Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Parallels 14

Bradley Chambers:

As I mentioned, I’ve been using VMware Fusion since the early days (version 2), so I have become accustomed to all of its strengths and weaknesses. The first thing I noticed was how fast everything felt inside of Parallels.


Version 14 brings many new features to Parallels. One of the ones I was most excited about is optimized file sizes for your Windows 8 and 10 virtual machines. My current VMware Fusion image is 44 GB. Using the file I imported from Fusion, Parallels is using 27 GB.

Christopher Spera:

There are a few key reasons to upgrade to Parallels 14 from an earlier version. The biggest is that version 13.x won’t run on macOS Mojave. A new macOS version will always require an update to key utilities like Parallels Desktop.


Perhaps the most noticeable feature is that Parallels Desktop 14 is 35% faster than previous versions; and it was immediately noticeable, too. This means that existing VM’s really move. Based on my limited experience running both a Windows 7 and Windows 10 VM, I can attest to the increased speed.


Licensing for a lot of modern software is shifting from a standalone license to a subscription model. Consumers have seen that in a number of popular titles, include apps like Office 365 and Creative Cloud. You pay a little each month, and you get software for a year. Parallels Desktop is doing this as well; and this year, their subscription model is taking more of a front seat as opposed to its standard license. The matrix below outlines which features come at which tier level. The Standard Edition is the only edition not on a subscription model.

Previously: Productivity Apps and Subscription Pricing, Turning Off Ads in Parallels, VMware Fusion 8.5 Announced, Free.

Update (2018-09-06): Peter N Lewis:

So I bought Parallels in March, I’ve used it a half a dozen times and if I want it to keep working after next month I have to pay another $70 to upgrade? I don’t think so.

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I like and use both VMware and Parallels, but it's worth mentioning that Parallels has better support for older hardware.

Parallels will run on just about anything running El Capitan or newer, which includes machines that already are ten years old. In contrast, VMware Fusion 10 dropped support for Macs that are older than 2011 except for the 6, 8, and 12 core 2010 Mac Pros. VMware Fusion also does not support the 2012 4 core Xeon W3565 Mac Pro. (Not a complaint; just pointing out a potential limitation for some users.)

FWIW, I have Parallels 14 running Windows very nicely on a Core 2 Duo-based 2010 MacBook Pro (macOS Sierra), whereas VMware 8 is the last version that runs on that system.

I haven't tried the last few versions of Parallels yet. The older version(s) had a nasty habit of leaving behind lots of shortcuts and other junk that made it very difficult to completely get rid of Parallels stuff after uninstalling the app. That left a very bad impression and I've not been interested to try it since. Could be the newer versions are awesomely better at this - no idea.

Looking at the licensing comparison for the latest version, the paid up front license imposes severe constraints by limiting max vram and cores that can be used inside virtual machines. I don't know whether the subscription license allows the existing software to continue working ("fallback license") or if the software stops working when you stop paying ("ransom license"). Ransom licenses (such as Tower v3 also uses now) are completely unacceptable imho. If you're going to rent your tools from someone, don't accept a license where the tool seller gets to come into your house and take the tool back regardless of how much you've already paid in the past.

I ditched Parallels years ago because I got sick of seeing advertisements for antivirus software (etc.) every time I used a program I paid for. I wonder if that's changed…

@Lanny I remember back when that was an annoyance. But I’ve been using Parallels every day for over two years and the only ads I’ve seen are when a new major version of Parallels comes out. And that only pops up once. I don’t remember, but there’s probably a “Don’t show me again” checkbox that I reflexively checked.

I tend to stick with Virtualbox because my needs are very light in this arena. I've even used Gnome Boxes for a a few light projects.

My question, what is the biggest benefit to Parallels or Fusion for Mac/Windows users over something simple like VirtualBox? Speed? Support? Compatibility? Other features?

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