updated 01:30 pm EDT, Thu September 9, 2010
App goes 64-bit, improves graphics performance
Parallels has validated earlier leaks and formally announced Desktop 6 for Mac, which will officially go on sale September 14th. The developer claims over 80 new features and enhancements in the virtualization software. The focus is on improved speed however, mainly by way of a switch to a completely 64-bit engine. Windows apps should on average run about 41 percent faster, Parallels says.
3D rendering improvements should allow games to run around 40 percent faster. The utility now also supports 5.1-channel surround sound, and applying Mac-based parental controls to Windows titles. Virtual machines can be encrypted, and Mac shortcuts can be applied to Windows apps.
Desktop 6 will normally cost $80 new, or $50 as an upgrade. A student edition is expected to cost just $40 however, while a Switch to Mac Edition is being priced at $100. The latter includes a USB transfer cable, and is intended to migrate files, programs and settings from a Windows machine to a new Mac. Newly incorporated in this sense are several features, such as the ability to pull bookmarks from Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.