Parallels Desktop vs VMware Workstation comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Parallels Desktop and VMware Workstation based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out what your peers are saying about VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and others in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).
To learn more, read our detailed Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Report (Updated: November 2022).
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Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"Parallels Desktop integrates seamlessly with macOS. It works better than VMware on Apple operating systems."

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"I haven't faced any inconveniences working with this solution. It is very easy to use.""Great at solving connection problems.""It will not harm any of the computer settings to run a specific program. For example, if a program needs a specific security policy, we don't have to use the shared configuration. We have an individual copy of Windows installed on the virtual machine, so anybody can access that. It helps us a lot.""The technical support is good.""Technical support is very good.""We are able to simultaneously run multiple operating systems in a single machine and have virtually no performance hit.""The most valuable features of VMware Workstation are the speed of access and quality of upgrade. Those are the more important and pertinent aspects as far as we were concerned. Functionality and features were relevant for the customers. What a customer chose, we had to make sure that it operated.""The most valuable features of VMware Workstation are the DirectX support, you can run Microsoft Hyper-V in virtual environments which is good for me to test different installations. Additionally, you can set up different VLANs, and overall it is a complete solution."

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"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."

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"Installing VMware Workstation isn't so easy. It's highly complex compared to Windows. I rate it four out of 10 for ease of installation. Setting up a remote desktop only takes a minute or so, but the Workstation itself takes some time.""Lacks the ability to clone onto another system rather than starting from scratch.""The price should be reduced.""The interface is a little wonky and needs to be improved.""The big issue that we've always had with VMware, was the disparity between what was presented for a Windows-based client and a Linux-based client. The Windows client was always two or three releases ahead of the Linux client. We always wanted VMware to change and improve the feature sets between the client connector on Linux and on Windows.""VMware Workstation has some network limitations which could improve, it is not as flexible as VMware NSX. Additionally, it could support operating systems better. I only run some Linux versions and Windows at the moment but it would be nice to be able to take whatever operating system you want and run it.""I would want to see features included that make deployment easier.""It could have more platforms and CPUs."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
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  • "Licensing costs are paid on a yearly basis."
  • "The licensing costs are cheap. I pay approximately $100 per year."
  • "The cost differs depending on the customer's requirement."
  • "VMware Workstation has a high price than competitors in the market."
  • "With a VDI solution, there is always extra cost running a VDI solution but it's not for cost purposes anymore. In the beginning, it was to save money on hardware but at the moment it's other aspects that are more important why you should use a VDI solution."
  • "Licensing fees are paid on an annual basis."
  • "The price of the solution per workstation is approximately 200 Francs annually. We pay a total of 800 francs. Everything is included in the price such as the support."
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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:Parallels Desktop integrates seamlessly with macOS. It works better than VMware on Apple operating systems.
    Top Answer:Parallels Desktop is too expensive. It's a little more expensive than VMware.
    Top Answer: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… more »
    Top Answer:VM Workstation’s setup is so easy, you can use it almost instantly, it works well with Windows and Linux. We like VM Workstation primarily to test environments to determine how well a solution will… more »
    Top Answer:The most valuable feature of the VMware Workstation is the ease to create a development environment. When you have different ongoing developments, you often need to create a lot of different… more »
    Top Answer:VMware Workstation could improve the export and import of virtual machines.
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    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 Workstation transforms the way technical professionals develop, test, demonstrate and deploy software by running multiple x86-based operating systems simultaneously on the same PC. Built on 15 years of virtualization excellence and winner of more than 50 industry awards, VMware Workstation takes desktop virtualization to the next level by giving users an unmatched operating system support, rich user experience and incredible performance.
    Learn more about Parallels Desktop
    Learn more about VMware Workstation
    Sample Customers
    Lytro, University of Washington, Slalom, Veeva Systems, Oklahoma Christian University
    Akademiska Hus
    Top Industries
    Computer Software Company19%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Educational Organization9%
    Manufacturing Company15%
    Construction Company15%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Comms Service Provider17%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Educational Organization7%
    Company Size
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise57%
    Small Business52%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise29%
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise60%
    Buyer's Guide
    Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and others in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Updated: November 2022.
    655,465 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Parallels Desktop is ranked 12th in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with 1 review while VMware Workstation is ranked 1st in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with 14 reviews. Parallels Desktop is rated 7.0, while VMware Workstation is rated 8.8. The top reviewer of Parallels Desktop writes "It integrates seamlessly with macOS, but it's not compatible with VMware ". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware Workstation writes "Easy to use, powerful virtualization capabilities, and good performance". Parallels Desktop is most compared with VMware Fusion, VMware Player, NComputing vSpace, NVIDIA GRID and Oracle VDI, whereas VMware Workstation is most compared with Hyper-V, VMware vSphere, KVM, Oracle VM VirtualBox and Oracle VM.

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    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.