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Since then, I've had no problems and its a lot easier to go from VmWare to the Apple programs than it would be in Parallels. I don't have to shut down and restart and I believe one has to do so with Parallels.

I think you're confusing Parallels and BootCamp. Parallels is functionally equivalent to VMWare. They are very similar programs, and do things in very similar ways. I've only played with VMWare, but I am a regular (if reluctant) user of Parallels. If there are Windows apps that you use on a frequent basis, you can set up Parallels so the apps work almost like OS X apps. Not the UI of the app, but the app can sit in the dock like OS X apps and have it's own windows on the screen with little or none of the "Windows" UI showing. I think VMWare does things similary.

With BootCamp, you do need to shut down and restart.

Another alternative, which does not require purchasing a Windows license, is to use Crossover.
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