Parallels and Coherence

I just sat down tonight with the latest beta of Parallels Desktop for the Intel Macs. I have to say I’m both excited and scared at the same time. Let me explain why.

First, the excited part. As a programmer, seeing a hack like the coherence mode actually making it seem as Windows and OS X are running side by side is admittedly pretty cool. I’ve seen some minor problems (Command Windows act very funky), but you can now have a mixture of both Windows and OS X apps on the screen at the same time. For example, you can be running Safari, Terminal.app, and Solitaire (okay — that’s a bit cheap — but, admittedly, it was the first Windows app I fired up 🙂 ). Also, Parallels has done a great job managing CPU load — I rarely see the CPU spike to 100%. This is exactly the way you would want to share a machine between two very different OSes. Even the two finger scroll on the trackpad works in Windows, something which I’ve grown very addicted to on the MacBook.

But, the other side is scary. I’ve always maintained that MacOS X users want native OS X apps. And I still believe that. But does Parallels completely remove the urgency for vendors to port to OS X? Sure, there will always be a market for Office, Web Browsers, casual games. And there will always be a rabid developer base for OS X — companies like Delicious Monster, for example. But for the expensive apps — the must have apps — will they simply give up on OS X? I really hope not. As both a developer and a user, I enjoy the benefits that OS X brings. I just hope those benefits are as obvious to the larger companies as well.

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