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Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac

Product Review

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Product: Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac
Company: Parallels
Web: http://www.parallels.com
Contact: (425) 282 6400
Price: $79.99, upgrade $ 49.99
Pros: easy to use, intuitive, much faster
Cons: mobile version costs extra

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Product Rating: 4/5 Impressive

by Gary Miller, Alaskan Apple Users Group Member

Conflict of interest disclosure: Parallels provided a free copy of Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac to me for the purposes of the review.

Like many Mac users, we are given an assignment that takes Windows software to complete, and we haven’t liked it, but thanks to Parallels 7 Desktop for Mac, it’s definitely an easier and quicker way of getting our projects done. Make that, much faster!

Parallels is a company that works around the globe, headquartered in Seattle. I am amazed in how much new engineering they included in this brand new product. I mean, didn’t just Apple release Lion and now Parallels 7 uses those features already, fabulous. Like full screens, yes, like using your iSight webcam built into you Mac, yes, it uses it, like printing directly to your printer, yes it does that, and when you think you’re stumped, even the new Help area is completely Mac like, updated and really easy to navigate and solve issues that before would have had me calling or waiting for tech support, whoopee.

If you’re new to Parallels and the idea of running windows on your Mac, then you waited til the right time. I installed this new version on my new MacBook Air quickly, without issues, and then installed a copy of Windows 7, that took the longest time, running their updater and waiting til it was done. It configured itself effortlessly, and I was working with their product manager Kurt during the process to make sure, and all just worked. Once installed, I could choose to start up, from viewing folder in my dock, going to say Internet Explorer, or in the menu bar once it’s started up. Did I want to use as a Mac, meaning have windows, called Coherence mode, for an app and really not see any difference in a Mac app running next to it, or did I want the desktop to look like a Windows machine, both work, I prefer the window version, so I can go do something else with my Mac when I want to.

It’s now 64-bit GUI Cocoa code, 3D and graphics ready, so much faster. It has a migration from a PC, I didn’t use, but have heard it works great. The new Wizard set up was really fast and easy and accurate. I didn’t try out the new Mobile version, it’s an extra cost, that I think should be included, but it works on iPhone and iPad, so you have access to files even if you’re in a different country, how about that. I could have open Windows 7, and another version of Windows at the same time if needed. Even though there are 96 new features in Parallels 7, the biggest wow feature is speed, no more lugging while waiting. and it’s got surround sound that’s really cool.

What Windows applications do Parallels Desktop users run?
The short answer is “any Windows application they need”. The most frequently used Windows applications in Parallels Desktop are:

Internet Explorer, Windows Live Messenger, Java, Safari, Microsoft Money, Firefox, Windows Media Player, Quicken, iTunes, PowerPoint, Google Chrome, Remote Desktop Connection, Skype, Adobe Reader, QuickBooks, Outlook, Excel, Kaspersky Microsoft Anti-Virus Security, Essential, Paint, Word, Notepad, Steam, WinRAR

Parallels Desktop 7 System Requirements:
• Intel Core 2 Duo or higher Intel-based Mac required (Intel Core Solo and Core Duo processors are no longer supported.)
• 2 GB of RAM (4 GB recommended to run Windows 7)
• 700 MB hard drive space for Parallels Desktop installation, plus space to allocate to your virtual machine (1.4 GB for the
Switch to Mac Edition)
• Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later (Leopard) / Mac OS X 10.6.7 or later (Snow Leopard) / Mac OS X 10.7 or later (Lion)
• Internet connection required for select features and online updates
• Requires Windows or other operating system (not included)

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