When comparing Parallels Desktop vs VMWare Workstation, the Slant community recommends VMWare Workstation for most people. In the question“What is the best Virtual Machine (VM) for developers?” VMWare Workstation is ranked 2nd while Parallels Desktop is ranked 3rd. The most important reason people chose VMWare Workstation is:
Works with [Vagrant](http://www.vagrantup.com/), an awesome tool for managing and deploying virtual machine images.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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 integration ever
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).
Pro Works with Vagrant
Works with Vagrant, an awesome tool for managing and deploying virtual machine images.
There is very little to no downtime of the Virtual desktops that are hosted in a datacenter.
Pro Can do snapshots
Workstation is capable of taking whole-system snapshots and writing them to a backing file.
Pro Windows / Linux host
Can be installed on Windows and Linux systems.
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.
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 Home edition doesn't work with Vagrant or Docker Machine
Make sure you purchase the Pro edition (the subscription) if you need command-line access to the hypervisor.
Con Can't export OVA files
One you use parallel you get trapped into a proprietary format.
Can't share disk blocks on two unrelated virtual machines (KSM for disk) too.
Con No snapshotting support in the free version
Con Pro version is overpriced
The pro version which has snapshot support is ridiculously overpriced. What's worse, major releases require a brand new license, but generally don't add much more functionality.
Con Horrible user interface
Too often you get "vm is used by another user" or "can't revert to snapshot" for whatever reasons without simple solutions. In most cases, it just throws knowledge base links to you. Not even clickable. Way overpriced.