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Mac virtualization software sales booming

post #1 of 48
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Sales of Mac virtualization software from market leaders VMware and Parallels have shot up more than 50 percent this year, outpacing the 41 percent growth in Mac hardware sales experienced by Apple in the most recent quarter, according to market research firm NPD.

An article over at Computerworld notes that Parallels has sold over 1 million of its Parallels Desktop offering since 2006, while VMware, which only recently launched its Fusion product, says it sold 250,000 copies in the first five months.

Both solutions fetch $80, and therefore VMWare's come-from-behind effort has landed the company in a "neck and neck" race with Parallels in terms of shipments and unit sales, according to NPD software analyst Michael Redmond. Based on his firm's analytical data, he believes the Mac virtualization software market will grow into a $15 million - $20 million business this year.

"Clearly, the performance gains of [Macs] moving to Intel processors are encouraging more users to experiment with virtualization," Redmond said.

Earlier this week, the two Mac virtualization software makers intensified their head-to-head bout with product announcements and buying incentives.

VMWare announced version 2.0 of Fusion, a free download for version 1.x owners -- $76 for new owners -- that delivers experimental support for up to four CPUs per virtual machine, improved gaming graphics via DirectX 9.0's Shader Model, and virtualization support for Mac OS X Server.

Parallels, hard at work on version 4.0 of its Desktop client, countered with two promotional deals on its existing version. The first offers a free $25 iTunes gift card with the purchase of Parallels Desktop 3.0. A second offers the software to students for $49.99 through the end of the month.

Unlike Apple's Boot Camp technology that comes built into Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, both Parallels Desktop and Fusion allow users to run Mac and Windows operating systems simultaneously, without the need for a restart.
post #2 of 48
I was a shareholder in VMW when I bought my new iMac. I downloaded the virtualization software but could not get it to work after numerous attempts.

Then I tried Parallel's, and it worked on the first try.

I sold my VMW shares and then the stock fell more than 50%. I got really lucky with that one.
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post #3 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe in miami View Post

I was a shareholder in VMW when I bought my new iMac. I downloaded the virtualization software but could not get it to work after numerous attempts.

Then I tried Parallel's, and it worked on the first try.

Interesting. I've tried both and found VMware Fusion to be much better.

I think it's a shame that articles mentioning Parallels and Fusion don't also mention VitualBox, a free open-source alternative. If I'd know about it 14 months ago that could have saved me $40.
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post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe in miami View Post

I was a shareholder in VMW when I bought my new iMac. I downloaded the virtualization software but could not get it to work after numerous attempts.

Then I tried Parallel's, and it worked on the first try.

I sold my VMW shares and then the stock fell more than 50%. I got really lucky with that one.

I second that. I had the same experience with vmw and parallels!
post #5 of 48
So does that mean more people are buying Macs to run Windows? It's my own opinion of course, but I strongly believe a lot of people get Macs for their cool effect and such, but either can't figure it out or are so used to Windows they just use that instead.
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post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderl View Post

I second that. I had the same experience with vmw and parallels!

Very odd. I went with Parallels in March of last year. Total disaster. Then I switched to VMware Fusion, which at the time was still Beta. To my pleasant surprise, VMware was far superior in stability in Beta than Parallels was as a "finished" product.

I'm running VMware Fusion 2.0 now, and couldn't be happier. And this is running mission critical apps running Windows XP Pro SP3 through a VPN tunnel. Color me happy.

Oh, and BTW. Don't ever call Parallels paid support line.... unless, of course, you wish to be entertained by some dude who sounds half asleep and speaking in a very heavy Russian accent, trying to fix your problem. He never did. I switched and never looked back.
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post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by polvadis View Post

So does that mean more people are buying Macs to run Windows? It's my own opinion of course, but I strongly believe a lot of people get Macs for their cool effect and such, but either can't figure it out or are so used to Windows they just use that instead.


Depends on what you mean by that. If they were running straight windows, I would imagine they would install bootcamp and Windows and boot straight into windows, and never even look at the MacOS. This seems to show that they are running both MacOS and Windows, switching between the two.
post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderl View Post

I second that. I had the same experience with vmw and parallels!

I've a Windows and Ubuntu virtual machines using VMware.

Windows is pretty much flawless, the Ubuntu vm can be a little flakey at times.

YMMV.
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

Very odd. I went with Parallels in March of last year. Total disaster. Then I switched to VMware Fusion, which at the time was still Beta. To my pleasant surprise, VMware was far superior in stability in Beta than Parallels was as a "finished" product.

I'm running VMware Fusion 2.0 now, and couldn't be happier. And this is running mission critical apps running Windows XP Pro SP3 through a VPN tunnel. Color me happy.

Oh, and BTW. Don't ever call Parallels paid support line.... unless, of course, you wish to be entertained by some dude who sounds half asleep and speaking in a very heavy Russian accent, trying to fix your problem. He never did. I switched and never looked back.

Agreement here, Parallels is OK but VWMare simply seems more solid to me and I also have both. BTW haven't checked recently, is that release 2.0 or beta 2.0 you are using? I tried beta when it first came out and crashed. I am looking forward to update to release version.
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post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I've a Windows and Ubuntu virtual machines using VMware.

Windows is pretty much flawless, the Ubuntu vm can be a little flakey at times.

YMMV.

I just ordered an OEM version of the Vista Business pack, this for use on VMWare. Do you, or anyone here, know if this was dumb (as in it will not run on VM) or am I ok. It should arrive tomorrow.
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post #11 of 48
I think neck and neck is about where I would put them. They both have strengths and weaknesses. Parallels has better local networking and state resuming. VMWare has better Bootcamp performance. VMWare's dual processor support means I can convert videos at 50fps+ in virtualdub.

Parallels is less stable for me and has worse USB support.

Minor things like a random window resize can cause Parallels to bluescreen but VMWare is much more solid.

VMWare also copies stuff better by dragging onto the window - very fast.

However, I can launch Parallels to a usable state in under 5 seconds. That is actually faster than Crossover launches apps.

I would say if you need to use Windows quickly, do something and close quickly, Parallels is better. If you need reliability and higher performance in Windows then go VMWare.

Vmware 2 may improve the state resuming and it has experimental support for 4 cores. If VMWare launch/save performance is greatly improved, Parallels will have lost it's only advantage IMO.
post #12 of 48
So then, nobody who's actually used VirtualBox?
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post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe in miami View Post

I was a shareholder in VMW when I bought my new iMac. I downloaded the virtualization software but could not get it to work after numerous attempts.

Then I tried Parallel's, and it worked on the first try.

I sold my VMW shares and then the stock fell more than 50%. I got really lucky with that one.

How long ago was that? I've used VMware exclusively for the past year and it's been rock-solid. I just installed another copy at a company experimenting with Macs and it is a fancy Win2k3 domain with Active Directory and VMWare/XP works flawless.

That particular workstation was a challenge because it was using an old Centronics parallel printer with a desktop app writing to LPT1:. Since there is no LPT ports on a mac (only USB), WMWare allows the creation of virtual "ports" including parallel ports. This hugely simplified it since we could create the virtual port and just execute a NET USE command to re-route the LPT1 stream to another network printer.

I know VMware had issues when it first came out but as of right now, I think it is a much more polished and corporate-level package than Parallels.
post #14 of 48
I used Parallels first, found it to be unstable and switched to VMWare. It has been very stable.
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I just ordered an OEM version of the Vista Business pack, this for use on VMWare. Do you, or anyone here, know if this was dumb (as in it will not run on VM) or am I ok. It should arrive tomorrow.

Don't know. I use XP.
post #16 of 48
I have owned & used both & in my opinion VMWare hands down is a much better solution.
Much more stable, better user interface etc...
No contest.
post #17 of 48
I've been going back and forth between Parallels and VMWare, but recently, I'm starting to settle with VMWare. The one thing that really got me was the better USB support. I can simply hook up any USB device and it works flawlessly on VMWare. Parallels had major problems with essential things like Garmin GPSs.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

So then, nobody who's actually used VirtualBox?

I use it and continue to do so on my alum iMac. I've used it since beta and maybe that is why. It hasn't been too long since it came out of beta. Btw, I upgraded the beta to the final release and haven't had any problems. Saved some time. Mostly, it's best to do a clean install than any upgrade route.
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by polvadis View Post

So does that mean more people are buying Macs to run Windows? It's my own opinion of course, but I strongly believe a lot of people get Macs for their cool effect and such, but either can't figure it out or are so used to Windows they just use that instead.

Actually, my wife is a Realtor, and her office's administrative website is optimized for IE 6+ (meaning, it doesn't work properly under anything BUT), so she has to use a virtualized copy of Windows on her iMac in order to access her work site(s). It sucks, and she wishes she could use Safari or Firefox, but ...

The only reason I will be using Fusion will be to run my PC-only games and access any work-related sites that require IE to function. I hate it, but sadly it's a fact of life for a few of us, until companies comply to HTML coding standards.
post #20 of 48
I tried Parallels about 2 yo because I had a Garmin GPS (no Mac support) and had Win2k installed in a VM and it worked with the USB flawlessly. I recently upgraded?? to XP for some other SW and it still works great. I tried VMWF during Beta and found it just ok! Not different enough to spend the $80. Parallels has been bullet proof for my needs.

I also have FreeBSD in a VM that works just great as well. In fact I set up my home server initialy in a VM while my hardware was still in use as my home server. I then moved the installation to the physical hardware after I had everything up and running in the VM.

Krreagan
post #21 of 48
Installing Windows on a Mac? That's crazy talk!
post #22 of 48
I'm running Vista Home Premium on Parallels and it works ok. About as well as you would expect Vista to work regardless of hardware.

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post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

An article over at Computerworld notes that Parallels has sold over 1 million of its Parallels Desktop offering since 2006, while VMware, which only recently launched its Fusion product, says it sold 250,000 copies in the first five months.

VirtualBox is FREE

http://virtualbox.org/
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

Installing Windows on a Mac? That's crazy talk!

Yup, as bad as Apple going Intel.
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by polvadis View Post

So does that mean more people are buying Macs to run Windows? It's my own opinion of course, but I strongly believe a lot of people get Macs for their cool effect and such, but either can't figure it out or are so used to Windows they just use that instead.

Not just for home users, but also in businesses. Instead of providing real support for Macs, the IT departments may just be telling Mac users to run Windows.

"Macs run Windows, and IT supports Windows, therefore IT supports Macs."

"Now we can call ourselves Mac supporters because we help Mac users run Windows."

Imagine some PC guy saying this during a job interview. And some stupid hiring manager may just go along with it.

Unfortunately, many Mac users don't see the long term effects because they are just happy to be able to run their Windows-only applications. Once corporate Mac users start running one application in Windows, they will want to run more applications in Windows so they can avoid switching back and forth. Pretty soon, Mac users in businesses will be accustomed to running everything in Windows. And IT will say "Since Macs can run Windows, who needs Mac OS?"
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by polvadis View Post

So does that mean more people are buying Macs to run Windows? It's my own opinion of course, but I strongly believe a lot of people get Macs for their cool effect and such, but either can't figure it out or are so used to Windows they just use that instead.

It does not mean such a thing at all. But if you actually work in a corporate environment sooner or later you WILL be faced with Windows software. Like it or not. But most S&P or FTSE500 companies have some form of homebrew software that in 999.99% of all case relies on Windows. And that is where VMW or Parallels kick in. You still have your Mac and can seamlessly change over to your WinTel software, even keep using your clipboard and all.

So IMHO it is actually th best of both worlds. At the end of the day I want the best computer doing the best job and using the best software. And that means a Mac with Windows running in -well- a Window

I personally like Aplle Computers first for their design, then for the virus free OSX, then for the ability of being able to run windows and then -and only then- their software.

All in all Mac, OSX and Windows - a match made in heaven
post #27 of 48
It appears I'm in the minority. I've been using Parallels for 2 years and have been very happy with it. I really haven't had problems with it at all in fact I use the USB port often with a Palm Pilot and never really had many problems. I haven't tried VM Ware but I really haven't had the need to either.

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post #28 of 48
Just updated to VMFusion 2.0. Very easy. Had tried Parallels in the past but VMFusion is much better in my opinion.
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by polvadis View Post

So does that mean more people are buying Macs to run Windows? It's my own opinion of course, but I strongly believe a lot of people get Macs for their cool effect and such, but either can't figure it out or are so used to Windows they just use that instead.

In my case, I bought a Mac because it was a Mac but being able to run Windows makes the Mac twice as useful for me. There is lots of software out there that isn't available for the Mac. And some software available for the Mac runs better in Windows.
post #30 of 48
There is no question that being able to run Windows instead of OS X or Windows on OS X has helped sell Macs by giving the consumer some peace of mind if they didn't like or couldn't use OS X because of a certain program that was Windows only, so I see the need for people to initially invest into Parallels, Fusion, or just use BootCamp, but I'd like to know the percentages of those who have found they don't need Windows at all, have decided they prefer Windows and those that use both. For those that use both I'd like to know what app types they find are better on Windows over Mac OS X.
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post #31 of 48
Fusion has a nice trick that I don't think Parallel has - if you have Windows installed in Boot Camp, you can use Fusion to run the Boot Camp partition.

Just for that, I use Fusion instead of Parallel.
post #32 of 48
Another thing I hope Apple will listen..please change the license agreement so people can run OSX in virtual machines. For developers, that's a big deal.

Testing is way easier in VM's - if you mess up the system, you can easily roll back to a previous snapshot instead of reinstalling the OS. And....Apple could probably sell more Mac Pro and XServes instead of a bunch of Mini's to the developers.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by freelander51 View Post

It does not mean such a thing at all. But if you actually work in a corporate environment sooner or later you WILL be faced with Windows software. Like it or not. But most S&P or FTSE500 companies have some form of homebrew software that in 999.99% of all case relies on Windows. And that is where VMW or Parallels kick in. You still have your Mac and can seamlessly change over to your WinTel software, even keep using your clipboard and all.

So IMHO it is actually th best of both worlds. At the end of the day I want the best computer doing the best job and using the best software. And that means a Mac with Windows running in -well- a Window

I personally like Aplle Computers first for their design, then for the virus free OSX, then for the ability of being able to run windows and then -and only then- their software.

All in all Mac, OSX and Windows - a match made in heaven

But I thought that after watching those Apple commercials, software companies and IT departments everywhere would start throwing out their PCs and making everything work on Mac OS. Apparently not.

To corporate IT departments, the "best of both worlds" is those vocal minority of "darn Mac users" get to have a computer with a shiny Apple logo, while running completely Windows as the IT department dictates. A lot of IT departments hate Macs and want to get rid of Macs, but they won't admit it directly. Running Windows on Macs benefits the IT department because they don't need to learn Mac OS. At the same time, IT gets to look good in front of Mac users by appearing to "support" Macs. They tell Mac users "we will happily assist you in running Windows applications on your Macs". But in the end, it's just a way for IT to wean Mac users away from Mac OS and encourage them to use Windows more and more. And those Mac users will just go along with it.

Mac users think they are screwing Bill Gates by purchasing a Mac. But if Mac users run Windows on their Macs, then who is really getting screwed? We can very well have a situation in which Apple's market share increases, but Mac OS support does not improve. With Mac users proclaiming how great it is to run Windows on Macs, won't third party developers pick up on that message? Is that what Mac users really want? Or are they too busy running Windows to notice?

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post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There is no question that being able to run Windows instead of OS X or Windows on OS X has helped sell Macs by giving the consumer some peace of mind if they didn't like or couldn't use OS X because of a certain program that was Windows only, so I see the need for people to initially invest into Parallels, Fusion, or just use BootCamp, but I'd like to know the percentages of those who have found they don't need Windows at all, have decided they prefer Windows and those that use both. For those that use both I'd like to know what app types they find are better on Windows over Mac OS X.

I see this comment if anyone found no need for Windows at all on the Macs...
Until recently I was a happy camper mac-only user (I'm a convert from PCs). Then I encountered a couple of things -
1. My company VPN server won't support Mac/Safari. It used to, but now I get a message that it is no more gonna. I used to VPN from a webpage, now I have to do this from Windows.
2. My payroll website (ADP) launches a .asp thingy when I choose to view my W-2's. I researched on Mirosoft, and it seems the .net framework is compiled and packaged only for Windows. Strangely enough, I wasn't able to open the W-2 even from IE/Windows on Fusion...what's the deal with that?!

Nevertheless...the point is, I won't be at ease without the Windows crutch around.
post #35 of 48
Has anyone used CrossOver? What has your experience been like?
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post #36 of 48
For apps that work, CrossOver is fine, and less taxing on the Mac side. Problem is, there are more apps that don't work than that do work.


My biggest wish list is a good sleep mode for a VM app that keeps the VM environment near or at 0% CPU usage when idle, but will spring back to life in 0.5 seconds when I need it to. Then I could just keep the app open in the background and go to it when I need it. I've tried that with both Parallels and VMWare but they both use up a decent chunk of CPU time even to a point I'll get annoyed and will have to suspend the VM.
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

Has anyone used CrossOver? What has your experience been like?

I've used IE6 with Flash in CrossOver to correctly access the realtor MLS, which requires ActiveX. The only drawback was that I could change the tool bars in IE and printing did not work correctly, though I had set this up for someone and didn't check the printing myself so I don't know if I could have found a suitable workaround.
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post #38 of 48
A tad off topic:

<Bill Gates and Seinfeld.....>
Bill: So, you are using Windows, righttttt?
Seinfeld: Oh yes, it works much faster on my Macbook Pro
Bill: Greaaaa.....whaaaaat?

This way, Seinfeld isn't a traitor as he's still using a Mac and he satisfies the Bill using Windows on it! Now you can have your cake and eat it too! hehehe


Anyway, back on topic: yahh, I've used Parallels since it came out and liked it since but not without it's problems.... I have found it not as stable as it should be and it still seems to have hiccups with USB devices. I still think it sucks how they made folks pay all over again to go to their 3.0 version but whatever. I'd probably go with VMWare if Parallels makes me pay again to go their next version. My friend uses VMWare now and likes it.
post #39 of 48
Hello. New to forum.

Maybe I am the only person here that is interested in loading Windows on a Mac machine with the intent to use only Windows. Why? Macs are really nice machines and I want the flexibility if I do decide to go 100% Mac in the future. But that will only be happening if the new Macbooks come with DDR3. There are great things about each OS and some infuriating things about each. I can see why virtualization is taking off.

I bet there are a lot of students that are interested, too. Not all universities and colleges (even highschools) have Mac systems, so this would be great for students. It's definately not just corporate.
post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cummje View Post

Hello. New to forum.

Maybe I am the only person here that is interested in loading Windows on a Mac machine with the intent to use only Windows. Why? Macs are really nice machines and I want the flexibility if I do decide to go 100% Mac in the future. But that will only be happening if the new Macbooks come with DDR3. There are great things about each OS and some infuriating things about each. I can see why virtualization is taking off.

I bet there are a lot of students that are interested, too. Not all universities and colleges (even highschools) have Mac systems, so this would be great for students. It's definately not just corporate.

Are you deciding on your os platform based on the type of RAM memory the hardware uses?

Really?
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