We've today posted reviews of Parallels Desktop 8 and VMWare Fusion 5.

Parallels Desktop 8

VMWare may have pipped them to the post by releasing Fusion 5 a few days earlier, but Parallels have arguably done a more thorough job with Parallels Desktop 8. [Read the review here]

VMWare Fusion 5

Fusion isn’t quite as popular with Mac users as Parallels Desktop, perhaps because VMWare tends to focus more on the corporate and enterprise markets where Macs are still relatively rare. [Read the review here]

There are numerous differences between Parallels Desktop 8 and Fusion 5, but there’s no outright winner in the never-ending upgrade race between these two remarkable pieces of software. 

Corporate users will appreciate the fact that Fusion fits neatly into VMWare’s wider range of virtualisation products. Fusion also provides genuinely ‘near native’ performance for running Windows productivity software, backed up by features such as support for AirPlay that will come in handy for presentations work.

But that’s not to say that Fusion is only suitable for business users. It may not have the slick interface of Parallels Desktop 8, but it still does a good job of integrating Windows software into the Mac operating system, and a price of just £39.99 really is a bargain for such a sophisticated piece of software. 

On the other hand, people who need to use Windows software regularly may appreciate the extra attention to detail that Parallels Desktop 8 shows when integrating Windows software into the Mac environment. As well as allowing Windows software to look and feel more Mac-like, Parallels also brings Mac features such as Mountain Lion’s Dictation and trackpad gestures into Windows programs, creating a smooth, two-way integration between Windows and the Mac operating system.

The Parallels iOS app is an impressive bonus too – although it’s a shame that you have to pay extra for it, given the fact that Parallels is already more expensive than Fusion. Its 3D performance is something of a surprise too, and holds out the promise that we may soon be able to do away with Boot Camp and run the latest Windows games on our Mac without having to reboot all the time.