Why do you use Parallels Desktop for Mac?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by slegge, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. slegge

    slegge

    Messages:
    35
    Hi all,

    A friend of mine is considering switching to Mac and I mentioned to him that Parallels lets you run Windows on Mac. He was a little confused, having assumed that if he switched to Mac he could leave Windows behind entirely -- but the popularity of Parallels have left him concerned, if he switches to Mac will he soon discover there are things he will not be able to do on Mac that he currently does on Windows?

    In short -- why would he need to run Windows on Mac? My answer to him was, as a software developer, I primarily develop software for the Windows platform so I need to have Windows around to test code. (I also play my Windows copy of CoD2 from time to time, but I use Bootcamp for that.)

    My question for the group is: What do you actually use Parallels for -- why do you need to run Windows on your Mac?

    Stephen
     
  2. rcarver

    rcarver

    Messages:
    17
    there are certain software packages that run only in Windows. for example: a lot of 3D modeling programs and some games. but if he uses the computer for the basics then tell him to go for it.

    I currently use Parallels primarily to run AutoCAD and 3D Studio Max (3D modeling and rendering software)
     
  3. texeter

    texeter

    Messages:
    21
    I'm using Parallels Desktop for Mac because I have MS Office 2003 and don't want to have to pay for a brand new Mac version of Office. I also want to be able to test websites in MS Explorer 7 as well as Firefox and Safari.
     
  4. mike3k

    mike3k

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    65
    I develop Mac software, but I use a Windows-based bug tracking database, Visual Studio Team Server for version control, and Outlook. I'm also developing a Linux distribution, so I do most of the testing under Parallels.
     
  5. Atomic_Fusion

    Atomic_Fusion

    Messages:
    190
    I use Parallels so that I can use all my old Windows software any time I want. While the Mac UI is nice, I still find a lot a worth in using the Windows software I have that I have yet to find a suitable replacement for on OS X. I use a Mac for stability and because it is a nice peice of equipment. Parallels lets me use both platforms without a break. Anytime I want to use those Mac programs I really like, I load them up. Any time I want to use a Windows program, I load it up.

    It has been a great intermediate for me, and will serve me for quite a while as some software for Windows simply is too good to replace. I'm very picky. Other times, I want to use OS X.
     
  6. slegge

    slegge

    Messages:
    35
    Hi Atomic,

    Can you be specific about which programs you're using on Windows? This is the kind of info I'm looking for. Thanks!

    Stephen
     
  7. Atomic_Fusion

    Atomic_Fusion

    Messages:
    190
    ---

    Well I have accumulated certain software that is available for Mac and Windows, already for Windows, and so there is no point in spending hundreds of dollars on software for the Mac that I already have for Windows. This includes photo editing, video editing, office and web publishing, CAD, and File Management software. I've had these for quite a few years now, and they continue to fulfill my needs despite their age.

    However, when the time ever comes for me to have a need to upgrade, I've invested in a system that provides me with two platforms instead of one, to consider investing in. In my review of software for the Mac that has a cousin in Windows, I actually have not been as impressed as I initailly expected. (good thing there's Parallels and Boot Camp, eh?) But I'm investing in the hope that as time goes by and Mac's market grows where I'm hoping it will, we're going to see more intuitive designed software for the Mac, to tailor the things I'm looking for in Mac software.

    Right now, Windows meets those needs more than Mac does, but with Parallels, I can enjoy that software with Windows on this Mac. Now, keep in mind that I'm still a beginner when it comes to understanding the Mac "way of things" to any expert level, that years of reading and troubleshooting have given me on Windows, so I hope others who read this realize that I offer my opinions from a limited level, and I am always receptive to solutions that are available on the OS X side of things. Afterall, I've invested quite a bit of money in a system that is centered around it.
     
  8. utw-Mephisto

    utw-Mephisto

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    26
    I actually use it only for Visio 2007 .. thats all :)
     
  9. Purplish

    Purplish Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    521
    I use Parallels for Quicken for Windows. There is a Mac version of Quicken, but the conversion is very painful. It will only convert about 1/2 to 2/3 of your data, so if you have several years of data, you are embarking on a lot of manual entry and balancing if you switch to the Mac version. The Mac version also has less functionality and is less reliable when downloading data from banks, brokerages and the like.

    If you start out on the Mac version, you may never miss the functionality, but if you try to convert, it will be painfully obvious.
     
  10. Apple-Z

    Apple-Z

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    11
    I use Parallels with XP as a convenient way to remind me how nice it is to have a Mac ;)
    I have an older copy of SPSS for PC that I sometimes need to run. It's a very expensive piece of software and I don't use it enough to justify buying a Mac version.
     
  11. Nekojin

    Nekojin

    Messages:
    10
    re

    Parallels was the main reason why I decided to buy a Mac.

    This (Macbook) is my first Mac and people always told me that a Mac is something special, much better than a PC with windows.

    I need Parallels more than any other program, I need MS Office 2003 for school...

    A Mac is for me only a very stylish computer. Without Parallels I would probably sell it. Sorry, but the only thing I do with OSX is using Safari and listening to music using Senuti.

    People always complain over Windows, it needs that much free space... But I was shocked when I first booted up my Macbook. Only 38 gb free space with a 60 gb HDD?!!

    22 GB for an OS? Common, even if this thing uses swap particions, this is a lot of space I can't use!

    Next computer will be an Alienware ALX. Perhaps they cost more, but at least I can play games with it.
     
  12. Apple-Z

    Apple-Z

    Messages:
    11

    I'm not sure I understand your point, and you don't seem to know much about computers... You are implying that the Mac OS produces larger system file sizes, which is simply not the case. All the drivers, language files and other software that allow the Mac OS to be such a great plug & play machine do take up a fair amount of HD space, but guess what... you can still fit the essential OS on a bootable CD just like in Windows. If you were to install equivalent Mac operating system files on a PC, you would end up with a similar amount of HD space used up, no matter what OS you use... Same thing applies to software; MS Office for Mac or PC are pretty similar in terms of size. If you're really concerned about HD space, particularly if you have a laptop, you can simply install a basic OS and forego the OS features and extras that you don't need.

    If you consider the Mac as a style accessory only, then I feel sorry for you for spending the extra money. Either you haven't had the chance to really appreciate the finesse and intuitiveness of the OS, or worse yet, you really can't see the difference.

    BTW, you said you were still in school... so today's lesson is spelling: There is no silent "e" in "Common". The words you are looking for are "Come on", usually used in conjunction with an exclamation mark for added emphasis. And "particion" is spelled with a "t", not a "c" as in "partition". Your detention assignment is to spend more time on spelling and less on gaming ;)

    And finally, if you want a real gaming platform, get a Voodoo PC. Alienware... I mean... Come on !
     
  13. Nekojin

    Nekojin

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    10
    Well I now that I am not good in english. Normal if you have to learn 5 languages (Luxembourgish, german, french, english and spanish) I don't even care about it, since my english skills are good enough to understand the basics...

    Anyway, I know quite a few things about PCs. Thats why I wanted to try out a Mac.

    And btw, I never saw a high school or University (at least here in Luxembourg) were you were supposed to know how a Mac works... Everything is based on XP Pro with Office 2003 Pro.

    So you seem to know all the good points of a Mac, tell me what I can do with it. I did not find any program that was actually better (for my needs).

    And how can I shrink the OSX without having to reinstall it.
     
  14. Atomic_Fusion

    Atomic_Fusion

    Messages:
    190
    AppleZ wrote: "I use Parallels with XP as a convenient way to remind me how nice it is to have a Mac."
    ===

    Actually this doesn't tell me much about your needs and how the Mac does a better job of fulfilling that need. I'm not trolling, here, at least not trying to, but frankly after buying a $2,800 laptop computer with this "OH SO GREAT" operating system (10.4), I'm primarily using the Macbook Pro 17" with Windows XP. The applications load faster, the system moves faster, the mouse is more responsive, the accessibility to gadgets and menus is better, so I get things done faster.

    I will be more than happy to adopt any Mac program as a mainstay app to fill my needs, but frankly they don't do it right now. And the user base for Windows is HUGE so I can find a program/document/trick for just about anything -- a lot of times for FREE too.

    But aside from all this, yah, I can see why running Parallels helps remind you of how nice it is to have a Mac. For me, it's great because I can find and use solutions with Windows when there isn't one that is available or sufficient for my needs in OS X. Although right now, most of the time I just go and get it for Windows first, and find Mac solutions on a casual basis in my off-time.

    Maybe one day that will change, but it certainly isn't today, and probably won't be for quite a while. Yes, I can lose hair over Windows, but what I've found is that I'm losing more with OS X. Wake me up when that changes, eh?

    AppleZ wrote: "Either you haven't had the chance to really appreciate the finesse and intuitiveness of the OS, or worse yet, you really can't see the difference."
    ===

    I know this wasn't in response to me, but I've just got to challenge you on this. What finesse? What intuitiveness? Aside from not having a registry and installing files from hell to breakfast throughout the hard drive, I have from my own observations concluded that OS X certainly isn't any more productive. Maybe OS X wasn't tailored for a 35 year old self-employed pole building contractor. It sure sounded like it was. I maintain my own webpage. I take the photos for the products, touch them up. I write up my contracts and material lists by examining the engineered drawings in AutoCAD. And I do it all on XP, not OS X. Because its faster. I edit my videos in XP, and it's a toss up between DVD Lab for XP and iDVD for OS X for creating the DVD content.

    But just to give you the benefit of the doubt, why don't you start naming off some OS X features (granted, there are some neat "specious" things, but I haven't needed them yet) that Windows lacks when it comes to comparing intuitive feel.

    Private message me so we don't post irrelevant things on this forum, if you want.

    Maybe you can truly help me. But so far nobody wants to. They come across as these great Mac OS loyalists that have no solutions, say their computer is "superior", and tell me I'm a troll. I've purchased into OS X. And now all the Mac loyalists have nothing to say to help me out. They were just looking for another cult follower -- my question is, why be a cult member? What is so special about it?
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2006
  15. joem

    joem

    Messages:
    1,247
    Oh my! You are saying you bought a Mac and now use it mainly for running Windows because you can't find a reason to use Mac software over Windows??

    I'm a software developer as well as a user of applications, and I use OSX and Windows just about interchangeably, so I'm not a platform partisan. My reasons for using OSX over Windows for some things include:

    OSX is actually more stable. This is based on decades of experience with just about everything out there.

    OSX has no registry -- what a *&^% relief. Troubleshooting registry problems has left me bald.

    OSX isn't virus prone. In fact, there are no viruses in the wild that affect OSX, so I do almost all web surfing in OSX (with Safari, which you don't have to like, but I do). Windows, particularly IE and the outlooks are the worlds finest virus delivery system. I don't even use them in Windows.

    Since OSX is a UNIX like system (based on Free BSD) there is a great deal of open source (read free) software available that costs money in Windows.

    OSX is designed for a small set of hardware variations, so unlike Windows, it is very closely coupled to the hardware and well integrated. This translates into "Things just work." and while that isn't strictly true all the time, it is true more often than with Windows.

    So there are five reasons to use OSX, any one of which would make me seriously consider getting a Mac. Put them together, and it's a no-brainer. Parallels lets me run the few programs I need that OSX doesn't support so I don't have to lug two laptops around.
     
  16. Atomic_Fusion

    Atomic_Fusion

    Messages:
    190
    Thanks Joem. You always have something worth reading in your posts. You're points are why I bought a Mac instead of another PC box.

    OS X "is actually more stable." -- This is my understanding too, but I have had some system lockups too. XP really hasn't been as bad as previous versions of Windows though.

    OS X "has no registry." -- I haven't had to work in the registry other than follow instructions to get rid of spyware, so this never has been a problem for me. I feel sorry for the guys that need to work in it to get what they need accomplished, though. You're right about that.

    OS X "isn't virus prone." -- All I can say to this one is... not yet. And it won't be if OS X doesn't capture more market share, since its not gonna be as exciting for punks to write viruses for OS X. But for me, the threat of obtaining a virus on XP is not much of a concern. I don't use Outlook, nor IE. Never have since 1995 when I bought my first PC. Always used Netscape and it's Mail. Now its Firefox and Thunderbird, since '01 or '02.

    But some people have to use those programs. Using those programs on your Mac via Parallels isn't going to eliminate the threat to your data that comes through Outlook of IE. It might not crash your base system, but you'll obviously have to fix your virtual machine. Anti-virus software is such today that the threat is pretty low, if you've got it installed on the system.

    So how big of a concern is this point, anyway?

    "OS X is a UNIX like system" -- This might be a legitimate point for me, except the what I've seen in the Open Source predominately is not the kind of software I need to use, and/or they have strange UIs. Take gimp -- I've tried and tried to get used to it, but I simply can't get anything done with it. Too many distractions, and I can't get a feel for it's intuition. So it's back to Paintshop Pro and Photoshop in XP.

    "...is designed for a small set of hardware variations, so unlike Windows..." -- Well that's one thing that sold me on Mac. But I was hoping such hardware optimization would also mean faster GUI experience, and that is not the case. So chalk up another disappointment.

    Anyway, I figure I'm just a rookie starting out with OS X, so I've always got the hope that somebody else will be able to show me stuff that makes the experience better. That's what it's been like with Windows. But, the Mac user base, I am discovering, seem to be more reluctant (or simply don't have any solutions) to offer REAL TANGIBLE proof that the Mac platform is truly any better, or even as good as Windows, with the things I need.

    Nevertheless, I'm here with my 17" Intel-Mac, driving on with intentions and the hope that things are going to get better... And don't get me wrong, I love using my 17" Macbook Pro, with XP!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2007
  17. Hugh Watkins

    Hugh Watkins

    Messages:
    943
    I left the mac in 1999 because i wanted to try Dragon NaturallySpeaking to write a book

    Then i got interested in recording my family's history and started using Family Tree Maker
    now on version 16 I have not been able to find a comparable native Mac program which suited my style of working.

    So I am really happy to continue using FTM 16 to build the databases

    social software:-

    AOL 9 on WinXP is slightly better than AOL 10 on the Mac
    and Windows Live messenger in Beta 8.1 is better than the Mac version
    and MS IE 7 wll not be ported to the Mac
    soI need that for checking my own web pages


    I just love having 2 machines in 1 box - which makes the MacBook Pro greater value for my money

    I nearly got the top of the line Vaio

    I like to get a realy good machine and keep it for at least 5 years


    Hugh W
     
  18. Nekojin

    Nekojin

    Messages:
    10
    Sorry for my bad english



    OSX is actually more stable. This is based on decades of experience with just about everything out there.

    I used to have another Notebook with Windows XP (Hurican), and honestly I can't remember it to hang up. As for my Macbook, since I got it (4 mounths ago) it froze already 3 times. OK nothing dramatic. So at least for me, I can't see an advantage.


    OSX has no registry -- what a *&^% relief. Troubleshooting registry problems has left me bald.

    Well I like to work with the registry. But I also find that having no registry is more comftable.


    OSX isn't virus prone. In fact, there are no viruses in the wild that affect OSX, so I do almost all web surfing in OSX (with Safari, which you don't have to like, but I do). Windows, particularly IE and the outlooks are the worlds finest virus delivery system. I don't even use them in Windows.

    Well I use Nod 32 for XP and had no important viruses for years. As for OSX, I installed Norton Antivirus 10 (yeah I know, Norton is not really an anti virus than a system killer...) well it slowed down everything and finished by uninstalling it. (Guess Norton is crap everywhere..)


    Since OSX is a UNIX like system (based on Free BSD) there is a great deal of open source (read free) software available that costs money in Windows.

    Well, I did not find more free software aviable for Macs than for windows. Anyway, there are a lot of shareware programs aviable for XP.


    OSX is designed for a small set of hardware variations, so unlike Windows, it is very closely coupled to the hardware and well integrated. This translates into "Things just work." and while that isn't strictly true all the time, it is true more often than with Windows.

    And thats the problem why OSX is not so popular than it could be. People like to try things out before they buy software (if they buy software at all). But testing Mac OSX out means:

    Or you find yourself in a Apple store to get a test computer, or you have to buy a new computer.

    Thats not the case with XP or Vista or Linux... You can get free trial versions that work for about 90 to 180 days. Same for Office products.


    Here is what I used to do with a computer:

    1. Playing AOE and CSS (AOE works, CSS not in my Macbook)
    2. Burning DVDs with AnyDVD / Clone DVD2 (only since Parallels Beta 2, before not possible in my Macbook, I tried to find some alternative software, but DVDs copyprotections are harder to get rid off with Mac programs. Another thing: Apple seems to like very rare DVD Burners, because getting an rpc1 firmware for it was not possible)
    3. Wathing movies on different webpages. (well a lot of web pages just work with the wmp)
    4. Listening to music. (So I also bought a 60gb Ipod, but without Senuti, this would be impossible, because itunes always wants me to have all my music also on my Mac. And since there are only 10 gbs left, this is not possible)
    5. Finding cheats for N64 games. ( is there any port of Project 64 aviable for OSX?)
    6. Using Word and Excell (only 2003 pro, since we have this versions at school)

    So all my needs are based on XP, I am sure that this will not change so fast. I will not sell this notebook, since I can use it for doing my work (over parallels), but I will definitly buy an Alienware Notebook too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2007
  19. vilmoskörte

    vilmoskörte

    Messages:
    24
    I use parallels to run windows for two programs not available for Mac OS X:
    1) a tax program is use once a year to make my income tax declaration
    2) A configuration program for my ISDN teephone PBX

    But I mainly use parallels to run OS/2 and various Linuxes on my MacBook Pro.
     
  20. adp92

    adp92

    Messages:
    5
    I am a recent Mac convert. I have had really good luck so far with parallels. In my house the computer is a family computer. My wife runs her own business and uses software from her company that is only available for Windows. Although, they say they are working on a Mac version. That is the only thing we use it for. I have had no less than 4 PCs over the last 5-6 years and have had my share of viruses, lock-ups and other unexplainable events. Thankfully, a friend of mine is a computer whizz and often was able to fix my issues when I couldn't. I have also had to "nuke and pave" my computer on several occasions. Meaning I had to wipe out the hard drive and re-install Windows. Anyway, I have had my Mac Mini now for about 6 months and not one issue with OSX. I purchased Office for Mac and actually think its better than Office for Windows. I find OSX a little more inuitive to configure and use. And besides the Mac Mini just looks cool.
     

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