Coming Out: Parallels Desktop 7
I’ve been beta testing Parallels Desktop 7 since May and I am happy to give it the ultimate Apple praise, “It Just Works”.
Parallels Desktop 7 continues the evolution of desktop virtualization into a mainstream Macintosh product for business users that need access to Office Suite and other Windows programs. The main improvements over Parallels Desktop 6 can be summed up in 3 words: stability, performance and convenience.
Placing a product like Parallels between two evolving OS’s from two different vendors is a daunting task asking for heartache. On my MacBook Pro Parallels Desktop 7 beta was put through an OS upgrade from Snow Leopard (64-bit) to Lion (dual core 64-bit), miscellaneous Apple OS updates and 75 Windows 7 Pro 64-bit OS updates. What I experienced was a stable platform through the flurry of changes. At times my system did slow down and need a reboot to reset system resources, but it did not crash. More to my amazement, bringing my MacBook Pro out of standby mode over morning coffee no longer led me to reboot. The system resources seem stable and the performance steady.
The overall system performance of my Mac/Windows environment has visually improved for a better user experience. Is some of this performance improvement due to Windows 7 and Apple Lion OS improvements? Sure. But at each stage of my Parallels Desktop 7 beta testing I could see a visible decline in the pesky busy icon of both OSs. My virtual machine Windows 7 Pro 64-bit launches and shutdowns significantly faster. Microsoft Outlook 2010, a brute of a Windows application for system resources, actually starts up in a reasonable time. Add in USB and mouse response improvements you can see toggling between Mac and Windows applications and resources while in coherency mode.
My last bit of praise for the Parallels team is for the little things that are convenient and nice to have. The mapping of system resources is becoming more automatic. Printing from Windows applications no longer requires you to allocate the printer to the Windows OS first. Instead Parallels launches a Parallels print job to the Mac and prints. It just works.