Top critical review
High expectations low performance
on February 8, 2013
Based on the reviews I thought I have just found what I needed - having switched from a windows platform to Apple's Mac OS, I quickly realized that the productivity apps available for Mac are dismal, and no match to Office and finance management products such as Quicken. In Parallel I saw the solution to enjoy both worlds. Unfortunately my experience was very different from the multiple positive ones described above, so I thought I would share it to save some others from following the painful path I took.
If you don't want to read the long version here is my short recomendation: I just bought Office 365 license (1 year, 5 installations MAC AND/OR PC !). I kept Parallel (because it is there) to run Quicken and TaxAct, nothing more. I now run all my office stuff smoothly, on dual monitors set up, home network, and when needed I use parallel for the financial apps, and close Parallel as soon as I'm done.
Here is the long version of my experience:
I was pretty excited to learn about the virtual machine that will allow me to run Windows on my Mac, however having installed it (with Windows 8 and office on it) I was very disappointed. My machine is a MArch 2012 MacBook Pro, 2.2 GHz intel Core i7 processor, with 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 memory , OS X 10.8.2 (12C60) operating system, and a 500 GB HD.
I also use an additional monitor in dual monitor settings. It insalled smoothly, and I initially tried loading my win system with the supplied interface on my network drive. Since there is no option to select the desired files and programs from the source machine, I was forced to transfer the whole disk, 130 GB. This was a very messy process, that took more than a day, with numerous freezes and errors, and when it finished the programs never ran smooth and caused my machine to hang often, with no recourse.
Calling Parallel support provided no real help - uninstall and repeat the installation. Clearly the online help person had no techinical qualification, could not analyze my case and (try to) diagnose the issue. Rather they just read from a script.
With no other option I did uninstall, but this time I did not transfer any files from Windows. Instead I installed win 8 directly, and an office 2007 licensed copy I had. The installation was smoother, but the office update process took a very long time, numerous restarts, and endless repeats of already installed updates (might be an MS office issue).
Finally I copied a few worksheets and documents to the Parallel windows vm and started running them. I also installed and ran Quicken. While at first I was glad to see it worked smoothly in a very nice interface, it soon became apparent that if left running (or idle) it will cause the Mac to become unstable, and eventually casue the machine to hang. I tried both coherence and windows mode - had the same issues regardless.
I tried to configure the VM it based on the knowledge base on Parallel's website, but it is not updated with the current verion, and many of the article were not applicable to my system (number of processors, virtual memory size etc. - were not open for changes in my system).
Luckily, MS just came out with the new Office 365, which I purchased and installed on my Mac, and now I can finally run office in a reasonable manner as I do any other app on the Mac. I kept Parallel but use it only to run Quicken, TaxAct, and make certain to close it when not running.
In summation: this was a major disappointment that cost me greatly in time and frustration, much more than the nominal fee I paid for this product. Don't doubt that many people got it to work properly but it shouldn't be so complicated and full of dead end bugs for a shelve product of this type.