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Parallels Coherence for Mac


By the time you read this, the features I discuss here will probably be in the production release, but right now they are only in the latest beta announced on December 1st.

While I do want to look at VMware for Mac (whenever they decide to let me), I'm starting to wonder what they can possibly offer that Parallels isn't going to have. This new beta includes a lot of new features.

Learn all about Virtualization on Intel Macs - Parallells, Fusion, Virtual box and more.
Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac, Third Edition - $10 eBook

First is the integration of Windows application Windows with your Mac desktop. This picture shows IE7 and "My Computer" running as though they were ordinary OS X apps. You can drag them around the screen, resize them .. this is much better than having to run Windows in full screen mode and switch back and forth.

You can now drag and drop files from Mac to Windows or vice versa. There's also now support for running a Boot Camp installation of Windows and the ability to bring in VMware and other third party vm images. This is all exciting stuff, and to top it off, it actually seemed to boot Windows faster too. Perhaps that's due to the claim of increasing graphic performance "up to 50 percent".

The only issue I observed was that my IE7 window froze once. The "My Computer" window was still working though, as was the rest of Windows, so this easily could have been a "normal" IE7 problem rather than some fault of Parallels. I use Parallels much more for Linux than I do for Windows - no, the "Coherence" features don't work there. Still, when I do need to check some XP feature (usually to talk a customer through some task), it's nice to have it more integrated.

The ability to convert third party images could also be useful. Unfortunately this has to be done from a Windows PC. The result can be used in Mac Parallels, but the "Transporter" tool that does it has to run on a PC. It can do more than just third party conversions though: it can convert the PC it runs on to a Parallels machine and can do it over the network direct to your Mac or write the image to removable media. If all you want to do is convert a VMware image to your Mac, it is a bit annoying to have to do this by way of a Windows machine, but at least that machine can itself apparently be a Windows instance running under Parallels Mac.

But.. I couldn't make it work. I installed the Windows Transporter Tool into my Parallels Windows machine, downloaded a small VMware appliance, and while the initial steps seemed to be fine, when it came to the point of converting to a Parallels bootable image, it didn't know how to proceed. That could of course just be the fault of the particular image I chose; this is all very new so I think I'll give it a few weeks and watch the Transporter Forum for guidance.

If you want a great guide to learning about running Windows on your Mac, consider Joe Kissel's Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac, Third Edition, a $10.00 PDF E-book that will teach you everything you need to know.

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© Anthony Lawrence

Sat Apr 14 17:26:59 2007: 2954   LizardBrain

Parallels v2 has been available on the website for almost two months now (released Feb 27, if I'm not wrong). If you download the free trial version, all you have to do is enter in the serial number in the box. Alternatively, you can upgrade your existing installation to the new version. Not to belabor the obvious, but Transporter may work better for you if you use the latest stable release.

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