Run Windows 7 in iOS…Well, Sort Of
It is a well-known fact that Windows and ARM do not exactly play nice together, but leave it to the good guys at Parallels to achieve the unexpected. With a simple download of the new Parallels Mobile on iTunes, you can now play around with a virtual and fully-functional Windows 7 from within your iPad, iPod or iPhone.
*image courtesy of Gizmodo
Ask anybody about running Windows on an ARM processor and chances are all you would get are blank stares. Unfortunately, this cannot be helped: one of the biggest limiting factors of Windows is that it is designed only to run on the x86 architecture.
This effectively means that, unless your device powered by either Intel’s, AMD’s or VIA Technologies’ processors, Windows is never going to run on it. And that includes Apple’s immensely popular iPads, iPods and iPhones, all of which run on the ARM architecture.
However, it seems that Parallels Inc, a company which produces virtualizing software, has managed to come up with a way to get Windows on an i-Device. Apparently, to mark the launch of its new Parallels Desktop 6 For Mac and Parallels Desktop 6 Switch To Mac virtualizing software, the company is also pushing out a free Parallels Mobile app for the iTunes store.
When downloaded and installed into an iOS device, the Parallels Mobile app will allow the device to link up and remotely access a computer which already has Parallels installed and a suitable virtual machine configured. Simply put, Parallels Mobile works like the traditional remote desktop client, thus Windows (or any other OS) is not actually being installed onto the iOS device.
And yes, you can do just about anything on the virtual Windows machine once Parallels Mobile has connected to the appropriate remote desktop. This includes watching Flash videos, checking emails with Microsoft Outlook and printing documents from networked printers. However, it appears that gaming is a no-go, due to the presence of lag as shown in the demonstration video.
While the app is available for free from iTunes, getting the application to work successfully requires a Mac with Parallels Desktop 6 For Mac installed, which costs about US$80. Also, the minimum version of iOS required for Parallels Mobile is at least v3.2.