5 Important new releases: Official Update for Desktop for Mac, AND Workstation 2.2 for Windows & Linux!

After a really successful beta program (thanks again to everyone who helped out!), we’re ready to release the final, official versions of both the Desktop for Mac Update, and version 2.2 of Workstation for Windows and Linux. I think you’ll be really impressed with what both products have to offer.

More information on each product, and links to get them, are below. But before I get to that, a few important notes that apply to BOTH products:

  • Both of these releases are FREE for registered customers, and will AUTOMATICALLY UPDATE if you have that feature enabled. If you have auto-update turned off, you’ll need to download and install the new versions manually.
  • Upgrading will not require a re-install of any guest OSes or applications. You’re just updating the Parlalels application package.
  • Remember to re-install Parallels Tools after upgrading
  • New users can download and evaluate either Desktop for Mac or Workstation for Windows or Linux free for 15-days. Download the product you’d like to try and get a trial key from the Parallels Download Center.

On to the good stuff. Here’s what’s new in each product:


  • Works on ANY Intel-Mac with ANY memory configuration with no system modification. This includes Mac Pros with up to 16GB of RAM, and the full line of Core 2 Duo iMacs
  • Support for Windows Vista as a guest OS
  • Support for Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” as a Primary OS
  • Better USB support, including support for isynchronous devices and Windows Mobile 5 devices


  • Full support for AMD Secure Virtual Machine Technology, and stronger support for Intel Virtualization Technology. For more information on why this is important, see my recent blog post on the subject.
  • Support for Windows Vista as a Guest OS
  • A new shared folder utility lets users share files and folders between OSes
  • Smoother sound and video support
  • Better networking; use WiFi connections in Linux primary OSes, and switch bridge connections between a LAN cable and WiFi connection on the fly in any guest OS.
  • Stronger support for USB devices, including support for webcams and Windows Mobile 5 devices
13 Ask Ben Anything – dual displays, copy protected CDs, multiple VMs, wireless broadband cards, and personal problems

Good questions this week! Remember, if you have a question, email it to me at with “Ask Ben Anything” in the subject line, or just post it in a comment anywhere on the blog.

1) One of the nicest things about Virtual PC is being able to have a dual-display Mac and being able to run Windows in full-screen mode in the monitor of your choice…and being able to move from one system to the other just by moving the mouse from one screen to the other. Is this possible with Parallels Desktop for Mac?

Tiago (via email)

It sure is. Parallels Desktop supports full screen mode for all of our guest OSes (be sure to install Parallels Tools for best results), and any VM can be dragged to a second display. Just drag it over to your second monitor, hit the fullscreen button or hotkey combination, and have two full-screen OSes side by side, with one keyboard and mouse.

For those of you who want similar functionality but don’t have a second display, I recommend Virtue Desktop. It’s Australian-made freeware and is really great stuff…I know I couldn’t live without it. Check it out at

2) What’s the status of getting copy-protected CDs to work under Windows XP? I want to get my Age of Empires II freak on, but can’t under Parallels as it won’t start the game.

Adam A.

You’ve run into an issue that we know about and for which we’re already working on a fix. In the next version of desktop we’re planning on including an upgraded virtual CD/DVD drive that will work seamlessly with copy-protected media, and will also enable you to burn CDs and DVDs (assuming you have the appropriate real hardware) directly in virtual machines. The good news is that the new version should be available in beta around the turn of the year, so this fix is pretty close to being ready to go.

3) I’m researching buying a macbookpro and fortunately just found some info on Parallels. I’m pretty psyched. Ideally I’d like to be able to run KDE, Windows at the same time on OSX. Is this possible with Parallels?

Thanks much,

It’s easy to run multiple VMs at the same time on one OS X Mac (or, via Parallels Workstation, one Windows or Linux PC). Open up as many Virtual Machines as you’d like, and get to work…you’re only limited by real RAM and processing power. I’ve run 4 VMs comfortably at one time, so 2 should be no problem. I would, however, recommend that you get a MacBook Pro with 2GB of RAM if you’re going to run more than 1 VM at a time.

To open a second instance of Parallels Desktop, just hit Apple+N.

4) I just got a new EVDO Verizon Wireless high-speed broadband card. It works in OS X, but I can’t get the connection to bridge to Windows. What am I doing wrong?

– Truckr010 (via AIM)

Nothing, actually. Parallels doesn’t support the new broadband cards as a bridged internet option (we will in the next version). Fortunately, there is an easy workaround to get Windows working with your card:

  1. Launch Parallels Desktop and select your VM. Click on the “network adapter” item and select “host-only networking”. Hit OK.
  2. Connect to the Internet in OS X using your broadband card.
  3. In the System Preferences menu, click “Sharing”, then “Internet”. Select your wireless card from the menu and check “Ethernet Adapter (en2)” in the “To Computers Using” list. Be sure to uncheck any other interface. Hit start to confirm the changes and activate Internet Sharing.
  4. Click on the “Firewall” tab in the “Sharing” menu and turn the Firewall off to make sure that its not interfering with the Mac-VM connection.
  5. Boot your VM

Steps 1-4 take about 1 minute to complete, and after that, you’re good to go.

5) “Ask Ben Anything?” Ok then, what the hell is wrong with me?

– K. O.

No idea. I am sure, however, that the joy of working with Parallels Workstation or Parallels Desktop will fix what ails you.

1 Awards and Accolades

It’s been a pretty impressive few weeks for Parallels. Below you’ll find a few of our recent reviews and the awards that we’ve earned:

October 2006: Parallels Workstation 2.1 is named a “Must Have” application & Editor’s Choice by, one of the leading review/download sites on the net.

Read the full TUCOWS review.

October 2006: Parallels Desktop for Mac gets a 90/100 and a “Superior” ranking from PC World. This was the highest score of the issue and one of highest of the year.

Read the PC World review. (Note: this review was originally published online in August 06).

September 2006: MacWorld gives Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.5/5 mice and the coveted “mouse award”. We also were named an Editor’s Choice with a 5/5 star ranking from MacWorld UK.

Read MacWorld’s review. (Note: this review was originally published online in June 06).

4 “Ask Ben Anything” — better late than never!

Between being in San Fransico at the Intel Developer Forum for a week, and Monday being Yom Kippur, I managed to miss Friday’s column. So, here’s a brief “Ask Ben Anything” to make up for that…I’ll do a full column as usual this Friday.

Also, for those of you writing questions to me via email, please include “Ask Ben Anything” in your subject line so I don’t misplace your message.

1) I’ve been reading about the SlingBox, the gadget that lets you watch TV from anywhere. But I see that this its a Windows-only app/appliance. Does it work in Parallels Desktop for Mac?


Yes, it sure does! Check out this interview with the SlingBox execs on, in which they talk about running the SlingPlayer in Parallels on a Mac. For a real world taste of Sling on Mac (and some great screenshots), check out this eval by James McMurry.

SlingBox/SlingPlayer works especially well on the update builds of Parallels Desktop, since those offer better video support. Linux users will be happy to know that you can also run SlingPlayer in a Windows VM via Parallels Workstation for Linux.

2) You’ve been issuing updates pretty frequently. How do I know if I have the most recent build? I tried checking for updates and my copy of Parallels says I’m up to date, even though I don’t think I am.

– Rojer

Parallels products only auto-update when we have a final, stable build. Since the recent update builds for Parallels Desktop for Mac are beta/RC builds, we haven’t set the server to auto-update everyone.

To check your build, open Parallels Desktop, click “Parallels Desktop” in the menu bar, and then click “About Parallels Desktop”. Your build information will be right at the top.

You can get the most recent build of Desktop at the Desktop Update Download Page. 1922 is the most recet build.

9 Parallels Desktop Update RC2: works on ANY Intel Mac with ANY memory configuration

With today’s release of Parallels Desktop for Mac Update Release Candidate 2, you can now run virtual machines on ANY Intel Mac with ANY amount of RAM, without any limitations or system reconfiguration! This includes Mac Pro towers maxed out with 16GB of RAM, and all possible configs for the new Core 2 Duo iMacs.

Thanks again to everyone who tested the internal build, and to our entire community for bearing with us as we got this important update ready to go. Expect a final release of our Update in the next few weeks!

Get the new build and learn abotu what’s included at the Update RC2 Main Page.

7 “Ask Ben Anything” — VT, license keys, & Vista upgrades

Welcome to the first “Ask Ben Anything”. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions…keep ’em coming!

1) Ben, VMWare seems to be talking smack about the Intel/AMD virtualization technologies not amounting to squat as far as performance is concerned (

What does Parallels have to say about the topic?

I don’t think that this is a case of them “talking smack,” as you put it, about VT and AMD Virtualization, rahter its an explanation of different approaches towards virtualization, and about which works best. Our solutions were built from the ground up to support these virtualization technologies (via our lightweight hypervisor), and we, and our users, notice pretty substantial performance gains when running our solutions with them – sometimes as much as 150%!

VT support is one of the key reasons that Windows performance via Parallels Desktop for Mac is so strong. VT is included in every new Mac, and Parallels automatically takes advantage of it. When Intel releases then next generation of VT, Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O, performance will get even better.

Want to see for yourself? Try loading Windows in Desktop with VT disabled, then again with VT enabled. I think you’ll see that it does indeed mak a difference!

2) Hullo there, I have two simple questions for thee. If I buy parallels for mac, for how long will I be able to receive updates? Can I use the same copy of Parallels on two seperate machines that I own?

Thanks heaps,
Yak Sox

Minor updates, patches and point updates are always free for every user for the life of the product. Major upgrades do require a new purchase, but as a registered Parallels customer, you’ll get a very significant discount.

Also, the Parallels License Agreement registers your copy for one machine. So, if you have multiple computers, you’ll need a clean copy of Parallels for each.

3) I have XP installed, can I upgrade to Vista?

When this feature is supported by Vista (I believe you need to do a clean install with the betas and RC’s), yes, you will be able to upgrade just as you would on a “real” PC. Just pop the disc in and follow the instructions!

As with any upgrade – be it for a “real” machine or a virtual one, its always a good idea to back up your files first, in case you run into a problem during the upgrade.

2 Parallels at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, 9/26 – 9/29

Wanted to give you all a heads up that Parallels will be attending – and presenting – at the Fall 2006 Intel Devleoper Forum. The conference runs from September 26th through September 29th, at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco.

Key members of our engineering team will be at booth #507 in the Forum Technology Showcase, running demos and answering technical questions about our Desktop for Mac and Workstation 2.2 for Windows and Linux products. If you’re attending the conference, stop by to meet the guys behind the code, and to get a free, extended trial versions of our latest software.

On Tuesday, September 27th from 1:30 – 2:30, we’ll also be hosting a technical “chalk talk” titled “Client Virtualiation Done Right” in which we’ll be discussing the ins-and-outs of virtualization and how we leverage Intel Virtualization Technology in all of our products.

As usual, we’ll be wandering the conference in our bright orange shirts, so we’ll be hard to miss. See you all in San Francisco!

3 Parallels Workstation 2.2 Release Candidate

Today’s a 2-for-1 day. Earlier this morning we released a new build for Parallels Desktop, and now we’re releasing the Release Candidate for Parallels Workstation 2.2 for Windows & Linux!

2.2 RC has a number of improvements, the most notable of which are stronger support for Intel Virtualization Technology and AMD Secure Virtual Machine Technology (both of which drive great performance and stability – see my recent blog post on the subject for more info), and the addition of Microsoft Windows Vista as a guest OS. You can check out the full list of new features here.

The addition of Vista is a really great feature for our Windows and Linux users, since they now have the ability to test Vista and play with configurations without having to sacrifice an entire production machine.

As with all updates, you won’t need to reinstall your guest OSes, nor will you lose any saved data. You should, however, reinstall Parallels tools after updating your Parallels Workstation build.

31 New build for Mac Pro available now

Just a few minutes ago our developers posted a new build (1898) for Desktop for Mac that substantially improves Mac Pro and 64-bit iMac performance and eliminates kernel panics and major bugs.

For those users who have Mac Pros and 64-bit iMacs with more than 2GB of RAM, you’ve had to manually limit your RAM via the instructions I laid out in my “Q&A about the Update RC” post. In this build, we’ve included a tool that will help you take this action without any command line coding. With a single click you can limit your RAM and make your Mac Pro fully compatible with this build. You can easily revert your memory back at any time to the full configuration with the same tool.

Its very important to note that limiting your RAM configuration to run Parallels Desktop will NOT prevent you from running any other OS X application (although they may run slightly slower). It simply helps our hypervisor “play nice” with the Mac Pro.

This build also adds support for Windows Vista RC1 as a guest OS, and adds an improved Parallels Tools package for all of the Vista builds that improves mouse movement, and video resolutions, and beefs up networking. I highly recommend you install it if you’re running Vista!

Originally, I told you that we’d have full PAE support by year’s end. Now, I’m pleased to let you know that we are working on a new RC version that will be compatible with ANY Intel-Mac with ANY amount of RAM, and will have it much sooner than originally anticipated. The engineering team tells me that this build should be available in a week or two.

Thank you again to all of our loyal Desktop users and beta testers. Everyone here appreciates your feedback and your patience.

If you recently purchased Desktop from a retail store, be sure to upgrade to the new build before you install any operating system on your computer. This will ensure that you’ve got a build that works with whatever Mac you’re using.

0 Parallels in NYC on Wednesday

For those of you in New York, I’ll be presenting at the SoHo Apple Store on Wednesday, September 20th from 6:30 – 7:30pm. This is a good opportunity for new and experienced Parallels users to ask questions about the product and learn more about the technology that powers it.

If you’re an Apple Store employee or business consultant, I’ll be at the SoHo store for about 2 hours prior to the presentation for employee training. Call the SoHo store to reserve a spot…they’re going fast.

1 159 160 161 162 163 169