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Parallels woos Apple cult converts

Virtualization and indoctrination

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Parallels has released a new version of its Mac desktop virtualization package specifically for all those longtime PC users switching to Jobsian hardware for the very first time.

Well, it's really an old version of the company's Mac desktop virtualization package - Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac - but it's been joined by a few extra items meant to facilitate the leap from PC to Mac. There's a USB cable and a software wizard for moving your PC operating system, applications, files, and data onto a Mac-housed virtual machine. And there's some learning tools meant to help with your indoctrination into the Jobsian cult, including more than two hours of interactive video tutorials and a reference cards that lists the most common command discrepancies between Mac and PC.

The whole package is known as the Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition, and it has a suggested retail price of $99.99. By itself, Parallels Desktop for Mac sells for $79.99.

In its latest quarterly earnings report, Apple said that about half of all new Macs went to people who were purchasing Jobsian hardware for the first time. For Parallels CEO Serguei Beloussov, this means roughly 50 per cent of Mac buyers are switching from a PC. And he estimates that so-called PC switchers account for 90 per cent of Mac users who end up running Windows apps on their Jobsian hardware. Such PC-to-Mac types don't just need virtualzation software, Beloussov tells The Reg, they need migration tools and tutorials.

"We've tried to make the switching experience as seamless as possible," he says.

The Switch to Mac edition will be sold - starting today - at Apple stores, Apple.com, and other retail outlets. It's available in English, German, and French. ®

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