Want to test Vista risk-free? Try virtualization


Parallels Workstation itself costs $49.99, though it can be downloaded for a free 15-day trial.

But why pay for Parallels when VMware comes for free? For one thing, Benjamin Rudolph, marketing manager for Parallels, claims his company's software runs much faster. "We think their product is a dump truck and ours is like a pickup truck," he said. "Ninety-nine out of a hundred times, we offer all that customers need."

Zippier performance was also the assessment of our sister publication InfoWorld in its August of Parallels Workstation.

Parallels' product suffers from some of the same disadvantages that VMware's does. There is no USB 2.0 support today. There may be driver issues. And unlike VMware, Parallels does not support 64-bit guests or hosts at all now, nor can it delegate more than one CPU to a guest or virtual machine. All of those features will be present in the next major update to Parallels, which is due in the first half of next year, Rudolph said.

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