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Parallels launches Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac

Parallels Desktop for Mac appears focused on helping Mac users run Windows applications without having to become Windows experts. It also makes it easy for Windows users to adjust to living in Mac land.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor on

Parallels recently launched an update to its popular Parallels Desktop for Mac. It appears that the company has done its best to make Windows and Mac OS X live in harmony on the same machine. The person using the system can make it appear as if the system is just another Windows system rather than a Mac or that Windows and Mac applications are running side by side on a Mac system.

My discussions with executives at various conference leads me to believe that Macs are increasingly popular with business executives for a number of reasons including the look of the systems, the performance of Mac OS X and the overall reliability of the systems. The sticking point, however, is that their organization has standardized on one or more Windows applications. Parallels appears to have spoken with many of the same people and is offering a product that directly addresses their concerns.

Parallels, however, is not alone in understanding the requirements of this market segment. VMware and Citrix both want to play here as well. The open source project, VirtualBox, also can address many of the same issues.

After having used both VMware's Fusion and Parallels Desktop for Mac, I have to say that both products would be useful additions to an organization's technology portfolio. VMware's product seems to be more focused on supporting a Windows user finding him/herself in Mac land. Parallels seems to be more focused on Mac users wanting high performance Windows application support without having to learn a great deal about Windows. Parallels also offers tools to help Windows users become familar with Mac OS X.

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