Virtualization Software

Virtualization Software allows you to “virtually” run any operating system on your computer. The two main choices on the Mac are VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop. These virtual operating system environments allow you to run Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 under Mac OS. Or, you can run other operating systems like Linux.

windows7The release of Microsoft’s Windows 7 brought new versions of both of the major virtualization programs for the Mac platform: VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop.

While both have offered relatively straightforward ways to run Windows and other PC operating systems on an Intel Mac with pretty good performance in earlier versions, Fusion offered higher-end features – 64-bit and multiprocessor support – while Parallels gave the user better integration with the Mac user interface.

While Parallels Desktop was the first virtualization software for Intel Macs, VMware claims that Fusion now has the most users.

With the new Fusion 3.0 and Parallels Desktop 5.0, each company has made an effort to move in on the other product’s strengths while improving the 3D performance that has limited the appeal of both products to gamers and other users needing strong 3D graphics capabilities.

While this article looks at VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop, users interested in virtualizing should also pay attention to VirtualBox;. While lacking some of the features of the VMware and Parallels products, VirtualBox has been quietly improving with each release and has one big advantage – it’s free.