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Parallels Desktop 6 Switch to Mac Edition review

Powerful and intuitive virtualisation software that is ideal for new Apple users

Parallels Desktop 6 Switch to Mac Edition
A simple and effective way for Mac newbies to get accustomed to OS X without fully giving up Windows


  • Easy to set-up
  • Smooth integration
  • Coherence mode
  • Control from remote devices


  • A bit pricey

Following the increased popularity of Apple's MacBook laptops, Parallels has aimed to make it easier than ever for Windows users to move to a Mac with its Desktop 6 Switch To Mac Edition software/hardware solution.

Combining Parallels Desktop for Mac software – letting you install Windows as a separate application within Apple's OS X operating system – with a high-speed USB cable for transferring your entire Windows installation, data and programs, switching to a Mac has never been easier.

Once the software has been installed on both your Windows-based laptop and your new Mac, you connect both machines via the included cable and can then migrate your entire Windows installation to your Mac in less than 20 minutes.

With the migration complete, your old Windows installation can then be opened in a separate window directly from within the Mac OS X operating system. Allowing access to all your favourite Windows software, fi les and folders alongside your new Mac software, it truly is the easiest way we've seen for a Windows user to comfortably migrate to a Mac.

As well as accessing Windows as a virtual machine within its own window, Parallels takes its simplicity a huge step further thanks to its Coherence mode. Running Windows in the background, it allows you to open and use your Windows software as if they were native Mac applications – again working seamlessly.

If you do not want to import an old Windows installation and merely wish to install and run a second operating system on your Mac, then Parallels also allows that.

Using your OS installation disc, the process is as simple as migrating an old laptop. While more complex setting are automated, you can override them to configure settings as you wish.

Smooth integration

Whichever method you use to install your second – or third, or fourth etc – operating system, the integration between it and your OS X software is smooth and easy to use. Files and folders can be dragged back and forth between each OS and, in most cases, the virtual machine immediately detects and utilises your internet connection with no input required.

Finally, Parallels also lets you control your virtual machines remotely from your Apple iPhone, iPad or even your iPod Touch. Accessed via the Parallels Mobile Application, all you need to do is ensure that both your Mac and your mobile device are connected to the internet.

Providing an intuitive and staggeringly easy way for new Apple users to migrate to a Mac laptop, Parallels Desktop 6 demonstrates how all software should be – accessible and great to use.

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