I’ve been using Parallels on my macbook pro for about two years. For the most part I have been pretty happy with it. It works reasonable well, however, I was thinking about upgrading to the newest version to get some of the speed improvements that it mentions in the list of features.
The problem is that I am two versions behind in the upgrade chain and to upgrade now I have to pay full price. It is only $50, but that is still a good amount of money when are newly self-employed (2.5 years) and you don’t use credit cards.
Two days ago I found Virtualbox which is a free product built by Sun Microsystems. I’ve been using it for two days now and I am completely satisfied. The speed is much better than the versions of Parallels that I was using, and it made it easy for me to duplicate my virtual machine once I had Windows XP installed. I used this to set up different machines for the different versions of Internet Explorer. I had been using one of the multiple ie solutions out there. However that fell apart recently when I used conditional comments to target different versions of IE. The multiple versions of IE render properly, but they don’t parse conditional comments properly.
Anyway, virtualbox is a great solution for running virtual machines on a mac. Just throwing it out there for anyone interested.