Parallels 3.0 Thoughts

When Parallels announced that version 3.0 of their Desktop for Mac product, I was eager to hear what new features would be included. When I got an email offering me an additional discount to upgrade before June 6th ( $39.99 pre June 6th vs. $49.99 post June 6th ), I was torn. On the one hand, I am married to running Windows on my MacBook Pro. I develop day in and day out in .NET, so i need to run Visual Studio 2005. On the other hand, I haven’t been impressed with the more recent builds and with VMWare Fusion development proceeding at a rapid pace, I wasn’t sure I wanted to dump another chunk of money into Parallels.

In the end, I decided to give 3.0 a shot and see if Parallels can blow me away with their new features.

After running 3.0 for almost a month, my verdict is decidedly “meh”.

I don’t play 3D games, so that support didn’t matter to me at all. I could only hope that those enhancements would also fix the excessive graphic driver flushes that I talked about before. Doesn’t seem like it did.

The new SmartSelect functionality also didn’t appeal to me because i already did everything in OS X and had no desire to use more windows functionality.

I’m only interested in one thing: speed. Unfortunately, parallels is quickly losing me on that front by adding in all sorts of features that I won’t use.

In fact, overall, 3.0 seems slower and more buggy than the previous 2.5 builds. I’m not the only one who thinks so. A cursory glance at parallels forums are revels a lot of people having similar complaints.

I have to say, without a significantly upgraded build, I’m not going to pay for another Parallels release. In fact, as soon as VMWare fusion goes gold, I’m going to give it a serious look.

Get your act together Parallels.