Parallels vs VMware Fusion – No Contest?

Parallels owns this space right now, no doubt – Windows virtualization on the Intel Mac platform. Despite its heavy branding, Parallels has yet to prove its worth in performance (and has, up until recently, been the only viable commercial virtual machine contender on Apple’s OS X). I had been taking a tentative look at Vmware Fusion, only after raving about Vmware Workstation solving my Vista woes with an XP VM.

More people are discovering Vmware Fusion now. Scott Beale, with Unparalleled Windows Virtualization:

I just installed VMware Fusion 1.0, a new desktop virtualization program that allows you to seamlessly run multiple operation systems on your Intel-based Mac. I setup a virtual machine for Windows Vista on my Mac Pro. The whole process was super easy and took only a few minutes, in fact for me it was much faster than installing Windows on a PC. So far everything works really well and I like it as much, if not more than Parallels Desktop for Mac (another great virtualization program).

And he points to Paul, who starts by pointing out why Vmware is pwning the performance game:

Fusion was built from the ground up in OS X’s native programming environment, Cocoa, and as such Fusion benefits from speed increases and lower memory overhead. Fusion puts less strain on your computer than any other virtualization product at this point. The use of Cocoa in development gives Fusion a more native Mac application feel with customizable toolbars.

Wither Parallels? Well, I wasn’t set up for a true side-by-side last night, but I did at least want to tell people that there’s a new VM in town – and it’s already giving Parallels a beating:

Aero is still missing, as well as the ability to dump a Windows VM into a new Boot Camp partition, but the idea of “switching” is finally worth seriously considering for those of us dyed-in-the-wool Windows users.