For some years now I’ve been running a Mac as my main development system, using Parallels Desktop to run Windows in VM’s on that hardware. I like the Parallels software, but not their licensing policy, which requires me to license each machine I use rather than the “No Nonesense” approach of licensing me, the user, which I find particularly annoying now that they have switched to a subscription licensing model.
But, this didn’t used to be a problem until I got a second Mac last year with a MacBook Pro for development on the go, as well as continuing to use my iMac.
To get up and running with the MacBook I simply signed up for a second subscription. But this week I received a payment details reminder this week for the fact that my credit card that I used had expired.
RTFM (or RTFE)
Having been reminded, I then queried their current licensing policy to see if two licenses were still required.
I was told that they were (or rather, I was told that the EULA still applied and to go away and read that.
They then followed that up with a frankly bonkers “solution” of swapping the “active” license from one machine to another as needed.
If they are happy for someone to do that, why not simply allow them to activate the license on two machines ? Or as many machines as they need ?
But this made me evaluate my options, consider switching to VMware and take proper stock of all the factors involved, including total subscription costs etc.
And so it was then that I noticed that my two subscriptions were significantly differently priced!
How I had missed this before I cannot fathom. But I had.
Two Identical Subscriptions. Very Non-Identical Subs
The license I was using on my MacBook Pro was due to renew later this year at NZ $88.20 but my original license (the one I was being reminded about, with renewal due later this month) was NZ $179 !!!
I double and triple checked to make sure this was not a single payment for both subscriptions. But no, each was a different price, for a single Parallels Desktop Pro license, with different renewal dates.
Investigating the possibility of switching to VMware I had already found that this space is rife with “hidden deals”. VMware have a competitive upgrade pricing deal for Parallels users, but as far as I can tell do not directly advertise this, but you can find it if you Google the right incantation.
Curious as to what “hidden” discount/upgrade options Parallels might have, similar to VMware’s I googled a few combinations of “Parallels” and “upgrades” etc and came across a special offer to upgrade to Parallels Desktop Pro at the same subscription cost as non-Pro.
That’s (US$49/yr) AND the T’s and C’s state that the cost is then fixed at that level for each year.
You can order as many as you need.
So I have purchased two of these “Upgrade” subscriptions and applied them to my current installs. My previous subscriptions will be allowed simply to lapse.
A Saving Not to be Sneezed At
At a stroke I have replaced a combined subscription cost of over NZ$250/yr with a single NZ$154/yr subscription covering two licenses.
Coincidentally (or not) that’s almost exactly the same price as the VMware Fusion Pro competitive upgrade deal but now I don’t have to deal with migrating all my VM’s or the fact that (based on an initial evaluation with the 30 day trial) VMware seem not to have solved the performance problems arising when running VM’s off an external USB 3 HDD – an issue that Parallels have also had but long since resolved (the Win10 guest OS thrashes the disk, pegging it at 100% CPU with performance being unusable as a result).
The only question is, why didn’t Parallels think to mention this option to me ?