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OpenGL, DirectX support coming to Parallels

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.

by MacNN Staff





  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I hopes this increase performance. With each new Parallels release, it has gotten slower and slower.

  1. hezekiahb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How much memory do you have? New features often are additional background processes & this takes up memory very quickly.

    Much of the speed of Parallels relies on it's use of the Virtualization Technology built into EFI. Apple & Parallels are finally pushing the edge of development for EFI & utilizing this great technology that has been so neglected for so many years.

    Where has VMWare or anyone else come close to what Parallels has done for Windows running on Macs? I thank the Parallels team for the job they have don thus far!


  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    hold on a bit

    With such seamless cross-OS file and app integration, how do we protect ourselves from Windows malware? Let's say a non-expert installs Parallels; then receives a bogus attachment in his Mail App on Mac; double-clicks this attachment, which launches in Parallels and creates some mess. While it's most likely that any data corruption would be confined to the virtual C: drive (either a single-file disk image for Parallels, or the BootCamp partition), this corruption would remain there and, i you have mapped a shared Mac OS folder in Parallels, there's that danger of malware jumping over and messing up data there.

    While I have Parallels on my machine, just in case, it is there for exactly that - just in case. It has been months since last time I ran it.

  1. debohun

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So Parallels is planning on charging paid users for this upgrade. I suppose that wouldn't hurt so bad if they actually provided any level of customer support, but not one of my communications to this company as even been acknowledged. This is a great product only if what works in it is exactly what you need. Trying to figure out anything else, is almost impossible when they won't communicate with their customers. Heck, trying to reach someone at their corporate office is even impossible even when calling on your own dime.

  1. boulder1259

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Shouldn't they get the current version working before they ask for more money? I'm still waiting for Parallels to work with my Garmin GPS and my BlackBerry Pearl...

  1. kkthompson

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yeah, it feels a little money-grab-ish to me. I was expecting a few more features to be ironed out first...

  1. Darwiniandude

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Paid Upgrades

    I'm suprised that the upgrades are paid, but I don't mind, because it's brilliant. Sure not everything works, but it's very very fast on my machine, and if 3D support really works I don't mind paying. It's also much cheaper than VMware and at this point in my experience, much cheaper.

  1. eduo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    For those complaining, make sure what you're asking for was actually promised to you. When I bought Parallels I knew exactly what did and didn't work (and I knew a lot of USB connectivity was still flaky).

    Parallels is releasing a new major version, and they never said every update would be free, so they're in their right to charge for it.

    This time make sure what you're asking for actually works.

    FWIW, every problem and question I've had has been speedily answered in the very-active support forums.

    Vasic: Although you're right it's also true that it's not either Parallels' or Apple's duty to protect you from Windows. From the moment you have windows installed you assume all the caveats that implies. Even still, Parallels includes a 6-month subscription to Kaspersky (which I didn't claim in the previous version and I probably won't either this time, especially now that Parallels includes snapshots.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I agree

    Eduo: Yes, I completely agree, it is neither Paralels' nor Apple's responsibility.

    Unfortunately, Parallels (much like Crosover) might initiate an erosion of the image of impenetrability of Macs compared to Windows. Although we did have Virtual PC on PPC Macs for years (decades?), it always ran in its own sandbox. I caught several viruses on my Virtual PC it its time. It never bothered me, since it was confined securely to its little virtual world, oblivious to the HFS+ volumes surrounding it. However, this Parallels (and especially Crossover) solution comes a step closer to the seamless integration of file systems, thereby allowing malware to cross over, as it were.

    I hope this does nothing to tarnish the rock-solid image of Mac as a virus- and malware-free platform.

  1. inkhead

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So lame.

    So wait Parallels will finally have a feature that VMware Fusion has had for a long while now?? Gasp!!!! Parallels is only offering direct x7 support, while VMware offers DirectX 8.1 Support.

    Who you gonna use? VMware Fusion is Free right now and a native cocoa application instead of a crappy port.

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