Parallels Desktop 5 Boosts Performance, More

Parallels announced the immediate availability of Parallels Desktop 5 for the Mac on Wednesday. The new version of the OS virtualization application offers up to a three times performance improvement, and video performance that's up to seven times better compared to previous versions of the application.

Parallels Desktop is an application that runs additional operating systems, such as Windows and Linux, along side Mac OS X. Users can open and use applications in Mac OS X and OSes running in the Parallels Desktop virtual environments, and share data between the apps as if they were all running natively in Mac OS X.

Parallels Desktop 5

Version 5 includes trackpad gesture support, support for eight virtual CPUs, Aero and Aero Flip 3D support in Windows 7, OpenGL 2.1 for Windows WDDM and DirectX 9Ex support, copy and paste for Linux, and the ability to copy and paste text and graphics between operating systems with formatting intact. Virtual machine sizes are automatically optimized through the new Parallels Compressor feature, and virtual machines automatically pause when Windows applications aren't running.

The new version also include full multi-monitor support, a Crystal mode that hides the Windows interface when using Windows apps, the ability to completely hide Mac OS X when running Windows applications, 64-bit Windows and 64-bit Snow Leopard support, and more.

Parallels Desktop 5 for the Mac is priced at US$79.99 and includes a one-year subscription to Parallels Internet Security 2009, Acronis Disk Director Suite 10, and Acronis True Image Home 2010. Upgrades cost $49.99, or are free for customers that purchased Parallels Desktop 4 on or after October 1, 2009.