Mac virtualization software sales booming

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
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.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 47
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,822member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    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!
  • Reply 4 of 47
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 47
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,614moderator
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,822member
    So then, nobody who's actually used VirtualBox?
  • Reply 12 of 47
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,816member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    I used Parallels first, found it to be unstable and switched to VMWare. It has been very stable.
  • Reply 14 of 47
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 47
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 47
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 47
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 47
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 47
    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
  • Reply 20 of 47
    Installing Windows on a Mac? That's crazy talk!
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