *sighs*

    :)
     
  10. constant

    constant

    Messages:
    1,010
    .
    I believe that all three of them still have the original machines.
    .
     
  11. alkalifly

    alkalifly Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    139
    etresoft,

    I totally agree with everything you said about Parallels far exceeding all reasonable expectations, and a portion of Mac users (though certainly not ALL Mac users) getting way too pissy when things don't "just work" and they have to [shudder] actually THINK FOR THEMSELVES! :eek:

    However, I disagree with what you said here:

    I think kingfish was referring to the 1980's (i.e., before the release of the Windows operating system. I was in elementary school, but I remember those days well. :eek:
     
  12. kingfish

    kingfish

    Messages:
    15
    Until very recently, on the main Parallels website, Parallels Workstation was described as working on all "Intel Macs." In fact, I received a personal email from the Tech Support department stating the same thing when I wrote to inquire why Parallels was not running on my Mac Pro. In the past couple of days, that has been changed to a listing of all the Intel-based Macs--with the exception of the MacPro. So apparently, Parallels has begun to hedge their bets.

    Now, based upon the earlier version of the website, would it not be reasonable for the "thinking" Mac user to believe that Parallels would run on his or her Intel-based Mac Pro, and to be rather disturbed if it did not, but instead gave rise to a kernel panic that crashed the machine entirely? Even in the current version of the site, there is considerable ambiguity. The thoughtful user would not necessarily conclude that the program would crash his MacPro altogether.

    I realize this may be tiresome to those who actually read my initial post and thought it about it, as Alkalifly suggested, but my point has always been that Parallels should state, prominently and straightforwardly, that the program does not run on the MacPro--yet. Then they could go on to explain that the user can purchase Parallels now, secure that a free update will be forthcoming.

    THIS HAS NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH THE EXCELLENCE OF THE PRODUCT, WHICH IS UNQUESTIONED. In fact, it is precisely because the product is so outstanding that it would be a great shame if the company's reputation and financial future were damaged by failing to make so simple a statement.

    If I buy a product that is explictly described on running on my machine, and itstead it crashes it, risking damage to my file system, it is hardly just "pissy" to be upset.

    Think about it this way--suppose someone were a PC user who had decided to convert to Mac because of Parallels. This is precisely the line that Apple itself has taken in their television advertising. So he goes to the Apple store, spends $2500 on a Mac Pro, another $79 on Parallels, and gets ready to make the migration. He has no reason to think this won't work, because the staff at the Apple store tell him it will, since they were not informed to the contrary. He installs Parallels, and his machine immediately crashes. What does this person now think about Apple? About Parallels? About making a migration?

    Now, suppose instead of an individual PC users, you have the head of the MIS department for a major corporation. He is thinking to convert the entire company over to Mac, a matter of 2000 workstations. So he buys a test machine to see if this is a viable solution, and the same thing happens as it did to the individual user--he gets a kernel panic. He calls Apple Tech support, and they refer him to Parallels. He writes to Parallels (since there is no tech support number) and gets a form letter saying "Parallels runs on Intel Macs." So he says to himself, "this is bogus. Even if it is not Apple's fault, and even if Parallels does release a version that runs on the MacPro, I cannot risk my entire company on a product that witholds critical information about the capabilities of its software. This is a mission critical app for me, and if it doesn't work, I cannot make the conversion. So I'm sticking with PC's."

    However, brilliant the Parallels design team may be, it is simply stupid to allow this kind of situation to develop, as it actually has if you read other threads in this forum. All it would have taken is a few minutes putting up a disclaimer on the website, and then contacting Apple to have them pass word along to their store staff and "genius's" to tell new MacPro owners to be patient for an immanent update. As I said before, there is no downside to this whatsoever, only an upside.

    Just as an historical note, even after IBM introduced the PC, there were 3-4 years when Macs commanded more than 50% of the market and had made major inroads in the corporate setting, which has always been the driver of the computer market because of sheer volume. Perhaps many of you were in diapers then. But some of us were already Macintosh advocates. We were very disappointed when Macs fell increasingly behind. But it wasn't always so.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2006
  13. alkalifly

    alkalifly Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    139
    Kingfish,

    You make a good point, and it is certainly noted. It seems MacPro users who tried running Parallels before the incompatibility was officially announced have a right to be upset (though, they should remember that this is a risk of early-adoption of any new software or hardware). However, for some reason, I am less inclined to blame Parallels for this and more inclined to blame Apple (no good reason why, that's just my inclination.)

    The unnamed, unthinking Mac users I was referring to are the ones who don't RTFM or who complain about missing features that have been clearly stated are either "on the roadmap" or "impossible to implement, ever." Of course, MacPro compatibility is quite a reasonable expectation, and one that I trust we will see very soon, because I'm sure the Parallels engineers will not sleep until that is sorted out.
     
  14. astie

    astie

    Messages:
    1
    I have agree with the original poster

    I bought a Mac Pro about a week ago. Parallels was on sale at the Apple store, so I asked the salesman if it worked on my new system. The salesman said that he had not tried it, but suggested looking at the Parallels web site, which we did at the store.

    Because the web site said nothing about Parallels being incompatible with the Mac Pro, and because the latest Beta was released on the very same day that the Mac Pro was announced, I made an assumption that Parallels was compatible and I purchased it.

    When I found this forum (not so easy as there's no pointer to it on the Parallels web site), I discovered my error and I have since returned the software. The fact that there was no mention of an incompatibility made me much less impressed by Parallel. I felt annoyed that there was no warning about Mac Pro incompatibility, but many statements about running on Macintosh systems in general.

    For now, I am using Bootcamp. I am unlikely to buy Parallels even when it becomes available for the Mac Pro, particularly as Vmware (another outstanding company) has a similar product announced.
     
  15. Joe Long

    Joe Long

    Messages:
    5
    Add me to the list of victims of this incompatibility, and the non-information about it.

    I bought a Mac Pro two days ago (Saturday). Parallels Destop installed OK, but shortly after, my system crashed while I was installing another program. It would no longer boot. I blamed the other program, and ended up wiping the hard drive and re-installing the OS, then redoing all of my work.

    Today I again installed Parallels Desktop, and this time my system crashed immediately. I found this forum, and verified that Parallels was the cause. At least this time I didn't have to re-install everything, I was able to boot into Single User mode and delete all of the Parallels files and get my system booting again.

    I saw a reference to a workaround. Can anyone provide me with more info on this? Otherwise I'll just wait until the fixed version is released. This won't cause me to abandon Parallels, I understand the risks in installing beta or "release 1.0" software. I just wish I'd learned about the problem sooner.
     
  16. Victor

    Victor

    Messages:
    63
    If you make a search you will find the "fix" I had to set the legacy argument to 4096 to make it work, much higher than suggested.

    Here is a screen shot on a Mac Pro with WinXP and Suse 8.2 running.

    http://www.ogee.org/random/MacPro.jpg

    Since I did this snapshot, my winXP image has corrupted and now doesnt work :(


    "Virtual machine cannot be started because of the following problem:

    Unable to get the geometry of the virtual hard disk. Perhaps file /Users/victor/Library/Parallels/winxp/winxp.hdd is not a valid virtual hard disk image file." :mad:
     
  17. amin

    amin

    Messages:
    22
    I agree with that part of what you said. If I were unaware of the issues and bought Parallels for my Mac Pro, I would be pretty unhappy about it.
     
  18. Scott Willsey

    Scott Willsey

    Messages:
    174
    There is a problem in that they didn't make this clear, and people who purchased Mac Pros found out the hard way. Was this a mistake? Yes.

    Does this mean that Parallels is "whittling away" support from the Mac community, and that they are self-destructing? I guess if you like a good drama every now and then, and facts don't matter so much, then maybe so.

    People have been posting drama queen posts in this forum since Parallels first released the early betas of the product. So far they seem to be doing well.

    Find me an example of a rapid-growth company that hasn't made a misstep and I'll show you a company that never existed.
     
  19. kingfish

    kingfish

    Messages:
    15
    The problem is that the incompatibility has never been officially announced. The fact that there is an incompatibility is making its way to various Mac websites; and the ever patient and hardworking Andrew in this forum has acknowledged the incompatibility and even come up with a viable (for some of us) workaround. But the company itself has yet to state its own position on the matter in clear terms. This falls firmly in Parallels' lap, and has nothing to do with Apple, however negligent (or paranoid) the latter may have been in releasing hardware before making it available to their developers.

    On the other hand, I am not aware of any other software that works on the entire Mac/Intel line, but does not work on the MacPro.
     
  20. MrKen

    MrKen

    Messages:
    3
    I'm with Kingfish. By the way, he mentioned a few posts back that the Parallels home page has been recently altered. I don't think that's the case. It says, and has always said, "...any Intel-powered Apple..." This is the exact same copy that was up when I first got my MacPro back on 8/14. I figured they simply hadn't bothered to update the list of "including" machines to include the MacPro yet. "Any Intel-powered Apple." That seemed pretty clear to me.

    Fortunately, I decided to try the trial version rather than buy it right away. After seeing the black curtain of doom a few times, I Googled, and found an article which led me here.

    And that's another point: As far as I can tell, there is NO LINK to this forum from the main Parallels web site. Why? Why did I (and everyone else here, I assume) have to hunt around for it? Why isn't it under "Support" on the main web site?

    As I said, I got my MacPro on 8/14. On 8/15 I installed the trial, updated to the beta after a few crashes, and found this forum after a couple more. And there were already threads detailing the problem back then. That's just shy of two weeks ago.

    So Parallels has chosen to keep its potential customers in the dark. There is no warning ANYWHERE on the main site. While we might root for the developers to overcome this incompatibility, it's obvious that the company is run by some sort of marketing slime, more interested in sales numbers than quality.

    As much as I hate seeing a massive Windows logo on my 30" Apple monitor, I guess I'm stuck with Boot Camp for now, at least until those VMware guys get their beta out. But Parallels as a company is too shady for me.
     

Share This Page