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Is There a Less Expensive Alternative To Parallels?

I need to practice using a Windows-only software program (it’s vMix) and have found that I could likely put Parallels on an external drive and the vMix software there and thus run it using my iMac (2019, Intel). What is off-putting is the price of Parallels, especially since it would see little to no use once I became proficient in vMix. I hate too sound cheap, but is there a less expensive program that will let me do this?

Our church picked vMix for its live streaming instead of any Mac-based software. vMix apparently has zero interest in re-doing its software to offer it to the Mac world. It is not practical for me to drive to the church to use its system to practice. and I worry that if I did so, I might mistakenly screw up with the video guy has fiddled with for months.
—–
Doug

Comments: 7 Responses to “Is There a Less Expensive Alternative To Parallels?”

    7 months ago

    One that comes to mind is VirtualBox (https://www.virtualbox.org).

    But you could also just use Boot Camp to dual-boot your Mac into macOS and Windows. It is a pain to have to reboot though, and installing Boot Camp any time except when you are setting up a new Mac is problematic. But it is part of macOS.

    There is also Wine (https://www.winehq.org) and CrossOver(https://www.codeweavers.com/crossover#mac) but I’m not sure if those are compatible with that particular piece of software you need to run.

    In your particular situation, you may want to consider getting a free Windows PC to do this. By that I mean since you’ve got an organization with a lot of people in it, maybe someone has an old PC they aren’t using and can give or lend to you. If vMix will run on it, you can use that to learn what you need.

    George
    7 months ago

    Gary, is it true that Boot Camp doesn’t work with the new M1 MacBook Air? I just purchased one, and was interested in installing Windows on it.
    Thanks!

    7 months ago

    George: There is no Boot Camp for the M1 Macs. But if you are trying to run Windows, it does’t matter. Windows is for Intel processors. M1 Macs, of course, have an Apple M1 chip, not an Intel processor. So even if Boot Camp existed, and you installed Windows to it, it couldn’t run on an M1 any more than it could run on an Apple Watch or the Mars Perseverance Rover. There’s just no Intel chip there for it to run on. (Yes, Microsoft does have a beta of an ARM-based version of Windows, but that is just in testing and probably wouldn’t support the apps people want anyway).

    Eric
    7 months ago

    VMware Fusion is free for personal use (https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/downloads/info/slug/desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_fusion/12_0)

    I have used both VirtualBox for years and it does the job, and Paralles. I tried Parallels for a couple of months and de-installed it despite having a one-year licence (too pricey). Now using VMware Fusion and liking it. Have virtual machines forWindows 10, macOS Mojave (for a 32-bit app I use – no substitute, alas), and two Linux distributions.

    Eric
    7 months ago

    VMware Fusion also imported my VirtualBox machines in a straightforward way.

    7 months ago

    Eric: The VMWare “free” version is for non-commercial use though. So you wouldn’t be able to use it for work. But it may work for the OP’s case.

    Eric
    7 months ago

    Yes, I should have made it more clear that, as you point out Gary, the VMware Fusion “free” edition is for non-commercial use. Being retired, my virtual machines are all for personal, hobby, use.

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