Last week it was VMWare that received an update; now the primary competition to that virtual machine software, Parallels, has been updated to a new, more capable version. Parallels Desktop 8 (US$79.99) is available starting today for current Parallels Desktop users, with full retail availability coming on September 4.
Students can pick up the Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac Student Edition for $39.99, while the special "Switch to Mac Edition" -- which includes tutorials and other special features for people switching from Windows to Mac -- sells for $99.99. If you're a current user, your upgrade is priced at $49.99, and if you're a VMWare user who wants to switch to Parallels Desktop, you can get a full version for $49.99. Anyone who purchased Parallels Desktop 7 on or after July 25, 2012 is eligible for a free upgrade.
So, why would you want to upgrade to the new version?
- Speed: Parallels Desktop 8 is up to 30 percent faster for I/O and VM operations (boot, suspend, shutdown and resume) compared to its predecessor.
- Retina display support: Retina display resolution in Windows and Windows apps
- Dictation: Mountain Lion Dictation can be used in both the Mac and Windows environments
- Windows apps on OS X Launchpad: Windows apps can be added to Lion and Mountain Lion Launchpad for quick launching.
There are a number of other features, all of which are listed in the press release below. TUAW will have a complete review of Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac soon.
Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac Unites Mountain Lion and Windows in One Seamless Experience
No. 1-selling software for running Windows applications on a Mac gives people at home, in the office and on-the-go the best of the world's two most popular operating systems
Renton, WA, USA, and IFA Conference Berlin, Germany – Aug. 30, 2012 – Parallels® today launched Parallels Desktop® 8 for Mac, the newest version of the No. 1-selling* software for running Windows and Mac applications simultaneously on a Mac without rebooting. People love Macs but many still need to be able to use Windows applications for work, school or hobbies. Now they can enjoy the latest Mountain Lion features in Windows apps with Parallels Desktop 8. Starting August 30, current Parallels Desktop users can upgrade to Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac at www.parallels.com/desktop. For new customers, Parallels Desktop 8 will be available for purchase at retail stores and via the Parallels website on September 4.
New and enhanced features of Parallels Desktop 8 make life even better for people who love their Macs and want to simultaneously run Windows apps like Internet Explorer, OneNote, Quicken and more. Bringing together the newest versions of the world's two most popular operating systems – OS X and Windows – opens up a world of opportunity by allowing users to choose how they want Mac and Windows to collaborate. From having the familiar Windows desktop in full screen to having Windows run invisibly, Parallels Desktop 8 delivers powerful performance to run Windows applications, even graphic-intensive ones, like they were made for a Mac. Use Mountain Lion's Dictation feature in Windows apps, organize Windows "Metro-style" applications in Launchpad, and enjoy the brilliant Retina-display resolution in Windows applications.
"People don't need to make an either/or choice between Mac and Windows because Macs running Parallels Desktop 8 empower people to simultaneously use applications that best suit their needs – regardless of whether it's an app for OS X, Windows, Google Chrome OS, Ubuntu, or even Android," said Parallels CEO Birger Steen. "We hear amazing stories from people every day – from students and teachers who need Windows for classes, and developers working on iOS and Android mobile devices, to businesspeople and parents – who all enjoy the freedom Parallels Desktop for Mac gives them."
As the "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) trend continues to grow rapidly, and more people use Macs in business and at home, Parallels Desktop also offers solutions tailored to specific needs.
Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition is tailored to the needs of larger companies and IT departments that want to support Windows-based applications on Macs with a configurable, policy- compliant solution. The Enterprise Edition easily fits into existing business processes and helps reduce the cost of deploying and maintaining client-based software. Details are available at www.parallels.com/desktop/enterprise.
In conjunction with its enterprise focus, Parallels also recently launched the Apple-in-the-Workplace Barometer, a crowd-sourced project for gauging where companies stand in terms of BYOD Mac adoption and support. Discover where your company ranks and gain access to a host of resources
￼for learning about and implementing Macs in the enterprise by taking the survey at
Parallels also announced the availability of Parallels Desktop 8 Switch to MacTM Edition, which includes Parallels Desktop 8 software plus a set of switching tools to automatically move programs, files and browser favorites to Mac, as well as in-box video tutorials to learn about the Mac. Details are available at www.parallels.com/products/desktop/stm.
New and improved features in Parallels Desktop 8 include:
Speak, don't type – Use the new Mountain Lion Dictation tool across both Windows and Mac environments
Open in Internet Explorer – When a website doesn't render well within Safari, launch it in Internet Explorer with a click of a button
Drag and drop email attachments – Simply drag and drop files from the desktop onto the Dock icons for Outlook and other Windows email clients to attach and share them
Multilingual keyboard – Keyboard language changes made on the Mac automatically sync, to simplify switching languages in Windows
Parallels Wizard –Download and automatically install Windows or other operating systems (OSes) including Google Chrome OS, Ubuntu and Android on your Mac. Parallels Desktop customers have downloaded more than 500,000 copies of Windows using the Parallels Wizard to-date, and many additional customers have moved their Windows PCs to their Mac or added Windows and other OSes.
Bluetooth-sharing – Multiple Windows and Mac devices can now share Bluetooth connections
Windows apps on OS X Launchpad – Add Windows applications to the Mountain Lion or Lion Launchpad to quickly launch Mac and Windows applications used most
Consolidated notifications – Integration of Windows notifications into the Mac OS X Notification Center makes it easy to stay updated on Windows virtual machine operations
Resource monitoring – Disk space and memory usage of virtual machines are conveniently displayed for easy customization and management
Mountain Lion gestures for Windows apps – Enjoy seamless integration of Mountain Lion gestures with Windows apps – such as pinch to zoom, Mission Control, three-finger drag, swipe between full-screen apps, two-finger scroll, Launchpad and rotate
USB 3.0 devices support – Benefit from easy access to all-important files and data from a virtual machine
Brilliant Retina display support – Enjoy stunning Retina display resolution in Windows OS and Windows applications to see crisper fonts, vivid photos, images and animations
No-hassle presentations – The new Presentation Wizard makes presentations interruption- free by disabling screensavers on Mac and Windows, optimizing the full-screen display and automatically adjusting resolution
Improved graphics – Don't compromise, even with graphically intensive applications
Unmatched performance - Enjoy improved Parallels Desktop 8 performance that is up to 30 percent faster for input/output (I/O) operations, 30 percent faster for games and up to 25 percent faster for virtual machine operations such as boot, suspend, shutdown and resume, when compared to Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac**. Parallels Desktop 7 beat the leading competitor in nearly 75 percent of the benchmark tests conducted by MacTech magazine and won 60 percent of the tests by a factor of 10 percent or more.
Availability and Pricing
Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac is available beginning Aug. 30, 2012, as an upgrade for current Parallels Desktop for Mac users. The full version will be available to new customers on www.parallels.com/desktop starting September 4. Packaged software will also be available starting September 4 at Apple retail stores, Apple.com, Amazon.com, Fry's Electronics, MicroCenter and hundreds of other resellers and retail locations nationwide.
The standard retail price (SRP) of Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac is US$79.99, and the Student Edition is available for US$39.99. Parallels Desktop 8 Switch to Mac Edition is US$99.99. Upgrades are starting Aug. 30th for existing Parallels Desktop for Mac customers for US$49.99. Special pricing of US$49.99 for the full version is available to customers currently using VMware Fusion. Details are available online at www.parallels.com/desktop. Subscription offerings including business-class support, ongoing software updates and major version upgrades for Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition are available by contacting the Parallels Sales Team at http://www.parallels.com/desktop/volume-licensing.
Customers who purchased Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac from an authorized reseller on or after July 25, 2012, are eligible to upgrade to Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac at no additional cost. Customers who purchased from parallels.com or have a registered product activation key will automatically be emailed instructions on how to upgrade to Parallels Desktop 8 at no additional cost. Details are available at http://www.parallels.com/techguarantee2012.
The Parallels Mobile app, which works with Parallels Desktop for Mac to give full access to both Mac and Windows applications from an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, is currently available in the App Store for a special price of US$4.99.
Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac will be available to the general public on September 4 in English, German-, French-, Italian-, Spanish-, Russian-, Japanese-, Chinese-, Korean-, Czech-, Polish- and Portuguese-language versions.
Customers interested in testing Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac can download a free trial starting September 4, along with in-depth information, videos and screenshots of the new features, at www.parallels.com/desktop.
Parallels is a global leader in hosting and cloud services enablement and desktop virtualization. Founded in 1999, Parallels is a fast-growing company with more than 900 employees in North America, Europe and Asia.
For more information, please visit www.parallels.com, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ParallelsMac, and Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ParallelsDesktop.