Parallels Update Features Expose Support, Mirrored Desktops

Parallels announced on Tuesday a feature update to their Desktop 3 virtualization software. The update is free and features Coherence support for Expose, a mirrored desktop system, substantially improved performance and more.

The new features were described as follows:

1.Seamless Look and Feel: Coherence, Parallelsi innovative view mode that lets users run Windows applications like they are native Mac applications, now offers full integration with OS Xis "Expose" feature. This means when expose is activated, each Parallels Coherence window will appear as a separate Window, displayed with its full contents, enabling users to select a Windows application individually. Coherence windows also "stack" in any order with Mac applications and offer drop shadows, just like native Mac application windows. Individual Coherence windows can also be minimized to the Mac application dock.

2. Mirrored Desktops, Documents and Media: Users can set their Windows Desktop as well as their "My Documents", "My Pictures", and "My Music" folders to automatically mirror their Mac OS X desktop and the "Documents", "Pictures", "Movies" and "Music" folders located in the Mac home directory. This ensures that important files are at the ready regardless of which Windows or Mac application the user is currently working with. Parallels Shared Folders can also be mapped to Windows letter drives for easier access.

3.More Powerful Parallels Explorer: Parallels Explorer, which enables users to view and modify the contents of their virtual machine (VM) hard disk while the VM is off, now recognizes suspended VMs. Users can also choose to automatically mount a VM hard drive to their OS X desktop as a drive thatis readable and writable even if the VM is off. This gives users the ability to access files inside their VMs instantly and at any time, without opening Explorer, for increased flexibility and productivity.

4. Superior Performance and Lower Overhead: Real-world workload performance has been substantially improved, especially in high stress situations like OS startup and shutdown. This release includes improvements in resource usage, particularly CPU utilization. Users can now also allocate up to 2GB of RAM to an individual virtual machine. Windows Vista performs faster and more smoothly than in previous builds.

Desktop 3.0 build #5160 is a free upgrade.

Parallels Desktop 3 is immediately available for online purchase at or at retailers including, for example, the Apple retail stores, Fryis Electronics, MicroCenter, CompUSA,, Staples, Office Depot and select Best Buy stores. It is priced at US$79.99. There is a 15-day free trial that is fully functional.