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Nandagopal Rajan        Print Edition: November 2012

Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac
Price: Rs 4,459

For Mac fans, having to work on a Windows machine has always been something of a necessary evil, often forced upon them by their work environments. You can run Windows on a Mac too, though with limited usability. But the latest Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac seems to have ironed out performance flaws associated with the switchover.

Downloading Parallels is quite easy as the file is just over 300 MB. Once the software has been installed, it gives you multiple options. You can download the latest Windows 8 release preview-even Ubuntu or Android- or migrate a licensed Windows from another PC. We tested the software on a MacBook Air and our Windows 8 download got stuck in the middle.

When we finally got it up and running, the experience was truly amazing. There is no boot up needed to switch between Windows, which is as simple as clicking an icon on the top. The Mountain Lion and Windows 8 integration is so seamless that you can now have the Mac notifications even in your Windows screen. The Windows 8 screen adjusts itself to the best size, and as the mouse arrow moves from Windows to the Mac screen you can see how it changes colour from white to black. The integration is that seamless. Since Windows 8 has the start button and some other functions built into the screen corners, Parallels has made a sticky mouse where the arrow sort of clings to the edges of the Windows screen so that you don't miss it. Another good thing is that now you can use Mac dictation even while using a Word file. Plus, like earlier versions of Paralles, you are not limited to switching between OS. You can now switch between applications of the two OS without thinking where you are.

In fact, Launchpad and Mission Control now show the Windows applications too and you can launch the same with one click. Then you can even make the run like Mac applications without the Windows background or style. The other good thing is that your Safari browser now has a Internet Explorer button to switch if needed. This is undoubtedly the best blending of Mac and Windows so far. So you no longer have a reason to put off a Mac purchase because it won't run Windows.

BAG IT OR JUNK IT? The best ever blend of Mac and Windows

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