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Parallels Beta Adds Boot Camp, Desktop 244

Verunks writes "Parallels has released a new beta of its virtualization product for Mac OS X. This new release includes one major new feature, something Parallels calls Coherency: "Shows Windows applications as if they were Mac ones. Try it and enjoy best of both worlds truly at the same time. No more switching between Windows to Mac OS." Check out this Screenshot" More interesting to me is the Boot Camp support so you can have a single partition to run IE7 in Parallels to test compatibility of a website but reboot to play video games that need a little more juice.
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Parallels Beta Adds Boot Camp, Desktop

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  • Re:Incidentally... (Score:5, Informative)

    by MustardMan ( 52102 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:21PM (#17089728)
    Wine is not the same thing as parallels - parallels is a virtualization environment that runs the full windows xp operating system concurrently with mac os x. Wine is a from-scratch implementation of the windows API. There is a wine-derivative package for mac (crossover from codeweavers), so people can pick-and-choose the best solution for them.
  • by MicrosoftRepresentit ( 1002310 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:26PM (#17089778)
    MacBooks and MacBookPro's do support right mouse buttons. Tap one finger on the touch pad for left click, tap two fingers for right click (and drag two fingers around the trackpad for scrolling, or zooming with Control pressed).
  • by waldoj ( 8229 ) <waldo&jaquith,org> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:30PM (#17089810) Homepage Journal
    I installed this as soon as it came out, as did many other Mac users. My Mac (mini DP Intel 1.67GHz, 2GB RAM) slowed to a crawl as soon as I launched it. I had to yank the power cable. I uninstalled it and all was well. This is a common experience []. If you're just going to try out a new version, cool, go for it, maybe it'll go well. But please understand that it's a beta -- don't plan on getting any work done with this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:39PM (#17089888)
    And how many of your "customers" will respond to your lack of a Mac version by pirating the Windows version instead, since you "obviously don't want their business"?
  • Re:Incidentally... (Score:5, Informative)

    by AchiIIe ( 974900 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:40PM (#17089894)
    This is a very early beta. Essentially the way they allow one to boot from the "Boot Camp" partition is by adding an extra field in the Boot.ini file and by creating a new hardware profile (mainly used on docked notebooks)

    The beta is far from complete, I just tried it on my boot camp partition and the mouse/keyboard were unresponsive. (Even after installing the given tools)

    Moreover each time you switch between parallels and boot camp Windows is deactivated Thus I have to go through the reactivation procedure each time !!! i've done this about three times already and I'm afraid it'll just stop allowing me to reactivate it (even though it's a legitimate license)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:51PM (#17089988)
    > I think he's referring to the fact that Intel Macs use EFI instead of BIOS,
    > which makes it tricky to load anything other than MacOS. []
  • Re:GPU access (Score:5, Informative)

    by Poltras ( 680608 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @01:00PM (#17090074) Homepage
    This is under development by major virtualization companies. VMWare supports it for windows as guest (in beta), and Parallels has said that it was under development for a future release. This is harder than it looks though, since you have to develop a full blown 3d driver for windows and Linux (used inside your virtualized environment) that will send the calls to the host operating systems, in the case of windows transferring DirectX calls to the OpenGL API. If you want to stay generic (to work on both hardware nvidia and ati), you have to limits the possibilities of the card, or else you'll have to make a driver for each type of card you want to support. That's the theory.
  • Re:Slowdowns? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @01:06PM (#17090136)
    Emulation is slow. E.g. a PowerPC executing x86 code by emulation will be much slower than a native x86. There are tricks, like profiling the application and translating, rather than emulating the frequently used bits, but it in general there will always be a hefty penalty. And modern performance critical code will use multimedia instructions which don't have 1:1 mappings to a different instruction set.

    But on an Intel Mac none of this is an issue, since the Windows app and a mac one run on exactly the same instruction set. Of course, the API the applications use will be completely different. Virtualisation is about running two kernels simultaneously on the same hardware. Now this is tricky, because OS kernels want to be in sole control of the hardware. The x86 isn't completely self virtualisable, i.e. you can't trap and emulate all the instructions you need to fool the kernel, so you go back to profiling and translating, at least for kernel mode code. Or you can trap many more instructions than you need to. But recent intel chips have a technology called VT which plugs the holes and allows self virtualisation.

    So you can run the guest kernel code at full speed, and trap and emulate just enough to keep the guest OS under control of the hypervisor.
  • by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <.gro.ognats. .ta. .todhsals.> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @01:11PM (#17090196) Homepage Journal
    It's driver dependent. Support for it is built right into OS X, the latest Boot Camp beta adds a trackpad driver so you can do it in Windows as well. As for Linux, I have no idea-- there are certainly no Apple-provided drivers.

  • Re:Incidentally... (Score:4, Informative)

    by friedmud ( 512466 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @01:21PM (#17090298)
    what do you mean?

    This is the default with Wine... and I believe it's also the way crossover office works. You have to go in and specify that you want a "desktop" to get one. Also... the window borders with wine are actually drawn using your window manager in linux... so you don't even get the ugly XP titlebar and stuff.

    So what "feature" is it that is missing from Wine that you see here?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @01:22PM (#17090320)
    I would agree with everyone here that says users prefer native apps whole heartedly. Quicken is the so-called "killer app" for me. I just blindly took the plunge and bought a MacBook Pro and quickly found out that a financial institution has to explicitly support Quicken Mac since that statement formats are apparently different for the Mac and Windows versions. Since not all of my financial institutions support Quicken Mac, I have to use Quicken Windows...under Parallels. Trust me, I absolutely hate it. And I am going to actually move my money to financial institutions that support Quicken Mac just so that I do not have to use Quicken Windows. I am far more loyal to my MBP than I ever will be to any investment house.
  • Control, not command (Score:3, Informative)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @02:00PM (#17090726)
    It's the control key, not the Apple key, that defines a click as a righ mouse button.

    And once you get use to it, you realize that chording is far better than hacking a second button onto a laptop - your hand is always resting by the key anyway, and it makes for a much larger mouse button target to hit with no confusion.
  • by ronanbear ( 924575 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @02:05PM (#17090776)
    Microsoft have prevented all but the most expensive versions of Vista (Ultimate) from running within a virtual machine.

    They seem quite concerned about virtualisation but are going for the high taxation approach to keeping it from becoming significant.

    That could be Parallels biggest problem over the next few years. A $399 Windows license + $80 + extra RAM (recommended) for Parallels is a lot for someone who doesn't absolutely need it. Might be cheaper to buy a separate Windows desktop/laptop if you need Windows that badly.

    It's still a great product but it will be a much smaller niche at those prices. Using Bootcamp you just buy the cheapest Vista license if you can get away with it.
  • by cnettel ( 836611 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @02:05PM (#17090782)
    Native hardware drivers available doesn't mean it's a piece of cake to get it working in virtualization. It might be if you, say, was ready to give up the iSight completely in OS X, and only expose it to Parallels (then you could "simply" forward the specific hardware access, instead of providing virtualized hardware), but to get it working properly, where any app, no matter what OS it's running on, can access any piece of hardware, you need much more tinkering with the hardware on the guest and/or host side than just proper native drivers for that piece of hardware in the two environments.
  • Re:updates (Score:3, Informative)

    by wavedeform ( 561378 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @02:08PM (#17090810)
    Well, that can be said about pretty much any software. New OS releases (and new hardware releases) have a fairly good chance of breaking some piece of software you might have. Apple is one of the worst offenders, actually. Moving from a PowerBook to a MacBook Pro caused me to need two paid upgrades to Apple software, one if which I bought (Logic Pro @ $50), and one of which I didn't (Apple Remote Desktop @ $300).
  • by Nothinman ( 22765 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @04:15PM (#17091952)
    IIRC the only version with the "don't run this in a VM" clause was Home Basic, all of the higher versions can run in a VM perfectly legally. And it's purely a licensing restriction, Vista Home Basic will still install in the VM just as well as the other versions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:22PM (#17093448)
    Apple doesn't sell a portable (they aren't laptops) with two trackpad buttons because they suck. I'm on my sixth Apple portable (PB 5300cs, Duo 230, PB 520 w/PPC, PB G3 Wallstreet, iBook G4, and MacBook) and I've found the single button to work great on every one. Only the last three even supported trackpad click and only the MacBook supports two-finger click out-of-the-box, but I STILL wouldn't want two buttons. And yes, I've used PC laptops with two buttons and its a lousy solution.
  • by JWW ( 79176 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:38PM (#17093602)
    Check out Oxygen, its a cross platform XML editor. []
  • by 2ms ( 232331 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:05PM (#17093808)
    What I want to know is whether or not this thing is slick enough to permit, for example, an entire engineering shop to switch to a PC only CAD software without ditching all their Macs. I know an engineering company that is all Mac right now but the development of Mac CAD software lags and the emerged industry standards (Autocad, Pro/E, etc) are all PC only. It would be incredibly useful for many small companies, I imagine, to be able to stick with the safe, secure, Apple OS and other Apple applications that they have standardized upon,despite also needing to run PC-only industry software in order to be compatible with the outside world. This would be a matter of how much performance is available to the PC software while working in Parallels.
  • Even better than Oxygen is nxml-mode for emacs, written by James Clark (of expat fame). []
  • Re:Incidentally... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 04, 2006 @02:42AM (#17096210)
    Essentially what Parallels does in Coherency mode is creates a borderless OS X window with the Parallels desktop in it, then hide any visible desktop pixels. All the windows are on the same layer, so you can't have Notepad under Text Edit under Safari under IE, for instance. Clicking inside one window in Parallels brings every Windows application to the foreground. It's just one window as far as OS X is concerned.
  • Another difference (Score:2, Informative)

    by brokeninside ( 34168 ) on Monday December 04, 2006 @04:06PM (#17103488)
    OS/2 v3 came in two flavors. The full pack had a blue spine and contained the Win-OS2 runtime than ran 16 bit Windows applications somewhat seemlessly. The version with a red spine called ``OS/2 For Windows'' (truly a most horrible name) came without the 16 bin Win-OS2 runtime and could not run Windows applications unless installed on a computer that already had Windows 3.1 or 3.1.1 installed. The salient point, however, was that because IBM was either shipping the runtime with OS/2 or marketing the runtime-less version as an add on to Windows, all development shops could depend on OS2 being able to run 16 bit Windows apps.

    This strategy was given up in later versions. Warp Connect and OS/2 v4 both shipped only in the full pack flavor. But by this time, Windows 95 was also out and most people were only interested in 32 bit Windows applications which wouldn't run on any flavor of OS/2.

    In either case, the problem with attracting developers was most likely much larger a function of the lack of click and drool development tools. IBM's Visual Age ran like a cow compared to Microsoft's Visual Studio and I don't think any other vendor was really in the visual space at the time. (This was the bad old days of Borland's 5.x compiler that sucked canal water for building GUI apps.) Then the nail in the coffin (developer-wise) were the changes to the OS/2 v4 APIs where some API calls that were somewhat common in v2 and v3 would either trigger kill the synchronos input queue (no more keyboard or mouse) or even trigger a seg fault in the kernel. IMO, IBM ought to have shipped the EMX version of GCC with every version of OS/2. If they had done that and supported XFree86 for OS/2, they might have had a chance. On the other hand, though, disk space wasn't nearly as cheap back then. But if they had done that, OS/2 would have gotten the attention of quite a few *nix programmers.

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".