updated 03:45 pm EDT, Thu June 7, 2007
Parallels Desktop v3.0
Parallels today released a major update to its popular software that enables users to run Windows and other operating systems from within Mac OS X. Parallels Desktop for Mac v3.0 contains more than 50 new features, including a cross-platform file and application integration feature called SmartSelect and support for DirectX and OpenGL 3D graphics. It also features 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. Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0 will be priced at $80 for new users with upgrades priced at $50 (or for $40 for a limited time).(Customers who purchased the application within last 30 days will be sent their free upgrade keys within one week of Parallels Desktop for Mac general availability, according to the company.)
The release of Parallels Desktop 3.0 is the first major update of Desktop for Mac since the launch of the Parallels Desktop for Mac in June 2006. As with all earlier versions, this release fully and automatically utilizes Intel Virtualization Technology to deliver stability and performance while running multiple operating systems simultaneously.
The release features SmartSelect, a powerful new feature that lets users use any Mac OS X or Windows application to open any file type, regardless of whether that file is on the Mac or Windows desktop. Users can select the right application to open a file each time via right click, or can set a default application association to ensure that a given class of file always opens in a specific application.
"For example, if a user sets Word for Windows to be the default application to work with .doc, .rtf and .txt files, he or she could simply double click a file with that extension in either OS - even if it is an email attachment in Apple Mail or Entourage - and instantly open the file in Word for Windows," the company said. Users can also configure SmartSelect to open all hyperlinks clicked in either OS to open in a Mac web browser, such as Safari or Camino.
SmartSelect is also automatically configured to mount and open Mac .dmg installer files in Mac OS X, even if the file was downloaded in Windows via Internet Explorer or Outlook, and to automatically open .exe files in Windows, even if they reside in Mac OS X.
Other major Parallels Desktop 3.0 performance, usability and security features include:
- Snapshots: An important new security and backup tool that makes Parallels virtual machines "bulletproof". Snapshots instantly save the state of a virtual machine's memory, settings and hard disk, and revert back to that instant at any time. This gives users the freedom to make changes, try beta software, and explore the internet without the risk of corrupting their virtual machine. If a mishap occurs, the user can revert back to a VM snapshot with a single click, erasing all changes - including major system errors - that happened after the snapshot was taken. A built-in, map-inspired Snapshot Manager helps users manage multiple snapshots.
- Security Manager: A built in management tool that helps users customize the level of interaction between Windows and OS X, including how and when files can be shared between OSes, if "drag and drop" is enabled or disabled, and when hard disks and devices are mounted and accessible.
- Hardware-Accelerated 3D Graphics: Strong support for OpenGL and DirectX brings Windows' vast library of 3D-intensive applications to the Mac. Without leaving their Mac desktop, users can play popular Windows-only 3D games such as Quake, Half-Life 2, and World of Warcraft, as well as work with complex Windows-only 3D CAD programs.
- Parallels Explorer: Without launching Windows, users can view and modify the contents of their Windows virtual hard drive using Parallels Explorer, which is included as a free, stand-alone tool with every copy of Parallels Desktop 3.0. Users can drag files to and from the virtual hard drive, move or re-name existing files and create new folders.
- Vista Boot Camp Support: Existing Windows Vista Boot Camp partitions, as well as Windows XP Boot Camp partitions can be run in a Parallels virtual machine. Users can switch between running Windows in Parallels Desktop and Boot Camp as often as they would like.
"This new version is an important milestone for us helping computer users get the best of all operating systems on a single, seamless desktop," said Nick Dobrovolskiy, CEO of Parallels, Inc. "With new features that deliver more flexibility, increased security and peace-of-mind, working with multiple operating systems has never been easier, safer, or more fun."
Parallels has released a list of applications that are known to be compatible with version 3.0's 3D hardware acceleration. Among them:
- Autodesk AutoCAD 2008 (mouse synchronization should be off to
- achieve better experience)
- AeroFly Pro Deluxe
- AVID SoftImage XSI 5.11
- RhinoCeros 4
- SketchUp Pro 6
- SolidWorks 2007
- Alien Arena 2007 (OpenGL)
- Baldur's Gate 2 (Direct3D)
- Call of Duty (OpenGL)
- Counter Strike 1.6 (OpenGL/Direct3D)
- Descent 3 (OpenGL)
- Doom 3 (OpenGL)
- Duke Nukem Manhattan Project (OpenGL)
- Dungeon Siege 2 (Direct3D)
- Far Cry (OpenGL)
- GORE - Ultimate Soldier (OpenGL)
- Half Life (OpenGL/Direct3D)
- Hitman Codename 47 (OpenGL)
- Hitman Silent Assasin (OpenGL)
- Hitman Contracts (OpenGL)
- Max Payne (Direct3D)
- Max Payne 2 (Direct3D)
- Neverball (OpenGL)
- Prey (OpenGL)
- Quake 1 GL (OpenGL)
- Quake 2 (OpenGL)
- Quake 3 Arena (OpenGL)
- Return to Castle Wolfenstein (OpenGL)
- Scorched 3D (OpenGL)
- Serious Sam The First Encounter (OpenGL)
- Serious Sam The Second Encounter (OpenGL)
- SiN (OpenGL)
- Tribes (OpenGL)
- Unreal Tournament 2004 (OpenGL)
- Warcraft 3 (OpenGL)
- Worms 3D (OpenGL)