My installed copy of Parallels Desktop for the Mac is so old (version 3.0) that it doesn’t even run in Snow Leopard! Upgrading to the current version 6.0 can be done for $49.99. I consider that quite reasonable for a complex piece of software that is 3 generations newer than my installed version. And, yet, I have not been interested in upgrading – until now.
Parallels Desktop for Mac lets you run Microsoft Windows, Linux, and other non-Mac OS X operating system on your Mac at the same time OS X is running. This means for example, that you could run your Windows-only accounting package on your Mac without rebooting and losing access to your Mac software. It also means that you don’t need to buy a second computer just to run Windows and, perhaps, a small number of your remaining Windows-only software.
This notion of running Windows or Linux alongside Mac OS X was quite a feat way back in 2006 when I wrote Windows for Intel Macs for O’Reilly. However, as Windows PCs, and especially Windows netbooks, dropped to under $400, the appeal of running Windows in a virtual machine dimished for many people (including me).
However, the appearance of the free Parallels Mobile for the iPad has rekindled my interest in running Windows in a Virtual Machine in my Mac if it means I could also easily run Windows apps remotely on my iPad.
Parallels Mobile 2.1.267 (iTunes App Store)
I’m going to give this a bit more thought. I suspect I should replace my Mac with a newer faster model (with a lot more RAM) before doing so, however.