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Parallels Desktop (Mac)

by Parallels
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: £6.90
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  • Run any OS at the same time as Mac OS X on an Intel Mac
  • Easily share files and folders between Windows and Mac OS
  • Virtual machines work exactly like stand-alone Windows PCs
  • Optimise virtual machine performance and save space
There is a newer version of this item:
Parallels Desktop 7.0 (Mac) Parallels Desktop 7.0 (Mac) 4.3 out of 5 stars (69)
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System Requirements

  • Platform:   Mac
  • Media: CD-ROM
  • Item Quantity: 1
 See more system requirements

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Product details

  • Item Weight: 100 g
  • Delivery Destinations: Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
  • ASIN: B000HIHI7I
  • Release Date: 7 Sep 2006
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,178 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)

Product Description


It's well designed and allows Macs to run Windows applications conveniently and quickly. -- Computer Shopper

Manufacturer's Description

When Apple introduced its first generation of Intel-powered Macs, the "Are you a Mac or a PC person" question suddenly became moot. With the new Intel Mac machines, you can have the best of both Macintosh and PC worlds. Unfortunately, switching between operating systems on the new Intel Macs can be a time-consuming process. You must completely shut down OS X and endure a full start-up cycle in order to run Windows. That's where Parallels Desktop for Mac comes in. With Parallels Desktop, you can run Windows applications along with your Macintosh programs -- right on your Mac, side-by-side -- so you never have to suffer through frustrating shut-downs and re-boots just to run a program you want.

Windows XP Professional guest virtual machine running alongside a Mac OS X primary OS.

The Parallels desktop. View larger

Another view of the Parallels desktop. View larger.

A Single-Keystroke Solution
Parallels Desktop offers the unparalleled option of letting you switch between Mac OS X and Windows XP with a single keystroke. So while you're running a graphics program that only OS X can run, and you need to use an important application that is only available in Windows, you simply hit a keystroke, and Windows (or OS X) is literally at your fingertips. The same holds true for Linux or any other operating system; with Parallels Desktop, you're always a single keystroke away from switching out of OS X into the operating system of your choice, and back into it again.

Creating a Virtual PC
With Parallels Desktop, you can run any version of Windows (3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, Me, 2000, NT, XP, 2003), any Linux distribution, FreeBSD, Solaris, OS/2, eComStation, or MS-DOS alongside Mac OSX. The program installs with just a few clicks and steps through a simple interface. You don't have to be a software engineer to install Parallels Desktop; there's no need to partition your drive, and no networking or complicated set-up required. It's really that simple.

Once you're up and running, Parallels Desktop virtualizes a full set of all the standard PC hardware, including virtualized processor of the host computer, a generic motherboard compatible with Intel i815 chipset; up to 1500 MB of RAM; VGA and SVGA with VESA 3.0 support; up to four IDE devices that may be either virtual hard drives (from 20 MB up to 128 GB each, mapped to image file), CD/DVD-ROM drives (mapped to physical drive or to image file), or any combination of the two; Ethernet virtual Network card compatible with RTL8029 (bridged to Apple Ethernet or Apple Airport adapter), host-only Networking or Mac Internet sharing; up to four serial (COM) ports (mapped to pipe or to Output file); up to three bi-directional parallel (LPT) ports (mapped to output file); and 2-port USB controller 1.1 (USB 2.0 devices supported) at speed close to native. In other words, you can operate as if you were actually on a fully-loaded PC.


SUSE Linux 10.0 guest virtual machine running alongside a Mac OS X primary OS. View larger.

The main page shows preferences and virtual hardware configs for a virtual PC. View larger.

The Config Editor is used to access and change all the parameters of a virtual machine. View larger.

You also have the ability to transfer files and folders between OS X and Windows. This means that you can safely and securely "copy and paste" data between Windows XP and Mac OS X programs without a glitch. And if you think that this will add a huge drain on your computing resources, think again! Included free with Parallels Desktop is Parallels Compressor technology, a tool that reduces Windows 2000, 2003 and XP virtual machine hard drive size by 50 percent or more. This easy-to-use disk management tool helps save storage costs, maximizes hard disk resources and improves the performance of any Windows-powered virtual machines.

Product Description
Now it’s easy to run Windows on your Intel Mac - right alongside MacOS X. Parallels Desktop for Mac lets you switch back and forth between Mac OS X and full screen Windows XP with a simple keystroke. Or run Windows inside a window right on your Macintosh desktop. Now Mac users can run important applications available only for Windows – programs like Microsoft Project, Access, Money, Act!, Goldmine, Internet Explorer and more. Unlike Boot Camp, which requires the user to restart his Mac, Parallels Desktop for Mac runs Windows simultaneously with Mac OS X.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking product - if you've enough memory 26 Oct 2006
Initial reaction to this software was not good. I tried running it on my Intel Mac Mini with 512Mb Ram and performance was woeful. The OS (windows XP) would not install cleanly on the first few attempts. Finally it loaded but performace was not very good.

Having upgraded my RAM to 2Gb, I can honestly say the Parallels Virtual PC is the fastest XP machine I have ever used. Performance is absolutely stunning. If you want to run Windows on your Mac - and have enough memory - this has got to be the way to do it.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
If you've got a top end Intel Core 2 Duo processor Mac (desktop or laptop) then this is possibly the most impressive thing you'll ever see or use because "Parallels" will convert your machine into a fast and incredibly high resolution Windows machine. Set the screen resolution in the Windows "window" to its maximum level (1538 x 921 pixels), make sure that the Parallels Tools are installed correctly, select "Full Screen" mode and there it is... quite amazing... looks better than the any PC you've ever seen, works just like a PC, lets you seamlessly transfer files between the Mac window and the PC window, and transforms your Windows versions of Word, Excel, Publisher and even Photoshop into the most beautiful experiences. And, when you get bored with them you're only a keystroke away from watching the screen flip round to reveal your Mac.

Good enough? Well there's more to come because it also, even more amazingly, lets you run any Windows application program as a window right within the Mac screen (at equally high resolutions) just as though it was one of your Mac applications... seamlessly, stable and fast.

The downsides? You need a fully spec'd Mac with a reasonable amount of memory to get the best out of it (this review is based on 2.33ghz MacBook Pro with 3 gigabytes of memory) but then you're getting, in effect, two top end machines in one. You need to spend some time configuring Parallels correctly, particularly in integrating the Windows side into any wireless network, but the installation instructions are clear and they work. It's no good for processor intensive 3D games (you need Apple's Boot Camp for that, athough this requires a lengthy reboot between the Mac & Windows environments). Oh yes, and you need a copy of Windows XP...
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 16 Mar 2007
Verified Purchase
This piece of software is briiliant! I managed to get everything installed without a single hiccup. It did it in less than 30 minutes. Amazing! The only downside is it doesn't tell you how to install USB printers. You need to set your printer to sharing in the Printer/Fax options in OS X. And then download Bonjour from the Apple website. Easy as 1.. 2.. 3.

All my apps work. Although if you are thinking of using it for 3D games. Don't bother. It doesn't work. If you want to run PC games on your Mac you need Windows XP service pack 2 and download a free copy of bootcamp. But apart from that it good for just about every windows app.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! 5 Mar 2007
I was impressed with this software even before I bought it. The Purple Rage UK support were extremely helpful in answering my pre-purchase questions. Installing XP was a breeze once I had patched together the XP installation with SP2 into an ISO image as required by Parallels.

So far, so brilliant. One of many great things is that the software installs XP for you using defaults and allows you to get on with other stuff in the background. Once installed the software ran and much quicker than I've experienced before. Running as a virtual machine it allows you to do really cool things such as allow direct access to files on the Mac desktop from within Windows (though so far I've only used drag and drop which worked fine), a new functionailty allows you to run Windows apps as you would Mac ones direct from the Dock.

It automatically shared the Mac's network access so no config problems, the only thing I haven't tried yet is printing. I have a Wireless printer so might need to configure that. Really, it's astonishing. When you hit one of two key combinations to transfer to full screen mode it does so using the swinging windows effect that you get with the Mac's remote control and it switches almost imperceptibly. So far, no hassles at all which is more than I can say for other times I've installed XP!

OK, I've only installed Anti-Virus and firewall software so far and won't install any more until I've upgraded it to Vista but I am more impressed with this package than anything I've tried in more than 20 years of using PCs at home. Hopefully, this review won't blow up in my face when it fails to function but I will update it if I have any problems.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
I downloaded the trial version of this from the Parallels American site and was very impressed. I then thought I could legitamise it using the registration key from a boxed CD bought from Amazon. Not so. For some reason UK keys do not work with American downloads. So I thought I would load the CD version, only to have this repeatedly crash my new iMac every time I tried to start a virtual machine. The reason is that there are still some old retail versions in the system that predate the latest Intel Core 2 Duo Macs, and will not run on these machines. Much angst and ferreting about on the Parallels forums revealed that I was not the first to run into this problem. You have to load and register the old retail version then download the latest build using the program's inbuilt update function. Finally you have a working latest-build version of Parallels, at which point, it is as I said a really great addition to Mac functionality.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars This review is of the 2007 version
It worked as well as any other emulator. I used it frequently and it served me well for a couple of years.
Published 6 months ago by Bernardus
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice product shame about the after sales service
I bought Parallels as an upgrade when I went onto Snow Leopard. I didn't realize that the upgrade wouldn't work with Snow Leopard and this wasn't made clear on the 'download'... Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2010 by Andrew
2.0 out of 5 stars not clear
Felt a bit done when I could'nt run this version of parallels with snow leopard! Had to upgrade but overall worked out cheaper than buying parallels version 5 straight up.
Published on 15 Nov 2009 by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars New Mac user
I have recently brought a new Mac Laptop, I was really struggling to get to grips with thier programs as I have always used Windows. Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2008 by Jo Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Parallels is so cool
I have been a PC user for many years and finally decided to purchse a Mac mainly due to Photoshop CS3 but also because of the ability to run some of my PC only apps on the Mac too... Read more
Published on 16 Aug 2007 by Dave Hawkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Best virtualisation technology out there for OSX
Parallels works well out of the box and auto-updates itself to the latest version off the web. If you buy after 10th May 2007 you are entitled to the free upgrade to v3 that... Read more
Published on 4 July 2007 by Steven Leighton
3.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, just not well.
I had finally decided to try out parallels desktop this week so I downloaded the trial. I spent ages digging around my house for my copy of XP but when I found it things were... Read more
Published on 31 May 2007 by Rory Mercer
1.0 out of 5 stars Give up now before it's too late.
This is probably the worst purchase I have made in years. What nobody tells you when you buy this item is that the activation code included with this item is a 'regional' code... Read more
Published on 18 April 2007 by Mr. S. Hodson
3.0 out of 5 stars Prepare for some angst with the latest RC3 update
My review is about the latest RC3 update only available on the website.

It's too easy to have high expectations, however like most computing solutions these days be... Read more
Published on 23 Feb 2007 by Mark Twain
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