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Those kind of people like Windows on the front end as well because they understand all the crazy intricacies and complications of the computer system. They just look cool. You can run Windows on a Mac anyway, so why not get the best of both worlds? So why not both save money in the long run and have access to virtually any desktop software you want?

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Macs are actually cheaper in the long run Sure, you can buy a Windows PC for fewer up-front dollars. Macs are much easier to buy We tried shopping for a PC just to compare, and after about 15 minutes our eyes glazed over. Viruses While this has changed just a little as Apple has gained ground on Microsoft, Mac users are still living in relative bliss with the lack of viruses, spyware and malware.

When something goes wrong… Microsoft makes the software.

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Apple makes upgrading its OS simple, Microsoft still keeps it complicated Apple smoothly transitions its customers to its latest OS for free. Macbook Pro. Shop Now. Although turned off by default, this feature lets you undo all changes made to your virtual machine during a session: when you shut down the virtual machine, it will revert to its previous state. Note that you cannot use both Undo Disks and Snapshots on the same virtual machine.

Parallels 2. In Parallels 3, you can now also use a Vista Boot Camp partition, and the speed of mounting Boot Camp partitions is faster. The first time you run Parallels, it will search for any Boot Camp partitions and offer to create virtual machines from those Windows installations you can also do this manually if you wish.

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When this feature was first introduced in Parallels 2. Introduced with Parallels 2. Instead of having one window to represent your Windows machine—complete with background image and desktop icons—Coherence mode creates a separate OS X-like window for each Windows window, and hides the Windows desktop and desktop icons. Switching between OS X and Windows applications is as simple as switching between OS X applications—just click the window you wish to use.

You can, however, use Command-Tab or the Dock to switch to a specific Windows application, as each gets its own icon in the switcher and the Dock. Smart Select is a promising feature, at least in theory: when Parallels is running, files on either the Windows virtual machine or your Mac can be opened with either Windows or Mac applications. When you control-click a file in either OS, the Open With menu option will list both Mac and Windows programs that can open that file.

In practice, however, I found this feature confusing and not all that helpful. This folder is populated with a list of every program on your Mac, so you can open a Mac application directly from Windows.

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According to the manual, this feature can be disabled in the new Security Manager. In my testing, however, that was not the case—the huge list was still present regardless of my Security Manager settings. Parallels Explorer is a newly bundled application that lets you view and modify your Windows virtual machines without actually launching Parallels Desktop.

The newest BlackBerries and smart phones—no, not the iPhone as of yet—are also supported, and USB transfer speeds have been improved. When Parallels is running and you connect a USB device, a dialog box asks you to choose the OS that should control the device. I had no trouble getting Parallels to recognize and use a USB game controller during my game testing.

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Parallels Transporter is a tool introduced in version 2. All individual test results in seconds. Using Parallels on the Macs, the overall WorldBench test score is about two-thirds of what it is for the same machine booted natively into Windows via Boot Camp. Some portions of our testing, such as multitasking, show a big divide in performance. Other portions show only slight differences. In our Office test, for example, Parallels was only about 10 percent slower than in native mode. How do these benchmarks translate to real life? I performed a few additional tests to simulate some common tasks.

Running Microsoft Office on a 1. I was hard pressed to tell any difference between scrolling through a long Word document in Parallels and scrolling through that same document when booted into Windows via Boot Camp.

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As you might guess, the Boot Camp XP machine was the fastest, taking 36 seconds to apply the filter. Close behind it, though, was the Parallels XP machine, at 44 seconds—only eight seconds slower. So for now, if you are a Photoshop power user with an Intel Mac, you may be better off running it in Windows on your Mac, either via Parallels or Boot Camp.

As noted, you can run more than just Windows using Parallels.