February 27, 2007 7:21 AM PST

Windows-on-Mac software gets virtualization update

Parallels, a software company that specializes in enabling Mac users to run other operating systems without rebooting, has released an update to its trademark Parallels Desktop software.

The biggest update to the new version is Coherence, a feature that enables Mac users running Parallels to run and access Windows applications from their Mac desktops via virtualization rather than switching between operating systems.

The feature is activated when a user turns on "Coherence mode," which hides the Windows desktop and integrates Windows applications into the Mac OS X desktop and application dock.

A statement from Parallels called the Coherence feature "completely customizable," stipulating that when Coherence is enabled, users will be able to choose how to load and run Windows applications, as well as select display options for Windows features like the task bar and Start menu.

In addition to the Coherence update, the new version of Parallels includes another new feature called Transporter, which is concerned with simplified virtualization. If a PC owner is switching to a Mac, for example, but wants to keep his or her Windows settings and files intact, Transporter allows the entire software contents and settings of the PC to be moved directly to one of Parallels' virtual machines without needing to reinstall Windows on the Mac.

Transporter's functionality additionally makes it easier for users running other Windows-on-Mac virtualization software--like VMWare Workstation or Microsoft Virtual PC, which is available for older PowerPC-based Macs--to convert those workstations to Parallels-ready virtual machines.

The new version of Parallels Desktop includes several additional updates: It now supports USB 2.0 functionality, Apple's built-in iSight cameras in virtual-Windows mode, drag-and-drop functionality from one operating system to another, and CD- and DVD-burning capabilities.

The software update also includes increased support for Boot Camp, Apple's own software for running Windows on a Mac (though not simultaneously). Boot Camp users who also run Parallels Desktop will now be able to load the same copy of Windows in either program rather than requiring two copies of the operating system.

The new version of Parallels Desktop, like the previous version, sells for $79.99. Existing Parallels customers, however, will have access to a free upgrade.

Parallels spokesman Benjamin Rudolph confirmed that the new software is compatible with Windows' recently released Vista operating system, with one exception: The three-dimensional "Aero Glass" interface is not yet supported because Parallels has not yet built in that kind of graphics capability.

Rudolph added, however, that a future update of Parallels that will support Vista's "eye candy" is "just a few months away."

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55 comments

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Windows on a Mac. Mac on Windows
I know that Parallels is making money by allowing Windows OS to be run on a Mac with their software and nobody is trying to prevent this. Apple and MS both make money off the deal since you have to have legal copies of both to run on that system.

Out of curiosity, why is it there aren't products to port Apple's OS over to a PC? The OS itself can run on a PC- that's been proven many times now, but Apple won't release the OS officially except as a product for their hardware. If Parallels released the Mac on Windows version, would Apple allow it? If they did, would that be fair? If they prevented it, would that be unfair?

Curious to see if the argument works both ways on this one.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Unlikely
OSX relies on the presence of a TPM chip on the motherboard.
This is, really, the main thing preventing OS X from running on
any arbitrary intel box (well, that and EFI which is more common
now). All in all, this is an artificial barrier Apple put in place to
maintain control over the hardware. Its important to remeber
that Apple is a hardware company that sells software. Both are
integrated to the point where slaes of one boost sales of the
other. It really simplifies issues

MS is, for the most part, just a software company and is agnostic
about the hardware. As long as you buy a copy of the software
they are happy. Of course, having to support thousands of
different devices and combinations is where MS runs into a lot of
problems.
Posted by rapier1 (2722 comments )
Link Flag
True except for one point:
Yes, you still have to have a copy of Windows installed, but there's a benefit that Microsoft won't grant: I can use Windows 2000, XP, NT 4.0, 98... I wouldn't have to buy Vista to do it, I could simply use an existing licensed OS disk.

Patching wouldn't be much of an issue if OSX wraps itself around the app and the environment, keeping it insulated: You shut off networking on the Windows instance and use the Mac to enforce that, and to handle all the connections (I can do this right now in Virtual PC 7). That alone will knock out the hazards faced by Windows users running their OS online directly.

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
Not the same integration that Apple provides
One of the main reasons Macs "just work" is because Apple
makes and controls the hardware AND the OS. This makes for a
more reliable machine and allows Apple to do "extra" nice
things:-)

If you put Mac OS on a generic PC, with components and drivers
from multiple vendors, and missing Apple's engineered
technologies, you would end up with a lot of the same problems
you have on a Win-Tel (Windows on Intel chips/PCs).

Macs are a more controlled ("controlled" as in scientific
definition) environment.
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Link Flag
Nice... Very Nice.
This is one step closer to eliminating the arguments that MSFT Fanboys keep proclaiming - apps.

Now, instead of having to go out and buy an expensive, bloated security hazard (read: Vista), you can run your fave Windows apps atop a far more secure environment.

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Reply Link Flag
OS/2 redux
Yeah, but what happens when the SW vendors discover that Windows apps run just fine on OSX? Forget about getting new native OSX apps. WinOS2 was one of the many nails in the OS/2 coffin - why write OS/2 apps if Windows apps run just fine?
Posted by wfseube (22 comments )
Link Flag
Open mouth, insert foot.
Please go back and reread the article before posting. You'll make a fool of yourself less often.

You still need to purchase and install the operating system. You can't just use Parallels with the Mac OS to run the Windows applications. That is very clearly stated in the article.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
Open mouth, insert foot.
Please go back and reread the article before posting. You'll make a fool of yourself less often.

You still need to purchase and install the operating system. You can't just use Parallels with the Mac OS to run the Windows applications. That is very clearly stated in the article.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
That's one ignorant comment...
Not surprising from a Mac fanboy.

The virtualization technology enables Mac hardware to host both Mac OS *and* XP/Vista/Linux (whatever else) at the same time. To run Vista apps, you still must buy your own copy of Vista, for example.

Windows applications would continue to run on the Vista hosted OS, NOT on the overrated MacOS.

Mac users must contend with: lower spec hardware; buying TWO os licenses, upgrades, etc; no support for 3D.
Posted by mbenedict (1001 comments )
Link Flag
Run Vista on Leopard Mac OSX
HURRY! QUICK BEFORE MICROSITH BUYS PARALLELS LIKE THEY
DID VIRTUAL PC THEN SLOWLY KILLS IT OFF... (LS)

Parallels Desktop supports Leopard, Vista

Parallels today released a free update to Parallels Desktop for
Mac to enhance its virtualization software with a new installation
assistant tool, shared networking support, and official
compatibility for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The latest release of
Parallels Desktop for Mac also supports Microsoft's recently-
released Windows Vista operating system, adds several
additional features, and repairs numerous bugs. Parallels
Desktop for Mac runs 'guest' operating systems inside a Mac by
allowing that operating system to run alongside Mac OS X,
managing system resources as the two systems co-exist side-
by-side. The latest revision ensures that Solaris guest operating
systems don't hang after suspending or resuming, and includes
an improved Parallels Tools package. Parallels Desktop now
offers full support for OpenBSD 3.8 as a guest operating system,
and ensures that the G4U hard disk cloning tool works in virtual
machines.

The update offers better video output improvement and
acceleration, adds multi interface USB devices support (including
Windows Mobile 2005 devices), and includes isochronous USB
devices support (such as Webcam devices). Keyboard support is
improved in the free update as well, adding recognition for the
eject CD key as well as the difference between left and right
shift, control, and alt/option keys. Parallels Desktop for Mac
adds a virtual disk cache policy option that enables users to
select whether to optimize performance for Mac OS X or a guest
operating system. The latest release fixes the Image Tool, offers
an optimized disk cache policy for suspend/resume, and fixes
suspend/resume functionality with Windows ME guest operating
systems. The free update also includes acceleration for first time
access to shared folders, fixes the clipboard synchronization
tool, and improves sound recording as well as playback
functionality.

Copyright ©1995-2005 Macintosh News Network, Inc. All rights
reserved.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I thought ...
... despite not being an IT expert, as as PC user I wonder if this "virtualization" allows for the Window's applicatons comunicate with the Mac applications. I doubt it.
Posted by trialmanager (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
didn't read
The article clearly stated that
- - - YOU CAN drag and drop info, pix, ETC... from osX to Vista and VICE VERSA
in fact...
if you dont have the START button showing on your desktop you could be running a Win app and not even know it
you just use your program and NOT EVEN CARE if its a Vista app or an osX app
sounds like the best of both worlds to me!!!
Posted by ldhoover1 (11 comments )
Link Flag
Will Vista be supported ?
A number of software is unsupported under Vista, and it's seems it will be even more unstable on a mac platform ...
Posted by richard.blain (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
When you run Windows on a Mac...
...you are, essentially, running Windows on an Intel platform.
Running Windows, it's just another Windows Clone. I have never
experienced any problems with any apps running in Windows on
either my Core Duo iMac or Core Duo MacBook Pro...
Posted by MTGrizzly (353 comments )
Link Flag
I would rather run Windows on an HP...
Like 98% of the world, I have no interest in the Mac.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Lemmings
Fool
Posted by chabig83 (535 comments )
Link Flag
Really?
"I have no interest in the Mac"

Then why are you reading and commenting on an article that
only pertains to people who own a Mac? In the best possible
case this means that you are a troll. I'll let you work out the
other possibilities.
Posted by Steve Bryan (92 comments )
Link Flag
Build your own before you buy a HP or Dell
Mass market computers (Other than apple) are junk. If you pick your parts carefully you can build a much better system for much less money.
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Link Flag
 

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