updated 02:25 pm EST, Thu December 21, 2006
Parallels Desktop beta 2
Parallels today released Parallels Desktop for Mac beta 2, enhancing the virtualization software by offering support for USB 2.0 devices such as external hard drives, printers, and scanners at full native speeds. The company notes, however, that 'isynchronous' devices such as Bluetooth accessories, webcams, and other items do not yet work with USB 2.0. The new beta includes a full-featured virtual CD/DVD drive to burn CDs and DVDs directly in virtual machines, allowing users to play any copy-protected CD or DVD. An improved 'Coherence' mode also enables users to place Windows applications on the Mac desktop or in the application dock. Parallels Desktop for Mac beta 2 supports the command+tab keystroke combination to cycle through Windows and Mac applications simultaneously, with the ability to 'hide and show' Windows applications transparently alongside Mac software.
The latest Parallels Desktop beta uses Coherence in both Windows XP as well as Windows Vista, and offers better support for using Boot Camp partitions with full support for both FAT32 and NTFS partitions. Easy offline configuration enables users to create a virtual machine from a Boot Camp partition with no complicated setup, according to the company. Parallels Desktop for Mac beta 2 does not require users to re-activate Windows each time they switch between Boot camp and Parallels, as windows activation occurs only once.