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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Just Works
I have been running this for about a week now, have previously used Version 4. This is a big advance in terms of speed and is pretty straight forward now, although I didn't try to move a current installation into it. I have an iMac (late 2009) Dual Core 3.06 processor with 12Gb Memory. I installed this and then did a clean install of Windows Home Premium x64 Bit. It comes...
Published on 22 Jan 2010 by David Penhaligon

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unstable with MS Office 2007 and Windows 7
In December 2009 I bought Parallels Desktop 5.0 English (Mac) as it promised seamless operation of Windows and its applications on a Mac. I immediately experienced problems with stability of MS Office applications - Word and Outlook - and contacted Parallels throught their telephone helpline (in the US) and by email. Despite removing and reloading the program and...
Published on 5 Mar 2010 by The Sheeple Slayer


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Just Works, 22 Jan 2010
By 
David Penhaligon "West Country Man" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Parallels Desktop 5.0 English (Mac) (DVD-ROM)
I have been running this for about a week now, have previously used Version 4. This is a big advance in terms of speed and is pretty straight forward now, although I didn't try to move a current installation into it. I have an iMac (late 2009) Dual Core 3.06 processor with 12Gb Memory. I installed this and then did a clean install of Windows Home Premium x64 Bit. It comes with a One Year licence for 'Parallels Internet Security' which is basically Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 which is an excellent freebie! Running the Software in 'Crystal' view mode allows you to have Windows icons in the Mac OSX doc and you just click and run them like any other Mac Software. It also installs a Windows Applications folder to the right of the Trash so you can just click that and run applications from there that you don't want to keep in the Mac Doc - so you don't have to see or use the Windows Desktop at all if you don't want to. It puts a little icon next to the clock in the top right hand of the screen (in Crystal mode) & if you right click that the Windows Start Menu appears! It's just so clever and invisible whilst letting you run Windows apps - Office 2007 Runs fine.
BUT it is not designed to be a replacement PC, so you can't use every little setting in the Windows environment you may have in the past. ALSO, make sure you have enough CPU Power & memory if you want it to run pretty smoothly and let Mac OSX handle the memory settings (a setting in the setup of parallels).
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Product, 5 Jan 2010
By 
timblewee (Merthyr Tydfil, Wales) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Parallels Desktop 5.0 English (Mac) (DVD-ROM)
I purchased Parallels 5 about 2 weeks ago and have found it amazing. I had reservations about the speed in which it would run windows 7 and software in coherence mode, however my fears were unjustified. Software runs as quickly as it does on my PC (admittedly not the greatest performer but adequate nonetheless). This software has bridged the gap between my Mac and PC. In fact it does it's job so well as far as I can tell that I could in all reality dump my PC and use my macbook exclusively for all my computing needs.

Running Office 2007 is a dream and being able to use it alongside Mac OS X is fabulous. It truly is the best of both worlds.

The only problem I have experienced is battery life, using 2 64bit operating systems at the same time really works the processor and can be quite power hungry. Using windows 7 under parallels effectively halves the usage time of the battery, although I found running windows vista in boot camp had adverse effects on the battery so it may be the operating system. This would not be a problem for iMacs.

Machine: Macbook 13" Unibody 2.4Ghz, 4gb RAM, 250gb HDD, running Snow Leopard and Windows 7 64bit
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great buy, 22 Dec 2009
By 
B. J. Holland - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Parallels Desktop 5.0 English (Mac) (DVD-ROM)
With Parallels running on my iMac with Win 7, I can run all my windows programs with no problem (In fact they run faster than on my native Dell with Win 7) The only problem is the the fact that Windows Media Center Recorded TV playback is a bit glitchy, and it does not recognise the new win 7 Recorded TV format. All other Windows programs are fine and exceedingly quick.

Brian
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stopped Windows from booting and their support is very poor, 1 July 2010
This review is from: Parallels Desktop 5.0 English (Mac) (DVD-ROM)
If the product works for you, the stated features sound good and I have a colleague who is running it and finds it much more convenient than Boot Camp. So if it works, I think the review here are perfectly valid. The two main issues for me are that it broke my Vista installation so that I can't boot into it, and secondarily the support I have received has been appalling.

When I installed it for accessing my Vista 64 partition, it broke my installation in such a way that I can't boot into it - even from Boot Camp. I'm a software developer and maintain good security practices and can confirm that prior to installing Parallels Desktop my Vista 64 partition was absolutely fine - no malware, viruses or spyware and no disk problems.

I then contacted Parallels for support and have so far spent 7 hours communicating with their tech support (no exaggeration!), so far with no solution. I have been passed between approximately eight different tech support people. Each person is not aware of the information I have given previously, so I've had to re-state the problem many, many times. I've spent in excess of an hour waiting for tech support via both chat and phone - not helped by the fact that their chat queuing system doesn't work properly - occasionally booting me off when I'd waited at least 30mins gradually moving up the queue. I've also had tech support inexplicably hang up on me. They have two layers of tech support - the first of which is provided by people who clearly don't understand the product and are going through some kind of flow chart and aren't prepared to listen to you and in some cases the fact they are non-native speakers has made it difficult to communicate with them. The second level of support may perhaps know more about their products, but are hard to get in touch with - you have to book an appointment several days in advance. Given that their software broke my Vista installation, preventing me from getting any development work done under Windows for the last two weeks, and that I've been passed around many different people, wasted over seven hours receiving poor and uncoordinated tech support, I don't find this acceptable. Parallels needs to massively improve their tech support.

I cannot recommend Parallels Desktop for two reasons. Firstly, it broke my Vista installation in such a way that I cannot even boot into it. As a software developer, I understand that sometimes things go wrong, but what makes me actively recommend people steer clear of Parallels Desktop is the absolutely appalling support I have received. Buying Parallels Desktop is a gamble on it working correctly, because if it breaks your OS install, then you're pretty much on your own.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unstable with MS Office 2007 and Windows 7, 5 Mar 2010
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This review is from: Parallels Desktop 5.0 English (Mac) (DVD-ROM)
In December 2009 I bought Parallels Desktop 5.0 English (Mac) as it promised seamless operation of Windows and its applications on a Mac. I immediately experienced problems with stability of MS Office applications - Word and Outlook - and contacted Parallels throught their telephone helpline (in the US) and by email. Despite removing and reloading the program and implementing the Parallels support team's suggestions and updates, the instability with Word and Outlook remains. The crashes happen often, but not exclusively, when performing a spell check or find function in Word or Outlook. The last suggested 'fix' from the support team was to contact Windows. However, I have the same versions of Windows Ultimate 7 and MS Office 2007 working perfectly on my Dell desktop PC so believe the problem is with Parallels and not Windows or Office. The support team appears to lack knowledge of this product and seems extremely keen to close down the reported fault before a solution has been found. I believe Parallels 5 has been put on the market without first being fully tested and debugged to make it compatible with Windows Ultimate 7 and MS Office 2007. Working with Word and Outlook on my MacBook Pro with Mac OS X Snow Leopard v10.6 is frustrating and anything but seamless. On the plus side the other MS Office applications work OK. My advice would be to consider buying another Mac/Windows application, or wait until this one is fully debugged.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Consider VirtualBox (free) before buying..., 13 Mar 2010
This review is from: Parallels Desktop 5.0 English (Mac) (DVD-ROM)
I installed the trial version of Parallels 5 for Mac and found it a very good product. So good that I was going to pay for a full licence to activate the software beyond the trial period. I then read some worrying reviews about the customer service on amazon.com. Apparently, if you have problems with your software and things are not running quite as expected, the customer service and technical support can leave something to be desired.

The same reviewer mentioned a free virtualisation product called VirtualBox. This is free to use to home and individual users and available to download from Sun Microsystems. Having installed the product it does work very well. It is not quite as polished as parallels (although it is very close) and was, in my opinion, more difficult to install, but if you have some basic computing knowledge and would like to give it a go, you have nothing to lose since the software is free. There are plenty of online forums where you can read and ask questions if you have any difficulties with the software. If, in the end, it doesn't do what you would like it to do, you still have the option of buying a pay product such as Parallels.

The beauty of a piece of software such as VirtualBox is that as new features and upgrades become available, they will be free. My experience has been largely positive (apart from a few difficult teething problems with getting a shared folder to work that were solved by watching a video tutorial online. A shared network was created automatically on Parallels) and I may have saved myself a difficult time with Parallels customer services, or having to pay for an upgrade in the future as new features become available (highly likely since Parallels is already in its 5th incarnation!).

In summary, VirtualBox is well worth a try before spending money on Parallels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't imagine worse customer support, 6 Sep 2010
This review is from: Parallels Desktop 5.0 English (Mac) (DVD-ROM)
I watched a very favorable review of Parallells made by a tech columnist at the Wall Street Journal and decided to buy it. I realize I should have tried the free trial version first.

In the purchasing process on the website, I got stuck after I entered my credit card details--but without any product to download.

After spending roughly one hour to contact their customer support I gave up. It is virtually impossible to get in contact with them unless you enter a "Support Code". However, that requires you to first install the product, which was obviously impossible in my case. I tried the chat and the phone hotline options of the customer support, but in both cases I ended up being thrown out of the queue. Now I have to spend time contacting my bank to check if my card was charged.

This is exactly the type of customer service that tells me I should not give this provider a second chance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent results, 12 July 2010
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This review is from: Parallels Desktop 5.0 English (Mac) (DVD-ROM)
First off, I feel I was approaching this from a different standpoint to a lot of Parallels users (certainly based on reviews I had read). I purchased this package to use on an iMac for business use and I planned to migrate from a purely Windows environment to the iMac with Windows 7 Professional. This felt quite risky because I didn't want to purchase a full version of Windows and then find out it didn't work well enough, particularly for some of the programs I use. I think I was approaching this from a different point than other users of the Parallels package because, for me, the Mac environment isn't very important at all but Windows is. I wanted to use the iMac because it was a spare PC and therefore I wouldn't have to buy a new PC, and it's a very nice product with a great screen.

The Parallels software was really easy to install and set up - it only took a couple of minutes and then I installed Windows 7 onto the virtual machine, which again was easy. Having been using the iMac with Windows every day for about a month or so, it's all working very well and I am very pleased indeed. I adjusted the memory allowance for the Windows partition in Windows' favour as the initial allowance was too low and biased towards the Mac. If you are thinking of doing this you need to make sure the Mac has plenty of memory to begin with - Windows Vista and 7 are memory hungry and the Mac environment is running all the time underneath your Windows one so there are quite a lot of demands. I work with Windows in full screen mode all the time and only at the start and end of the day do I need to even see the Mac but you can have the two operating systems more integrated if you wish.

Overall, I am delighted with this set up and the Parallels package works really very well, despite some of the poor reviews that I had read beforehand.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Product, 5 July 2010
By 
Simon Ash (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Parallels Desktop 5.0 English (Mac) (DVD-ROM)
I generally find Mac OS far superior to Windows but Microsoft do make the best piece of software on earth for my business and that is One Note.
Sadly One Note, or nothing anywhere near as good, is available on Mac OS so I was forced to either lump around 2 laptops or try Parallels 5 and Win 7.

I installed both programs within a couple of hours and to my amazement it worked. It was bizarre seeing Windows 7 on my Macbook Pro.

I then installed One Note on my mac in the Windows machine and the whole thing is just fantastic. Windows runs alongside my Mac and I can just delve into the files whenever I need them with no reboot or performance lag. I don't know how it works but it does and my total spend of 130 was far less
than it would be to buy a new Win 7 laptop and the Macbook is running perfectly, although I do have 4 gb of Ram and a Core 2 processor but that said it runs absolutely perfectly and I would recommend this software and solution to anyone with similar requirements.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very satisfied!, 21 May 2010
By 
David J. Glazier (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Parallels Desktop 5.0 English (Mac) (DVD-ROM)
I have had a PC since the early '90s but had become increasingly frustrated by the performance of my latest machine especially after the invasion of a rather nasty virus in January 2010 which took a long time and quite a lot of cash to fix! I was encouraged by friends to switch over to Apple Mac - however to my dismay there is no personal accounting program for Mac comparable with Microsoft Money which I have been using very happily for several years. Accountz, which can run on PCs and on Mac, is too complicated! Of course, I am aware that Microsoft no longer supports Money but my 2005 version works perfectly well and doesn't need any improvements.

I then discovered Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac - nothing could be easier. It took me about an hour to install everything on my MacBook Pro and I am now able to run Money on my new machine. Highly recommended - congratulations to Parallels and many thanks to Clare Cruddock in their London Office!
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