Fusion vs. Parallels

kmaute

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 5, 2008
301
2
USA
What's the verdict these days if I need to virtualize Windows? Are these titles safe to buy? I know Parallels tends to upgrade in the fall with a short window for purchase before having to buy again.

I have a Parallels 8 license which complicates the issue as well. I don't want to upgrade to 9 a couple weeks before 10 is out. Thanks.
 

irnchriz

macrumors 65816
May 2, 2005
1,034
2
Scotland
What's the verdict these days if I need to virtualize Windows? Are these titles safe to buy? I know Parallels tends to upgrade in the fall with a short window for purchase before having to buy again.

I have a Parallels 8 license which complicates the issue as well. I don't want to upgrade to 9 a couple weeks before 10 is out. Thanks.
I have switched back and forth between both but will be sticking with VMware fusion. parallels was just a bit too clunky plus the push to upgrade all of the time was a pita.
 

Duff-Man

macrumors 68030
Dec 26, 2002
2,976
2
Albuquerque, NM
I have a Parallels 8 license which complicates the issue as well. I don't want to upgrade to 9 a couple weeks before 10 is out. Thanks.
Duff-Man says...there was an email sent out from Parallels earlier today (at least I got it) indicating that v8 users would need to upgrade to v9 for compatibility with Yosemite, and that upgrading to v9 would entitle you to the next version free of charge....oh yeah!
 

kmaute

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 5, 2008
301
2
USA
Duff-Man says...there was an email sent out from Parallels earlier today (at least I got it) indicating that v8 users would need to upgrade to v9 for compatibility with Yosemite, and that upgrading to v9 would entitle you to the next version free of charge....oh yeah!
Would you be so good to post a screenshot of that email? I'd really appreciate it.

Regards.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,034
2,717
I have a Parallels 8 license which complicates the issue as well. I don't want to upgrade to 9 a couple weeks before 10 is out. Thanks.
There's usually an offer of a free upgrade if you buy shortly before an upgrade.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with Parallels - the "forced upgrades" (often required when you upgrade OS X) are a pain, but to put in in perspective I think I've needed 3 ~$40 upgrades since 2006. Kudos to the companies that do provide free upgrades, but I can forgive companies for wanting an income stream when Apple insists on pushing out "free" (paid for by hardware sales) major OS X upgrades every year.
 

Cythth

macrumors regular
Feb 24, 2013
106
0
Lake Jackson, TX
I tried both and ultimately stuck with VMWare Fusion. I'm running W8.1 Pro and Debian with it. I guess it really comes down to what you're using it for. I can't verify this, but from what I've read, Parallels might be better if you're running graphic intensive apps in your VM. But, I think VMWare is cleaner. Take that with a grain of salt....
 

Alrescha

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2008
2,157
315
I have found them both functional; I generally prefer VMware for its flexibility of OS support and configuration.

I received a copy of Parallels with a machine and decided to try it, and it works equally well for my limited use. My only complaint is that I do not seem to have a way to tell Parallels "this USB device always gets attached to this virtual machine" the way I can with VMware.

A.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
30,366
Boston
What's the verdict these days.
There is no verdict, you pick the one that best suits your needs.

I like VMWare because its solid, stable, and I its tech support is top notch. Parallels, provides faster updates, and has faster performance but may be a bit buggier.

Both offer trials so try both and pick the one that you want.
 

MacBH928

macrumors 68040
May 17, 2008
3,371
1,119
I got Parallels a couple of years ago to run Windows in the few times that I need it or sometimes to play PC games from 14 years ago.

My advice is stay away from it. why? Because of the upgrades. I do not wan tot keep paying $50 each year just to have a functioning software. I do not want you super new extra features. Can you imagine if Microsoft would FORCE people to upgrade their 2 year old Office or its not going to work?

I will upgrade to Yosemite, DELETE Parallels since the company is going to purposely stop it from working, and probably pickup VM ware.

I am not paying $50 in upgrades each year. If you keep your computer for 4 years, thats like $200 in upgrades . Multiple times the price of the software
 

cooa99

macrumors regular
Sep 30, 2011
120
2
Give oracle virtualbox a try; its free!

I use both virtualbox and vmware.

My only gripe with vmware is that it since Lion & Mountain Lion, the VM crashes on macmini running as a headless server ....( unless some knows what ia causing my issues!)

I never tried parallels because I 'blindly' believe vmware is the best out there.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
I will upgrade to Yosemite, DELETE Parallels since the company is going to purposely stop it from working, and probably pickup VM ware.
Parallels 8 worked fine in the first couple of Yosemite seeds. Apple stopped it from working (purposely? probably not). The problem is always changes to the kernel OS. Programs like Parallels need to be upgraded with each new OS because they hook into the system at the lowest levels. I know that VirtualBox, which I use for Linux VMs, suffers the same way with OS revisions and I expect Fusion does the same although I've no personal experience.

I am not paying $50 in upgrades each year. If you keep your computer for 4 years, thats like $200 in upgrades . Multiple times the price of the software
You only have to do it every two years (if that matters to you) and if you time it right only buy one $50 upgrade. Each version runs fine with two consecutive OSes. For instance version 9 worked with Mavericks when it came out and will work with Yosemite. Version 8 worked with Mountain Lion when it came out and worked with Mavericks. Version 7 worked with Lion and Mountain Lion.

So if you buy an new Mac now (and rely on the free upgrade to version 10) you would need to buy an upgrade to version 12 when OS X 10.12 comes out in 2016. When you sell the computer in 4 years it would still be running version 12 in 2018. Only one upgrade needed for 4 years of use.

As far as I'm concerned there are reasons to prefer VMWare. They have better support and friendlier licensing terms (you can install it on all your computers while Parallels is per computer). That costs me much more than the additional upgrades! But I started with Version 1 and am unlikely to switch.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
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Oregon
My copy of VMware Fusion v4 still works fine in Mavericks.

A.
They don't issue (possibly free) updates with each new OS? A quick search brought up "Directly from VMware's web site it states the latest Host OS that officially supports running VMware Fusion 4.1 is Mac OS X 10.7.1 and as a Guest OS under VMware Fusion 4.1 is Mac OS X 10.7.x. Additionally at the current time the latest release of VMware Fusion 5 (5.0.2) does not officially support OS X 10.9 Mavericks as either a Host OS or Guest OS. At the present time OS X 10.9 Mavericks is officially supported only with VMware Fusion 6 as a Host OS or Guest OS." And I also saw that Fusion version 6 needs a currently in beta update to run with Yosemite.
 

Alrescha

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2008
2,157
315
They don't issue (possibly free) updates with each new OS? A quick search brought up "Directly from VMware's web site it states the latest Host OS that officially supports running VMware Fusion 4.1 is Mac OS X 10.7.1 and as a Guest OS under VMware Fusion 4.1 is Mac OS X 10.7.x. Additionally at the current time the latest release of VMware Fusion 5 (5.0.2) does not officially support OS X 10.9 Mavericks as either a Host OS or Guest OS. At the present time OS X 10.9 Mavericks is officially supported only with VMware Fusion 6 as a Host OS or Guest OS." And I also saw that Fusion version 6 needs a currently in beta update to run with Yosemite.
All true, but I do not see the relevance. You stated that "Programs like Parallels need to be upgraded with each new OS because they hook into the system at the lowest levels" as (apparently) a justification of Parallels forcing people to buy new versions with each new OS. While I agree with your premise - these programs do have unique requirements, I do not agree with your conclusion that they must necessarily be updated with each OS - that is dependent on what changed in the OS revision. My working copy of an "unsupported" version of Fusion is proof of that. I think the accusation being made is that the Parallels people take steps to ensure that old versions do not work.

A.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
I think the accusation being made is that the Parallels people take steps to ensure that old versions do not work.
That's precisely what I disagree with. It is easy to write a program that looks at the OS version number and stops working on versions that are too new. But Parallels doesn't do that. Indeed, Parallels 8 worked with Yosemite in the first two or three seeds and then stopped working because of something Apple did.

It is an almost universal practice to only support current software, but Parallels doesn't need to come out with a new version each year and could just have free updates for a while. Frankly, there is mostly no difference between versions. Even though they always claim massive performance improvements, if those were true a virtual machine with Parallels 9 would be running much faster than "native". :)

When I bought Parallels 1 I paid extra for a year of updates (which got me version 2). I expect they originally were going to go with the purchase + support fees model for monetization but then decided to just charge for every upgrade. But its always been easy to skip every other release.
 

Alrescha

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2008
2,157
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But its always been easy to skip every other release.
OK, I see that relevance of that. Perhaps I was oversimplifying - to me it read like this:

MacBH928: You have to buy Parallels every year - boo!
Talmy: Yes, because reasons.
Me: My old Fusion works fine.
Talmy: But they say stuff on their web site.
Me: So?

A.
 

campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,415
932
I've stuck with Parallels v.8 for now as I'm only using Windows 8 in a VM. I'm testing Yosemite but found it quicker to create a partition than install it into a VM for the one machine we have P9 installed on.

FWIW, I stopped calling iterations of Parallels an "upgrade" at version 4 - it's more like "nagware-pushed-subscriptionware".

I'm considering moving to VMWare when the next iterations come out. I've also considered a cheap Windows box, to be purchased around Black Friday, but VMs are just so much easier to deal with. Leaning toward VMWare and ditching Parallels in the near future...

----------

MacBH928: You got suckered into buying Parallels every year - boo!
What you really wanted to write... :)
 

twoehr

macrumors member
Jul 3, 2013
93
8
East Coast US
I second the suggestion to take a look at Oracle Virtualbox. I used VMware Fusion up until v4 stopped working well with Mavericks. I can't say Virtualbox is feature for feature comparable to Fusion, or Parallels, but it does all I need and doesn't perform any worse as far as I can tell.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
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Boston
Unless things changed, I found Virtual Box to be noticeably slower then Parallels and VMWare - A definite lag when interacting with the environment. To be fair it was a couple of years ago, and things may have improved.
 

MacBH928

macrumors 68040
May 17, 2008
3,371
1,119
Parallels 8 worked fine in the first couple of Yosemite seeds. Apple stopped it from working (purposely? probably not). The problem is always changes to the kernel OS. Programs like Parallels need to be upgraded with each new OS because they hook into the system at the lowest levels. I know that VirtualBox, which I use for Linux VMs, suffers the same way with OS revisions and I expect Fusion does the same although I've no personal experience.
Parallels sent me an E-mail saying I MUST pay for an upgrade. If Parallels has to upgrade yearly maybe they can do a $10-20(max) yearly upgrade for existing users. But I am not going to pay $60 yearly just to run Windows for the few times I need it. Lets not forget that the $60 is not including the money I have to pay Microsoft to use Windows.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
Parallels sent me an E-mail saying I MUST pay for an upgrade. If Parallels has to upgrade yearly maybe they can do a $10-20(max) yearly upgrade for existing users. But I am not going to pay $60 yearly just to run Windows for the few times I need it. Lets not forget that the $60 is not including the money I have to pay Microsoft to use Windows.
Yes, but you don't have to pay yearly. Each version of Parallels works on the current OS X and the next one. So you only have to buy every other year.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
You know you just jinxed us, don't you...? :rolleyes:
Imagine the outrage if someone bought a new copy of Parallels today only to have it fail to work in two months time when Yosemite comes out. That's why each Parallels version works over two OS X versions. That's not about to change, whether or not I reveal the "secret". :)
 

campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,415
932
Imagine the outrage if someone bought a new copy of Parallels today only to have it fail to work in two months time when Yosemite comes out. That's why each Parallels version works over two OS X versions. That's not about to change, whether or not I reveal the "secret". :)
Heck, I know that, I was just being snarky! What's of interest to me relative to Parallels is that I haven't seen the sales pushing the new version of Parallels Desktop that I've been accustomed to seeing this time each year. See the sale, the new version and "great" upgrade pricing is soon to follow.
_________________________
Current PD8 user.