Parallels Desktop software is aptly named because it functions like it came out of a movie plot where there are two Universes trying to occupy the same space. It is a little freakish because Microsoft’s Window's windows appear as if they are Mac applications. You don’t even need to see the Windows Desktop. All that you see is the Parallels icon indicating that Parallels is running and if you open it you can get to the Windows Start Menu without seeing the full Desktop.
Microsoft Windows running under Parallels Desktop 7 works like you are running Windows it is simply running as a virtual system. Virtual Machines (VMs) are not without problems. The main issue with a VM is video card graphics performance. The reason is you cannot simply replace dedicated graphics card hardware with virtualised software versions. So, don’t go running Parallels with Windows 7 thinking you’ll be able to run a first person shooter. Be happy that you can run the applications like Windows Live Essentials. I downloaded Live Essentials because I like and use the MSN Messenger Application. I also installed Microsoft Office.
One of the niceties of Parallels Desktop 7 is the integration of a shared network resource. This means I can easily see files that I’ve created on Windows using Mac Finder and similarly I can see Mac files using Windows Explorer. This was especially useful in doing this review because I draft my work in Microsoft Word for Windows and I also use the Photoscape application for which there is no Windows version. There is a version of Microsoft Word for Mac but I did not purchase the Mac version and I have not purchased any other Mac software. I've really been confining myself on the Mac to photography and video and of course daily Internet use with the Safari browser.