Blanket statements, more often than not are a good way for a person to put their foot in their mouth. There are just too many variables. That is probably why the old saying: “the more a man knows, the more he knows, not.”
And in this article I’m going to take the risk. If you running OS X (Leopard, Snow Leopard, or Lion), and you have 80 bucks ($50 for an upgrade version), go ahead and get it.
If you are new to virtualization, and you want to see what all the excitement is about, you can try Parallels Version 7 free for 14 days.
One thing you can say about Parallels is each version gets faster, while getting more features.
Of course running any virtualized environment does require some horsepower. If you’re looking at virtualization because you need to run Windows (more precisely, an application that requires Microsoft Windows) 4 GB of RAM is strongly suggested by both the company and testers.
And even that would depend on what you need to run in Windows. Consider speech recognition. One of the industry leaders is Nuance. For OS X, they have Dragon Dictate. Frankly, you cannot pay me to use it. On the Windows side, the firm has Dragon Naturally Speaking. The dark side to DNS even in a Native Windows Environment, the computer really does need 4 GB of RAM.
See what I mean about generalizations? I just cannot recommend running Parallels 7 on a MiniMac to run DNS.
However, I am just itching to try Parallels 7 on Windows 8. Parallels accepts a. ISO just as easy as you please, for the guest operating system.
It seems just right for a Parallels 7 installation. While everyone and their brother agrees 4 GB of RAM on the Mac is a minimum for Windows 7, there is some complaint about the $200 license.
However Windows 8 will not be available until sometime around the end of 2012. Its first beta releases in late February. And there are three points to this. 1) it’s free during the beta period. 2) under the hood, it still NT. And finally, 3) . It’s NT that has gone to Weight Watchers.
While Microsoft’s goal is to take one of their major crown jewels (NT the OS) so they can play catch-up in the tablet market, it seems like it will fit just fine on a computer with finite resources that has to serve the host Operating System (OS X), the guest Operating System (‘fatman’) Windows AND the monkey in the middle (Parallels).
If all this sounds great, however, you have a budget of zero, consider looking at Oracles VirtualBox with Windows 8. In this configuration for 2012, the capital outlay is zero.