Archive
0 Intel Virtualization Technology and AMD Secure Virtual Machine Technology

Thanks to the lightweight hypervisor that powers our virtualization products, we’re able to fully support hardware virtualization technologies like Intel Virtualization Technology (VT) and AMD Secure Virtual Machine Technology (SVM). If you’re looking to run fast, stable, secure virtual machines (and you probably are, or you wouldn’t be reading this), that’s a very good thing.

VT and SVM are specially optimized processor architectures and firmware sets that serve as a kind of turbo booster for our virtualization engine. They offload some of the “heavy lifting” from our virtualization engine to the processor level, which means that virtual machines are substantially faster and more stable. We’ve seen performance increases of up to 150% on a VT/SVM powered box!

Working in conjunction with the hypervisor, VT and SVM help the Primary and Guest OSes happily coexist on a single machine.

The great part about this stuff is that if you’re working on a box that’s VT or SVM powered, Parallels immediately – and automatically – takes advantage of it. No techie magic required!

Intel and AMD are rolling out their respective hardware virtualization technologies now, so chances are that if you’re buying a new computer, it’ll have VT or SVM inside it.

If you’re using Parallels Desktop on an Intel Mac, you’re already working on a machine that’s VT-powered. This is one of the key reasons why Windows runs so damn fast in Parallels Desktop!

  • For more information on Intel VT, click here.
  • For more information about AMD SVM, click here.
  • For a third-party look on why these technologies are important, check out Loyd Case’s recent ABC News article, titled “Let’s Get Virtual”.
Archive
12 Mac Pro Compatibility

There have been a number of questions both here and on the forum about Mac Pro compatibility, so I wanted to be sure to address all of them ASAP.

1) Is Parallels Desktop compatible with the new Mac Pro tower?
Not yet. The new Mac Pros have a different CPU model, and work with a specifically optimized OS X kernel. It is not difficult to make Parallels compatible with either of these, but it does take a bit of time. We should have a compatible build very soon.

2) “Very soon” sounds like marketing-ese for “we’ll have something someday.”
When I say very soon, I mean very soon. Like within the next few days.

3) How will we find out when the build is ready?
If you’re signed up to receive Parallels news, you’ll get an email from us with instructions on how and where to get the build. Not signed up? Just enter your email address on the main Parallels home page and you’ll be good to go.

Alternatively, you can check the Parallels Technical Forum, or just keep an eye on my blog. I’ll be posting notices to both places within minutes of the build being ready.

All in all, please keep in mind that the Mac Pro was only announced earlier this month! We started work on them within 24 hours of the announcement, and we’re continuing to work around the clock (really…our developers are working in shifts and our Mac Pros are always on) to get this ready for you.

Just hang tight. I’ll have good news for you really soon.

Archive
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.

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!

Archive
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.

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