There’re many applications I pay for regularly, especially since I started using a Macbook Pro. The big ones are Office 365 and McAfee, but there are many small ones as well. But none of them make me feel being milked like Parallels Desktop does (apart from Apple).
I mean, I get it, as a software guy I like the versioning system. In a specific version, you make certain promises under certain conditions, like Parallels does in each version: Let you run VMs in your MacOS. It has many nice features and once you pay for a version, you own it, you can continue to use it. Or at least, you should be able to use it.
I haven’t opened up my Windows VM for some time now and I thought it would be good to let it boot up and have it’s rush of updates. It did, apparently there are many updates and versions I missed. Once the turmoil went calm, I tried a few things on the machine, since I know each version of Windows can affect Parallels’ performance and it needs to be tested. I was right: When I used it in full screen instead of Coherence, this was the result:
What the hell? This only happens when it’s full screen and it’s using Radeon discrete GPU. Travel mode, which forces Parallels to use Intel video adapter, is fine apparently. But the moment I plug my laptop’s power cord in, things go crazy. Crazy, right?
Guess what’s the solution that Parallels give: Parallels Desktop 13 (the version I had) doesn’t support MacOS Catalina, so you have to upgrade to Parallels Desktop 15. And guess what (again)? It worked! Even without the Parallels Tools update in the VM! The moment the VM was booted, it worked. How convenient.
Now, again, I get it. It’s a huge thing to do, supporting both Windows’ and MacOS’ weird and constantly changing features. But honestly, why each Parallels version is locked to MacOS? Can’t you support at least 2-3 versions of MacOS with each Parallels version? So, if Apple to say, and by say I mean force you, to upgrade year (which is free), why do I have to pay £39 each year to Parallels? Is it that hard to do it? From a developer to developers, come on! Being on an Apple platform, we’re used to be milked. But if every company does that, we’ll be just using vending machines, not computers.
But I pay it, I have to pay it, because I’m a Visual Studio and a Macbook Pro user, and my work depends on it. In order to continue my work seamlessly, Parallels Desktop is the best tool that I can use. I’ve tried others, including VirtualBox and VMWare Fusion, but none of them can match the performance of Parallels Desktop. And I don’t want to boot my machine into Windows every time with bootcamp.
But still, we pay to own these softwares, right? Parallels Desktop doesn’t have a subscription model, so it should at least work on my machine for a couple of years, until I need more features and I feel the need to upgrade. It should be up to us, not the provider, to decide when. Even though it’s a great tool, it still feels wrong.
Don’t even get me started on the subscription model, that’s another and a wider discussion.