Thursday, November 6, 2008

Virtualisation wishlist

I looks like the virtualisation software available at the moment on the Mac, although massively improved in recent months, is still not adequate for me. The following aspects are those I consider important for how I use computers/applications:

  • cut/paste and drag/drop across all applications (Mac/Windows/Linux)
  • smooth and adaptive multi-monitor support (not just 2 monitors)
  • comprehensive game support (for large 'civilization building' games and first person and graphics intensive games, not that much into first person shooters though)
  • major applications supported without continual reactivation (MS Office, photography software, etc.)
  • flexible boot support, into both native OS and virtual OS from the same installation location
  • full read/write support between file systems
  • preferably fast, low latency and absolutely robust (at least as much as the virtualised OS)

Parallels and Fusion (VMWare), do cover many of these points, and can use a Windows installation from a Bootcamp partitition. Unfortunately MS Office requires re-activation with each native/virtual swap, in line with their licensing agreements, which is a shame, because I am using Office on only one computer, in one environment at any one time.

CrossOver can't cut/paste drag/drop between virtual Windows and Mac applications. Bootcamp can't see the Mac filesystem.

Parallels is rumoured to currently have the better game support, but failed to play my current game Caesar IV (not really a new game), and was not completely happy with a much earlier game (Settlers 3).

For the time being, I'll avoid virtualisation, and deal with the frustration of working in two mostly separate operating systems.

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