I had mixed conclusions to my earlier Parallels trial, but seeing it in use by some friends, and thinking about what I need, I'm giving it another go. Microsoft seems to have done a good job getting rid of the cheapo gray-market XP Pro OEM supply, so I'll probably have to either get XP Pro Upgrade through the U (I teach) or use XP Home. Of course if I use upgrade, I need to install something -- and Windows 98 install on Parallels is miserable. So I was interested to read that Windows 2000 used to work nicely. I'll try installing Win2K in the new beta with my trial license while I wait for the copy I ordered from Amazon (via Macintouch) to arrive. (I could have gotten it for $10 less via a friend, but then I'd have to pay shipping. Amazon was about the same price even if I ignore the $10 "rebate".)
Well, that's different! Win98 on Parallels is awful, but Win2K on the new beta is merely geeky.
True, all of the embedded strings have grammatical errors. True, my initial Win2K install crashed with a fatal error (secret was to manually enable CD attachment). True, you have to manually install Parallels tools and the documentation is worthless (Install Tools is an option on the Parallels menus, use that). BUT, it's really fast. Win2K boots on the VM about as quickly as OS X boots natively. It feels uncannily solid. Win2K is fundamentally more robust than XP (Windows hacked XP to make Win98 apps run better) and there were no device driver issues with the install. My license ends in 4 days but my copy from Amazon has been ordered.
Even the install flies (except for the crash). It was faster than the XP install.