Just last week, ModMyi reported on an update to VMWare Fusion (version 5), that added support for Apple’s new MacBook Pro with retina display and Windows 8. It even included speed improvements and a ton of other goodies. Today, competition arises for VMWare Fusion, as Parallels Desktop for Mac is updated to version 8. Parallels Desktop for Mac, like VMWare Fusion, is a Mac OS X desktop virtualization client that allows the user to run multiple operating systems, such as Windows or Linux, on their Mac in the form of application windows.
Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac is now fully compatible with the new MacBook Pro with retina display and includes support for Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system. In addition, graphics are much more powerful and Parallels Desktop 8 is about 30% faster at processing and gaming than Parallels Desktop 7 and 25% faster at booting and shutting down, which is a great improvement for the already zippy virtual machine client. Other improvements (via Parallels Consumer Tech Blog) include:
Originally Posted by Parallels Consumer Tech Blog:
- Speak, don’t type – Use the new Mountain Lion Dictation tool across both Windows and Mac environments
- Open in Internet Explorer – When a website doesn’t render well within Safari, launch it in Internet Explorer with a click of a button
- Drag and drop email attachments – Simply drag and drop files from the desktop onto the Dock icons for Outlook and other Windows email clients to attach and share them
- Multilingual keyboard – Keyboard language changes made on the Mac automatically sync, to simplify switching languages in Windows
- Parallels Wizard –Download and automatically install Windows or other operating systems (OSes) including Google Chrome OS, Ubuntu and Android on your Mac. Parallels Desktop customers have downloaded more than 500,000 copies of Windows using the Parallels Wizard to-date, and many additional customers have moved their Windows PCs to their Mac or added Windows and other OSes.
- Bluetooth-sharing – Multiple Windows and Mac devices can now share Bluetooth connections
- Windows apps on OS X Launchpad – Add Windows applications to the Mountain Lion or Lion Launchpad to quickly launch Mac and Windows applications used most
- Consolidated notifications – Integration of Windows notifications into the Mac OS X Notification Center makes it easy to stay updated on Windows virtual machine operations
- Resource monitoring – Disk space and memory usage of virtual machines are conveniently displayed for easy customization and management
- Mountain Lion gestures for Windows apps – Enjoy seamless integration of Mountain Lion gestures with Windows apps – such as pinch to zoom, Mission Control, three-finger drag, swipe between full-screen apps, two-finger scroll, Launchpad and rotate
What’s great about this update is the support for OS X Mountain Lion’s dictation feature, which allows you to speak instead of typing similarly to Siri dictation on the iPhone 4S and the new iPad (iOS 6). This means you’ll be able to use the feature in other operating systems such as Windows to write reports for school or memos for work without the need to type out your words. VMWare Fusion 5, interestingly enough, did not include support for the voice dictation feature.
If you want to grab Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac today, there are two prerequisites: having Parallels Desktop 7 already and having $49.99 in your pocket. If you don’t have Parallels Desktop 7 yet, you will have to wait until September 4 (next week) for the release to purchase it. Letting current Parallels Desktop users download version 8 early is just a way of the company rewarding their loyal customers. If you buy Parallels Desktop 7 today, you will be able to upgrade to Parallels Desktop 8 for free when it is released – anyone who bought Parallels Desktop 7 after July 25 is also eligible for a free upgrade.
Parallels will be offering a free trial of the Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac software on the release date so you can give it a try. We would also recommend taking VMWare Fusion 5 for a test drive as they also have a free trial available from this link, which will allow you to compare the two side-by-side and pick the one that is best for you. If you plan on buying the software, it will be $79.99 for newcomers or $39.99 for students.
Sources: Parallels Consumer Tech Blog