The icing on the proverbial cake of our final release was a really great review by Walt Mossberg from the Wall Street Journal, titled “New Product Operates Windows, Mac OS X Simultaneously”. This was a very positive review of Parallels Desktop that explains why our solution is a better choice than Apple’s Boot Camp, and why the software is important for the entire computing community.
For those of you who don’t know who Walt is, he is, without a doubt, the most powerful voice in technology. Check out his bio:
Walt Mossberg is the author and creator of the weekly “Personal Technology” column, which has appeared in The Wall Street Journal every Thursday since 1991. He also writes two other weekly columns: In “Mossberg’s Mailbox,” he answers readers’ questions, while in “The Mossberg Solution,” he compares and contrasts consumer electronic gadgets. Read Walt’s columns at http://ptech.wsj.com.
He is also a contributing editor of SmartMoney, The Journal’s monthly magazine, and a regular technology commentator for the CNBC network.
Newsweek magazine calls Mr. Mossberg “the most powerful arbiter of consumer tastes in the computer world today.” Time magazine calls him “the most influential computer journalist,” while Rolling Stone magazine calls him “the most powerful columnist in technology.” The Washington Post declared Mr. Mossberg “one of the most powerful men in the high-tech world” and “a one-man media empire whose prose can launch a new product.” And The New York Times calls him a “protean critic of the new economy’s tools and toys.”
Mossberg was awarded the 1999 Loeb Award for Commentary, the only technology writer to be so honored. For seven years in a row (1995-2001), he was named as the most influential journalist writing about computers in the annual ranking published by Technology Marketing magazine.
I highly recommend you read Walt’s columns – they’re consistently informative, honest, and well written. Especially the ones about Parallels. 🙂
The big day is finally here! After two months of very successful beta testing that involved more than 100,000 rabid mac users from 75 countries, I’m proud to announce that the final version of Parallels Desktop is now available for download and sale!
A few important notes about the final version:
- The final release price will be $79.99, but if you buy through July 15th, 2006, you can get the product for only $49.99!
- If you’re a new user, you can still try the product before you buy with a free 15 day trial (we offer free trials for ALL of our products, btw!)
- If you pre-ordered, you should have received your permanent key. If you didn’t, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get it to you right away.
- If you’re upgrading from an earlier version of Parallels Desktop, you will NOT need to reinstall Windows or rebuild your virtual machines. You should, however, reinstall Parallels Tools when you’re done with your upgrade
I came across OSvids.com, 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 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.
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.
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 parallels.com. Just log in, click “resend key” and you’ll get your new beta key via email!
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.
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.
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 http://forum.parallels.com.
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 email@example.com.