Parallels a victim of their own advertising?

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by hairyneanderthal, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. hairyneanderthal


    As a sort of veteran to PC virtual solutions on the Mac and the PC I have been a little puzzled recently over the some of the extremely vociferous and sometimes quite unpleasant critisism of Paralllels in these forums, particularly as Parallels are in reality just following what has been been a quite common software theme on Macs... providing a way of running MS OSes on a Mac. They have managed to do this many times better than their predecessors... though of course they do have the advantage of using the same Intel CPU.

    However, I think Parallels (and recently Apple) are somewhat to blame to some degree in recent advertisments. There is definitely the idea conveyed that now you can now ditch all your Windows machines and just get yourself an Intel based Mac. Nice pitch but neither Boot Camp or Parallels will let you do this totally yet.

    On OS9 several solutions were available and some run at quite decent speeds. Particularly Windows 98/Office and network connectivity worked very well.
    On OSX whilst they worked they were slow (often to the point of unusability).
    However, in every case these machines were used in an environment that required Macs (such as the DTP or design department) in a larger company that used PCs by default. Drawbacks were understood to most extent and expectations were never to the extent that seems to be demanded of Parallels by many posters. I don't think any VPC solution has provided USB support yet for example....

    I think there is a need to step back in its advertising and be a little more honest in letting users know exactly what this software can provide. Yes it can provide a solution to run almost all Windows software at near 100% percent speed (perfect solution in my case), but at heart it *isn't* a PC so *cannot* necessarily guarantee support for the thousands of USB and other devices out there.

    Basically, this is a piece of software running on top of the MacOS that gives very good support for Windows and other x86 operating systems at a very good price.

    However, if people need specific support for their hardware then perhaps they are running the wrong OS on the wrong hardware. Advertising should maybe emphasize this somehow or at least have a rather large disclaimer :p at least till they get over the initial hardware support hurdles...

    Early days...
  2. dkp


    What I see are a lot of people who understand neither OS well, and certainly don't understand well if at all the inherent interaction between host and guest OS's. This stuff is complex - the operating systems are interdependant because of common resources, and because the host is emulating some of those resources and presenting them to the guest OS somewhat differently than what a non-vm would see if run stand-alone on the same hardware. That is the nature of virtualization.

    Such people are poor candidates for V. 1.0 of a product like this that has minimal hand holding. They are on the wrong part of the implementation curve. It takes time to do the human engineering to make this work well for unskilled users and the product has not been around long enough for this to have been developed. I don't see this as a sales brochure problem - I see it as caveat emptor for the buyer - don't buy over your head, know your limitations, educate yourself.

    For those of us that seem to know what we're doing, this is a great product. For those who don't, it will be a great product when the hand holding is in place and the user has realistic expectations and requisite skills.

  3. VTMac


    The other part is many people seem to think this a "Windows on Mac" product. While Parallels will run Windows on a Mac, it is not the focus of their technology. Many users don't seem to understand that at all. Probably because they are coming from VPC which was only Windows on Mac.
  4. veggiedude


    VPC was only Windows on a Mac?

    Not true. VPC was designed to emulate the PC hardware, so that you could run any Intel based OS on it.

    You could buy ready packs from Connectix with various flavours of Windows, IBM DOS, or Linux, or just install your own Linux or other OS if you wish.

    Maybe you are confused with SoftPC (later known as SoftWindows or visa versa) they were the first ones to bring pc emulation to the Mac, but their focus was in Windows, emulating Windows (rather than emulating the hardware). In other words, you could never install an off-the-shelf version of MS Windows into their product., but you could with VPC.
  5. veggiedude


    Am I missing something? Boot Camp does make the Mac into a true PC. There are no drawbacks to using it. Anything a PC can do, Boot Camp can do. All PC peripherals plugged into a Boot Camp running mac will work as much so as a Dell.

    I don't think Parallels has over sold the product, but tha is just my opinion. I expected this to be a brand new and novel way to work with PC apps, and I just expect it to take a couple years before all the things wotk out - yea, version 3 or 4, but I don't expect 1.0 to be there yet.

    As a VPC user, I remember VPC version 3 or 4 was when it became truely innovative, with stuff like drag and drop simplicity between the two desktops.
  6. majortom


    True! They (M$) also demonstrated Vista on a MacBook Pro because it's actually the portable on the market that has the best requirements for it (not because they ALL love Apple's machines or OS X as somebody stated).

    I also do agree with the initial matter of the topic. Advertisments only show benefits of the products...
  7. Joe Mac User

    Joe Mac User

    Advertisements? I haven't seen any, except here and those from Apple in the new ads. Parallels is getting a lot of press though.
  8. hairyneanderthal


    Yes, you are missing the biggest reason someone would want to used Parallels instead of Boot Camp on a Macintosh PC - in Boot Camp you have to reboot your machine to use Windows, plus there are still driver issues which may or may not get sorted quickly. iSight doesn't work, though the OS detects a USB Camera - double-click that icon if you want to show Boot Camp blue screen. The Airport driver doesn't work in most cases I believe.
    Anyway, this is a Parallels forum, my rant was about what VMs can and can't do, and whilst I mentioned Boot Camp it was just to say that even that isn't the ideal solution for everyone.
    This is a software based solution whereas Boot Camp is a hardware one. I'd say Parallels does pretty well even if it can't handle hardware natively in the same way as Boot Camp. Perhaps the emphasis should be on running software (rather than hardware) and advertising should include disclaimers about what isn't supported (e.g. USB 2.0) and/or be more up front that they cannot guarantee that all USB devices will work (for example)....

    Edited to include your whole quote.... reading through your post again, I thought I would mention that whilst I disagreed with the first paragraph a little I agreed with the rest of your post, particularly concerning the time it takes to get software to work properly.
    I too don't believe they have over sold their product just that they have been somewhat too hesitant in reminding users of its weaknesses - hence too many users expecting all their hardware to still work.
    Anyway, hopefully now that they are getting some "money" development may be even more productive ;)
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2006
  9. hairyneanderthal


    Perhaps our interpretation of an advertisement is different.
    Parallels has certainly released several press releases Whilst these aren't paid advertisements, the Mac and Tech press have certainly lapped them up... Free advertising?

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