Parallels Adding BootCamp Support

Parallels released a new beta of its Parallels Desktop for the Mac on Friday that includes support for Appleis BootCamp. Parallels Desktop for Mac build 3036 Beta adds several new features, but the most notable is the ability to select and launch a Windows XP installation from a BootCamp partition, as well as read and write data to and from the partition.

Parallels Desktop is a "virtual machine" application that lets you run alternate operating systems - including Windows XP - in a window on an Intel Mac running Mac OS X. One of the advantages Parallels Desktop brings to the table is that you donit have to reboot your Mac to switch between Windows and Mac OS X. Appleis BootCamp, in comparison, requires you to choose which operating system to boot your Mac with at startup.

There has been some speculation that Apple would let BootCamp run as a virtual machine system, like Parallels Desktop, when Mac OS X 10.5 is released. Apple representatives have stated that BootCamp will continue to function as it does today.

The Parallels Desktop beta is available for download through the Parallels Desktop for Mac online forum. Keep in mind that this is a beta version of the software, and should be used with caution. Some users are reporting issues, including a reappearance of some bugs when running on Mac Pro systems.