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.
IF YOU’RE A REGISTERED USER:
- 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.
IF YOU’RE A NEW USER:
- 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!
- Submit bugs, make feature requests and submit general feedback through our online beta feedback form.
Just a few of the many photos I snapped at WWDC:
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.
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 VMware.com:
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.
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:
- Since this is a beta update, you’ll need to download it manually. Get the update at the Beta Update Download Page.
- 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.
- 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…