The Windows 8 Cheat Sheet Everyone Needs

Image courtesy of Google Play.

Image courtesy of Google Play.

A lot of people have a lot of opinions on Windows 8. The much-maligned OS has been the source of frustration for a lot of users, despite some of the good things that came with it: for instance, improved performance and expanded security

Despite the criticism, there’s still a lot of things to love about Windows 8 (some of which will hopefully reappear in the fast-approaching official release of Windows 10). 

If you’re still struggling adapting to Windows 8, check out this awesome infographic we found—designed by Marcel van der Hoek, it will help transform you into a Windows 8 ninja in no time:

Infographic courtesy of Visual.ly. Designed by Marcel van der Hoek.

Infographic courtesy of Visual.ly. Designed by Marcel van der Hoek.

While it may be safe to assume that Microsoft will address everything that went wrong with Windows 8 in 10, it can’t hurt to have a few tricks up your sleeve.

What about you—are you a fan of Windows 8, or just really excited to get the final version of Windows 10? Tell us in a comment, or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter.


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Mac vs. Windows: Here’s Who You Picked

Recently, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we asked our Twitter followers which operating system they loved more—Windows or Mac. The responses weren’t all that surprising:

There was a question regarding lost marbles:

Needless to say, most of you prefer Mac:

So much so, in fact, that you chime into others' declarations of love:

But, there was some genuine resolve to stay as neutral as Switzerland:

And, finally, someone who picked Windows out of the kindness of their heart:

 

We even got a few answers on LinkedIn—though the consensus there was a tad more…even.

Who do you choose? Share who you love more with us on Twitter!

It’s no secret—we love Mac, too. But we also obviously love a lot of the benefits of using Windows, which is why Parallels Desktop for Mac is a great solution for cross-platform champions who want the best of both worlds. Have you upgraded to Parallels Desktop 10 yet?


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Run 10 Browsers At Once! Who Would Want To Do That?

Who would ever want to run ten browsers at the same time?

Well, a website developer or website tester would, and it can be one of the most efficient ways to view a website while it is being developed, or to check out a website prior to deployment. How? On a Mac, you can do this easily using Parallels Desktop.

One of the most useful advanced features of Parallels Desktop for a developer or tester is the ability to simultaneously run applications that are incompatible with each other. There is no way in Windows, for example, to even install IE9 and IE10 at the same time, let alone run them simultaneously.  Similarly, there is no way to run Office 2010 and Office 2013 side-by-side in Windows. But, with Parallels Desktop for Mac, you can do this and more, since Parallels Desktop can simultaneously run multiple copies of Windows, each in a different virtual machine.

With Parallels Desktop, you can install as many virtual machines as you have space on your hard drive, and you can run as many simultaneously as you have RAM for.

Figure 1 shows five browsers running simultaneously on my Retina MacBook Pro: IE9 and IE10 in Windows 7, IE10 and Metro IE 10 in Windows 8, and Safari 6 in Lion. Imagine the development or testing productivity of checking out the same webpage in five browsers at the same time, and being able to immediately see any browser discrepancies when a modification to the page is pushed out—especially if this was happening on the same machine where your web development tools are running. It doesn't get much better than this for a developer or tester!

Figure 1: Test your website in five browsers simultaneously, right on your Mac.

Figure 1: Test your website in five browsers simultaneously, right on your Mac.

Additionally, if you've completely taken leave of your senses, you can even run ten different browsers simultaneously. See this demonstrated in Figure 2 (also on my Retina MacBook Pro).

I've shown this figure to several colleagues and friends. The reaction of my "normal" friends is "Have you lost your mind?" but the reaction of my web developer friends has been "Wow, that's great!" and "Can I have this figure for my wall?"

Admittedly, it does take a while to set up so many different virtual machines, but in a future blog post I will show you how even this can also be streamlined—with some help from Microsoft.

Figure 2: Test your website in ten browsers simultaneously, right on your Mac.

Figure 2: Test your website in ten browsers simultaneously, right on your Mac.

Does this blog post have you thinking about how Parallels Desktop for Mac could make your programming, development, or Q&A life easier? We challenge you to download our free trial and try to best 10 VMs. In any event, you can see if Parallels fits into your workflow—we're confident it will help you save time!


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Celebrating the Legacy of Steve Jobs

This week, we're celebrating the life of a true visionary in our Geek Out Anniversary program.

Steve Jobs would have turned 60 on February 24 of this year, and we want to take the opportunity to celebrate this innovator.

Steve Jobs Would Have Turned 60 This Year

Steve Jobs' impact has been historic. We, of course, look to his vision while at Apple—from the Mac to the iPod, and finally with the iPad. But his vision doesn’t just end there. For example, his work with Pixar (Steve Jobs credited himself as an executive producer on Toy Story) shows his prowess for success across multiple industries. 

We are humbled in our remembrance of this incredible trailblazer. Take some time and celebrate his legacy with us!

Without Steve Jobs or the Mac, we may have been left with only Windows hardware options. Now, of course, you can have the best of both worlds by running Windows on your Mac. Tell your friends about our free trial!


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Installing and Using the Windows 10 Technical Preview in Parallels Desktop

I admit it: I enjoy using early releases of new operating systems and providing feedback to their development teams. I do this for both Apple and Windows OSes, and I hope that the feedback improves that OS in its final release. And, of course, I do the installation and testing in a virtual machineit's the easiest and safest way to “play” with an early release OS.

Sometimes, however, installing a new OS in a virtual machine can be quite challenging, especially if the OS is internally structured in a significantly new way. 

For Parallels Desktop users who want to install the latest release of the currently-being-developed Windows 10, the Parallels Desktop engineering team has already done all the work of installing this new OS in a virtual machine, and have packaged it in a way that literally makes this essentially a one-button-push experience. (Okay, it's five button pushes, but most are just “Continue”.)

To take advantage of this work by the Parallels engineering team, you will need the latest build of Parallels Desktop, version 10.1.4, build 28883 (or a later release). This is a free update for Parallels Desktop 10 users. Just “Check for Updates…” in the Parallels Desktop menu.

Once you have this version of Parallels Desktop installed, to get the latest release of the Windows 10 Technical Preview, here's what you need to do:

1. Open the Wizard for the creation of a new virtual machine.

There are two ways to do this: (a) Use the “New…” command on the Parallels Desktop menu, or (b) click on the “+” at the top of the Parallels Desktop Control Center window. (See Figure 1)

Figure 1

Figure 1

2. Click the “Windows 10 Technical Preview” button, and click “Continue”. (See Figure 2)

Figure 2

Figure 2

3. Click “Continue” again. (See Figure 3)

Figure 3

Figure 3

Then choose the language you want for Windows 10 (See Figure 4. Note that the list of languages is a scrolling list, so if you don’t see the language you want, try scrolling the list with your mouse.) 

Figure 4

Figure 4

4. Finally, choose the location for the new virtual machinethe default will be fine for most people.) Then click “Download”. (See Figure 5)

Figure 5

Figure 5

The latest build of Windows 10 will be installed in a new virtual machine. It doesn’t get much easier than that! 

Windows 10 is not a small download, so the amount of time this will take depends on the speed of your Internet connection. For reference, it took about 45 minutes at my house. The good news is that neither the download nor the subsequent OS installation require any intervention on your part. So, go to lunch or something, and when you return, you'll have the Windows 10 Technical Preview running on your Mac. (See Figure 6)

Figure 6

Figure 6

By default, Parallels Desktop will add a new user to Windows 10, using your username from your Mac. If you then “link” a Windows Live ID to that user and if you join the free Windows Insider Program, you will be able to use the Windows Store (beta) to install the previews of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows 10.  Those apps might even be in the front page of the Store like they were for me. (See Figure 7)

Figure 7

Figure 7

These are all free downloads. Figure 8 shows the download page in the Store for the Word Preview, and Figure 9 shows the PowerPoint Preview in use in the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

Figure 8

Figure 8

Figure 9

Figure 9

In case you're like me and you want to give feedback to Microsoft about Windows 10, you're in for a real treatMicrosoft has done an exceptionally good job in the feedback experience and in making sure that this feedback gets to the correct team within the Windows organization (a really big group at Microsoft).

I've already sent the team kudos for my Windows 10 experience (which I considered to be a delight), and have sent in 6 or 7 suggestions (see Figure 10) where I think the experience could be improved. I hope this blog post makes it easier for you to contribute your own feedback to the Windows 10 team, and to start enjoying Windows 10!

Figure 10

Figure 10

Are you going to install Windows 10 in your VM? Tell us your experience in a comment, or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter.


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