updated 10:20 am EST, Fri December 1, 2006
Parallels beta released
Parallels today posted an early beta release of Parallels Desktop, enabling Intel-based Mac owners to install and use Microsoft Windows without the need to reboot the system. The update brings support for booting Windows XP on a Boot Camp partition directly in Parallels Desktop, as well as the ability to use an Apple Boot Camp partition with Windows XP installed as a virtual hard drive. The beta allows users to drag-and-drop files as well as folders from Windows to Mac OS X and vice versa, and features one-click Virtual Machine aliases to automatically start Virtual Machines. The newly released beta is available for free, and Parallels is offering a special holiday deal where customers who purchase Parallels products receive one year of free upgrades. Parallels Desktop for Mac is priced at $80, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later. [updated]
The main window is now resizable with auto-adjusting screen resolution, and Parallels Desktop for Mac Beta Build 3036 completely redesigns windows as well as dialogs for ease of use. A new Virtual Machines catalog caters to users with more than one Virtual Machine, which is presented on each Parallels Desktop instance start. The beta release also includes the Parallels Transporter Beta software to migrate a Windows PC, VMWare, or Virtual PC Virtual Machines to Parallels Virtual Machines. Updated Parallels Desktop installations display Windows applications as if they were Mac software, and improves graphic performance by up to 50 percent on different applications. The revision removes the "wait 5-10 seconds" message when connecting USB devices, and offers support for up to five virtual network interfaces. Connection Sharing Mode is enhanced to work with Cisco VPN as well as many other networking applications, and switching networking modes is now possible while the Virtual Machine is running.
Transparent mapping of Command-AZXCV key combinations supports using Mac copy/paste key combinations in Windows, and a new feature allows users to power on or off with suspend, resume, and pause functionality. Shared folder configuration on the fly enables users to add, remove, and configure shared folders via the menu or status bar icon without the need to stop a Virtual Machine. Users can also drag-and-drop CD or floppy images to connect to or a Mac folder to share onto a respective status bar icon.