Parallels Announces Update to Desktop Virtualization Software

Parallels announced on Tuesday the release of a major update to Desktop for Mac, itis virtualization software that allows Macs to run Linux, Windows and other OSes along side Mac OS X.

The new version, officially build # 3186, is anchored by the Coherence feature. "When users switch to Coherence mode, the Windows desktop disappears, leaving Windows applications, such as Outlook and Internet Explorer, running directly on the Mac desktop and from the Mac application dock," according to the announcement by Parallels.

The new features in this version are:

  • "Plug and Play" USB 2.0 support: By upgrading USB support from 1.1 to 2.0, users can now access popular USB devices like external hard drives, printers, and scanners, and use them at full native speed, simply by plugging the device into their Macs. iSight cameras built-in to MacBooks, MacBook Pros and iMacs are also fully supported in virtual machines. There is no complicated setup required to make USB devices work.
  • Full-feature virtual CD/DVD drive: Users can burn CDs and DVDs directly in virtual machines, and play any copy-protected CD or DVD just like on a real PC.
  • Support for Boot Camp partitions: The update gives Boot Camp users the ability to easily run their entire Boot Camp installation, directly in a Parallels virtual machine, without any complex setup or manual reconfiguration. Users can switch between loading Windows in Parallels Desktop or Boot Camp as often as they?d like.
  • True "Drag and Drop": Easily share files between Windows and OS X by dragging documents and folders from one desktop to another. Drag and Drop is completely customizable to ensure maximum file and system security.
  • Compatible with Windows Vista: Users can create a new virtual machine that runs Windows Vista, or upgrade a Windows XP virtual machine to a Windows Vista virtual machine, without losing any information or starting from scratch.

"Parallels Desktop also includes a powerful new migration tool called Transporter," Parallels said, "that gives users the ability to move their entire existing PCs -- including all of its settings, applications, files and profiles -- directly to a Parallels virtual machine running on their new Macs, without re-installing Windows."

More information, as well as a download link, is available at the Parallels Website. The new version is free for current customers. Parallels Desktop comes with a 15-day trial and is priced at US$79.95.