Parallels Desktop 14 Now Available for macOS With Major Enhancements

The Pro version also includes high-level features that I didn’t test, including the ability to access a guest OS via SSH or from a browser if the guest OS is set up as a Web server and integration with Microsoft Visual Studio and virtualization tools like Docker. Use Cases Users typically run Parallels or competitor Fusion in one of two modes. Either you use the virtualization app to open a complete Windows desktop on your Mac, or you use it to open a single Windows app in an OS X window, as if the Windows app were actually an OS X app.
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Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac – Pro Edition

The Pro version also includes high-level features that I didn’t test, including the ability to access a guest OS via SSH or from a browser if the guest OS is set up as a Web server and integration with Microsoft Visual Studio and virtualization tools like Docker. Use Cases Users typically run Parallels or competitor Fusion in one of two modes.

Either you use the virtualization app to open a complete Windows desktop on your Mac, or you use it to open a single Windows app in an OS X window, as if the Windows app were actually an OS X app.

If you sometimes need to work as if you were using a real Windows system, you use the Windows Desktop mode—and you can drag files between the OS X desktop and the Windows desktop. In either mode, you can set up a sharing option that lets your Windows apps save and open files directly to and from any folder on your OS X disk. For example, you can select a file on the Windows desktop, or in a Windows Explorer window, then pop up the file’s right-click context menu and find an option to Open in Mac.

This causes the file to open in the default OS X application for that file type. This latter operation may require you to follow some manual steps in Parallels, however. This means that you select a file in a Windows folder, then press the spacebar, and the OS X QuickLook window pops up a preview of the file. For me, and I think for most users, this is less distracting and more useful than the full Windows Desktop mode. An additional button in Parallels’ OS X title bar switches from Windows Desktop mode to Coherence mode—the switch takes a few seconds, but not enough to be annoying—and you can set the Windows app always to open in Coherence mode, even from a Dock icon.

The latest version of Parallels takes Windows integration to a new level. You can now schedule Windows 10 updates to take place at night or on weekends, to avoid slowing down your system when you need to get work done.

Another small but welcome change: You can tell Parallels to start up a virtual machine when you start up your Mac. You can also leave the Windows machine paused in the background so you can start up a Windows app in far less time than with previous versions. Getting Started To use Parallels, you’ll need a copy of Windows on your Mac, and Parallels gives you multiple ways of getting one. A button on the New Virtual Machine wizard lets you download Windows 10 directly from Microsoft, either buying a new copy or using a license key that you already own.

Parallels then automatically installs Windows If you want to migrate an existing Windows system, an option in the wizard lets you download and install the Parallels Transporter utility to transfer your existing Windows system—including applications and files—either across a network or via a portable disk, You can also install any other Windows or Linux version from an ISO file or DVD.

You also have the option of importing a Windows system you’ve installed on your Mac via Apple’s Boot Camp feature. Or you can use the Parallels wizard to download prebuilt versions of Ubuntu, Android, Chrome, or other environments. Finally, you can also install a virtual copy of your current version of OS X from your Mac’s recovery partition. That’s a rich assortment of choices, and Parallels’ wizards make all these operations almost effortless.

A virtualized system like Windows under Parallels will always be slower than a system running directly on the hardware—like Windows under Boot Camp. But Parallels has done an impressive job of making Windows respond snappily on modern hardware like the MacBook Air that I used for testing. Compared to VMware Fusion, Parallels seems slightly but noticeably faster running Windows, but the difference isn’t decisive.

Parallels beat Fusion in my tests at starting a virtual machine and waking a sleeping one. I set up Windows 10 in both apps so that Windows automatically booted directly to the desktop, without waiting at the log-in screen.

Parallels 12 was almost three times as fast as Fusion at starting Windows 13 seconds for Parallels versus 35 for Fusion and four times as fast when shutting down Windows 6 seconds versus Note, however, that once each system got started, both ran real-world applications like Word and Excel at just about the same speed—slightly more sluggishly than the native OS X versions of those apps, but certainly fast enough for most purposes.

Excellent Performance What makes VMware Fusion worth considering for many users is that it lets you use the same virtual machines that you may have created for VMware Workstation for Windows or Linux. All you need to do is copy the existing virtual machine from your Windows or Linux computer to your Mac—or vice versa—and you get the same virtual machine on both.

Parallels sells Parallels Desktop only for the Mac. I’m not a big fan of apps that ship together with other, irrelevant apps, but Parallels 12 gives you an option to install a tag-along app that many users will be glad to have.

The Parallels Toolbox is an all-purpose utility that sits in the system tray and lets you compress files, take screen shots, record audio and video, and hide or unhide desktop icons. All these features are easily available directly from OS X or from free third-party apps, but the Toolbox brings them together in one place.

Unfortunately, you can’t hide the tools you’ll never want to use. Veertu is almost as quick as Parallels, but it offers the least possible integration with OS X and none of Parallels’ convenience features.

If you’re just looking to run some simple Windows apps or games, you might also consider Urge Software’s Wineskin Winery. This app is free, but it can be tricky to set up, and it didn’t work well with complex apps in my testing. If you need to use a Windows app for any serious work on a Mac, your only choices are Parallels and VMware. Both earn an Editor’s Choice award, but Parallels remains the easiest and friendliest choice for most users.

Parallels Desktop for Mac.

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Version 14 focuses less on whiz-bang new features and instead wisely focuses on where it counts: Under-the-hood performance improvements. In this case, they have good reason to boast—on my Mac, the software launches in under five seconds flat. Since Mac owners do rely on Parallels Desktop to run one or more flavors of Windows on their preferred OS, a lot of energy this time around has been devoted to enhancements on this front. Windows VMs now start up to 35 percent faster, as do applications that run inside them. Parallels Forget Boot Camp or a dual-boot partition. At least some of this improvement can be attributed to the way Parallels Desktop 14 automatically adjusts video memory usage for best performance.

VIDEO: Running Windows on your Mac? Apple recommends Parallels

Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition is the easiest and most powerful application to run Windows on Mac for developers, testers, and power users. Order online. The top solution for running Windows and its apps on Apple Mac by acquiring Parallels — the top developer of emulation software to run. I wrote about the release of Parallels Desktop 14 a few weeks ago. . 14 feels like it could be built into macOS, and it was developed by Apple.

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