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Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac Discussion of Classic or running Windows, Linux and other OSes on the Mac.

Fusion vs Parallels


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Kevin_B

 
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I am looking for comments on the latest version of these programs, Fusion 3 and Parallels 5. I am about to buy my first iMac and need to run Windows XP Pro on it. I have 2 questions:

I know that the 2 programs leapfrog one another with each new release. But at this time which should I buy, Fusion 3 or Parallels 5?

I have an original Windows XP CD that was used when my custom built PC was assembled in 2004. The key has the letters OEM in it, and it has a Microsoft label on it (not Dell et al ). Will I be able to use it in the iMac, or will I have to get another copy of Win XP?

Thanks for your help.

Kevin
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james_b

 
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Parallels 5 has the edge over Fusion 3 according to a few reviews I read.

Depends what you want it for as well.

I used to run AutoCAD from Parallels 5 and it ran ok (ish), then tried windowz via bootcamp and it was much smoother.

Each option has their own advantages and disadvantages, just comes down how you want to use it.

Sorry can't help over the OS question, but I think it should work. You might have to wait for about 4 years for all the updates though.
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chscag

 
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The latest review in MacWorld gives Parallels 5 a very slight edge over Fusion 3 but since they both have trial versions you can test them for yourself.

Quote:
I have an original Windows XP CD that was used when my custom built PC was assembled in 2004. The key has the letters OEM in it, and it has a Microsoft label on it (not Dell et al ). Will I be able to use it in the iMac, or will I have to get another copy of Win XP?
According to the Microsoft EULA, you can not move an OEM version from its original machine to a new one. And that has not changed since Windows 98.
So you would have to buy a new copy of XP SP2 or 3. What I would recommend rather than purchasing XP is to get Windows 7 Home Premium instead. You might find that Win 7 is around the same price as XP Home.

Regards.
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I think I have seen some reports of people convincing Microsoft to transfer their OEM serial number for Win XP to one for a standard retail install. It would take a call to Microsoft to find out for sure though. I thought I was going to need to do that but I finally got Parallels to recognize the serial number for my Boot Camp partition.

I'd probably take a serious look at Win 7. Microsoft seems to be pushing hard to get to the point where they do not need to actively support XP. In fact, the "end of support" date for Service Pack 1 has come and gone Microsoft Windows: End of support for Windows 98, Windows Me, and Windows XP Service Pack 1

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SammySlim

 
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The Parallels vs. Fusion debate has gone back and forth for a long time. For a single-user install of Windows, they are very comparable - the "edge" reported in a couple of reviews is very minor and mostly involves slightly better video response when gaming under Parallels. For productivity applications, they are essentially indistinguishable.

For a programming environment, or if you plan to run operating systems in VMs other than Windows, Fusion is the way to go.

I agree with the posts above - definitely download the trial versions and run each - you are likely to find that your personal preferences are more important than any reviewer preferences. And don't forget, while doing free trials, also to try out Sun's free VirtualBox, which is not as flexible as the other two but works perfectly for Windows and has the advantage of being priced exactly right ...

Cheers
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