It's nothing new that Intel-powered Macs have been running Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux for some time using Apple's Boot Camp. But one of the best utilities on the market for switching between operating systems lets you switch without a reboot.
Parallels Desktop allows you to switch seamlessly between operating systems without the need to reboot your Mac. Even better, regardless of which system you're running at the time, when you open a file type that's for another operating system, Parallels automatically recognizes the file type and makes the switch for you. Added support for 3D graphics allows Mac users the ability to play Windows games using the full power of your Mac's video card.
Parallels Desktop helps keep your virtual environments safe through the use of Snapshots. The feature lets you to take a snapshot of your Windows system (for example) when its in a healthy state so if you encounter any viruses or spyware while surfing, you can essentially rewind to your previously saved snapshot. This is extremely helpful for testing beta software and makes sure you have an option when dangerous trojans or spyware infect your virtual system.
Recent versions of Parallels Desktop have included several new enhancements that are all useful for those who work in multiple virtual environments. Spotlight integration now lets you search for Windows programs faster; 3D graphics enhancements make your favorite PC games run better on your Mac with DirectX support; and you can even manage Windows apps through Mac OS features like Spaces and Expose.
Overall, Parallels Desktop offers a seamless experience for switching between virtual OS machines and a number of extras that let you take full advantage of Windows apps you need or are used to working with in your particular work environment. Though there are more inexpensive options, Parallels has a tool set that puts it above other offerings.
Parallels Desktop for Mac is the first solution that gives Apple users the ability to run Windows, Linux or any other operating system and their critical applications at the same time as Mac OS X on any Intel-powered iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook or MacBook Pro. Unlike dual-boot solutions, in which users must completely shut down Mac OS X and endure a full OS start-up cycle to access a important application, Parallels Desktop for Mac empowers users with the ability to run important Windows programs like Outlook, Access, Internet Explorer and all other applications without having to give up the usability and functionality of their Mac OS X machine even for a few minutes.
What's new in this version:
- Support for Windows 8 tablet gestures
- Addition of a single tile to the Windows 8 interface for easy access to shared Mac apps
- Full USB 3.0 support for faster connections to peripheral devices
- Updated Retina display settings for easier screen optimization
- Smooth transitions when entering and exiting Coherence mode
- Increased virtual machine limits for running large appsPreviously available Parallels