updated 07:38 am EDT, Thu August 30, 2012
Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac brings speed boosts, better integration
Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac has had its launch pushed forward and is available now. A virtual Windows machine for Apple's Macintosh range of computers, the latest iteration of the software has been upgraded to support Mountain Lion as well as Windows 8. In addition to performance boosts, it also supports Macs equipped with Retina displays and will reproduce Windows apps at a Retina resolution.
Parallels 8 is said to be up to 30 percent faster than its predecessor for I/O operations as well as for gaming. It will also offer speed boosts of up to 25 percent for virtual machine operations including boot, suspend, shutdown and resume. Parallels 8 also allows Mountain Lion's dictation feature to be used in Windows apps, while Windows 8 'Metro-style' apps can be organized in, and started from, Launchpad.
Additional features in Parallels 8 include the ability to drag and drop email attachments from the Mac desktop onto the Dock icons for Outlook and other Windows email clients. It offers automated multilingual keyboard support where keyboard language changes on the Mac desktop automatically switches in Windows. Users can now also share Bluetooth connections between Mac and Windows simultaneously, while Mac gesture support has also been added to the Windows interface.
Parallels 8 for Mac is available today priced at $80 with upgrades for Parallels 7 users priced at $50. A Student Edition is available for $40 while users of VMware Fusion can switch to the full version for a special price of $50.