Mac Windows Virtualization - Parallels vs VmWare

Just another of the many review out there but this explain why I can not use the Vmware Fusion product.

Both have the same $79 price so which should you buy. I bought Parallels with the machine because of the hype and a couple of recommendations from friends but with all the problems I have been having I though it worth a 30 trial of VmWare Fusion.

This is my experience.


Installation was a problem because the CD contained a version that didn't work on Leopard. A download from the site fixed the problem.

Repeated crashes for various reasons documented in previous posts.

Ideally, I could work in the windows environment in full screen mode with the same keystrokes that I am used to in Windows. There is no way to do this in Parallels.

When in full screen mode, Parallels hides its menu bar and allows you to get it back by pressing the "ctrl-option" keys. This kind of "mode" switching makes it less likely to accidentally bring up the mac menu.

I wanted to play Virtual Skipper 5, a nice, graphic intensive game that allows me to continue sailing during he winter. The trial version of this game uses DirectX so initially it failed because my Windows Vista installation was not up to date. Once DirectX was upgraded it appeared to run correctly though in a small window that I couldn't full screen but having never played this game on a native windows machine I can't say if this is abnormal or not.

Vmware Fusion

Installation was perfect but I downloaded the trial copy from the web so we can't compare this with the difficult Parallels installation.

VmWare has not crashed on me but I haven't used it so much so this may be an unfair comparison.

VmWare has an option that allows me to ignore mac keystrokes. While very promising this didn't seem to work very well. Infact, when in full screen Vista, I tried ctrl-left to switch spaces and was moved to a mac space. However, the mac keystrokes were still disabled so I was not able to do anything. Fortunately, the mouse allowed me to select the other space and turn off this feature.

When in full screen mode, VmWare Fusion hides its menu bar and allows you to get it back by moving the mouse to the top of the screen. This is a little annoying when you are working in windows and accidentally get the mac menu. I prefer the Parallels solution.

The Virtual Skipper 5 test was not as successful despite the fact that VmWare Fusion boasts about support for DirectX. I still had to install the DirectX upgrade to Vista as expected but when the game started it complained that it would not run inside a virtual machine. Now presumably this is the games fault for doing this check and only doing it successfully in VmWare but I have to conclude that, for this game, Parallels was the better virtual machine.

There is a serious two click problem in VmWare Fusion. This is not a double click. It is hard to pin down the types of objects that require this. So, for example, browser links only require one click however icons on the desktop and menu options seem to require two. It appears as though the first click focuses on the object then the second actually selects it. This makes it impossible to use. I couldn't find any reference to the problem anywhere.


Compared to the two click problem with VmWare all the other issues are moot. This problem makes VmWare Fusion impossible to use.

So, despite the nasty crashes, Parallels remains the vm of choice for the mac.


Anonymous said...

Items on the desktop always require 2 clicks even on a pc retard.

Edward Sumerfield said...

Thank you for your kind comments Mr Anonymous. Please see later post for answer "http://esumerfield.blogspot.com/2008/01/vmware-fusion-pinpoint-compatibility.html".