Parallels Desktop 8 review: Parallels Desktop 8

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CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars Outstanding
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Installation and Setup: 10.0
  • Features and Support: 9.0
  • Interface: 8.0
  • Performance: 9.0

Average User Rating

3.5 stars 11 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Parallels Desktop 8 now has support for both Mountain Lion and Windows 8, with a ton of new tweaks that make it easier to work seamlessly between the two operating systems.

The Bad Working between the two systems takes time to get used to. If you're used to just one of the systems, you should expect a learning curve for working in both.

The Bottom Line Any Mac user who needs to use Windows or Linux software or needs to test software in different environments will appreciate Parallel Desktop's seamless integration, with plenty of little features that make the switching experience as smooth as possible.

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It's nothing new that Intel-powered Macs have been running Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux for some time using Apple's Boot Camp. Parallels Desktop was already one of the best utilities on the market for switching between operating systems, but in the latest release that's been updated for Mountain Lion and Windows 8, it's even better.

Parallels Desktop allows you to switch between operating systems organically without the need to reboot your Mac. Regardless of which system you're running at the time, when you open a file type that's for another operating system, Parallels automatically recognizes the file type and makes the switch for you. Using what the company calls Coherence Mode, regardless of whether a file was created in Windows or on a Mac, the file will open seamlessly full-screen, giving you the full experience of the operating system it was made in, with all the bells and whistles you would expect. This means you'll be able to run common business-related programs like Quicken, or the latest version of Office for Windows, all while having access to all your Mac files and apps. But with improved support for the Retina Display on new Macs, it means you will also have the ability to play Windows games using the full power of your Mac's video card in higher resolution than you would otherwise.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Parallels Desktop 8

Part Number: PDFM8L-BX1-EN
MSRP: $79.95 Low Price: $34.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Category Operating systems
    Tools, utilities, and drivers
  • Compatibility Mac