3 Workstation for Windows & Linux 2.2 Beta!

After a few months of me talking your ear off about our Desktop for Mac product, I’m proud to say that we have new news on the Windows and Linux front, with the launch of beta testing for Parallels Workstation 2.2, a more powerful version of our virtualization software for Windows and Linux!

Workstation 2.2 beta includes many of the great features that our Desktop for Mac users love, including:

  • Shared Folders that allow users to share files and folders between OSes
  • Better sound recording and playback
  • Smoother video playback
  • Smoother fullscreen transitions and support for native screen resolutions
  • Better USB support, including support for isynchronous devices and Windows Mobile 5

As well as several new features, like:

  • Full support for AMD Secure Virtual Machine technology. This technology, which is similar to Intel Virtualization Technology (which we’ve supported for months), dramatically improves the speed, performance, stability and isolation of virtual machines by offloading some of the “heavy lifting” from our engine directly to the processor
  • Support for NetBSD as a guest OS, and better support for Solaris guest VMs
  • Support for machines with up to 32 CPUs

All in all, its really solid. Check out all of the upgrades and new features at the Workstation 2.2 main page.


  • As part of our committment to reasonable pricing, the update to 2.2 is COMPLETELY FREE for all Workstation 2.1 users!
  • When we release the final update in just a few weeks, Parallels Workstation will auto-update. If you have auto update disabled, you’ll be able to manually update Parallels Workstation by downloading the update package from our site.
  • You will NOT need to reinstall any guest OS, nor will you lose any data when you upgrade to Workstation 2.2 Beta.
  • Don’t forget to update Parallels Tools after upgrading to 2.2 Beta! Click the “VM” tab in the Parallels menu bar, then click “Install Tools”. You’ll need to be logged into your VM to do this.


  • You can start using Parallels Workstation 2.2 Beta by downloading and installing the beta on a “bare” machine.
  • Follow the Quick Start Guide to get started.
    • Note to all users: updated documentation is coming soon…stay tuned.
  • Be sure to visit the Technical Support Forum for handy tricks, answers to FAQs and to hear what other users are saying

Hopefully you’re as excited about the new version as I am. Get it now! Oh, and don’t forget to tell us what you think!

0 Photos from WWDC

Just a few of the many photos I snapped at WWDC:

The huge, wall-to-wall banner on the first floor of Moscone West. The ones on the upper floors were funnier, but I’m not allowed to share, per the WWDC attendee agreement.

Me with Om Malik, Senior Writer for Business 2.0, at the Starbucks by his office. Outside of Business 2.0, Om runs GigaOM, a great technology blog/portal, on which he just wrote up a very positive article on Parallels. He also throws one hell of a party.

Dinner at Roy’s with the MacWorld Staff. From left: me, Peter Cohen (Senior Editor and resident gaming guru), Phil Michaels (Executive Editor), Rob Griffiths (Senior Editor).

Rob wrote one of the most thorough reviews of Desktop I’ve seen so far. And, he gave us 4.5 stars out of 5! Check his review out here.

In the main cafeteria with Tony Arnold, the creator of Virtue Desktop, a multi-desktop solution for OS X. If you aren’t using Virtue Desktop with Parallels, you should be. Read more about it and get the download here.
Neal Emerald, Apple Federal Systems Engineer, and J. Dolak, US Army. Neal’s in the Reston office right around the corner from our Herndon headquarters. I’m over there so much working on various projects that Neal’s suggested that I set up permanent residence.
To my right, Tamotsu Ito, Senior Editor of Weekly ASCII Magazine, the leading weekly Japanese IT magazine. On my left is Akemi Miyamoto, one of ASCII’s best writers. Akemi also served as a very accopmlished translator.
Parallels Engineers working with Shawn Geddis, one of the world’s foremost experts on Mac security, and the OS X USB team.

73 WWDC Wrap Up, Part 2: VMware is in, Microsoft is out, Parallels responds

WWDC saw some major activity in the virtualization-on-Mac space. Not only did we release a beta update for Parallels Desktop, but two of the biggest players in the virtualization market announced their plans for the Mac market.

First, VMware stated that they were planning a workstation-class product for Mac OS X. They noted that they’re hoping to be in beta by year’s end, with a “real” version launching sometime next year. I think its interesting to note that when they’re launching beta for version 1, we’ll be ready to go to beta for our second version of Desktop. More on that later.

What I found especially amusing about that announcement was the screenshot that they posted on

Yep, that’s a Parallels Desktop application icon in the dock. What can I say? Our stuff is so good, even the competition runs it.

On the same day, Microsoft announced that it will no longer be pursuing Virtual PC for Intel Macs, ending months of speculation on the subject. A Microsoft rep stated: “[The Microsoft] Mac BU has made the decision not to move forward with a Universal version of Virtual PC at this time.”

So, in light of these major announcements, we felt obligated to respond. First, as I mentioned earlier, we released a great beta update that is FREE to all users (and to non-users who want to take it for a test-drive). Second, we gave a bit of insight into our plans for the next version of Desktop. The next version, due to hit beta by year’s end, will include:

  • A groundbreaking new user interface that will make running Windows on a Mac easier and more productive than ever before
  • Never before seen security and management tools
  • Capability to burn CDs and DVDs inside virtual machines
  • Fast 3D graphics support
    via support for OpenGL and DirectX. You’ll be able to run games at full speed without leaving your OS X desktop!
  • An ACPI BIOS that provides the ability to run Microsoft Windows Vista
    • NOTE: For our Windows customers, Vista will be supported as a primary OS as well as a guest
  • More cool stuff that I can’t tell you about right now. 🙂

Oh, and did I mention that we’re working on Parallels Server for Mac? Look for that around the turn of the year as well.

3 WWDC Wrap Up, Part 1: Parallels Desktop Beta Update

I made it back from WWDC in one piece, and have a lot to tell! In the interest of keeping my posts short, I’m going to break my WWDC wrap-up into a few parts.

First, let’s talk about the big news from Parallels…we dropped a beta update for Parallels Desktop on August 8th!

The update has a number of really cool features, such as:

  • USB improvements – easily use multi interfaced and isochronous USB devices (including Windows Mobile 2005 and webcams)
  • You can now optimize Mac OS X or guest OS performance by switching off the Mac cache function. Click the edit button on your config screen, and then go to “VM flags”. You’ll find the radio buttons there.
  • Faster, smoother video playback.
  • You can now use all of the keys on your Mac keyboard, like the eject CD button, right-left and Shift/Ctrl/Alt (option)/Windows keys, in any virtual machine.
  • With Unicode path support you can name files and paths in national languages
  • Better shared folders performance – open folders and files faster, and transfer data across OSes with almost zero lag.
  • Go to the main beta update page for the complete list of fixes and updates

This update is COMPLETELY FREE for Parallels users, and can be downloaded and used from scratch for new users! A few notes on downloading and intalling the update:

  1. Since this is a beta update, you’ll need to download it manually. Get the update at the Beta Update Download Page.
  2. When the final update is released, you’ll be auto-updated. To turn the auto-update feature on, click “Help” in the Parallels menu bar, then click “Check for updates”. The option is on that tab.
  3. As with all Parallels updates, you will NOT need to reinstall Windows or any applications, and you won’t lose any data!

More on WWDC coming soon…

2 FREE Parallels presentations at the San Francisco Apple Store during WWDC!

If you’re not attending WWDC but are in the San Francisco area and want to learn more about Parallels, I hope that you’ll be able to make it to the San Francisco Apple Store (On Stockton Street, just north of the Moscone Center West) on Monday, August 7th and Tuesday, August 8th from 7-8:30pm for free, open-to-the-public presentations/Q&A I’ll be giving.

I’ll be at the store discussing tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Parallels Desktop, giving a high-level overview of the technology that powers our software, and answering audience questions.

Seating is limited, so get there early!

5 I’ll be at WWDC, will you?

From August 7th-11th, Mac geeks from all over the world will converge on the Moscone Center in San Francisco for the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference. This week long event is one of two major Apple events each year (the other being MacWorld), and this is definitely the more technical of the two. There are dozens of focused technology training sessions, lots of great presentations, and of course, Steve Jobs’ keynote speech where he’ll be previewing OS 10.5 “Leopard” as well as upcoming Apple hardware technologies.

I, and several other guys from Parallels, will be at WWDC in full force. So if you have a technical question, are interested in exploring a partnership with Parallels, or just want to say “hi”, find me or any other Parallels team member. We’ll be in bright orange shirts like the one below:

I’m 6’2″, weigh 230 lbs, shave my head and will be in a bright orange shirt.
There’s no way you can miss me at WWDC.

0 Adobe’s Mike Downey digs Parallels

Mike Downey, Senior Product Manager for Flash Products at Adobe, recently had great things to say about Parallels Desktop. This quote was taken from a larger interview about the status of Flash for new Intel-Macs that was published in Mac Design Pro Magazine a few days ago:

“I will add that both myself and my counterpart who runs the development team, Doug Benson, are avid Mac users and have been very pleased with our new MacBook Pros. I’m especially happy with the performance and capabilities of Parallels running Win XP. I no longer need to carry two laptops with me when I travel.”

Pretty high praise from two of the best in the computer industry. Check out the full article here.

2 Parallels invades Denmark

Live in Denmark? Want to get started with Parallels Desktop?

You’re in luck; Jan Dalsgaard, owner of, has just written – in Danish of course – “How to Install Windows XP with Parallels on an Intel-Mac.”

Jan is the undisputed Mac genius in Denmark, and this work is a great example of his talent, and of his real dedication to the Mac platform.

You can buy the full 36-page walk-thorugh guide at the online store for 98 Danish Kroner (about US$16.50). It’s a bargain in any currency.

3 Pimp Your MacBook with Parallels

Uncrate, a men’s magazine that focuses on cool gear that guys need, just listed Parallels Desktop as one of the top 10 things you need if you’re buying a new MacBook.

The article leads off by saying: “Apple’s new MacBook is easily the best laptop for the money currently being sold. It packs in spectacular power and some of the most advanced features available. That said, there’s always room to accessorize. Being longtime Mac users and new MacBook owners, we’ve rounded up our top 10 products to help you pimp your MacBook.”

I agree 100%. That being said, we should have been higher on the list (Desktop comes in at #5)…at least ahead of the stylishly questionable nylon sleeve that they listed first.

Parallels Desktop: #5 on the list of the most bad-ass stuff you can buy for a MacBook

Check out the full top-10 list here.
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