2 Extending Beta keys

Many of you have sent email asking what’s going to happen if your beta key expires, but the product isn’t out of beta.

I’m pleased to say that we’ll be issuing new, extended beta keys that will enable you to continue using Parallels Workstation for Mac OS X through the end of the beta program. You’ll be receiving a simple text mail with your new key shortly; just click “Help”, then click “Activate this product”, and enter your new key. You’ll be good to go!

Remember that you can pre-order Parallels Workstation for Mac OS X now for $39.99 – $10 off the regular retail price! Get your copy now at our online store.

8 Ready to roll with Beta6

Beta6 arrived this Saturday, and its ready for download now! Hit the Parallels Download Center and get your copy now!

Remember, if you’re already a Parallels user, you DO NOT have to re-build your virtual machines. Just upgrade your Parallels installation and you’ll be good to go.

Improvements and Fixes in Beta6:

  • USB fixes (more devices supported: PDA, scanner, etc.)
  • Shared Folders fixes (added support for guest Windows 2000)
  • Network improvements: host-only networking
  • Custom video resolutions support added
  • Image Tool introduced
  • Autoupdate introduced
  • Kernel panic in virtual memory manager fixed
  • Shutdown in fullscreen mode hang fixed
  • Virtual disk sync() problem with Linux guests fixed

Known Issues:

  • Some USB devices may not work
  • Network doesn’t work in Linux guests if bridged to WiFi
  • Resume doesn’t work correctly if suspend was made while playing audio inside guest
  • Fullscreen may not work for some custom resolutions
2 Compactor is now Compressor – and the Release Candidate is ready for download!

The Release Candidate of Parallels VM Compressor – formerly known as Compactor – is now available for download. You can get your copy at the Parallels Compressor Download Center.

I’m sure you’re asking two questions: What’s so cool about the RC, and why’d you change the name?

First things first: What’s new in the Release Candidate?

  • Added uninstall feature for primary Mac OS X
  • Added /r command line key to register product from the command line
  • VM Compressor now posts an event to guest Windows Application event log upon finishing its work
  • Changed logic of checking administrator’s rights
  • VM Compressor no longer removes pictures from My Accounts
  • Changed message which appears if Parallels VM Compressor is not activated or license key is expired
  • Fixed the problem with Windows File Protection message
  • Users are now able to add or remove tasks by clicking on the task itself or its checkbox

Its important to note that the Parallels VM Compactor folder is not automatically deleted on Linux or Mac OS X primary OSes. You can delete it manually. Or, you can leave it for nostalgia’s sake. Up to you.

Also, if you are a Mac user, your license key will be deleted when you upgrade to Parallels VM Compressor RC. You will need to re-input it to activate the product. Hit the “My Account” section of the website if you need to be re-sent your key.

Now, the big question: what’s with the new name?
After a long internal discussion and a lot of great user feedback, we decided that Compressor was a much more appropriate name than Compactor. When most people hear the word “compactor”, they think of a trash compactor. And, while your VM may have a ton of garbage in it (I know mine do!), we’re not too keen on having our product associated with garbage. So, behold Parallels VM Compressor!

17 Workstation for Mac OS X Beta5 includes USB support and Shared Folders
Today’s a big day for Mac users everywhere! Parallels Workstation for Mac OS X Beta5 is here…and it includes USB support and a Shared Folder function that makes sharing documents between Windows and Mac OS X a snap.

Get your free copy of Beta5 at the Parallels Download Center. Remember, if you’re already a beta tester, you can just install Beta5 on top of your current version. You will NOT have to rebuild your virtual machines.

Remember that you can also pre-order your copy of Parallels Workstation now and save $10 off the $49.99 retail price! Pre-order your copy now!

Improvements and Fixes in Beta5:

  • Introduced USB support. Connect your favorite USB devices directly to a virtual machine!
  • Introduced shared folders. Share files between Mac OS X and any Windows XP or Windows 2003 guest virtual machine!
  • Support for dynamic screen resolutions has been introduced. This means that when you choose a guest OS, a list of available screen resolutions is dynamically populated with primary OS resolutions.
  • Fixed keyboard mapping problems and the mouse pointer lag problem
  • Improved sound support. The sound lag problem has also been fixed.
  • Fixed problems with sleeping/waking up the primary OS when a VM is running
  • Introduced the ability to resize a guest when switching to fullscreen mode
  • Added optional “transition cube” animation for transitioning to and from fullscreen mode. This is a really cool feature that makes switching between OSes in fullscreen mode very easy. There’s a video of an early version of this feature in action here.
  • Fixed several kernel panics
  • Added default network adapter for bridged mode
  • There’s a new and improved Parallels Tools package in Beta5. To update, open your VM, log in, click the “VM” menu, and click “Install Parallels Tools”

Also, we now have more than 100,000 beta testers! Thanks (again) to everyone who’s helping make this the best product possible. The fact that we’re moving so fast with this beta program is a direct result of your support, enthusiasm, and hard work.


0 Parallels Compactor 1.0 beta

Last Friday we launched beta testing for Parallels Compactor 1.0. It automatically deletes temporary and unnecessary files in a virtual hard disk, and then compacts the virtual disk to size that optimizes virtual machine performance and real disk space. It helps virtual machine users to:

Effectively clean up disk space in virtual machine, resulting in better performance and faster disk access

Significantly reduce the size of virtual hard disks and effectively use the real hard disk resource.

More easily share smaller virtual disks. Compacted virtual disks can easily be burned to a CD or DVD, or quickly transferred over network.

Now, here’s the coolest thing…

It’s compatible with ANY Windows XP, 2003, or 2000 virtual machine or virtual server built with Parallels Workstation 2.1 for Mac, Windows or Linux, VMWare Workstation, VMWare GSX Server, VMWare Server, Microsoft Virtual PC, or Microsoft Virtual Server.

This means that even if you’re not a Parallels user (but honestly, why wouldn’t you be?), you can use Compactor to save space and improve VM performance.

If that hasn’t convinced you, perhaps our shiny new product package will:

Ready to get started? Get your free beta copy of Parallels Compactor 1.0 at the Compactor Download Center.

4 Back from vacation

I’m back at Parallels after spending a few days with my wife Jen, in Berkeley Springs, WV. Berkeley Springs is a cool artist town in the WV mountains that’s known for its natural springs. The place has been a long time vacation spot (George Washington was a big fan), and proved to be a great way to celebrate our first anniversary.

Pictures coming soon, and updates on what’s going on with Parallels coming tomorrow!

4 Coke Blak

This has absolutely nothing to do with virtualization, but it does relate to product marketing, so I thought I’d write about it.

I just had a Coke Blak. For those of you who don’t know what it is, its a new coffee-flavored Coke. Perhaps just reading about such an abomination makes you say “Dear God! Why would they DO such a thing? That sounds HORRIBLE!” My answer to you would be “I have no idea”, and “Man, is horrible an understatement.”

If you want to experience it for yourself, here’s my suggestion: save the 75 cents by simply taking a day old cup of coffee and pouring it into a bottle of Coke. Shake vigorously. Try not to gag when you take a swig.

As a marketing guy, the decsion to constantly create new Coke products baffles me. There’s a lot of wisdom in the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and the Coke guys don’t seem to understand that. Coca-cola classic is the best selling food product in the world…why mess with it? Dare I bring up the fiasco that was Coke II?

I’m going to brush my teeth and try not to have nightmares about Coke Blak. I’ll see you all in the morning.

6 Beta4 for Mac OS X is ready for download

Beta4 is here!

Thanks to the help of our thousands of beta testers, we hammered our many of the bugs found in betas 1, 2, and 3, and were able to include several important new features, including:

  • Support for full screen mode
  • Dual-monitor support
  • Improved real CD/DVD support
  • Improved, easier to use interface
  • Better sound support, including a fix for Windows 2000 guest OS
  • Networking kernel panics fixes
  • Bridged networking issues fixes
  • WiFi networking issues fixes
  • Fixes for some of the issues encountered when entering “Sleep” mode when a VM is running
  • Many other minor bug fixes

Dual monitor and full screen suppot are my favorite additions to Beta4. Now, you can drag a VM to a second display, hit full screen, and effectively have 2 “life size” computers running different OSes, but with one set of input devices. I do this all the time with Linux on my Windows XP machine and can’t wait to get to work with Windows and Mac OS X at the same time on two displays!

Just a heads up…there is one known issue with Beta4 that we’re already working on and I wanted to share with you: If you have a real CD or DVD connected to a VM, you may have problems ejecting the disk. Simply disconnect the CD from the VM, and you should be able to eject the disk as normal.

Ready to get started with the new version? Get it at the Parallels Download Center!

1 76,924

I mispoke on the forum when I said we had 50,000 beta testers…its actually more than 70,000!

Actually, its 76,924 to be exact. 🙂

Because of the support of our testers, we’re really moving fast on development/testing. Look for a new update soon!

3 Parallels in the New York Times

This morning Parallels was featured on the front page of the Business section of the New York Times. The article was written by David Pogue, the Times’ personal technology columnist and the author of several books on personal computing.

Either pick up a print copy (don’t forget to check out the awesome screenshot on page 10!), or read the article online: