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on November 30, 2012
I got this along with Windows 8 Professional System Builder DVD 64-Bit, for a class that I will be taking next term. It was easy to install, and at the end of installing it, it gave me the choice of installing Windows or waiting. There are instruction if you choose to wait on installing Windows. You can stand an earlier OS, but Windows 8 was the one I got at. It is fairly easy to go between the Mac and Windows. The only difficulty so far is getting use to dealing with Windows again, it has been a while for me plus getting use to Windows 8 which is different than Vista.

There is a couple of ways you can have it set up, but they are all easily switch able between Windows and Mac. I have it set up so everything stayed together. You can for the most part keep Windows in a window of it's own or you can have it in something called "Coherence", which has the windows version of the dock on the bottom. But it is easy to go between the windows and mac.

If you have a Mac, but need something that runs Windows, but don't want to buy a new computer or don't need a whole new computer, this is a nice substitute.
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on January 12, 2013
I wanted to leave the PC platform for Mac, I didn't want to learn another half-baked operating system (Windows 8). So I purchased a Mac Mini (the cheapest Mac). I wanted to continue to run Windows programs, so purchased Parallels 8.

I can't say enough positive things about this program! It took all the info from my PC over our router (I did not have to purchase any sort of computer-to-computer cord; Parallels 8 presented me with the opportunity to transfer wirelessly, which I did). I can now either run my Windows programs separately on my Mac Mini, or view the entire Windows desktop EXACTLY as it formerly appeared!

The screen which comes up on my Mac Mini looks EXACTLY like my old Windows desktop! I was able to print without problem just by plugging in my old Windows printer to my Mac Mini; I did NOT have to purchase a Mac printer!!!

The only issue I had is while it was downloading from my old PC, the amount of time left for the transfer kept changing from an hour and six minutes to 36 minutes, for example, but have patience, Parallels 8 was indeed working to transfer my system and files, and the complete transfer did eventually happen (give yourself a couple hours for the transfer)! My guess is the router may have had some speed issues, and Parallels 8 duly reported that to me.

Interestingly, my Windows programs seem to take a second or two longer to open, but once the program is opened it works FASTER than in Windows! So don't make the assumption that this program will result in a slower pace.

You also do NOT have to repurchase Windows if you have it on your PC. I actually separately purchased a new version of Windows 7 (I don't want to go to Windows 8), thinking that it was required, but it is not required if Windows is on your computer, and you directly migrate from your computer. Also, the old Windows computer was left intact and useable.

One other thing for people migrating from Windows to Mac to keep in mind is that many of the programs you may be familiar with, such as Mozilla Firefox, have Mac versions that look and function almost the same on the Mac. So the "learning curve" really isn't as difficult as one might imagine. For example, one isn't locked into using the Safari browser, even if one doesn't choose to run Parallels 8. Just download the Mac version of Firefox!

Other than the very, very minor "time it will take to complete migration" issue mentioned above, the program works absolutely great; highly recommended. The discounted $55 or so price is also very fair in my opinion -- go for it! ---
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on August 7, 2017
It works, what else can I say. Well, I wanted to give some more life in my Mac that Apple has abandoned the operating system. Many programs can no longer be loaded on to it as a lot of software is now being produced for the newer O.S. computers. I have Lion O.S. and this allows me to at least load Windows 8 and run some Windows programs as well as some of my old Mac programs.
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on January 24, 2014
I have one program that is only for windows that I need all the time. This kept me buying Sony laptops for 20 years. I have to say, Sony has gone so far down hill it's become a travesty. Really bad quality machine, but worse is trying to get support and things fixed if you have to send it back.
When i heard about Parallels, i made the leapt to a MacAir. I bought this software to install, instead of using the way you can designate part of your hard drive to windows that comes with the laptop. For that, you have to turn one off in order to use the other.
But with Parallels you can keep both Mac and Windows open at the same time, and move fluidly from one to the other -(you just opt to "enter coherence" after turning on the machine). Not being familiar with Mac, it was tricky for me to instal it, but calling Parallels 1-800 number will give you all the support you need until its running perfectly. They are great, and they stay with you. PS - You do have to put your own Windows program on- along with the Parallels - but you can buy it, or just download it for free
Goodbye Sony. You don't get to have me anymore!
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on May 22, 2014
Works well once installed so you can use Windows on your Mac computer with little effort. I consider myself fairly knowledgable with computers however the installation was very confusing and not very well documented. I suppose if everything went as they would expect it to you should be able to just stick the disk in and let it do its thing..unfortunately this did not work for me. It screwed up my FAT table and thus not only could I not get Windows to work but it also screwed up my MAC OS so I could not even boot up my computer at all. I ultimately had to take my computer to a computer repair consultant who was able to get it all working but not without my freaking out first. This experience has scared me from attempting to install Parallels on my other iMac. Had used VMWare on a previous computer and never had any issues with installation so don't know why this was so confusing.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on October 17, 2013
I installed PD8 and got it working with "My BootCamp." PD9 came out 31 days later and I was offered a chance to "upgrade" for only $50. I did and Parallel's hasn't worked since. I called their support and a man from India worked remotely for 3+ hours and gave up. He said that "2nd level support" would be contacting me soon. They never did! A week later I re-contacted Parallel's and got a man from Russia, who spoke English better that I do, and he worked for 3+ hours. We came to the conclusion that I needed to re-install Windows, Office 2010 Pro, Adobe Master Suite CS3, MS SQL Server 2008 R2, and the rest of the software that I use. A total of 30+ hours at the computer.
I checked that I could see the "Shared Devices" at each step. Parallel's stopped being able to install their tools about after about 25 hours and lost all shared devices at that time.

In the mean time Parallels had closed my original call, because I was out of the 30 day phone support window. I called them again. After an hour on the phone, they said "2nd level support" would call me. Again the never did! After 5 days I called again and asked for a supervisor. He said "2nd level support" would call me. Now I don't believe them. Without shared devices Parallels is USELESS, since you can't save your data.

As a result of my experience so far I rate the company and product as ONE STAR. When it was working I would rate it as 4 stars. Their support administration I would rate as ZERO STARS
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on December 28, 2012
What a pleasant surprise!, that is a couple of years ago. My olde WindowsXP OS was back again after an absence of a year on my one year old iMac desktop. Nice to hear that welcome melody again. My purpose in going the Parallels8 route was because of Mac Lion's lack of support on a number of Windows based programs that I had been using for years on my now-retired Dells. Such programs would either not work at all or would not do all of the operations with Lion that they would do with Windows. (I never would have gone the Mac route if I had known this when I purchased a new computer a year ago).

However, that was in 2012 and now it is 2014. It has been kind of quirky these past two years but is has allowed me to jump back and forth between the Mac OS and Windows XP while working on the same file, just by a click of the mouse. I couldn't have been happier with this arrangement. But suddenly, on March 12th, 2014, I got a nasty message that Parallels "virtualization support was disabled on my Mac" and it wouldn't let me start up Windows. Instructions to fix this told me to remove Parallels 8 from the system and to reinstall the software. After uninstalling the software I inserted the installation disk and got a nasty message from Apple stating that this App was no longer supported. So I ended up going to our very friendly Apple Authorized tech support folks, who did an excellent job (for $100) getting me back in business again. After getting back home, all was well. Everything was working better than it originally had but then, suddenly, again, after about two house, same nasty messages, same nasty problem.

This would be a five star item, in that it allows one to jump back and forth seamlessly between the two operating system while working on the same file. However, it turned out to be very unstable and Apple doesn't even support this version any more.

Back to my Tech Support Folks. More Later
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on April 23, 2017
Hubby purchased before Apple rolled this out as part of the IOS and it worked like a charm! He was over the moon at the ease of installation and use. It was a little less expensive than in the stores and much less expensive than through Apple. Great purchase.
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on December 10, 2012
I have been using Parallels 8 on my new Macbook Pro (the June 2012 model, dual core i5 processor) for over a month now, and have had exactly zero problems so far. I didn't expect this because I used to run Parallels 6 on an older Intel iMac in the past and that gave me nothing but trouble (horrible performance being problem number 1). Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 all run on my Macbook Pro as they should. The reason I decided to give Parallels 8 a try is because of its supposed higher speed and stability over VMware 5 and previous versions of Parallels.

Windows 8 is speedy enough on my machine that games from 2003-2005 run effortlessly in a 1600*1200 resolution, as well as various more serious applications. Applications that I frequently run in Parallels are:
- both "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" games (run great but Parallels GPU emulator doesn't support AA or buffer effects)
- "Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines" (runs flawlessly with the latest unofficial patch from the Patch Scrolls)
- MS Office Visio 2010
- Several password cracking algorithms (can be quite CPU-intensive)
- Several computer forensics applications, such as ProDiscover.
- Skyrim and Fallout 3 (were playable at a mix of the lowest and medium settings, don't expect to complete a round of Skyrim or Fallout 3 on a virtualized machine)

The Coherence mode works very well, I love using it for running programs with smaller user interfaces like ProDiscover. While in Coherence, you can run individual Windows programs in full-screen, which gives them their own Mac OS Desktop (accessible through "CTRL" + "up arrow"), and which also enables you to flick through your Windows apps with a three-fingered swipe like you would in Mac OS 10.8.

Finally, I should note that my Macbook Pro contains 16 GB of memory and uses a Corsair Force GT solid state drive, but Parallels ran on my notebook without issues before I performed these upgrades. It's also pretty clear that you would need at *least* 4 GB of memory to run a virtualized Windows 8 instance on top of Mac OS, and you'll find that having anywhere over 4 gigabytes makes a world of difference.

I wholeheartedly recommend Parallels 8! The only thing I miss is the ability to enable anti-aliasing in video games, but that is of no consequence anyway.
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on May 10, 2013
I've been in IT now for 14 years supporting Windows and some Linux boxes. I recently took the plunge and got a MacBook Pro 17" (2011 factory reconditioned model). I've had a great deal of experience virtualizing in Windows and Linux, using VMware Workstation and Server, and Sun's VirtualBox. Parallels had a version for Linux a couple years ago but it wasn't good in my opinion. Even when I ran Linux boxes I'd have to virtualize a copy of Windows for certain apps.

I love the coherence mode of Parallels, yes there is a Seamless Mode in Virtual Box but it's not as nice as coherence mode. I like being able to add my most common Windows apps to the dock so I can launch them (and start the windows vm) easily. Go to the Parallels site and you'll still spend $80, save $20 and buy here on Amazon. It's definitely worth the price if you still have apps that run in Windows. I play around with WINE but there are still too many Windows apps it can't run and even CrossOver doesn't do much better.

Parallels works great and makes you forget you are running Windows in the background. Don't forget to still install AV protection in the Windows virtual machine.
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