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Inside Mac Games Interviews Parallels
December 11, 2006 | Anthony Wang

Inside Mac Games recently had the chance to interview Ben Rudolph, the PR guru/chief evangelist of Parallels Software. In the interview we talk about Parallels for the Mac, the upcoming 3D support for games, and its potential impact on Mac gaming.

Inside Mac Games: Could you give us a little info about yourself and tell us about Parallels commitment to the Mac market?

Rudolph: Sure. I lead marketing and PR efforts for Parallels and am the company's first employee. I've been here since the very beginning.

As for our commitment to the Mac market, I think that we've demonstrated that to be very high. Things like our active forum, our public betas, and the company blog have all been important tools for us to learn what the Mac community wants from our products, and we've delivered solutions that meet their needs. Of course, we have no plans to slow down or lessen the commitment!

The Mac community has been a great partner for us since day one. I can't thank our users enough for all of their support.

Inside Mac Games: Could you tell us about Parallels Desktop for Mac?

Rudolph: Parallels Desktop for Mac is the first solution that lets Mac users run Windows or any other operating system at the same time as OS X. No rebooting required!

Parallels works on Intel-Macs only and offers performance that rivals - and sometimes exceeds - that found on a "real PC".

Inside Mac Games: What's your view on similar virtualization software such as Boot Camp, Cross Over etc.?

Rudolph: Well, neither are virtualization solutions, and both have productivity problems. Boot Camp is fast and offers a true native experience, but you can't use it at the same time as OS X, so you're effectively killing the productivity of your Mac.

CrossOver is cool at first glance, since you can run Windows apps without Windows, but there are some real problems when you get to work. No device support, slow performance, and a very limited program set.

One of the features missing in Parallels I believe is 3D gaming support for games such as Battlefield 1942, Unreal Tournament, etc.

Inside Mac Games: Do you plan to implement this key feature in the future?

Rudolph: This is something that we're already working on. The goal is to have OpenGL and DirectX support in our next version, which should be in beta around the turn of the year.

Inside Mac Games: In what ways do you think Mac gaming will benefit from using Parallels Desktop and similar products?

Parallels It means that Mac users can immediately experience the latest games, even if a Mac version hasn't been released yet. It's a great transition tool for gamers moving to the Mac, and will show game developers that there is a real market for mac gaming.

Inside Mac Games: With Mac OS X Leopard and Windows Vista on the horizon, do you plan on supporting these latest operating systems?

Rudolph: We already do! You can run Parallels Desktop on Leopard (we released this capability a few months ago), and we've supported Vista as a guest OS for several weeks. Our new installation assistant is Vista ready, and we now offer the same great Parallels Tools for Vista as we do for XP.
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Inside Mac Games: Do you feel like your software is competing with Mac game companies such as Aspyr, MacSoft, and others?

Rudolph: That's not our intent at all. The goal with Parallels Desktop for Mac, as well as Parallels Workstation for Windows & Linux, is to give computer users the option of using the best software for every available operating system. Keep in mind that 3D graphics support in virtual machines is also very important for Windows-only business applications that don't have a Mac or Linux analogue, so the need for this technology goes beyond gaming.

Inside Mac Games: Do you think there will be a negative impact on Mac gaming companies from porting games in the future when there is no need to because the majority of the gaming market uses virtualization software?

Rudolph: Its hard to say. As I said, our intent isn't to put anyone out of business, rather, to give the users the best of all worlds. Since the market itself is new, we'll have to see how things trend.

Inside Mac Games: Do you have any new exciting new features planned besides 3D graphics and support for the latest operating systems from Apple and Microsoft?

Rudolph: We do indeed. Look for a great new user interface, better device support, USB 2.0, and more in the next few months! We're also working on Parallels Server for Intel XServers.

Inside Mac Games: Where do you think Parallels will be situated in the Mac gaming market a year from now?

Rudolph: I think that we'll definitely have a substantial role, since there will always been some gaming vendors who refuse to make Mac versions of their software or, take a long time to do so.

In the end, we'll be a vehicle where Mac users can play the latest and greatest Windows games immediately with no more waiting and praying for a vendor to get an OS X version to the market.

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