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Parallels Desktop for Mac Rolls Out New Version for Mountain Lion and Windows 8

Parallels has launched a new version of its software for running Windows and Mac applications side-by-side on a Mac computer, without rebooting. Parallels Desktop for Mac 8 introduces new features, as well as integration with Mac OS X Mountain Lion and Windows 8.

Parallels Desktop for Mac offers the option to run the Windows desktop in full screen mode or run Windows invisibly. Either way, Parallels Desktop for Mac 8 performs well enough to run graphics-intensive Windows applications as if they were native to the Mac, according to the company.

The latest version of Parallels Desktop is also integrated with features of Mac OS X Mountain Lion and Windows 8, so users can take advantage of Mountain Lion's dictation feature when using Windows applications, and they can organize "Metro-style" Windows 8 applications in the Mac Launchpad.

Users can also install other operating systems, such as Linux, Google Chrome OS, and others on their Mac computer and use them together.

Other editions of Parallels Desktop for Mac include Enterprise Edition, Switch to Mac Edition, and Parallels Mobile. Enterprise Edition enables IT departments to support Windows-based applications on Macs and support corporate policy compliance. Switch to Mac Edition includes the Parallels Desktop software as well as tools to automatically migrate programs and files to a Mac. Parallels Mobile enables users to access and use their Mac and Windows applications that are running in Parallels Desktop for Mac through their iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.

"People don’t need to make an either/or choice between Mac and Windows because Macs running Parallels Desktop 8 empower people to simultaneously use applications that best suit their needs--regardless of whether it's an app for OS X, Windows, Google Chrome OS, Ubuntu, or even Android," said Birger Steen, CEO of Parallels, in a prepared statement.

New features in Parallels Desktop for Mac 8 include:

  • Support for OS X Mountain Lion's dictation tool across both Windows and Mac applications;
  • Ability to drag and drop from the desktop onto the Doc Icons for Outlook or other Windows email clients;
  • Support for Windows applications on the OS X Launchpad;
  • Retina display resolution in both Windows and Mac applications;
  • Improved graphics;
  • Presentation Wizard, which disables Mac and Windows screen savers and automatically adjusts resolution to optimize the full-screen display;
  • Up to 30 percent faster speed compared to Parallels Desktop for Mac 7; and
  • Support for USB 3.0.

Current Parallels Desktop for Mac users can upgrade to the new version as of August 30 for $49.99. The software will be available for new customers to purchase starting September 4. The standard retail price of Parallels Desktop for Mac 8 is $79.99, and the Student Edition is $39.99. Switch to Mac Edition costs $99.99.

Further information about Parallels Desktop for Mac 8 is available at parallels.com.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].