No Thanks to Parallels… VMWare Rocks!

Being an Apple fanboy (at least for now) my main devices tend to be Apple. But as a Front-end Developer I still need to test my sites in Internet Explorer. I found that, truly, the best way is in Virtual Machines. Simulators just can’t capture the authentic buggy experience of true cross browser testing. To honestly test your site you need to use the actual browsers themselves.

An added benefit of running Windows on my Mac is being able to enjoy reliving my and my wife’s childhood games. We’ve been going through playing classics such as Gabriel Knight, Quest for Glory, and Betrayal at Krondor. I’m a big fan of Lifehacker so if they tell me that the Best Virtualization App for Mac OSX is Parallels I’ll tend to trust them. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case this time. At least not with Parallels 8.

I’m a big fan of Lifehacker. I recently got a Nexus 7 – my first Android device. Since I’m a Front-end Developer I felt it was irresponsible for me not to have any experience with Android… or that’s what I told myself anyways (I like toys). I relied heavily on the Lifehacker posts about Android to get caught up and found them very helpful. So I’ll keep listening to their podcast religiously despite this miss.

But I digress. We were running Parallels 7 and it was going nicely, but from upgrade the mouse immediately started malfunctioning. The games just didn’t run as they had, Windows didn’t run as it had and the VMs acted much heavier. Not to mention that the company runs like a 90’s digital company. Who limits the time you can purchase a product anymore? It’s just an excuse to extort more $, you can pay extra to have evergreen links.

Another down side to Parallels is that it is made for running Windows on a Mac and that’s it. Wait, isn’t that what we want? Well, not entirely. I started developing my sites locally. MAMP is great for strictly Front-end Development; however, if you start leveraging PHP, as it should be, if you’re not running the same LAMP stack on your local machine as you are on your server you’ll waste a lot of time. Once you code, you want to know it will work on your production server.

At work I’ve been using VMWare for all my development work. I have 2 VMs with Windows XP alone, one for running IE6, and one for IE7. So I decided to test out the VMWare Fusion for my Weekend Projects. After 2 days, it blows Parallels out of the water. Not only does Windows run more smoothly for my extra curricular enjoyments, but, unlike Parallels I can run CentOS!