When comparing ShiftIt vs Parallels Desktop, the Slant community recommends ShiftIt for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for macOS?” ShiftIt is ranked 49th while Parallels Desktop is ranked 51st.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Easy to configure
ShiftIt is configured through a simple UI where you simply press the hotkeys you wish to map to a certain action.
ShiftIt is very straight-forward to use for most frequent usages.
Pro Open source
Pro Can run Windows apps as native OS X apps
Parallels has a "Coherence View" mode that allows running Windows applications as if they were native OS X apps. In this mode Windows is virtualized in background and Windows features like Jump Lists, Taskbar, Start Menu, etc can be embedded directly within OS X.
Pro Easy to use
Parallels has an easy to learn and use UI. All important features are wizard based. It requires only a few clicks for the wizard to download and set up the latest Chrome OS, Windows or Linux build.
Pro Best-in-class gaming performance
Compared to other VMs, Parallels has the best gaming performance. Still, a good framerate can only be achieved with games that have very low resource requirements. A much better option for resource intensive games is dual booting Windows (via Boot Camp).
Con A little slow
Similar to Spectacle, but it has a few more features, such as being able to pick the size adjustment increments. Spectacle was a little faster, though. Repeated size changes or moves in succession can cause it to wait for it to complete.
Con Imprecise when readjusting sizes
Con Doesn't support moving windows between workspaces
There's no way to move a window to a different workspace with hotkeys in ShiftIt.
Con Requires buying a new version of the software with each new OS X release
Chances are that the same version of Parallels won't work with different OS X releases, requiring a separate purchase of Parallels for each OS X version.
Con Very expensive
Parallels upgrades are very expensive. Even if I bough several versions of Parallels I will switch back to free VirtualBox as they even "invented" the Pro version - mainly doubled the price you have to pay each year to have the software updated.
Con Can't import OVA files
OVA files are useful because they include all of its supporting files. Unfortunately, Parallels doesn't support these useful files.