Parallels Desktop 4
Here's a neat way to force an upgrade path on your users: don't just freeze development on old versions, ensure that they don't even run after an operating system upgrade. I had been putting off upgrading to Parallels Desktop 4 for a while now. As I use it so infrequently, it seemed hard to justify the price. I upgraded to Snow Leopard this week, and, as it turned out, needed to run Parallels Desktop this evening. Version 3 won't even launch under Snow Leopard. Fair enough, maybe there's a genuine technical explanation. So I investigate upgrade pricing (which isn't too bad, to be honest), and download version 4. Then the fun starts.
- I launch the installer. After a couple of clicks, it informs me that one of my virtual machines is suspended (as opposed to shut down). Apparently the installation can't proceed, but it's prepared to wait for me to shut it down. Of course, we've already established that I can't even launch Parallels Desktop 3. Catch 22. I can't launch the old version to shut down the virtual machine, and I can't install the new version until the virtual machine is shut down. (For the record, Google did manage to find me a Parallels knowledge base article on how to solve this.)
- Now the installer is happy to proceed. It gets to a dialog where it tells me it's "Preparing Parallels Desktop 4 for Mac". It sits there for about 20 minutes, using about 0.5% CPU. I force quit the installer.
- I run the installer again, this time racing through the dialogs as all my virtual machines are apparently in a satisfactory state. It gets to a dialog where it tells me it's "Preparing Parallels Desktop 4 for Mac". It sits there for about 20 minutes, using about 0.5% CPU. I force quit the installer.
- Figuring that installing Parallels Desktop to run Windows XP, I should maybe just try to be more like a Windows user, I reboot the machine. I run the installer again, and this time it installs the application in a few minutes.