updated 04:55 pm EDT, Thu May 31, 2007
Parallels: OpenGL, DirectX
Parallels today announced that it is entering the final stages of testing for the next major release of Parallels Desktop for Mac by launching release candidate 3.0 to the private beta community. The new test version contains more than 50 new features, including a cross-platform file and application integration feature called SmartSelect. The latest beta release also offers support for DirectX and OpenGL 3D graphics alongside easy backup and restore via Snapshots. Parallels Desktop for Mac allows users to run Microsoft Windows, Linux, and any other operating system right alongside Mac OS X without rebooting. The company said it expects the final release of Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0 within the next few weeks. Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0 will be priced at $80 for new users. [updated]
The RC is the final stage of Parallels Desktop 3.0's private beta testing program that has been underway for the last several months, according to the company.
Parallels Desktop 3.0 features SmartSelect, a new built-in integration tool that allows users to open any file from Windows or Mac OS X with any program from either operating system.
"SmartSelect's total application and file integration adds tremendous value to the seamless multi-OS interface introduced by Coherence, Parallels' groundbreaking feature that lets Windows applications run like native Mac applications on OS X," the company wrote. "Together, Coherence and SmartSelect give users the easiest, most fluid way to run multiple OSes and their applications simultaneously, without rebooting or switching desktop environments."
More than 50 new features
The newest release also includes more than 50 new features and enhancements which include hardware-accelerated 3D graphics, 'snapshot' backup and recovery of virtual machines, and a new suite of security settings that help secure both Windows VMs and Mac OS X from cross-platform corruption and contamination. Some of those features include:
- Cross OS application & file integration with Parallels SmartSelect
- Offline access to virtual machine files with Paralles Explorer
- Coherence 2.0, including shared folders and UI enhancements
- Linux Tools for seamless integration betwen Mac OS X and Linux
- 3D graphics support to play the hottest games and run the most popular applications
- Expanded support for USB 2.0 devices
- USB connection assistant quickly connects you to your OS of choice
- Shared printers for cross OS printing
- Significantly enhancements performance and audio quality
- Quickly and easily go back in time to a clean VM state
- "Bulletproof" your VMs with SnapShots
- Control the levels of integration and isolation with Security Manager
- Make a virtual machine read-only
- Virus and spyware protection with a free 6-month Kaspersky subscription trial
Additionally, Parallels is offering special upgrade pricing for current customers, who can update to the latest revision for $40 -- a 50 percent savings over the retail price of the software -- from now through the launch of the final version.