VMware Vs Parallels Vs AN.other?

Following on from the Boot Camp post yesterday, I discovered that good old Apple (C**ts) won’t support W10 on machines before 2013 via Bootcamp so I went looking for alternatives, and tried Parallels.

I’ve not touched it for years but discovered it actually works pretty well, even on an old 2009 iMac! I was a bit pissed to discover the licence only allows the use on one machine, not what I think has become an industry standard (?) two. So as I only need it to run Outlook for email testing, I’m a bit reluctant to hand over £80.

VMWare, I think, can be run on several machines with the one licence, and is a bit cheaper to boot, so before I dive in, has anyone experience of both, or any other VM app?

I should repeat, I won’t be a heavy Win user: It will get used ONLY to fire up Office/Outlook and test an email.


I am using https://www.virtualbox.org

No license costs.

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Ys, but you’re clever and so able to install it and set it up.

I’m not!

Did you try already 😉?

No, but I read some of the instruction, and got very confused!

Maybe worth having another read though, now i know I have Jannis Support ;-)

Do you know, will it install/run off a usb stick?

Having the VM itself on a (fast) stick, preferable external SSD, will work. The application must be installed on the main disk.

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Already completely lost, the download talks of source code and binaries… WTF?


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Or, book a VM in the cloud: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/virtual-machines/windows/

Nice one, thanks everso much.

Will give it a lash tonight.

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Gonna actually give it a go now.

Quick question: 2009 iMac with 8gb ram. 32 or 64bt W10?

EDIT: Tried both, but it’s asking for a licence key thing. I thought W10 was free to sue now, but I guess not. Weirdly when installing it under Parallels no licence was requested.

Several years ago, I bounced back and forth between Parallels and VMware- it seemed they both came out with updates about the same time, and the deals to switch were much better than the deals to upgrade. At some point, I became disillusioned with Parallels (I really can’t remember why anymore), and settled in with VMware. I’m currently running VMware 10.1.5 / Windows 10. It takes just under 30 seconds from launching VMware until I"m in Windows (I’m on a very fast MBP, though).

You should be required to have windows license key no matter what product you’re using for a virtual machine. Unless the product includes the windows license.
You can get a free version (90-day expiration) from Microsoft. That’s probably what Parallels installed.


With virtual box once you have windows installed, you can take a snapshot and then when the license expires in 90 days, you just restore the snapshot.

Your other option is to purchase a windows 10 license, Microsoft like Apple does need the money.


Apple really doesn’t need money. They have more than enough ;-)

Yes, P is using an unactivated version it seems. Thing is, I can’t even get VB to install without the key.

I’m close to throwing in the towel on the whole thing and just buying a laptop. It’ll only work out a bit more expensive.

Why not purchasing Office 365 for your Mac, which also includes Outlook?

From memory, the last time I used Outlook for Mac, it renders emails differently to Outlook on Windows.


Office Mac and Office Win only share a visual resemblance and their name. They are written by completely different teams within MS.
I ran/run Win10 without a licence for quite a while, you get a nag screen and things like not being able to change the desktop appearance but other than that it ran/runs exactly as normal.


Good to know.

Just chatted to my server guy, he runs an IT business, he says he has a room full of old systems pulled from clients after upgrades, reckons he can easily sort me with a system, so thinking I’ll go that way.