updated 07:05 pm EDT, Mon June 4, 2012
Automatic download and install wizard
Parallels has updated its self-named OS virtualizer software, Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac, to be able to automatically download and install the recently-released Windows 8 Release Preview. As with its earlier update in March for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, support is "experimental" and thus not fully supported as the final release of Windows 8 may make significant changes. The software also supports the Mountain Lion Developer Preview, Chrome OS and others.
Current Parallels users can get the update through the normal "check for updates" option, and the 30-day trial version of the software has also been updated with the support. Developers and cutting-edge users who want to explore the new Windows 8 release can do so within the safety of an easily-scrapped virtual machine rather that risk any "production" machines on the untested OS, which Microsoft warns isn't final and could crash or corrupt files. The Mountain Lion Developer Preview is for registered developers only, but Parallels does allow authorized users to install it in either guest or host mode.
As with the previous version, users of Parallels Mobile can utilize the Windows 8 virtual machine via their iOS devices. The program also allows the easy install and virtualization of many other operating systems, including Ubuntu and Fedora Linux, Windows 7 and earlier versions, and OS X Lion as a "Guest" OS for Windows users.