Today was my first day in the VMware booth at MacWorld 2008. Man was it crowded! What a show so far with Jobs announcing 4 great new technologies (my Apple TV thanks you). What really peaked my interest was all of the people coming by and asking what made VMware Fusion so much better than Parallels for Mac. Ed Baig from USA Today even got me on film talking about this very subject. So here’s my personal (non corporate marketing) rundown on why I think we’re better than Parallels. For what it’s worth I used Parallels for a long time since VMware didn’t have anything on the Mac. I loaded up Fusion since I work for VMware and decided to give it a try. The points below are what got me to switch. Yeah, I know, you say I would have switched anyways since I work for the company. Not true. I’m a technologist and use what works better. Anyhow, here’s the list.
- Stability. At the core of Fusion is the same engine we’ve been shipping with VMware Workstation since 1998. It’s in its 6th generation and just plain works. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve crashed my machine while running Parallels. For example, here’s a neat trick. Go start up your Windows XP VM in Parallels. Run something that uses a lot of CPU. For me that’s usually running MS Flight Sim. Now, go and suspend the VM. BAM! Crashes every time on several different machines. I’ve got 5 other tests I’ll blog on in the future where Parallels just crashes with simple tasks.
- Battery Life. Even at idle, Parallels still uses about 15 – 20% of the CPU on my Macbook Pro. My battery only lasts about 1 1/2 hours on the road. Ouch! With Fusion it seems to run much cooler – about 0.5% of the CPU. My battery agrees and usually lasts about 4 hours on a single charge.
- USB just works. Before switching to the Mac I had a HP Scanjet 7800. Great scanner. When I switched to the Mac and ran Parallels I couldn’t see or use the scanner anymore. There were no drivers for the Mac so I had to go to my really old Epson single sheet scanner I had laying around. Urggh. In comes Fusion to save the day. Right away Windows in a Fusion VM recognized the scanner and I became a much happier person (my wife would agree).
- Performance. According to the CNET Crave Tests we really perform well. I tend to agree with that. I haven’t done any official benchmarks just yet but things are snappier with Fusion. Just do a search for "vmware fusion performance" and you’ll get several other opinions on the matter which pretty much agree that Fusion is faster.
Those are the 4 big things that made me happy I work for VMware and switched to Fusion. So for those of you wanting to see if all of this is really that great you can download a copy today and also get a $30 rebate which is almost 50% off the retail price.
Please comment and let me know what you like about Fusion.