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Parallels' Parallels Workstation 2.1

Parallels Workstation 2.1 offers the first hypervisor-based virtualization solution for running multiple guest OSs on any Intel-based Mac, including all versions of Windows.

The new Intel-based Macs now can run Windows at full native speed through Apple's Boot Camp program, which allows a dual-boot configuration with Windows XP SP2. But Workstation 2.1 is the first true virtualization solution available, supporting multiple simultaneous guest OSs .

An astonishing amount of progress through a rapid public beta program points to great things ahead for a low per-seat price, but the current beta still has some rough edges, performance is still not close to the claimed "near-native" goal and enterprise-level features are mostly absent. Still, there is a lot of value in the fact that a single Intel-based Mac, equipped with a copy of Parallels Workstation, now can take the place of multiple computers, each running a different OS.

Parallels Workstation 2.1 for Mac OS X

$50 per seat

Parallels Workstation 2.1 for Mac OS X offers what Apple's own Boot Camp dual-boot software does not--it lets you run virtualized copies of any major desktop operating system (even OS/2) on top of Apple's Intel-based devices, without rebooting. Windows running natively under Apple's Boot Camp is faster and more compatible, but rebooting every time you want to switch OSs gets old fast. Beta 5 of Parallels' upstart in the virtualization world still has some rough edges and performance bumps, but the ability to do true hypervisor-based virtualization of desktop OSs with reasonable speed could make the new Intel-based Macs with Parallels Workstation the ultimate developer's machines. Indeed, virtualized Windows on Macs makes Apple's Intel computers more palatable to almost any IT shop that has users who need or want them, from programmers working on cross-platform development to graphic designers.

All-for-One Test Station

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