For Mac users, the window to the Windows world is through virtualisation software like Parallels Desktop. The Parallels Desktop annual update has just arrived with the announcement of Parallels Desktop 13, brining with it support for the upcoming macOS High Sierra, and native Touch Bar support to Microsoft’s operating systems.
The new Touch Bar support in Parallels Desktop 13 extends beyond just the Windows operating system, but also into select applications such as Word, Excel PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Google Chrome. These are among the features that Parallel builds on to add value and differentiate their product from the competition.
While these features may be useful and appreciated by some users, I do find them to be just the frostings on top of core features that haven’t changed much over the years.
For users who are primarily interested in the core virtualisation capabilities, Parallels Desktop 13 claims to bring numerous performance improvements, including:
- Up to 100% performance improvement for external Thunderbolt SSD drives
- Up to 50% faster snapshot creation for VMs with large amount of memory
- Up to 47% faster working in Windows files in Windows on rotational disks
- Up to 47% faster working with Windows files on a Mac
- Up to 40% faster USB device performance in most scenarios
The Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac Pro Edition, targeted at power users and developers, has been enhanced to support assignment of up to 32 cores and 128 GB virtual RAM per VM. Developers can also analyse and optimise application performance in Parallels Desktop with improved Intel VTune Amplifier, Linux ‘perf’ and Mozilla ‘rr’ support. There is also a Business Edition targetted for business deployments.
The recommended retail price (RRP) of Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac is US$79.99. Upgrades for existing Parallels Desktop 11 and 12 for Mac perpetual license customers are US$49.99, with an introductory offer to upgrade to a Parallels Desktop Pro Edition subscription for US$49.99 per year for life.
Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition and Business Edition are each available to new customers for US$99.99 per year. Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition and Business Edition include a complimentary concurrent subscription to both Parallels Toolbox for Mac and Parallels Toolbox for Windows (www.parallels.com/toolbox), as well as Parallels Access (www.parallels.com/access).
Upgrade offers are available, as are free 14-day full-featured trials of Parallels Desktop. Check out www.parallels.com/products/desktop for more more information.