Virtual Machines Making a Big Step


(T) It was certainly more exciting to be at MacWorld at the Moscone Center in San Francisco than at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

How fun it is to be part of 40,000 young, energetic and passionate attendees!

Yes, Steve Jobs announced the well expected iPhone (iPod + Phone) and iTV (Apple hardware content for TV screens)…but…the most interesting product for me at the show was Parallels Desktop for Mac and its new feature called Parallels’ Coherence.

Parallels is a wonderful Virtual Machine (VM) that leverages Intel virtualization technology for Intel-based Mac. Intel virtualization hardware reduces the complexity and the computation of the software VM by providing to the VM an underlying hardware platform control and a dedicated memory space.

So, the VM can focus on what it is supposed to do: great virtualization for a given OS (the guest OS). That’s what Parallels do! And, beautifully!

Parallels enables multiple and simultaneous VMs on a Mac OS: XP, Vista, Linux.

What I even found interesting is that Windows runs better as a guest OS with Parallels than on a dedicated PC (Mostly because Windows does not interact with I/Os?).

And, moving from XP to Linux to Mac is easy at the user interface. Plus files can be shared across guest OSes. And with Parallels’ Coherence, it is even better: you have Windows applications without seeing Windows. Windows apps run as if they were running natively on the Mac.

So in the beginning, there were VMs in Mainframes for the IBM 3090 and the IBM 4381 series. Then, came the Java VM (JVM) from James Gosling to interpret Java. And, VMWare from Professor Rosenblum from Stanford University for testing applications on multiple OSes.

And now, there is Parallels for $79.99 to run Windows applications on a Mac!

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Categories: Operating Systems