Like the turning of the seasons, we can always expect an upgrade of Parallels Desktop about this time of year. 2014 is no exception, and Parallels announced today that Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac and Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition are now available for current users.
As one would expect with an upgrade, Parallels Desktop 10 provides some significant performance enhancements. Windows documents open up to 48 percent faster, battery life on MacBooks is extended by up to 30 percent, the virtual machines take up to 10 percent less of the Mac's memory, Office 2013 apps launch up to 50 percent faster, and the virtual machines now only take up as much space on the Mac hard drive as required. There's real-time optimization that compacts the virtual disk automatically.
Setup is now made easier -- new users can select what their primary usage is (design, development, productivity, games) and the VM will be optimized. All virtual machines and configuration settings are now controlled from a new Parallels Control Center, and the process of setting up Windows installations has been streamlined as well. If your Mac is currently using a particular set of regional settings, those are installed by default on the Windows VMs.
If you're thinking about giving OS X Yosemite a test drive before release, you'll be happy to know that you can set up the Developer Preview as a virtual machine within Parallels Desktop 10. Once you're running Parallels Desktop 10 under OS X Yosemite, it will provide Windows access to many Yosemite functions such as iCloud Drive.
Current users can upgrade to Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac starting today, while the new version will be available for purchase at online and retail stores starting on August 26. The upgrade costs US$49.99 for current Parallels Desktop 8 or 9 users, while the new version is available for $79.99 to new users and at $39.99 for students. TUAW will feature a full review of the new version soon; in the meanwhile, here's a video covering the new version.