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4.5 out of 5 stars
128
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Yes the product does imperceptibly slow program's down simply because when using the virtualisation software it has to share resources with OSX and Windows at the same time.

However, if you use a combination of bootcamp and Parallels you can have the best of both worlds. Get hold of an OEM copy of Win 7 and install it with boot camp, it is a simple procedure if you follow the rules. If you are just a Gamer or someone who only uses memory intensive program's then booting into windows is recommended. You will also need to factor in an antivirus for the Windows install.

If like me you have business software, accounting packages, Microsoft Office Professional and other office software but also likes to play games like Skyrim, using Parallels is ideal accompaniment.

If I game I boot, if I work I virtualise. The best of both worlds and the worst of none. Parallels 'just' works with a bootcamp partition, when you install it just click on 'with bootcamp etc'.

The cost of Parallels is insignificant when I consider the amount of money I have saved in not having to buy new software for my Macbook. Until last week I had been a Windows veteran all the way back to Windows 95. I discovered the pleasures of OSX when I took delivery of my new Macbook last Monday.
Now I really do have the best of both worlds.
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on 8 June 2014
This is a great version of Parallels desktop that comes with a disk, very helpful instruction guides, stickers and a great user interface!
It's really easy to load onto your Mac with very little user input. You do need to, however, have a valid email address, a postal address and a suitable size of RAM on your Mac as it needs to run at max capacity of your RAM (I recommend 3-4GB, so have 8GB of RAM in your Mac computer ready). You also need to have an ISO image of Windows at-the-ready or you will not be able to install anything! You can, however, install a clean version of Windows 8 without a product key (it is still function able, but you can't hang the desktop background etc.). This is great is you have upgraded from windows 7 to 8 and have the ISO image download exported to a disk or USB stick, which your mac can open and install.
Once you're up and running, it is great and fully-functionable. It even comes with an encryption function, which is very handy if ou don't want anyone to see files or open it at all without a password.
The only thing which I find a little frustrating, is that Parallels advertises that you can keep your Mac AND Parallels open at the same time. I do not recommend this as it can become very slow and 'laggy' if you have even one app on Mac open, which is what I always have.

Overall, an amazing version of Parallels Desktop that is a good but not great upgrade from Parallels 7. If you want to see some very large performance improvements, spend the extra money using the upgrade site and go for Parallels 9 or 10 when it comes out.
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on 21 April 2017
Worked well, but superceded rather too quickly
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on 4 February 2013
Although I do 90% of my day to day jobs on my Mac, I use Parallels to run Windows 7 with Visual Studio 2012 and SQL Server Express to do software development for Windows.

This works great and has allowed me to sell my last Windows PC. The only problem with it is that some keyboard shortcuts don't translate between Mac and Windows, e.g. CTRL-ALT-LT/RT key, etc. Still well worth the money though!
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on 19 December 2012
Parallels is an excellent product that delivers on promise! Moving to a Mac, I was afraid to lose the investments I've made in applications that I use for my study and run on Windows. However, a friend made the same move and told me about Parallels and how satisfied she was with the easy install and the overall performance.
Now I have best of both worlds (apps wise) and to be honest, Windows runs better with Paralells on a Mac than on traditonal hardware!
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on 25 January 2013
Ever since I moved to Mac I regret that I haven't done it years ago. I was working on PC laptops for years (not gaming though) and because I work hard, each one of them died just after the warranty expired. I was reluctant to moving to Mac hardware platform, because I work mostly on Windows-only software. But with Parallels I know that my fear was unfounded. Not only does it a great job at running Windows OS, but it also beautifully integrates it with Mac OS X thanks to its Coherence feature - Mac and Windows blend into one and interact flawlessly. I can use web, mail, and all the nifty Mac-only programs and feature and at the same time work on my tools under Windows... but under Mac. The way it all blends together makes my MacBook Pro a super-productive tool now. And what's more, Parallels it's very resources-friently. The overhead is minimal, and additionally my Windows OS goes silently to sleep when it's not needed - freeing even more resources! Now, without Parallels I would be investing even more money in subsequent PC laptops and remain unaware of the beautiful Mac world. This is a must-have for anyone thinking seriously about ones work and aiming at productivity. I'd recommend it to anyone without thinking.
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on 28 August 2013
Every time I get involved with a major hardware or software change I approach it with trepidation. I expect to spend countless hours trying to do what should be a simple task.

I must say - that the Parallels software is plain incredible. Simple to install and really does do its job.

Just for information I installed it on a Late 2009 Mac Mini with 8 Gb of RAM.

A couple of things that I was unsure of (and could not find if it was going to be a problem) was that I had installed Windows 7 on the mac using the Bootcamp Assistant. That was easy to do - to repartition the drive for Windows and install Windows 7 64 bit but I did wonder if I was going to have to remove it to install Parallels. A note on this dual boot Bootcamp installation - I could not get Win 7 to see or access my external 1 TB Drive.

So I installed Parallels and the process was totally problem free and fast. It gives you a few options for installing Windows - one being to utilise the already installed Windows that Bootcamp had created.

Once installed it worked like a dream - better than I ever imagined. It accessed my network straight away and Windows could see my external 1 TB drive which it couldn't before.

Overall I would have given this ten stars if I could - just plain perfect and very fast delivery too. A must have for any one who hates the Mac OSX but loves the hardware as I do - did you know you can't even merge folders' contents on a Mac - the only two options it gives you is to destroy the destination folder and overwrite it or stop; and resizing windows with the only option being the bottom right corner is plain dumb.

Anyway - this gives you the best of both worlds - I now have em Client (it's windows only) running on the Mac with all my contacts, emails and Calendar - just perfect.
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on 2 October 2012
I've used different programs in the past to help me run essential PC software that friends use. They are PC people - I have always been a confirmed Mac man - since Mac Classic days. I'm now on my third version of Parallels and it has become easier to use and faster as it developes. I would recommend it to any Mac User.
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on 1 March 2013
I bought this to install on my late 2012 iMac.

Pretty much all the applications I needed I was able to find a Mac version or an equivalent Mac application, I had three rarely used (but still important) programs that I would need from time to time and also my other half has a large collection of CD roms that are mostly Windows only.

I tried a free application first of all, but with the AnyDVD application, the drive and disk were not showing up correctly. So I downloaded the free 14 day trial of Parallels Desktop 8 to see if it would meet my requirements, and I'm glad to say it did.

Installation was really easy and when prompted I inserted my Windows 7 DVD, after the various stages of the Parallels Desktop install, and then the Windows 7 install I was then prompted for my Windows license key, after that I had a Windows desktop on my iMac. All in all I would say the total time to install Parallels Desktop, Windows 7 was around 10 minutes.

After installation, I installed the handful of Windows programs that I needed and I also tried the CD roms and everything worked flawlessly, if I'm honest I found that Windows loaded faster, programs loaded faster than what I was used to seeing on a Windows PC.

All the features of Mountain Lion are available such as Dictation (which I use a lot on Mountain Lion) and I was really pleased to see that it was available when on Windows too. There's various ways in which you can view Windows with Parallels Desktop, one of the settings is:

Like a Mac= Windows programs appear on the Mac desktop, just like Mac applications.
Documents and media from Mac OS X and Windows are kept together on your Mac.

Like a PC= The Windows desktop and programs appear in a single window, separate from
Mac applications. You can drag and drop objects between Windows and the Mac.

Also there's:

Coherence mode, which allows you to set Windows and Mac OS X to work seamlessly together, as if they were part of a single
operating system. In this mode, Windows programs appear on the Mac desktop next to your Mac applications, and documents from Windows programs and Mac applications are stored in the same folders. To switch to Coherence mode you simply click on the icon at the top right of the Parallels Desktop window (the icon looks like two overlapping squares. Also next to the Coherence icon is the icon to go to full screen (you can also use the keyboard shortcut to switch to full screen too, which is CTRL CMD F)

There's other settings too such as having Windows load straight into the Windows desktop when you click on the Parallels desktop icon or having it so that when Parallels Desktop is loaded that it will go onto the screen where you need to click on the Windows installation version shown to load into the Windows desktop. There's numerous others too.

I find Parallels Desktop 8 to be a fantastic piece of software that runs Windows as if it was on a Windows PC but with the best of both worlds been able to run Mac OS along side it too. Also the price on Amazon was some £20 cheaper than the price on Parallels Desktop website (really cannot understand this). I will continue using Parallels Desktop as my Virtual Machine of choice until I no longer need Windows at all on my Mac.

Cannot recommend it enough.
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on 23 January 2013
I jumped from Windows XP to Apple OS X in December 2009. Unfortunately I still need to run Windows for using MS ACCESS and another couple of Windows only programmes. I have been through Parallels Desktop 5, 6, 7 and now 8 and each has performed without fault and VERY fast. Only once have I needed to contact support and they responded quickly and positively and sorted out my problem.
Couldn't do without Parallels Desktop - period.
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