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Posts Tagged ‘Windows 7’

Parallels Windows 7 Upgrade Tool

May 19th, 2010 No comments

Sometimes us Mac users find ourselves using a PC. If you’ve got a PC that can support it, Windows 7 is definitely the way to go. Parallels, the makers of virtualization software for the Mac, has just released their Windows 7 Upgrade Tool.

So what does this new software tool do?

1) It makes the process of upgrading an existing PC running any version of XP or Vista to Windows 7 easier. Since Windows 7 requires a clean install, getting all of your files and programs over usually requires external backups and more manual configuring. Think of this new software tool as the migration assistant that should have been included with Windows 7 in the first place.

2) It allows programs that will work with XP (or Vista) but not Windows 7 to continue to run. Here’s where the real value is. This software tool saves the current XP or Vista state and allows programs that only work with XP or Vista to run on Windows 7 within a virtualized (invisible) XP system. There are some licensing questions around this virtualization (you normally cannot use an upgrade version of Win 7 and still run the original OS) but Parallels and Microsoft are partners on the project and enforcement seems to be non-existent.

For $40, this software may make it easier for you to upgrade from XP or Vista to Windows 7 on your PC, which is a very good thing.

[ Parallels Windows 7 Upgrade Tool ]

User Experience Versus Openness

March 15th, 2010 No comments

As Apple has become increasingly popular, so has the backlash against some of Apple’s restrictive practices. While this argument is getting new exposure in the ongoing Google (Android versus iPhone) spat, this has been going on since Apple’s inception.

It used to be (and still is in many ways) that Microsoft was the one that labeled Apple as a closed, restrictive platform. Although not an early proponent of open-source (read cheaper) software, Microsoft was quick to claim freedom of hardware and software choice as it’s main selling point.

So if Apple is a closed, restrictive platform why is it that Apple has become so popular?

It’s the user experience.

Apple wants the user experience to be the best that it can be. Secure, clean, focused, easy to use, and reliable. Quality over quantity. One really good chef’s knife, not a swiss army knife filled with a bunch of sub-par tools.

Great restaurants usually specialize in a specific cuisine, if you want ultimate freedom of choice, you’ll have to settle for Home Town Buffet.

Apple’s iPhone requires that developers meet not only technical requirements (secure, stable apps) but also moral (no porn) and non-compete (no FireFox) guidelines. What they give in return is arguably the best overall smartphone experience.

Google pretty much allows any handset maker to use Android as they will in their phones. The segmentation of user interfaces, non-upgradable software versions and non-centralized app store has hurt the overall customer experience. What customer’s get in return is more freedom of hardware configuration, multiple carriers and less restrictive app selection.

Apple is working on a more robust rating system (to allow for more adult apps) and is starting to allow more potentially completive apps (browsers, VOIPs and mail clients) into the app store. Google is trying to rein in Android by putting out phones like the Nexus One that deliver a more focused, Apple-like experience to Android.

While both Apple and Google may come a little closer together in terms of openness and experience, their philosophical differences (and current successes) will probably keep them on different ends of the spectrum.

What I find funny is that it looks like Microsoft may be the one running up the middle. Microsoft has finally begun to recognize Apple’s success with the iPhone and App Store.¬†Windows 7 mobile looks to be more focused and selective while still partnering with different hardware vendors.

I for one can’t wait to see what cool new phones and technology come out of this tug of war.

Run Windows 7 On Your Mac With Parallels 5

November 4th, 2009 No comments

Parallels-5Parallels Desktop 5 was released today with full support for running Windows 7 on Snow Leopard.

Like previous versions, Parallels allows you to run Windows or other OSs while running your Mac OS. You don’t need to restart or create separate partitions to run Windows.

Here are some of the new features with version 5:

– Full 32 bit and 64 bit support for Windows 7 and 10.6 support.

– Windows Aero effects and 3d flip support (prettier Windows.)

– Mulit touch support for Windows.

– More device support including the Apple Remote.

– Faster load times (up to 3x)

– Enchaned copy and paste between Windows and Mac.

Parallels Desktop 5 is available for download today for $79 ($49 upgrade)

Although we prefer Parallels, VMWare Fusion 3 has similar features and is identically priced.

Categories: News Tags: , , ,

Why Windows 7 Is Good For Mac Users

October 22nd, 2009 No comments

windows_7_logoToday is Windows 7 launch day. It’s been time for some time Microsoft.

With Windows 7 receiving positive reviews and reactions from users, there is obviously a lot of comparison to Snow Leopard.

While few Mac users are likely to make the switch (back) to Windows with this release, Windows 7 is very much welcome.

So why is Windows 7 good for Mac users?

In a word, competition.

PC manufactures have long been limited by running XP or the generally panned Vista on their computers and have since been competing more on cost than on features users want.

While this has helped Apple gain market share and build their brand as an alternative to the low end Windows experience, overall innovation in the computer industry, especially in the high end, has suffered.

The perception alone that Windows 7 is a good, solid OS, should embolden PC manufacturers. If Windows 7 enables and encourages PC makers to deliver the same (or near) level of quality, integration and innovation that Apple produces, this will be a net win for Mac users.

If we see more competition in the high end, the overall market will benefit from the innovation.

Hopefully this will step up the features in Apple hardware and OS 10.7. I for one can’t wait!

Categories: Commentary Tags: , , , ,