Parallels Releases Desktop 11 for Mac with El Capitan & Windows 10 Support

On August 19, Parallels released Desktop 11 for Mac. It fully supports Windows 10, including Cortana access in OS X, and is ready for OS X El Capitan. One focus of this release, as always, is performance increases. Additional focuses are 1) Even better integration between OS X and Windows for a more seamless experience, 2) Travel mode, and 3) a new Pro version with special features for developers, power users and IT professionals. 

PD 11 on Yosemite running both WIndows 7 and 10

Parallels Desktop (PD) 11 makes the combined Windows and OS X experience even more seamless. Notably:

  • Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana is always on and available to the OS X user.
  • The OS X feature called Quick Look can now be applied to Windows documents.
  • Windows 10 Notifications are available in Coherence Mode.
  • Sound volume is synchronized between OS X and Windows.
  • PD 11 makes smart choices about IP address sharing when mobile so that users don't have to pay for Internet access for multiple OSes.

And while a purchase of Windows 10 is not yet available within the PD environment, it's easy to to upgrade existing virtual machines of Windows 7 and 8.1 to a purchased copy of Windows 10.

In terms of performance, "For Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, boot time and shut down time can be as much as 50% faster." Battery life is 25 percent better, and travel mode shuts down resource-intensive services in order to extend the battery life when power is not available.

This release also introduces the Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition. Support here includes popular developer tools like Docker, Visual Studio, Chef, Jenkins, Vagrant provider Also included is support for Dropbox for Business, Box, and OneDrive Business. Finally, the Pro edition allows the user to create more powerful virtual machines with support for up to 16 vCPUs and 64 GB of vRAM.

Microsoft Cortana assistant always available to OS X user.

As with Yosemite, El Capitan is licensed for use within the Parallels environment. This is a great way to beta test El Capitan, isolated from the Yosemite OS and with labelled snapshots.

Finally, PD 11 has been tested with Apple's new MacBook, and the performance was described by the Parallels chief engineer as "reasonable and usable."

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Pricing and Availability

Parallles Desktop 11 for Mac and Mac Pro Edition are immediately available. Pricing is as follows.

TMO will be looking at Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac in more detail soon.