June 15, 2006
Written by Ina Fried
Parallels, a start-up whose software enables Macs to run Microsoft Windows and the Mac OS at the same time, says it is ready with a final version of its product.
Apple Computer made headlines back in April when it said it would offer its own software–Boot Camp–for loading Windows onto Macs. However, Boot Camp permits people to run only one operating system at a time, meaning either Windows or the Mac OS can be in use, but not both at once.
Around the same time, Parallels started testing for its Parallels Desktop program, which uses virtualization technology to have Windows programs operate alongside Mac applications. The Windows programs open in a separate window within the Mac OS.
Unlike past software that allowed Windows programs to run on a Mac, Parallels Desktop does not need to emulate the hardware that’s inside a PC. That’s because Macs and PCs now use the same Intel-based chips. As a result, the speed of Parallels is far better than past efforts at bringing together the two operating systems, the software start-up said. In fact, Parallels says Windows programs can run nearly as fast through its virtualization as running natively on a Windows PC.
“The difference in performance between Parallels and Boot Camp is negligible,” said Parallels marketing manager Ben Rudolph. “Things move very, very fast.”