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.