2 – Powered by Parallels Workstation

I came across, a cool site where you can see actual video of linux distributions in action, through an article by Tina Gasperson at NewsForge, cleverly titled “See Distros. See Distros Run. Run, Distros, Run.”

The main page

The site was created by Jonathan Buys, who said “I’ve seen Linux advance by leaps and bounds over the years. I’ve lost count of how many distros I’ve tested. I figured that since I was loading the distros anyway, I might as well share my experiences on my site.”

A great idea. And the coolest part? He uses Parallels Workstation 2.1 for Windows to run all of his Linux distribtions in virtual machines!

This is exactly what Parallels Workstation is ideal for; keep your Windows machine intact, but still have the freedom to run full versions of Linux (or any other OS) at the same time as Windows in a stable, secure virtual machine that you can wipe away when you’re done.

Try it yourself! Get a free 15-day trial of Parallels Workstation for Windows (or Linux, or Mac!) at the Parallels Download Center.

7 Parallels Desktop on TV!

Today and throughout the next week, you’ll be able to see Parallels Destkop (and your truly!) on the Belo TV networks. I spent some time with Mike Goldfein, Belo’s technology reporter, demoing the product and explaining why its so important to today’s computing world.

It’s a relatively short piece, but it turned out very nicely. You can check out the video here.

5 Permanent Keys

If you pre-ordered Parallels Desktop for Mac, you should have received an email this week with your permanent activation key. Please remember that this key will ONLY WORK with the final version of Parallels Desktop, which will be available in the next few weeks.

If your trial key has expired, don’t worry…you can get a new one by logging in to the “my account” section of Just log in, click “resend key” and you’ll get your new beta key via email!

8 Parallels Desktop RC2 – the final pre-release version – is here!

Parallels Desktop for Mac Release Candidate 2, the final test version of the product before we go “live”, is ready for download!

You’ll notice several changes in RC2, including:

  • Significantly improved performance
    • Note: My Windows XP VM loads in 10 seconds…no joke!
  • Improved USB performance and broader device support
  • Improved Host-guest networking
  • Automatic network adapters now switch on-the-fly
  • Guest OS no longer steals host IP address in some DHCP servers
  • Full-screen mode is now customizable
    • Note: Check out the cool new animations, especially “warp” and “flip”.
  • Integration with Virtue is now bug-free
  • Customizable Ctrl + Click mapping
  • Guest 32-bit color is supported when Parallels Tools is installed
  • Improved Shared folders performance
    • Note: No more lag when opening folders!
  • Resolved shared folders/MS Office incompatibility issues
    • Note: Files transfer seamlessly & instantly.
  • Windows 98 no longer consumes 99% host CPU even when idle (in VT-x mode)

There is another important change in RC2 that I’d like to discuss in more detail. Many users have told us how much they rely on Parallels Compressor, our disk management tool that can compress the size of a Windows virtual machine (VM) by 50% or more, to conserve hard drive space, get VMs to a “burnable” size, and increase VM speed. They have also commented, however, that since Desktop is a Mac product – and Mac products are above all else, easy – that it would be simpler than going through two complete downloads, installs and setups if we could integrate both products, so they got everything they needed in one shot.

We listened. Parallels Desktop RC2 includes Parallels Compressor Server technology (which is compatible with any version of Windows 2000, 2003 or XP)! From within a VM, users can just click “run compressor” under the “VM” tab in the menu bar and without shutting down, decrease their virtual hard disk size by 50% or more. Quick, easy, simple….exactly the way a Mac product should be.

When the final product is available, the all inclusive version of Parallels Desktop will cost only $79.99, a savings of $150 versus buying Parallels Destkop for $49.99 and Parallels Compressor Server for $179.99!

A few important notes on pricing:

  • The $39.99 pre-order price is still in effect, and will be until the close of the beta program.
  • Customers who already pre-ordered will receive the new, upgraded version including Compressor at NO ADDITIONAL COST.
  • As a special extended offer, we’ll be offering the new, all inclusive version for $49.99 for 30 days following the general release.

Get Parallels Desktop RC2 now!

Pre-Order Parallels Destkop for $39.99!

23 Boot Camp & Vista Beta2

There have been a number of comments (and direct emails to me) that are some variation of the following two you’ll find below. Answers are inline:

  • I’ve been playing with Boot Camp and Parallels Desktop. Why can’t I use the hard disk partition I created with Boot Camp as the Windows image for Parallels?

ANSWER: Right now, Parallels Desktop does not include a “Use Real Partition” feature that will enable you to use your Boot Camp partition for Parallels. This feature is in our plans though, so stay tuned. Until its available, you’ll need to perform a full installation to work with Windows in a virtual machine.

  • Does Windows Vista Beta2 work with Parallels Desktop as a guest OS?

ANSWER: Not yet. Windows Vista requires BIOS to support ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) to load properly. We’re actively working to include this feature in the Parallels BIOS, and will definitely offer support for Vista as primary and guest OS by the time Microsoft makes it available for general use.

1 Technical Questions on the Blog

If you have a technical question about Parallels Desktop, Workstation, or Compressor, the best thing to do it post it to our Technical Support Forum, not on the blog. There, you’ll be able to engage our support and development teams, as well as other users, about your question. It’s a great resource that ensure that you spend more time working with Parallels software, and less time waiting for an answer to a question!

For those of you who’d rather cut/paste the URL, you can get to the forum at

36 Parallels Workstation for Mac OS X is now Parallels Desktop for Mac – and the release candidate is ready for download!

Good news! We’ve launched the Release Candidate (RC) for Parallels Desktop! This release is a direct result of the awesome support from the Mac community…so thanks again to all of our 100,000+ beta testers. Upgrade to RC now.

Before I discuss the changes you’ll see in the RC, I wanted to address the product name change. As you probably know, “Workstation” is a very Windows-centric term, and we recieved a lot of comments from our users stating that since we’ve got a great Mac product, we should make it look and sound like a Mac product. We listened, and the result is “Parallels Desktop for Mac”. We’re really pleased with the new name, and we hope that you are, too.

Now, onto the important stuff…what’s new in Parallels Desktop for Mac RC? The answer is “lots.” Check out the improvements:

* New look and feel
* Improved performance and stability
* Better and broader USB support
* Improved Shared Folder functionality
* Improved networking
* Better sound support
* Better fullscreen operation
* Resolved Suspend/Resume issues
* Uninstaller introduced
* National keyboards mapping issues have been fixed
* Red “Power Off” button now always acts like Power Off
* Blue “Pause” button now always acts like Suspend
* The “Pause” button was moved to the VM menu

As good as the RC is, there are a few known issues that we’re resolving now:
* Some USB devices are still unstable
* FreeBSD 5.4 installation sometimes hangs

NOTE: If you are upgrading from beta4 or earlier, you will need to reboot after installing RC.

NOTE #2: You’ll also need to reinstall Parallels Tools, regardless of which Beta you’re upgrading from. You can easily do this by booting your guest OS, clicking the “VM” tab in the menu, and clicking “Install Parallels Tools.”

As we get close to the final release version of Parallels Desktop for Mac, your feedback is more important than ever. Don’t forget to share your thoughts and any technical issues by using our online support form. Alternatively, you can email your comments to

2 The numbers don’t lie

I wanted to talk a bit about a very interesting article I just read on that polled more than 1,600 Mac users about the impact that Parallels and Apple’s Boot Camp are having on the market.

The numbers offer impressive answers to a few important questions:

  • Is interoperability between Mac OS X and Windows really that important?

Clearly yes. 83% of respondants said that what we’re doing is good for the Mac community.

  • What about non-Intel-Mac users? Will they be willing to upgrade to a “Mactel” just to run a few Windows apps?

Definitely. Because of Mac/Windows interoperability, MacWorld reports that nearly 3/4 of PowerPC Mac owners plan to buy an Intel-Mac in the next 12 months to take advantage of Windows/Mac interoperability.

  • How does Parallels fit into all of this?

The numbers show that we’re already a leader in the space, and that we’re continuously picking up speed. As of right now, almost half of Intel-Mac owners already have Parallels installed on their Mac, or plan to do so soon. Compare that to Boot Camp; less than 40% of Mactel users have or will install it on their machines.

Pretty cool, right? Keep an eye on for product updates and enhancements that will no doubt make these great numbers even higher!

If you haven’t done so already, check out what all the buzz is about by download a free, fully functional 30-day beta copy of Parallels Workstation for Mac OS X at the Parallels Download Center.

Almost forgot…check out Phillip Michael’s entire article on

0 Where’s my pre-order key?

I’ve received a number of emails and phone calls asking “I pre-ordered Workstation for Mac, so where’s my key?” This post will hopefully shed some light on what’s going on with that process.

When you pre-order a copy of Parallels Workstation, you’re effectively buying a “place holder” for one of the first keys that are available when the product is ready for sale. Here’s how things will work when you pre-order:

  1. Submit your order online at the Parallels Online Store.
  2. Save $10 because you’re smart and took advantage of our great pre-order discount.
  3. Download the beta product at the Download Center.
  4. Click “Get a trial key”, which will get you a 30-day beta key and enable you to use the product during beta the program.

    SIDE NOTE: If you have a key that’s ready to expire, you should have received a replacement key via email. If you didn’t, email support at and they’ll help you out.

  5. The minute the product is released, you’ll recieve a permanent activiation key and a download link for the GA product.
  6. Update Parallels, input the key, and get back to work!

I hope this clears things up. Thanks again for your support, and your patience!

8 Forum status

I’ve received a number of emails and blog comments about the status of the forum, and wanted to take a moment to explain what’s going on.

The forum is NOT down, and never will be! Registered forum members are still able to post new threads, ask questions, respond to other posts, and read every single thread and post that’s on the forum. All we have done is removed the links from our main menu structure.

After much discussion, we decided to do this was because the forum was starting to get flooded with posts from non-Parallels users, and many of the threads popping up were completely off-topic. When the forum becomes “dilluted” with off-topic posts and threads, it becomes less useful to the people who need it most – Parallels customers, evaulators and beta testers – and makes it harder for our support teams to answer important technical questions.

We’ll be closely watching the forum over the next few weeks, and may tweak our approach based on those observations. Just know that whatever happens, the forum will never, ever close!

BTW, the forum is accessible at

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