Parallels Desktop vs VMware Fusion comparison

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4,081 views|3,541 comparisons
100% willing to recommend
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7,240 views|6,586 comparisons
100% willing to recommend
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Mar 6, 2024

We compared Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion based on our user's reviews in several parameters.

Parallels Desktop excels in seamless Mac and Windows integration, running multiple OS effortlessly, exceptional performance, straightforward setup, and reliable virtualization. On the other hand, VMware Fusion is praised for seamless integration, powerful virtual machine performance, and extensive OS support. Parallels Desktop users appreciate its affordability, flexible licensing, and excellent customer service. VMware Fusion users value its exceptional customer support, positive ROI, and efficient performance. However, both products could benefit from improvements in performance, compatibility, user interface, and customer support according to user feedback.

Features: The valuable features of Parallels Desktop include seamless integration between Mac and Windows applications, the ability to run multiple operating systems, exceptional performance, easy setup process, and reliable virtualization capabilities. On the other hand, VMware Fusion is praised for its powerful virtual machine performance and extensive support for different operating systems.

Pricing and ROI: The setup cost for Parallels Desktop is praised for being affordable, straightforward, and without any additional costs. On the other hand, VMware Fusion's setup cost may require technical expertise. Both products offer flexible licensing options to meet different needs., Parallels Desktop has been praised for its efficiency in running Windows applications on a Mac, improving productivity and workflow. It is also cost-effective and reliable. On the other hand, VMware Fusion is valued for its ability to seamlessly run multiple operating systems, offering a user-friendly interface and delivering cost and time savings.

Room for Improvement: Parallels Desktop users want improved performance, user-friendly interface, better compatibility, customization options, and better customer support. VMware Fusion users desire better performance, compatibility, user interface, support, and frequent bug fixes and software updates.

Deployment and customer support: The reviews comparing Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion regarding the duration required for establishing a new tech solution highlight some differences. While both products had users reporting three months for deployment and an additional week for setup, some users found that deployment and setup took only a week. This suggests that the terms "deployment" and "setup" may refer to the same period, emphasizing the importance of understanding the context in which these terms are used., Customers have reported highly satisfactory customer service experiences with both Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion. Parallels Desktop offers prompt and helpful assistance, while VMware Fusion excels with their in-depth knowledge and professionalism.

The summary above is based on 6 interviews we conducted recently with Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion users. To access the review's full transcripts, download our report.

To learn more, read our detailed Parallels Desktop vs. VMware Fusion Report (Updated: May 2024).
772,422 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"Parallels Desktop integrates seamlessly with macOS. It works better than VMware on Apple operating systems.""I like how, with Parallels, you can either boot into Mac or Windows to get better control over the resources of the laptops since you're sharing the resources in dual mode."

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"The whole point of it is to run Windows VMs on a Mac. This is the most valuable feature. There is snapshotting, but we don't really use that. The Pro version allows me to actually attach to the Windows ESXi infrastructure at the backend, and I'm able to create a session that I can attach to the VMware hooks at the backend, so one is running a VM, and the whole operating system is running on the actual Mac. The other one is literally a frontend to the VMs that are running in the infrastructure at the backend. These are the two main features I use.""The most value that it provides is that it is versatile.""The product is easy to use and has a simple user interface.""It is a highly stable solution."

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Cons
"The biggest challenge is compatibility between VMware and Parallels because the two systems are incompatible. It can be challenging if you are switching between Windows and Mac. I recommend sticking with one product because there isn't good compatibility between the different products.""There may have been some issues with device drivers on my Mac. Similarly, there are some issues with transferring data from Parallels to the Mac."

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"The way they handle snapshotting can be improved. One time, I moved a machine from one to another, and I tried to pull it up on the second machine, but it didn't work. This was because I had not cleaned up the snapshot before I deleted it and moved it across. So, when I tried to pull it up, it wouldn't let me bring it up. The backups for the VMs themselves can also be improved. I pretty much have to rely on Windows backups and not something on VMware. That's where it needs improvement. I am able to upload from my Fusion into the ESXi easily. I'm able to spin something up on Fusion and push it into the big arena, but the reverse is not as easy, that is, trying to pull something down from that. I would love to have a functionality where I could pull something from the VMware infrastructure into Fusion, but I'm not sure if I can take something from ESXi and pull it into Fusion.""VMware Fusion's licensing cost needs improvement.""I would like to see newer and updated cloud functions.""Its installation process could be simpler."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
Information Not Available
  • "Starting with version 12, it is now free on a Mac for personal use. Fusion Pro has a cost."
  • "The cost varies depending on the season and whether it is scaled up or scaled down, but I would guess that it's approximately $1,000 per month."
  • "I rate the product's pricing a seven or eight. It is highly-priced."
  • More VMware Fusion Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:I like how, with Parallels, you can either boot into Mac or Windows to get better control over the resources of the laptops since you're sharing the resources in dual mode.
    Top Answer:If you want the standard version, it is more expensive but more advanced. You get what you pay for. These products cost money, and the company has to make a profit.
    Top Answer:There may have been some issues with device drivers on my Mac. Similarly, there are some issues with transferring data from Parallels to the Mac.
    Top Answer:The product is easy to use and has a simple user interface.
    Top Answer:I rate the product's pricing a seven or eight. It is highly-priced.
    Top Answer:The solution could be a little more stable.
    Ranking
    Views
    4,081
    Comparisons
    3,541
    Reviews
    2
    Average Words per Review
    406
    Rating
    7.5
    Views
    7,240
    Comparisons
    6,586
    Reviews
    3
    Average Words per Review
    212
    Rating
    9.0
    Comparisons
    Learn More
    Parallels
    Video Not Available
    Overview
    Parallels Desktop Business Edition brings Windows and Windows applications to employees on Mac and enables integration of Mac computers into any work environment from education to financial services, technology, consulting, or medical. Optimized for Windows 10 and 7, macOS High Sierra, and Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. It can help employees to run business-critical applications without compromise: Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, Quicken and QuickBooks for Windows, Access, Project, Autodesk Revit and Inventor, CorelDRAW, ArcGIS, Visio, QuickBooks, Internet Explorer and Adobe Photoshop. Parallels Desktop restricts External Device Access that enforces policies on the use of USB devices, smart cards, and any other external devices plugged into a Mac, for use in Windows. It creates an Expiring Virtual Machines, time-bound and encrypted, that will automatically expire and lock at a defined time to ensure additional security when corporate data is shared externally. Also, Parallels Desktop Business Edition can be deployed through standard software deployment tools. Mass deployment is supported with Jamf Pro, Apple Remote Desktop, IBM Endpoint Manager, Parallels Mac Management for Microsoft SCCM, and other solutions.
    VMware Fusion is a software hypervisor for Macintosh computers. VMware Fusion allows Intel-based Macs to run operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, NetWare, or Solaris on virtual machines, along with their Mac OS X operating system using a combination of paravirtualization, hardware virtualization and dynamic recompilation.
    Sample Customers
    Lytro, University of Washington, Slalom, Veeva Systems, Oklahoma Christian University
    NetApp
    Top Industries
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company14%
    Educational Organization10%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    University9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company13%
    University12%
    Educational Organization10%
    Comms Service Provider7%
    Company Size
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business32%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise50%
    REVIEWERS
    Midsize Enterprise57%
    Large Enterprise43%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise56%
    Buyer's Guide
    Parallels Desktop vs. VMware Fusion
    May 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Parallels Desktop vs. VMware Fusion and other solutions. Updated: May 2024.
    772,422 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Parallels Desktop is ranked 9th in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with 2 reviews while VMware Fusion is ranked 7th in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with 5 reviews. Parallels Desktop is rated 7.6, while VMware Fusion is rated 9.0. The top reviewer of Parallels Desktop writes "A great platform to develop interoperable code on". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware Fusion writes "Robust software with efficient snapshot and cloning features". Parallels Desktop is most compared with VMware Workstation, NComputing vSpace, NVIDIA GRID, VMware Horizon View and Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS), whereas VMware Fusion is most compared with VMware Workstation, VMware Player, VMware Horizon View, VMware Horizon and Citrix Workspace. See our Parallels Desktop vs. VMware Fusion report.

    See our list of best Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) vendors.

    We monitor all Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.