updated 03:15 am EDT, Thu September 1, 2011
90 new or enhanced features, speed boost
Parallels has announced the launch of Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac, which provides significant speed boosts in many areas along with full Lion functionality -- allowing Windows applications to act more like native Mac apps utilizing Full Screen Mode, Launch Pad and Mission Control. The company also brought out a new Parallels Mobile app and My Parallels services platform for iOS devices. Parallels Desktop 7 is also the first to allow virtualization of Lion itself.
According to the company, the new version of Parallels is 60 percent faster than the previous version in resuming Windows, and up to 45 percent faster with 3D graphics in some applications. In comparison with its "closest competitor," version 7 is 120 percent faster at copying files within Windows and 40 percent faster when starting or resuming Windows.
The program now allows users to purchase Windows directly from within itself (in the U.S.) and includes support for both the iSight and FaceTime HD cameras within Windows programs that support cams. The software can now assist with moving files, programs and settings (including bookmarks) from Windows to Mac, and offers a new look and feel for increased usability (the company also sells a special "switch to Mac edition" of the program that includes a USB transfer cable and introductory Mac tutorial videos).
In addition, Parallel Desktop 7 offers support for 7.1 surround sound and an improved 5.1 sound driver. The new ability to connect remote to Parallels via the iOS apps allows users to run Flash-based programs or websites on their Mac and view it on their mobile device as well. The new mobile app lets users remotely access and control both Mac and Windows applications, even copying and pasting text between Windows programs on the Mac and the iOS devices. It is available now for $5 (for a limited time, normal prices $20) through the iTunes App Store. Current users of the mobile app will receive the upgrade free of charge.
Parallels Desktop 7 is available now from the company directly, Apple online and retail stores and other merchants nationwide. It sells for $80 with a student edition available for $40. The "Switch to Mac" edition is $100. Upgrades from previous versions will cost $50, and the same price is extended to VMWare Fusion customers cross-grading to Parallels.
Customers who bought Parallels Desktop 6 on or after August 1st qualify for a free upgrade. The program is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Japanese -- with Chinese, Korean, Czech, Polish and Portuguese support coming soon.