Parallels Desktop Standard Edition
Set up Windows VMs on your Mac, and work with Windows alongside the OS X -- no rebooting required
Tune your virtual machines for maximum performance with task-specific optimizations
Open Windows applications via the OS X dock, or OS X applications via the Windows Start menu
Built-in Presentation Mode override the OS X for unprecedented functionality
Gain access to numerous one-touch tools to conveniently perform various tasks on both the OS X and Windows
Why You Need Parallels Desktop Standard Edition
Windows operating systems own a combined market share of nearly 90%, and you’d be missing out on a range of productivity tools and other applications by limiting yourself to the OS X. Just so that you don’t miss out on the awesome features that Windows brings to the table, U.S.-based software firm Parallels Inc. has the perfect solution for Mac users – a full-fledged virtual machine capable of running whatever Windows version that you want. Dubbed Parallels Desktop Standard, it isn’t just an ordinary virtual machine either. Expect seamless integration with the OS X, task-specific performance-enhancements, and much more with your Parallels Desktop Standard subscription.
Parallels works on a subscription basis due to the numerous performance and security updates that you get with your purchase. The Standard version, or Parallels Desktop Standard, should suffice for the majority of tasks that you want to accomplish – if you want Parallels for application development or business usage, you may want to check the alternate versions of Parallels Desktop. A subscription lasts for one year, after which you can allow it to either recur or expire.
Boot Camp vs. Parallels
Before we get down to discussing what’s included in Parallels Desktop Standard, you may want to know how it differs from Boot Camp. With Boot Camp, you run into the hassle of restarting your Mac whenever you want to run Windows. Further, Windows operating systems run without any kind of optimizations on Boot Camp, thereby allowing for terrible performance issues – if you are using a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro, you can also expect terrible battery life when running Boot Camp.
Setting Thing Up
Parallels Desktop Standard features a nifty tool known as the Installation Assistant that makes setting up Windows a breeze. You have multiple ways to create a new virtual machine – using a DVD or image file, transferring Windows from another PC, importing a Boot Camp installation, or purchasing a new copy of Windows. The Installation Assistant walks you through each step of whatever method you select, and if you run into any issues, you have the Parallels Customer Support team to help you out.
Rather than being limited to simply running Windows, Parallels Desktop Standard also supports a variety of other operating systems. If you’ve used Ubuntu Linux, Fedora Linux, or Chrome OS, you’ll be delighted to find that you can run all of these as well. Just like when setting up Windows, you can use the Installation Assistant to set things up in record time. For a full list of supported operating systems, simply visit the System Requirements page on Parallels.com.
After setting up your Windows virtual machine, Parallels Desktop Standard then prompts you to select what type of activity that you’d most likely use it for – five main categories labeled Productivity, Software Development, Software Testing, Design, and Games Only are available for selection. Once you choose a category, the virtual machine is automatically optimized so that it then runs efficiently depending on the task selected. While you’re only presented with this option the first time that you attempt to run a virtual machine, you can change it at any time via the Configurations screen for each Windows installation.
Performance-wise, Parallels Desktop Standard should pose no issues when running even the most resource-intensive of applications alongside the OS X – obviously, there’re bound be minor issues if your Mac falls within the lower spectrum of system requirements. When compared to Boot Camp, you don’t have to worry about sluggish performance, nor do you have to concern yourself with poor battery life on MacBook models.
OS X Integration
The biggest advantage that Parallels Desktop Standard brings to the table is the ability to run Windows concurrent to the OS X. After launching your virtual machine, you can maximize, minimize, or resize it just like you would with any other application running on your Mac. Also choose to operate Windows in full-screen mode, and switch between operating system by swiping the touchpad or the Touch Bar – the effect is instantaneous.
You’d be surprised to hear what comes up next; the ability to open Windows applications via OS X and vice versa. If you have an app that you’d rather open directly through one operating system rather than the other, you can do that via the Share feature. For example, if you want to open Internet Explorer right from within the OS X, just share it from Windows and the Internet Explorer icon appears on the OS X dock instantly. Thanks to this feature, you can work with all applications without having to switch between operating systems.
Another feature of significance is the Presentation Mode that Parallels Desktop Standard brings to the table. With features such as Start in Full Screen, Do Not Disturb, and Keep Mac Awake, you can perform any presentations that you want just like you would from a dedicated Windows-based machine. If you don’t want anyone knowing that you’re using a Mac for your presentations, this feature should be highly useful.
When you purchase Parallels Desktop Standard, you gain access to an insanely useful one-click toolset dubbed the Parallels Toolbox. With up to 30 tools that provide various functionalities such as video downloading, media conversion, screen recording, and file archiving, the Parallels Toolbox lets you perform common tasks easily. It isn’t limited to just the OS X either – you can use it on both operating systems with practically no issues.
Should I Buy It?
While Macs are solidly built pieces of hardware with outstanding design qualities, the sheer market that Windows has means that you lose out on some of the best applications developed today. Rather than using Apple’s Boot Camp functionality with its host of performance issues, switching to a dedicated virtual machine like Parallels Desktop Standard is absolutely crucial for maximum efficiency and productivity. Whether you are looking to run Windows 10 right alongside OS X High Sierra, open native Windows apps directly via the OS X, or use dozens of one-click tools to simplify everyday tasks, Parallels Desktop Standard has you covered.