Parallels v.s. VMWare Fusion

Ever since Mac’d gone Intel, a number of virtualization options have opened up for us Mac users. Among them, the biggest names are Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac and the much anticipated VMWare Fusion. I’ve also tried lesser known contenders CrossOver Mac (except it was the Linux version that I used) and Wine. But the results were less than satisfactory. So I am not going to bother with them.

This CNet article covers some pretty basic benchmarks for using Parallels and Fusion v.s. Apple’s Boot Camp. My own experience echoes that of CNet’s results.

Pros: Nice touches on providing Windows Task Bar when in Coherence mode. I find myself needing access to the Windows desktop from time to time. I also like the fact that I can access the full “Start” menu from the Dock. Boots and runs fairly fast.
Cons: Somewhat awkward to use when Mac’s Exposé is invoked. Fusion does a much better job at this; seems to slow down the overall performance of the machine somewhat. But I can’t prove it scientifically.

Pros: Excellent integration with Exposé — each window that belongs to Windows actually scales! Supports both cores of my MBP! Virtual Appliances can be really helpful!
Cons: Poor implementation on giving user access to the Windows Desktop or the Task Bar when in Unity mode. Awkward “Launch” tool bar — I wish I can make the damn icons smaller. Instead of the “Applications” menu, Fusion should implement what Parallels does, full access to the “Start” menu from wthin the Dock.

It was relatively easy to enable my MacBook Pro’s iSight to use it with Windows Live Messenger (I hate it) on both softwares. But I did have to get iSight’s driver for Windows (stripped from Boot Camp) to get it to work.

Overall, my experience on both Parallels and Fusion is a pleasant one. Windows seemed to install faster on my virtual machines than they ever did when I had a real PC hardware to play with. Actually, it took longer to get Windows Updates to run and complete than the initial installation process. Oh, the ironies… I hope Microsoft continues to crank out crap ware like this for as long as they can afford to. The world just loves more crap ware shoved down its throat.