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Hands-on running WinXP on IntelMac WITHIN Mac OS X

by Bob Crabtree on 7 April 2006, 14:57

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WinXP running within OSX using ParallelsWinXP running within Mac OSX
using Parallels' Workstation 2.1 Beta

Things really are starting to hot up on the IntelMac front after the successful bandit competition to find a reliable way to dual-boot between Windows XP and Mac OS X. On Wednesday came Apple's official release of BootCamp Beta - a utility that does the same - along with news that Parallels is also offering a beta utility but one that lets IntelMac users run Windows, Linux and other OSs from WITHIN Apple's OS X operating system.

In Parallels own (rather strangled) words:

Parallels Workstation 2.1 Beta for Mac OS X is NOT simply a "dual-boot" solution; rather, it empowers users the ability to use Windows, Linux and any other operating system at the same time as Mac OS X, enabling users to enjoy the comfort of their Mac OS X desktop while still being able to use critical applications from other OSes.

We downloaded Parallels' solution (17.5MB) and tried it on a CPU that doesn't have built in virtualisation support and were surprised just how good the performance was, both for disk in/out and the CPU itself. We haven't yet run any benchmarks so can't qualify that impression but we'll try to do that soon.

On the downside, Workstation 2.1 Beta for Mac OS X doesn't use Windows' native video driver but, instead, Parallels' own - which, our stand-on-the-fence tester says, "sucks!". Despite that, though, he reckons that "Everything else seems to work".

Our next step will be to try out Parallels' app with a CPU that does support virtualisation and then to run a bunch of benchmarks, after which we'll report back.

Keep an eye on the front pages of HEXUS and HEXUS.lifestyle for updates - and don't forget to let us know your thoughts over in the HEXUS.community.


Parallels Workstation 2.1 Beta for Mac OS X

Boot Camp Beta home page

Boot Camp Beta Setup Guide (PDF file)

Boot Camp Beta FAQ

Colin's dual-boot compo

blanka and narf2006 win the prize

Windows on Mac Wiki

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