Parallels Virtual Machine for Mac OS X Intel

The surprise earlier this week was the Boot Camp software to dual boot Intel Mac machines into Windows XP. I knew there were already hacks out there to do it, but didn’t expect official support. But Apple and Microsoft seem to be behind it. The problem with dual-boot (or treble-boot: my ThinkPad offers WinXP, Kubuntu {dapper drake rocks!} and CentOS) is that it seems you’re never in the OS you want to be. Need to switch to Kubuntu to print some labels in gLabels? Shut down Windows (3 minutes), boot Kubuntu (2 minutes), load the labels and print. The next thing you need to do? Probably in one of the other OSes. The right answer is to run all of the OSes as Virtual Machines – all running and idling, or able to start and stop as needed without losing the already booted OS. VMWare is one of several companies doing this.

Linux also has a real contender in Xen, a native virtualization engine.

At LinuxWorld Boston this week, I visited the very low-key Apple booth and heard that something similar is on its way for the Mac: Parallels for Mac OS X is in beta and will allow simultaneous VMs running Windows, Linux, BSD, Solaris or other OSes run on top of the host OS on the Intel Macs. That’s the ticket! Toggling between the OSes sounds like the right solution. Looking forward to seeing these products mature.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.