please recommend some good virtual machine software under Windows like Parallels Desktop under Mac

I really like Parallels Desktop under Mac. However they don't have a PC version. I need a good virtual machine software under Windows for software development and other daily usage. I'll confine a lot of daily usage of my PC inside one or more VMs.

VMware Workstation 12 Pro seems good, but it's kind of expensive. VMware Workstation 12 Player is cheaper, but is it sufficient for the purpose that I mentioned? Or should I go with VMware Workstation 12 Pro?

VirtualBox is free, but is it good enough?

Please kindly give me some advice.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Virtualbox for FREE is good enough!

or why not try and use VMware Player 7.0, free and cut down version of VMware Workstation.

VMware Workstation Pro 12 does perform better, and is a polished top product, not a copy!
condor888Author Commented:
But is VMware Player 7.0 able to create VMs? Or it just can run the VMs created by other software?

It looks like VMware Workstation 12 can only run the VMs...
VMware Player has no problem creating VM's. But with the free version you are restricted to using it privately. For business use you need the pro version which isn't free. Otherwise VMware Player works very well. But so does VirtualBox. It is OpenSource so that is an advantage over the VMware products.

Another option you have, provided you are using Windows 8.x Pro /10 Pro or above (Ultimate, enterprise), and your CPU supports SLAT (which most relatively modern CPU's do), you could also enable the Windows feature "Hyper-V, which is included in those OS's. It would be, compared to VMware Player/Workstation or VBox, a type 1 hypervisor rather than a type 2 Hypervisor, so it's performance should be better.
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I know of and have used each of these, this would be my input for you.

VMware is excellent very feature rich, considered one of the best by many. Sky is the limit on what you want to do however there comes a point that you get what you pay for.

VirtualBox is free and open source, run's every operating system I have had the chance to throw at it. I have built full infrastructures using this including setting up Routing and Remote access to make networks inside of the VirtualBox. (VirtualBox is my go-to for this)

Hyper-V is also an excellent solution and is provided by Microsoft. Hyper-V also is very widely used in Microsoft servers.

Virtual PC is also provided by Microsoft, it is a free lite weight VM platform that will run most operating systems without any issue, I have found from personal use that the hardware support and drivers seem to be more limited than others but it runs very good and is like stated very lite weight.

Test each of them and see what you like, if you are not doing anything too intensive it will come down to your personal preference.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Older versions long ago, could only PLAY, not create.

That changed years ago, after version 2.0/3.0.

I would opt for Workstation Pro 12. (you can then also manage ESXi later, migrate to vCloud Air), if you have a need. - very feature rich, and has a long pedigree and support!
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Windows 8 Pro and up has Hyper-V built-in. That's "free". :)
VirtualPC is something you should forget. It is very old, if anything you can run Windows XP mode on it, but it won't support 64 bit OS's, and besides that you won't get it to run on a host OS after Windows 7.The other options that have been mentioned are far better.
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